Issued: Tuesday, 28 April 2015
NSW Attorney General Gabrielle Upton today visited Raymond Terrace Courthouse to mark the start of a $1 million upgrade – the largest in more than a decade.
The three month project includes improved disability access, the construction of a safe room for vulnerable witnesses, new interview rooms and upgrades to the public foyer and waiting area.
Ms Upton said improving court infrastructure and services was a key priority for the NSW Government.
"People deserve to have easy access to a fast, fair and efficient justice system," Ms Upton said.
"Making regional courthouses fully accessible is an important step in achieving that goal.
"The upgrade will make accessing and using the Raymond Terrace Courthouse easier for everyone who uses the court including people with a disability, mothers with prams and the legal profession.
"Importantly, the new safe room will provide a sanctuary for vulnerable witnesses including victims of domestic violence, greatly reducing the stress and trauma of the court process.
"The project will also deliver a boost to the local economy employing more than 20 locals from Raymond Terrace, Newcastle and surrounding areas."
Construction is already underway and is expected to be completed by the end of July 2015.
Raymond Terrace court matters have been transferred to East Maitland Courthouse for the duration of the construction period.
As there are currently no court sittings at East Maitland, the move will not cause any delays or have any impact on service delivery.
The Raymond Terrace project follows on from the $1.1 million upgrade at Maitland Courthouse carried out in 2013/14