On 1 September 2021, Mr Robbie Katter MP, Member for Traeger, introduced the Working with Children (Indigenous Communities) Amendment Bill 2021 and referred it to the Legal Affairs and Safety Committee for detailed consideration.
The objectives of this Bill are to provide a new Blue Card framework that empowers Indigenous communities to make decisions which best serve their interests in relation to child protection and the employment of community members through amendments to the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000. The Bill proposes to achieve this objective by creating a Blue Card assessment framework that overcomes the limitations of the current Blue Card system by enabling the local Community Justice Group to make a binding recommendation to the chief executive to issue a restricted working with children clearance to an individual for work within that community even if the individual would be issued a negative notice by the chief executive due to previous criminal offences.
PeakCare commends Mr Rob Katter MP, Member for Traeger for introducing this Bill and drawing Parliament’s attention to the improvements needed to the ways in which Queensland undertakes its working with children check regime. The Bill highlights the inadequacies of the current regime in meeting the needs of First Nations peoples and challenges Parliament to give much fuller and earnest consideration to approaches that better meet the needs of all Queensland children, their families and communities.