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Published: 21 October 2020

Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) National President Christine Craik has been joined by AASW Queensland and North Queensland Branch Presidents Ellen Beaumont Branch and Ross Murray in calling for an incoming Queensland government to focus on creating an inclusive and just society where it is possible for everyone to thrive, flourish and develop their full potential.

Ahead of the Queensland State Election 2020 on Saturday 31 October, the AASW Queensland and North Queensland Branches have published their Policy Platform that calls for immediate action on a wide range of health, mental health, social and environmental issues, including child protection, family violence, aged care, reconciliation and climate action.

AASW National President Christine Craik said now is the time to challenge inequality and ensure that the most disadvantaged and marginalised communities in Queensland are supported during COVID-19 recovery.

“We have written to the Premier, Leader of the Opposition and other party leaders outlining the fact that, should they form the next government, there are a significant number of health, social and environmental issues that require urgent attention. Plus there is urgent need for the registration of social workers in Queensland.”

AASW Queensland Branch President Ellen Beaumont has called for the Queensland government to take action to register social workers to provide clear practice standards, ethical guidelines and expectations set for workers.

“Registration will promote best practice in child protection and ultimately better protection for vulnerable children.

“The Coroner’s report into Mason Jet-Lee’s death details the horrific abuse and neglect he suffered, highlighting a systematic failure on every level. There is no single solution and we need a comprehensive approach to child and family support that looks at workforce, service systems, caseloads and supervision.”

“An immediate measure that all governments can take is to improve the training and skills of the child protection workforce. For families that come into the child protection system, it can be due to a complex set of circumstances and it is vital that they receive supports from highly trained and skilled professionals. Unfortunately, as Mason’s and numerous Coroner’s reports from all across Australia continue to highlight, this is not the case,” she said.

AASW North Queensland Branch President Ross Murray renewed the AASW’s call for greater climate action stating that, North Queensland has been severely impacted by climate change with increased drought and food insecurity, loss of the Great Barrier Reef, and longer and more extreme fire seasons.

“What is required is a whole of government response to prevent future climate induced disasters and protect all Queenslanders.”

“Overcoming inequality, addressing global warming and promoting Reconciliation are some of the most important actions needed by an incoming government and as social workers we will to continue to advocate for government policies that create a more just and inclusive Australia,” he said.

Read our complete Policy Platform here

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers