Attorney-General Robert Clark has today helped break ground on the new purpose-built Children’s Court building in Broadmeadows.
Mr Clark said the Victorian Coalition Government had committed $18.54 million to the project, which would improve justice services in the northern suburbs.
“This development will improve access to the Children’s Court for residents across the northern suburbs,” Mr Clark said.
The $11.4 million building will feature two courtrooms, magistrates’ chambers and interview spaces.
The building is designed to provide privacy and security for children, their families, staff and members of the public.
“This investment will provide a modern facility, with the specific needs of providing justice for children considered throughout the design process.”
Additional recurrent funding is also being provided for additional staff for the new court, and to help develop and adopt child friendly legal practices.
Mr Clark said the Coalition Government was upgrading court and justice facilities in a range of locations around the state. The 2014-15 budget included funding for a new court complex and additional staff in Shepparton, along with an upgrade to the Office of Public Prosecutions headquarters.
Work is also underway to refurbish the Wangaratta Court building, with a $2.7 million funding commitment enabling the repair of the court’s roof, the addressing of structural and safety issues and the upgrade of holding cells.
“The Napthine Government is investing in modern justice facilities throughout Victoria, providing improved amenities for the legal community and the public,” Mr Clark said.
The Broadmeadows Children’s Court will hear cases arising from the DHS Northern Metropolitan region, including the local government areas of Yarra, Darebin, Moreland, Hume, Banyule, Whittlesea and Nillumbik.
Once the Broadmeadows facility is completed, it will house the Family Drug Treatment Court, an innovative child friendly legal practice.
Ireland Brown Constructions has been engaged to build the project, with construction scheduled for completion in mid-2015.