STATE Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter says Government must be mindful of the impact that negative Blue Card applications are having on Indigenous communities.
Mr Katter’s comments are in response to recent calls to extend blue card requirements.
“Child safety is paramount and number one priority, but the ‘one size fits all’ approach to Blue Cards is having a negative impact on our First Australians,” he said.
“The government needs to be aware of these existing concerns within the Blue Card system and we will be making sure they are highlighted.”
“Before any further changes are made, they need to understand the significant impost put on Indigenous communities where Blue Card applicants are denied the opportunity to work in and contribute to their communities.”
“How can we say we are trying to ‘Close the Gap’ when these people are restricted in their capacity to earn a wage and make a living in their own community.”
“These people have the opportunity to gain employment and be role models in the community – showing they can overcome adversity and helping in their rehabilitation.”
Mr Katter said he wanted to make it clear community safety remained the overriding factor.
“We understand that not everyone is suitable for a Blue Card, but we do believe the restrictive nature of the application process can rule out some candidates who would be appropriate to work in the community in which they live,” he said.
“It must be noted that in many Indigenous communities, such as Doomadgee and Mornington Island, there are extenuating circumstances relating to their ability to get a Blue Card.”
“A community-based process would serve these places much better than a ‘tick-and-flick’ process done in Brisbane.”
“Child safety is a priority but the impact on the indigenous population should not be overlooked.”