The Queensland Government recently passed legislation to add 15 more crimes to the list of disqualifying offences when applying for a Blue Card.
The legislation implements the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the Queensland Family and Child Commission to include bestiality, kidnapping of a child, kidnapping for ransom of a child, child stealing and abduction of a child under 16 as disqualifying offences under the Working with Children Act. Murder of an adult and rape of an adult have also been added. Murder of a child and sexual offences against children are already on the list of disqualifying offences. Torture of a child, attempt to commit rape of an adult, assault with intent to commit rape of an adult, cruelty to children under 16, trafficking in children and domestic trafficking in children will also be added to the disqualifying offences.
‘No Card, No Start’
When introduced applicants will not be able to commence paid employment while their Blue Card application is pending. ‘No Card, No Start’ will bring paid employees into line with volunteers and business operators and will prevent someone from employing a person in child-related employment unless the person holds a working with children clearance and the employer has notified the chief executive about the employment or proposed employment of the person. To emphasize the significant responsibility employers have as gatekeepers of child-related employment, increased penalties will be imposed against an employer who engages an employee without a working with children clearance, if an aggravating circumstance applies. Someone who starts or continues in regulated employment without a Blue Card could face a five year jail term, in certain circumstances.
For more information, go to the Blue Card website: https://www.bluecard.qld.gov.au/