The Commonwealth has spent more than $7.6m in legal fees pursuing whistleblowers, according to new revelations.
Officials from the Attorney-General’s Department revealed the cost under questioning from NSW Greens senator David Shoebridge (ABC).
The case against Bernard Collaery and Witness K, which has been dropped by the Labor government, alone cost the Commonwealth $5.5m.
Collaery had been charged with helping his client Witness K to reveal classified details of a secret mission in Timor Leste.
Officials revealed the cost of the prosecution of Defence whistleblower David McBride at $1.8m, while tax office whistleblower Richard Boyle’s case had reached $233,171.
Shoebridge described it as using taxpayer funds for “monstering whistleblowers”.
The federal government has been criticised for pursuing McBride and Boyle, particularly as it reviews Commonwealth whistleblowing protections.