Urgent action needed to fix Blue Card system and the regulation of childcare centres

15th Aug 2023

Urgent action is needed to tighten both the Queensland Blue Card system and the regulation of childcare centres, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

“The recent arrest of a former childcare worker for the alleged sexual abuse of almost 100 children at various childcare centres in Brisbane and Sydney is horrifying and has made it clear there is more that still needs to be done to protect children,” said Ms Sarah Grace, Queensland President, Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

“National coordination is needed, and we support calls for relevant federal, state and territory ministers whose portfolios relate to children’s health and safety to meet urgently to discuss tightening regulation across Australia, including ensuring full implementation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse recommendations from 2017.

“There are recommendations from the Royal Commission and the review of the Blue Card system in Queensland that have still not been implemented several years later.”

The establishment of a reportable conduct scheme and the implementation of Child Safety Principles are two examples of Royal Commission recommendations that have not been implemented yet in Queensland, despite developments in other jurisdictions.

“We cannot lose sight of the importance of implementing the recommendations from these investigations,” said Ms Grace.

“Since the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse we have learnt a lot about child protection and many changes have occurred, but these incidents will still occur when there are gaps in processes and we can’t accept that.

“The circumstances that allowed the alleged crime to happen need urgent action– action by the childcare facilities involved, by the government and by every organisation engaged in the protection of children and young people.  

“It is going to be a very personal decision for families to seek legal recourse – that is an individual, family conversation. The law provides options for survivors of child abuse and in some circumstances their families, and there are lawyers who specialise in a trauma informed approach to assist in accessing those legal options, but the real issue for attention here is ensuring this never happens again.”

Tags: Queensland Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Child Sexual Abuse