Almost 1300 banned from holding blue card

ALMOST 1300 Queenslanders have been banned from working with children over the past 18 months.

And 129 people have had their blue cards suspended after being charged with child-related offences since July 1, last year.

Blue Card Services government data showed about 322,990 sought approvals to work with children in the same period.

Would-be child workers can be disqualified or banned for serious drug, violence, child-related sexual offences and child pornography.

Anyone working or volunteering with children needs a blue card, while those convicted of child sex offences and similar crimes are unable to apply.

Criminologist Carol Ronken said while the system was good it would not always keep children safe.

"With any system there is potential for people to fall through the cracks," Ms Ronken, of child safety lobby group Bravehearts, said.

"The blue cards are only ever going to protect us from a certain number of offenders - those we already know about.

"The reality is there are many more sex offenders that are out there who have never been prosecuted, charged or come to the attention of any authority."

Ms Ronken urged child-based organisations to do their part in protecting children.

"Our biggest message is that an organisation should not place all of their judgment around employing people based on whether or not they are able to get a blue card," she said.

"Any organisation that works with children needs to ensure that their child protection policies are in place."

A Blue Card Services spokesman said in some cases it was an offence to apply for a blue card.

"For example, a person with a conviction for a disqualifying offence - including a child-related sex offence, child pornography or the murder of a child - is not eligible to apply for a blue card," he said.

Since July 1, 2013:

  • 322,999 Queenslanders have applied for a blue card.
  • 1292 people were refused the cards.
  • 129 people lost their card for a range of offences.

Source: Blue Card Services

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