There’s never been a more pressing need to build a multi-purpose justice precinct in Sydney’s south west.

Court facilities in Sydney’s south west are out-dated, under-resourced and unsafe and failing to meet community needs.

The courts in Campbelltown, Camden and Picton are either at capacity or not equipped to manage the delays and backlogs in criminal and civil cases. Justice moves particularly slowly in Camden Court, which only sits for two days each month.

Of great concern is the lack of security at the historical Camden and Picton Courts, where cases involving family violence and AVOs are being heard. Victims of crime, who are already feeling vulnerable and under considerable emotional strain, have the right to feel safe when they appear in court.

The NSW Government has also acknowledged that both these courts are “not fit for use”.

Victims of crime and people seeking resolutions to business disputes and family law cases are being forced to wait too long for justice or must travel into the Sydney CBD to have their matters heard. To make matters worse, there is no Federal Court Circuit in south western Sydney to deal with family court matters.

This means court users in south western Sydney must travel to courts in Wollongong, Parramatta or the Sydney CBD to resolve family disputes – a round trip that can take four hours by public transport or three hours in a car.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

These delays and current realities add serious emotional and financial strain on the victims. their families and the accused. The time consuming administrative delays also places an unnecessary burden on domestic violence support services, legal aid and the police.

If the court system in Australia’s fastest growing region is failing to meet the current needs of the community, how will it cope in the future?

By the time Sydney’s second international airport Nancy-Bird Walton is operational in 2026 the population in the south west will have grown from 700,00 to nearly 900,000. By 2036 the population will have almost doubled to 1.1 million – that’s a city the size of Adelaide.

We need the State and Federal Government to urgently commit the funds needed to build a new multi-purpose justice precinct in south western Sydney.

It needs to house court rooms for the Local Court, District Court, Land & Environment Court, Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia and civil tribunals as well alternative dispute resolution facilities, police and other justice services. People in south-western Sydney deserve access to justice now and in the future. The time is now to lobby the government.

The time to campaign the Government is now.

The need is dire and urgently needs to be addressed.

We hope the Government cares about the south-western suburbs of Sydney, it’s now time to take action.