Government moves on Blue Card reform
THE Palaszczuk Government will widen the list of offences that disqualify a person from obtaining a Blue Card as it attempts to close a loophole that most recently saw a man charged with rape awarded a card on appeal.
Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath yesterday told State Parliament she would seek to add more offences to that list following the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal's decision to award the man the Blue Card after he was initially denied by the State.
"In light of a QCAT decision published recently, consideration will also be given to what serious offences should be included in those reforms," Ms D'Ath told the House.
The changes will come before the House before the end of the year and will be retrospective.
The Government was already moving to include offences including bestiality, kidnapping, kidnapping for ransom, child stealing and abduction of a child under 16 as disqualifying offences following recommendations of the Queensland Family and Child Commission and the recent royal commission.
Just what the extra offences will be is yet to be revealed with Ms D'Ath's office saying consideration was under way.
Only last month The Courier-Mail revealed that murderers and rapists were eligible to apply for government approval to work with children in a bizarre technicality in the Blue Card system.
The loophole meant convicted killers and rapists who committed their crimes against adults could still apply for a Blue Card, allowing them to work with children if approved.
At the time the government said they would automatically reject such applicants, but conceded that those applicants were still eligible to an appeal before QCAT.
The director-general of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General could also grant a Blue Card in exceptional circumstances.