Updated: Jul 17, 2022
Tom the Whisteblower refers to the anonymous whistleblower (hereby referred to as 'Tom') and Twitter account @BlowingTom, who leaked materials of male Liberal National Party staffers and MPs engaging in sexual acts within Parliament House. One of these acts which saw significant media attention in 2021 was in regards to a staffer masturbating on a female staffer's desk. Tom also claimed that "a lot" of sex took place within Parliament House's prayer room and that procurement of "rent boys" to attend Parliament House for certain Liberal National Party MPs had taken place. The Twitter account has since been suspended.
Desk Masturbation Allegation
In early 2020 Tom provided both photographic and video evidence recorded within Parliament House “of men engaged in blatant sex acts”. These digital materials were allegedly shared between both the Liberal National Party staffers depicted in the materials and others within Parliament House.
One video showed a Liberal National Party staffer masturbating on a female staffer's desk. When these allegations were investigated and reported by Channel 10's Peter van Olensen in March of 2021, the staffer was subsequently fired. Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated in regards to this particular staffer ""My government has identified the staff member at the centre of these allegations and has terminated his employment immediately.” The Liberal National Party staffer was subsequently identified as one Nathan Winn, a political adviser who had previously worked for Liberal National MP Warren Entsch.
"Revenge Porn" Investigation
Following the leak of these claims Warren Entsch, called for Tom to be investigated by police as the "distribution of explicit images of a former Liberal staffer is a clear case of revenge porn and should be investigated by police."
In December of 2021, the Australian Federal Police conducted search warrants at two properties in Canberra and Queensland. All of Tom's electronic devices and digital correspondence, including those with Peter van Onselen and another senior journalist at The Age, Chip LeGrand, who also covered the story. The warrants state that police are investigating if "a former Canberra man distributed lewd images without consent between November 2020 and March 2021 in contravention of Crimes Act 1900 (ACT) s 72C."
Mark Davis for Sydney Criminal Lawyers represented Tom in relation to the investigation and stated in relation to the matter:
“If he committed an offence under that legislation, the case is already apparent. The evidence is already there. The police already had the evidence that he circulated those images. So, why do they need to raid his house to secure them? The short answer is, they don’t. How you get the AFP to engage itself in something of this nature is frankly disturbing.The only logical inference is they were raiding his house not for the images that he circulated but to have a look at what else he may have. And I would suggest there are a lot of very nervous people – staff or otherwise – in Parliament House.”
The Sparke Helmore Investigation
The Department of Finance commissioned law firm Sparke Helmore to investigate the claims. Tom cooperated with the investigation. The Department of Finance issued a short statement confirming the completion of the investigation in March 2022, noting that "for privacy reasons Finance cannot comment further on this matter."
Tom has since expressed his disappointment with the investigation and the department's refusal to to give him a copy of the report or comment on its findings.
“Whilst I was deeply disappointed by the outcome of the Department of Finance investigation, it was always going to amount to nothing as a result of no evidence being accepted by the investigation team, Sparke Helmore lawyers, the department,” he said.
The friendlyjordies team have been provided with a version of the final report.