Woolnough & Anor v Isaac Regional Council [2019] QSC 54

Woolnough & Anor v Isaac Regional Council [2019] QSC 54:

3. There remains a final matter to consider. At the outset of the trial on 27 August 2018 I noted a document filed by the plaintiffs bore a stamp endorsement worded “Commonwealth of Australia 1955 Public Official”. I enquired of the Woolnoughs whether either of them knew the source of the stamp and Mr Woolnough volunteered the stamped endorsement came from a stamp that he had a stamp-maker make. The exchange which ensued is contained at T1-2 to T1-5 of the trial transcript. I enquired of Mr Woolnough whether he saw that by the stamp he appeared to be representing himself to be some sort of publicly appointed official. He responded:

“Not a public appointed official, your Honour. I am a volunteer.”

4. I thereafter adjourned consideration of the significance or otherwise of the stamped endorsement of the document filed in Court to the conclusion of the trial.

5. The trial having concluded, I return to consideration of the significance of the endorsement.

6. The endorsement by Mr Woolnough was obviously calculated at using the Court’s filing and serving of documents process as a means of misleading others about the righteousness and power of his cause by conferring the false imprimatur of Commonwealth officialdom on him and or his document.

7. On the face of it this involves Mr Woolnough falsely representing himself to be a Commonwealth public official contrary to s 148.1 Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), an offence known as Impersonation of Commonwealth public officials, punishable in its simpliciter form with two years imprisonment, potentially more depending on aggravating circumstances. It might also arguably constitute the misdemeanour of False Assumption of Authority contrary to s 96 Criminal Code (Qld), punishable with 3 years imprisonment.

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