Qld blue cards a 'modern-day injustice'

Queensland's blue card system is a "modern-day injustice" for Indigenous people living in remote communities that should be reformed, a parliamentary report says.

A parliamentary committee rejected a Katter's Australian Party bill to overhaul the system to apply to work with children but has backed trials of some of the proposals.

Committee chair Peter Russo says applying for blue cards can be "exhausting and re-traumatising" for Indigenous people due to intergenerational trauma, language barriers and complex ID requirements.

Some face significant disadvantages in making online applications due to a lack of facilities or internet access, which contributes to inequity and delays.

The Labor MP says negative blue card notices issued to people for minor or non-violent convictions have separated families and impeded kinship care in remote communities.

"Our inquiries revealed manifest disadvantage, including that negative notices impact not only individual families but the wider community by disconnecting young people from family, country, language and culture," Mr Russo wrote in the report, tabled in parliament on Wednesday.

"This disconnect is a modern-day injustice, with a haunting reminder of other times in our history when First Nations people were separated from family and country against their wishes.

"We have to do better."

Mr Russo said the committee also heard some employers were making blue cards mandatory to apply for jobs that didn't involve any direct contact with children.

"This overly prescriptive approach by employers restrains, unnecessarily in my view, several employment opportunities for local Indigenous people in these remote communities, and operates as a bias, whether it be conscious or unconscious, against First Nations people," he wrote in the report.

The committee has recommended a trial of Indigenous councils and Community Justice Groups - made up of elders, traditional owners and respected persons - being involved in blue card approvals.

The government should also consider changing laws to make it easier for departments to share information to ensure the application process is more timely, the report said.

The committee said the way family-related definitions of working with children laws are applied in Indigenous communities should also be probed.

The report said large employers, including government departments and builders, should be encouraged to draw up child-safe hiring policies that don't "unnecessarily rely" on applicants having blue cards.

The committee also urged the government to implement some recommendations to reform the blue card system made in a report by the Queensland Family and Child Commission five years ago.

Those include tweaking laws to ensure a person's actual risk of harming children is assessed when making decisions on blue cards and appointing a panel with Indigenous representatives to advise authorities on complex cases.

It also called for the government to set up a new application process that was easier for Indigenous people to understand and offered them feedback.