A VICTIM of disgraced Swansea MP Milton Orkopoulos is backing whistleblower Gillian Sneddon by asking the NSW Government's whistleblower inquiry, "What have you got to hide?"
All references to Ms Sneddon in Lower Hunter man Ben Blackburn's submission to the inquiry were removed before it was placed on a government website, and his offer to give evidence, like Ms Sneddon's, was ignored.
The Herald can reveal what the inquiry, headed by Maitland MP Frank Terenzini, censored out of Mr Blackburn's submission that Gillian Sneddon's "appalling treatment by the NSW Parliament . . . is not only unfair and unbecoming, [but] I fear may also serve to deter future whistleblower employees".
"My primary concern is that Gillian's treatment has set a disturbing precedent for the future," said Mr Blackburn, who confirmed about half his submission is missing from the government website.
Mr Blackburn, who was indecently assaulted by Orkopoulos as a teenager, and Ms Sneddon, who helped police bring Orkopoulos to justice, will be denied their chance to speak when the inquiry resumes next Tuesday for a final day of evidence from government bureaucrats.
The whistleblower report is expected to be tabled in Parliament in late September.
Mr Blackburn said he was not surprised by the inquiry's actions.
"It's a parliamentary inquiry into the treatment of public sector whistleblowers yet they haven't heard from any whistleblowers," he said.
"They're not interested in the stories of whistleblowers like Gillian. Under the current system, a whistleblower who has been treated poorly as a direct result of making a disclosure has no options for redress under the Protected Disclosures Act except to commence a private prosecution."
While the website carries Mr Blackburn's comment that "There is an absolute imperative to strengthen the state's whistleblower laws", it has censored out the end of the sentence that says Ms Sneddon's treatment "is testament to that".
Ms Sneddon lost her job when Orkopoulos was charged with child sex and drug offences after she helped police collect evidence against him. The man who took Orkopoulos's place, Robert Coombs, chose not to employ her.
She has been ostracised by Labor Party members and has spent this week at Swansea collecting signatures for a petition calling for a public inquiry into the NSW Government's handling of the Orkopoulos affair.
At a public meeting in May, Mr Coombs called Ms Sneddon a "ratbag" after she challenged Orkopoulos's former chief of staff, Premier Nathan Rees, about whether Orkopoulos had been protected.
Mr Blackburn resigned from the Labor Party in September last year, saying he couldn't support the party with Mr Rees as Premier.
Mr Terenzini, who heads the Labor-controlled parliamentary ICAC committee running the whistleblower inquiry, said he was "not going to comment about any particular submission", when asked why Mr Blackburn's submission had been censored.