Cranbourne justices of the peace

Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — My adjournment matter is for the Attorney-General and concerns the need for additional justices of the peace in the City of Casey. The action I seek is that the minister provide support and assistance to the Cranbourne signing station to recruit more justices of the peace. I have recently been contacted by the hardworking and dedicated team of justices of the peace at the Cranbourne signing station. Last year alone these outstanding justices of the peace witnessed over 20 000 documents, many of them from my constituents. This freed up police officers who would have otherwise been required to witness the documents. It is a vital service that so many within the community rely upon, including our already hardworking police officers. The less time police have to spend witnessing documents, the more time they can spend out in our community.

Unfortunately the Cranbourne signing station is struggling to keep up with the demand from our growing local community. Its justices of the peace are working overtime, taking on additional shifts and working much later to ensure they can provide this essential service. Many of those who are moving into our local community, particularly in Narre Warren South and Cranbourne, are new to Australia. They often require certification of documents for recognition of academic qualifications, job applications and citizenship applications, as well as for passport and visa purposes.

My office is regularly contacted by those seeking assistance with the certification of documentation just like this. At a meeting of the justices of the peace who staff the Cranbourne police station, they agreed to a number of resolutions and wrote to me detailing their concerns. They requested that priority be given to the selection, training and appointment of members of our local community that have lodged expressions of interest to become honorary justices. Our local justices of the peace do an exceptional job for the local community and free up our police officers, yet they want to do more. They want to extend their opening hours to provide a more accessible service for local residents. I hope the Attorney-General can work with the wonderful team at the Cranbourne signing station to ensure they can continue and improve on their fine work.

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