Nearly four in five Australians support whistleblowers, but most do not have the confidence of being protected in their workplace if they expose wrongdoings.
Results from a joint academic national survey being released on Tuesday fly in the face of conventional wisdom suggesting Australians don't like dobbers in the workplace.
AdvertisementNewspoll research conducted for Griffith and Melbourne universities also found that close to nine in 10 Australians condoned taking whistleblower information to the media as a right or a last resort.
Project leader and Griffith University Professor AJ Brown said the gap between what people wanted and how they expected organisations to react underscored the need for whistleblower protection.
In September 2010, the Gillard Government promised Tasmanian Independent Andrew Wilkie, himself a whistleblower, and other cross-bench MPs that whistleblower laws would be in place a year ago but there has been almost no progress since.
Wilkie was surprised by the Newspoll as he thought people would put loyalty and respect for organisations ahead of speaking up about any suspected wrongdoing.
"This snapshot of Australians' values makes me feel far less alone," the Courier Mail quoted him as saying.
Whistleblower Toni Hoffman said the survey demonstrated most people saw official channels as the best way to report concerns about wrongdoing.
"But if they have to go public, like I did, it's vital they are protected," she said.
The results of the poll will be released in Brisbane with the universities' team and Queensland Health whistleblower Toni Hoffman.