Background: Indigenous children in Australia are more likely than non-Indigenous children to be in contact with the child safety system. A large number of Queensland’s Indigenous population live in remote and isolated communities in north Queensland where the state government's Alcohol Management Plans (AMPs) are in effect. In these communities it is an offence to have in one’s possession more than the regulated amount and type of alcohol. A breach of these restrictions can result in convictions under the Liquor Act 1992.
Findings: During an evaluation of AMPs, influential stakeholders and key service providers voiced their belief that a conviction for a breach of the AMP would impact a person’s eligibility to hold a Positive Notice Blue Card (PNBC). On its own, however, a breach of the Liquor Act 1992 will not impact a person’s eligibility for a PNBC. A PNBC is required for any person volunteering or working with children. Without a PNBC, a person is ineligible to work in child-related employment, volunteer at child-related activities or provide out-of-home care for children.
Conclusion: This misconception needs to be addressed in these already-disadvantaged communities to ensure that Indigenous community members have every opportunity to hold a PNBC. Focused strategies with evaluation and research are needed in this important policy area.