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Whistleblower protection back on the agenda

Greater protection for whistleblowers will be a "game changer" that ensures more people will come forward to expose wrongdoings in the banking sector, says Labor Senator Sam Dastyari.

Speaking at the Macquarie Graduate School of Management's CBD campus in Sydney yesterday, Senator Dastyari said the Senate Economics References Committee would soon release a discussion paper and organise a parliamentary summit in the New Year to debate the types of protection model that would be most suited to the Australian market.

"There are going to be some really strong calls in a couple of weeks. We're going to have a summit that will be organised in the Parliament and all the big heads of government are going to be coming in and making the case," he said.

"We'll be releasing a a discussion paper. The really big, controversial question is, do you head down the American path of compensation. The Americans have an incentive-based structure and you are allowed to make a profit out of it."

Senator Dastyari said he did not think the Australian public would support an American-style system that hands out awards for information.

"I'm not sure that that would fit in with Australian culture, but there is the argument that whistleblowers should have access to compensation – that will be a game changer for people coming forward," he said.

"A lot of those who whistleblow in Australia have gone through a lot of financial hardship and they don't have the right to be [compensated] when they've done the right thing. There is a lot of suffering that goes along with it... whisteblower protections in the private sector are terrible."