Campbelltown mayor George Brticevic believes there is a huge need for a multi-jurisdictional justice precinct to ease the court backlog in south-west Sydney – and Campbelltown is the place it should be built.
The mayor and Campbelltown Council are backing a massive, multi-organisational push for the justice precinct’s construction.
Cr Brticevic said Campbelltown has the “perfect location” for a precinct which would bring together local courts, district courts, family court and emergency services in one place.
He said the Campbelltown Local Court precinct could be extended onto the existing – and neighboring – Campbelltown Council site on Queen Street.
“Campbelltown Local Court is already located right next to public transport – it’s already the best parcel of land for a justice precinct,” Cr Brticevic said.
“We’ve been pushing for this for a long time now, we’ve been ahead of the game.”
The mayor said the former Campbelltown Senior Citizens Centre on the council land could be repurposed in a ‘phase one’ plan to build the justice precinct in Campbelltown.
“Since we’ve renovated the main council building, we’ve moved the seniors citizens facility and the former building is now only being used for staff training,” Cr Brticevic said.
“There is also potential to use the main council building as part of the justice precinct, but this is early days and for now we’d be looking at utilising the other buildings on the council site.”
He said an extended precinct would also provide significant job opportunities and economic benefit to Campbelltown.
Cr Brticevic said the next step was to get state and federal governments to commit to the justice precinct in Campbelltown.
Campbelltown Council general manager Lindy Deitz said locals deserved improved court facilities to improve their access to justice.
“Already in Sydney’s south west, our community experiences extended periods of time to resolve criminal matters, far longer than our inner-city counterparts,” she said.
“This not only affects victims and their families in prolonging their distress, but also defendants, often in remand awaiting their day in court.
“The flow-on effect of this delay causes increases in people in custody for extended periods prior to trial, at significant cost to the community.
“The close proximity of the police station presents a further opportunity to explore co-location of emergency services, creating efficiencies in processing and transport.”
Campbelltown MP Greg Warren (Labor) also supported calls for the precinct, saying they were “justified” and “made complete sense”.
“Campbelltown Local Court is at capacity and bursting at the seams – and it has been that way for years,” he said.
“Not only does our court need to be expanded to ensure state matters are heard and resolved in a timely manner, it needs to facilitate a range of other matters – including family and federal court matters.
“A larger precinct would bring more people to Campbelltown, which would provide a huge boost to local businesses.”
Visit justiceprecinct.org for more information on the campaign.
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