Kingaroy JPs
Some of the volunteers who man a special “JP desk” at Kingaroy Shoppingworld between Big W and the post office every Monday to Friday, providing their services free of charge to the community, with Kingaroy’s Clerk Of The Court Ben Madden (at rear, centre)

May 28, 2018

Some of the South Burnett’s most dedicated JPs celebrated National Volunteer Week with a morning tea in Kingaroy last Thursday.

For a number of the volunteers who man a “JP Desk” between Big W and Australia Post at Kingaroy Shoppingworld, it was the first time they had had the opportunity to meet other JPs sharing the workload.

The group are a subset of more than 190 Justices of the Peace (JPs) and Commissioners for Declarations (Cdecs) registered in Kingaroy with the Department of Justice.

JPs and CDecs handle important documents that can have a significant impact on someone’s life.

They must be properly trained and qualified to provide professional services in all situations, and are required to adhere to a strict code of conduct that calls on them to be fair, impartial and available to serve the public at any time.

In Kingaroy, the “JP In The Community Program” provides a JP signing service at Kingaroy Shoppingworld every Monday to Friday between noon and 2:00pm, as well as providing an after-hours service where necessary.

The JP “desk” is supported by Shoppingworld’s Centre Management.

Its oldest member is Errol Young, who has been a JP for more than 50 years.

To ensure the desk operates 52 weeks a year, many of the JPs who man it work to a roster organised by the group’s chairwoman Marian Petersen, who liaises with Kingaroy Court House’s Clerk of the Court, Ben Madden.

Marian said being signed on as a Justice Of The Peace used to be a lifetime role.

But it now seems likely that at some point in the future, JPs may need to reapply every five years to keep their registration current.

They could also be required to show they have undertaken ongoing professional training to keep up with new legislation, and could lose their status if they haven’t.

“Some people take on a JP role because it looks good on their business card or they want some letters after their name,” Marian said.

“But doing it properly involves a lot of volunteer work, and if people aren’t willing to do that they shouldn’t apply to be a JP.”

Marian said the group took particular care to ensure their desk was manned when Kingaroy Magistrates Court was in session.

This is a time when many people require the services of a JP to witness documents, such as statutory declarations, which they will later tender in court.

Errol Young, Marie Shaw, Lorraine Teece and Barry Krosch usually are on duty at the “JP Desk” during Kingaroy Court House sitting days when their services are particularly in demand

Anderssons Fruit Market for quality fruits and vegetables
Beautiful Xmas Gifts from Shop 38, Kingaroy - click here


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