Qld govt pumps money into child safety after murder of Tiahleigh Palmer

Queensland's child safety rules will be reformed after the murder of Tiahleigh Palmer, 12.
Queensland's child safety rules will be reformed after the murder of Tiahleigh Palmer, 12.

The process for working with children in Queensland will be streamlined under changes to the state's child welfare system.

The Labor state government has allocated $17 million over the next three years to make blue card applications available online, speed up processing times and close a loophole allowing people to work with children before their application is finalised.

It comes after a series of urgent reviews into Queensland's child safety sector sparked by the 2015 murder of 12-year-old Tiahleigh Palmer by her foster father Rick Thorburn.

Child Safety Minister Yvette D'Ath said the investment would help employers better meet their obligations and remove the requirement for people to be employed before applying for a blue card.

"Our number one priority is the protection of children and ensuring there is adequate screening of those working with children," Ms D'Ath said on Tuesday after the state budget was handed down.

"The vast majority of people applying for blue cards are community-minded people wanting to make a positive difference."

Tougher screening procedures for foster carers have already been introduced, but other changes are yet to be enforced.

The Palaszczuk government came under fire last month by child advocacy groups, which say it is moving too slowly on reforms to make the system safer for vulnerable children.

AAP

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