Convicted Blue Card applicants allowed to work with kids

DOZENS of Blue Card applicants convicted of disqualifying offences have been allowed to work with Queensland children while their applications are being processed.

The revelations come as the Government continues to delay the introduction of its 'No Card, No Start' election commitment, which would close the loophole.

The Government has blamed COVID-19 for the delay as the LNP warned the holdup could put children at risk.

The Courier-Mail can reveal that since July 2018, 43 people who have previously been convicted of a disqualifying offence have been allowed to begin paid work with children while their application was being assessed.

The Government would not say what offences the applicants had previously committed, but Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath insisted the majority of Blue Card applications were assessed within days.

All 43 applicants had their applications immediately withdrawn upon notification from police.

Attorney-General of Queensland Yvette D'Ath. Photographer: Liam Kidston
Attorney-General of Queensland Yvette D'Ath. Photographer: Liam Kidston

"All Blue Card applicants are monitored daily as their applications are processed," Ms D'Ath said.

"Employers also have a legal obligation to take measures to ensure the safety of children coming into contact with Blue Card applicants."

The Courier-Mail revealed last month that the Palaszczuk Government had quietly introduced a regulation that would allow them to delay the introduction of the 'No Card, No Start' policy until May 2021, despite making it a commitment at the last election.

Ms D'Ath said the delay was due to COVID-19 and that the Government was working to implement the policy "as soon as possible".

"Blue Card Services has been working closely with businesses and community groups to get workers onboarded with the system in preparation for the commencement of No Card, No Start," she said.

Queensland Leader of the Opposition Deb Frecklington. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)
Queensland Leader of the Opposition Deb Frecklington. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said delaying the 'No Card, No Start' reforms was putting kids at risk.

"It just isn't good enough and it is why we must change the government in October to keep our kids safe," she said.

About 157 people convicted of disqualifying offences have been allowed to begin paid work with children since July, 2012 while their application was being processed.

In the past year, there were six Blue Card holders with a paid job working with children who had their card cancelled after they were convicted of an offence.

Originally published as Convicted blue card applicants allowed to work with kids


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