No Blue Card for man with outstanding arrest warrant

A MAN with an outstanding arrest warrant and a lengthy criminal history could not convince the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal at Toowoomba he had turned his life around.

After being refused a Blue Card to pursue his dreams of helping children, the 24-year-old, whose name has been suppressed, appealed to the tribunal to overturn it.

He said after a life struggling with drug problems he had reformed his ways and he wanted to help young people.

The man needs the card to continue his role supporting young males in a rehabilitation program in south-east Queensland.

He will also need it to fulfil his plans to run programs for young people at his local church and to study youth work at TAFE.

The QCAT judgment, published online recently, detailed the man's long history of offences but none were considered serious under the Commission for Children Young People and Child Guardian Act.

The man was diagnosed with ADD and ADHD as a child and struggled at school.

Although his mother was an ambulance officer and his father was a police officer, he fell into a gang and by 12 he was stealing, gambling, fighting, committing burglaries, drinking, and taking amphetamines.

By age 15 he was selling marijuana and eventually ended up in prison, where he continued to use drugs.

In his home state he has an outstanding arrest warrant for failing to appear in court for stealing money from a Commonwealth Bank branch to pay for drugs.

Although he said he had stayed off drugs since early last year and also completed a one-year-long rehabilitation program in February, 2013, the tribunal was concerned he could relapse and was yet to be "tested".

The tribunal refused to overturn the decision not to issue the Blue Card, especially with the outstanding warrant.

But the tribunal also said his determination to change his life impressed them and he could reapply for a Blue Card in the near future.

- APN NEWSDESK


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