Traeger MP Robbie Katter wants Blue Card applications to be assessed by community groups on a ‘case-by-case’ basis, claiming the current ‘one size fits all’ approach prevents locals from obtaining employment.
The current Blue Card assessment process, considers previous criminal history records and determines if a person is qualified to work with children and young people.
Mr Katter’s proposed Working with Children Legislation (Indigenous Communities) Amendment Bill 2018, currently before parliament, would see Blue Cards be assessed by “relevant, local Community Justice Groups who have intimate knowledge of the individuals involved.”
Mr Katter said many people who have turned their lives around after racking up an often petty police record some years ago find themselves unable to get a Blue Card.
“The majority of reliable work in remote areas requires a Blue Card,” Mr Katter said.
“The Blue Card barrier prevents people from contributing to the community and supporting their families.”
Mr Katter said his Bill would prioritise child safety.
“Anyone with a history of offending against children would immediately be excluded as they would under the normal system,” he said.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the protection of vulnerable kids should be the priority for every government.
“It’s disappointing that it’s taken over a year for Annastacia Palaszczuk to amend blue card laws following the review handed down in September 2017,” Ms Frecklington said.
“We’ve seen scandal after scandal and confirmation that thousands of Queenslanders have been working with children without a Blue Card.
“Blue cards should be a privilege not a right.”
The Bill was reintroduced to Parliament in October this year.
It has been endorsed by the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee, and now requires support from the major parties.
Mr Katter said he would continue to “chip away” at this bill, in order to achieve the best possible outcome for the community.
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