THE NEW South Wales government is proposing a new $60 million justice precinct for Newcastle.
The government has recently completed a study into the current Newcastle justice precinct, which concluded that —given the rapid growth of the economy and population in the Hunter region — an expanded and improved facility is required.
According to New South Wales Attorney General John Hatzistergos, a number of sites for the new precinct have been identified, and a final business case detailing the final preferred site is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Member for Newcastle Jodi McKay said that the precinct would cater for the entire region and that existing district and local courts, as well as registries in towns surrounding Newcastle would form a “hub and spokes” model for the delivery of justice services.
The study proposes a precinct comprising ten courtrooms and four tribunal/mediation rooms with audio-visual equipment and secure dock areas. There would also be facilities in or near the precinct for police, the Department of Corrective Services, Legal Aid, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Public Prosecution and Justice Health. According to McKay, the University of Newcastle is also exploring the possibility of locating a new law school at the precinct.
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