Issued: Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Attorney General Gabrielle Upton today officially opened the $17.5 million upgrade of the 130 year-old Wollongong Courthouse.
“Wollongong’s courthouse is now one of the largest and most technologically innovative Local, District and Supreme Court houses in regional NSW,” Ms Upton said.
“The $17.5 million upgrade uses new technology and smart design to deliver fast, fair and accessible justice services for the Wollongong and Illawarra communities.
“Just as our modern health or education systems have evolved, the new facilities will be a benchmark for how we want to deliver modern justice services across New South Wales.”
The new 5,000 square metre complex will minimize contact between victims of violent crime and perpetrators, by allowing victims to testify remotely from one of two new private and secure rooms, and the number of interview rooms has tripled from four to 12.
Six courtrooms will use large LCD screens to broadcast bail applications from prisons and testimonies from remote witnesses, as well as displaying exhibits in high definition.
Victims of domestic and family violence can wait in a comfortable, new, safe room for their court hearing, a lift and handrails has improved disability access and a new, contemporary registry will provide simpler, faster and easier access to court services.
The renovation has created 400 local jobs for the Illawarra community, and is the most significant modification since the original courthouse stood in 1858.
“The NSW Government’s investment will improve the court experience for all users including victims of crime, jurors and the legal profession,” Ms Upton said.
“Built by the community and for the community, the courthouse will meet the justice needs of Wollongong and the Illawarra for generations to come.”
Local Court sittings resumed on 27 January 2016 and the District Court returned to Wollongong this week.