Politicians turned up to celebrate the progress of construction for a brand-new Forensic Medicine and Coroner’s Court in NSW this week.
NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman highlighted the need for advanced forensic medicine services to take into account the personal pain involved in sudden or unexplained death.
“With every sudden unexplained or unexpected death, there are families grieving and in need of support and answers,” Mr Speakman said.
“The building will also feature spacious support facilities, with more counselling rooms and private waiting areas, to provide a more comfortable environment for families during a very difficult time,” he said.
It is hoped that the $91.5 million complex, with improved forensic medicine technology and courtroom facilities, will offer timely and additional coronial services. The world-class facilities will also help forensic pathologists investigate the cause of death in “the least invasive manner”, a government statement said.
The Coroner’s Court in Lidcombe will feature larger courtrooms and AV technology to facilitate hearing evidence from remote locations. There will also be extra viewing and counselling rooms and family waiting areas than the current complex in Glebe can accommodate.
On Tuesday, Mr Speakman attended a ‘Topping Out Ceremony’ with NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard at the site of the old Lidcombe Hospital. The occasion marked the complex construction reaching its highest point.
It was confirmed that completion of the development, a joint project between NSW Justice and NSW Health, would be ready by early next year.
NSW Health Infrastructure has been leading the delivery of the new complex.
“This amazing new complex has been built with dignity, compassion and privacy in mind and, by using the latest forensic medicine technology, will ensure grieving families get timely answers,” Mr Hazzard said.
According to the Minister, the “world-class facilities” will also feature a dedicated area for traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoking ceremonies; as well as a multi-faith room for families of victims.