Today Cabinet meets in Far North Queensland to discuss issues affecting indigenous communities at the same time the review into the Blue Card system has handed down an Options Paper.
These events are a timely reminder of the need for the Government to look at changes to the Blue Card system to provide better outcomes for remote communities.
“The current system is resulting in poor outcomes for some remote indigenous communities and the Government must be mindful of these negative impacts and the economic and social consequences,” Mr Katter said.
“My constituents have presented a number of cases where Blue Card applicants are unfairly denied the opportunity to work despite the community and its leaders advocating on behalf of the individual. This results in poor outcomes for both families and the community.”
The issues with the current Blue Card system is the application of a single system to many communities with significantly different needs.
“Child safety is paramount and the number one priority, but, the ‘one size fits all’ approach to Blue Cards is having a negative impact on our First Australians,” he said.
“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.”
The Options Paper released under the Blue Card system review, specifically outlines enhancing community participation and support as a key area for reform.
“I hope the Government sees this as an opportunity to provide remote communities with a bigger say in how their affairs are managed. I’d love to see these communities being able to make their own decisions on a whole range of issues including Blue Cards.”