Man with violent criminal history wins blue card appeal

A HERVEY Bay man who was refused a blue card due to his criminal history which included a number of drug and violent offences has had the decision overturned and a tribunal rule he be issued with one.

The man, 42, who cannot be identified in order to protect his son's identity, applied for a blue card because he regularly helped out at his son's local rugby league club.

Under state law volunteers who work with children and young people must hold a blue card.

However, it was revealed the man was not required to hold a blue card because he son was an active participant at the club, but he applied for one anyway.

Subsequently, the Commissioner for Children and Young People and Child Guardian refused to issue the man with a blue card due to convictions in 1989, 1990, 2006 and 2011.

The man appealed the decision to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal where the details of his 2011 conviction were aired.

The tribunal heard the man was sentenced to four months behind bars, which was wholly suspended, after being involved in a violent domestic dispute where he produced a firearm and threatened his partner in front of his young boy.

He was heavily intoxicated at the time.

The tribunal initially ruled that because the conviction in 2011 "was so grave and so recent the Commissioner had no choice but to deny the man a blue card."

However, in overturning the initial QCAT decision, John Milburn found the man had taken significant step to improve his behaviour and quality of life.

He found the man's mental state had also improved significantly since the 2011 event.

"The tribunal is satisfied the man would now manage the situation he was confronted with in 2011 differently," he said.

"The risk factors demonstrated by the past conduct and personal profile of the man no longer present an unacceptable risk to children and young people."

Mr Milburn ordered the initial QCAT decision be set aside and the Commissioner issue the man with a blue card.



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