2013 POLICY RESOLUTION
WHISTLE-BLOWERS, FREE MEDIA AND THE RIGHT TO KNOW
Lesley Lynch and Pauline Wright spoke briefly to the resolution. Glenn Phillips proposed an amendment, noting that there it was important to maintain confidentiality in some circumstances – therefore in relation to 6.3.3, there should be an emphasis on a legal framework for disclosures that are in the public interest. It was agreed to amend 6.3.3 to read “… commit to greater government transparency and the establishment of a legal framework for openness and fair and proportionate protection…”
The CCL committee recommended that the following amended resolution be endorsed by the AGM:
The NSW Council for Civil Liberties:
1. Recognises Edward Snowden, Chelsea (previously Bradley) Manning and Julian Assange as courageous, global champions of democracy who have made, at great personal cost, extraordinary contributions to civil society by challenging the excessive secrecy of the state and revealing to the citizens of the world vast quantities of hidden information about the activities of the state that should always have been in the public domain in any democratic society
2. Condemns the current unprecedented and ferocious attack by the USA and other states on whistle-blowers – most dramatically manifested in the relentless pursuit of Assange, Manning and Snowdon as traitors and spies and the attempt to disable Wikileaks. With growing state secrecy the attack on whistle-blowers poses a global threat to the capacity of a free press to inform the people and to the citizens’ right to know what governments are doing in their name.
3. Urges the Australian Government to distance itself from these extreme attacks on whistle-blowers and commit to greater government transparency and the establishment of a legal framework for openness and fair and proportionate protection of whistle-blowers.
Moved Lesley Lynch / Pauline Wright: That the proposed resolution as amended relating to whistle-blowers be approved. Carried.