• Construction of $12 million redevelopment of Bendigo court precinct complete
• New and improved court facilities and new justice service centre
• Napthine Government improving access to justice in regional Victoria
The Attorney-General Robert Clark today joined Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen to mark the completion of building works at the redeveloped Bendigo court precinct.
Mr Clark said the $12 million project sees a new Justice Service Centre and a new Magistrates’ Court court room and facilities on the former Bull Street police station site, as well as significantly improved security arrangements.
The new Justice Service Centre will provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for services such as Consumer Affairs, Births Deaths and Marriages, Dispute Resolution, Offending Behaviour Programs, Sheriffs and Community Correctional Services.
The new court room, interview rooms, full security screening, remote witness rooms, CCTV and refitted prisoner cells, as well as secured access for prisoner transfers will improve safety and increase the Magistrates’ Court’s capacity to hear matters in Bendigo.
There are also dedicated spaces for barristers to interview their clients, a safe waiting area for family violence victims, additional judicial chambers and two holding cells with associated facilities available for use by Victoria Police.
“The redevelopment provides much better facilities for court users, and will also free up police time by allowing more prisoners to be held at the court pending trial, reducing the time police have needed to spend shuttling prisoners to and from police cells since the move of the police station to High Street in 2007,” Mr Clark said.
“The Coalition has been working to fix regional courts following Labor’s 11 years of neglect – including: providing $63 million for a new court complex at Shepparton; a $2.7 million refurbishment of Wangaratta Courthouse; and installing CCTV security in 20 courthouses across rural and regional Victoria.
“Residents of Bendigo and the surrounding region will benefit from having a range of justice services located in the same building, with over 75 Department of Justice and court staff under one roof.
“This Centre will be a valuable new addition for the Bendigo community, legal profession and court users.”
With construction complete, commissioning of the new court and justice service centre will now commence. The facility is expected to be fully operational by early next year.