residents of Burnie rail against the move of the Burnie court complex to a residential area | Examiner

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Tensions within a peaceful coastal neighborhood are starting to boil over, as work to move a major court complex to the middle of a residential neighborhood continues. The state government announced in 2020 that it would abandon a $ 15 million upgrade to Burnie Courthouse and move the entire complex to the former University of Tasmania campus instead. Attorney General Elise Archer said at the time that the courthouse at the intersection of Alexander and Cattley Street was “obsolete and no longer fit for purpose”, and that the “most efficient option “was to expand into a new location. The announcement drew considerable backlash from residents, business owners, the legal community and local advisers, much of which has continued to simmer in the meantime. Among the opponents is Sam Cocks, whose property shares a fence with the future court. “I am worried about my children,” he said. “What if someone escapes?” And what happens to the value of our homes? Many of us have worked hard to have homes here. Al Stewart also lives near the development and said he was concerned about the lack of access for police and emergency services. “The lack of consultation is really nothing short of astonishing,” he said. “It makes sense to have a courthouse near a police station. At the moment, they’re so close they can walk there if they need to respond to anything.” The new site will be about three kilometers from the nearest police station, close to several schools. In Hobart, the courthouse is 80 meters from the police station. Launceston Police Station is 120 yards from the Courts and Devonport Police Station is approximately one kilometer from the Magistrate’s Court. “How many courthouses are there in a residential area? Andrew Boyd, another nearby resident, asked. Braddon Labor MHA Anita Dow said many residents had made representations to her since the announcement. “I have also been contacted by members of the business community who have expressed concern about the impact on the central business district,” she said. Meanwhile, the legal fraternity has also expressed concerns about the move. Law Society chairman Simon Gates is from the Northwest and said local practitioners have raised a number of concerns about the location. “The bar supports a court fit for the intended use in Burnie,” he explained. “However, it is essential that the location does not discourage local attorneys from addressing issues involving frequent appearances such as criminal and family law matters.” He said there were already “too few” lawyers practicing in these areas of the coast, and many had their offices in the CBD. “For example, lawyers who do legal aid work may need to go to court several times a day,” he said. “Cases may be discontinued or they may also be unable to return to their offices to work before appearing for another case. Any kind of barrier like this can push lawyers into other areas. A government spokesperson said council was notified of the move before the public was notified. “The consultation with other stakeholders is well advanced and will continue throughout the life of the project, including as part of the usual planning process,” they said. “The Tasmanian Police are a key stakeholder in the project and actively participate in regular meetings and discussions with the project team.” They said consultation with the local community would be carried out at “the appropriate stages of the project”. “The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works is reviewing the project with currently invited submissions from interested individuals and organizations with a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, December 14,” they said. “The safety and security of Tasmanians is always a priority for our government and the new court complex will have extensive security measures to ensure the safety of all court users. The Mooreville Road location is well served by public transport and has on-site parking. . Facilities for other support services to be operated from the new court complex are included in the current design. The site also offers the possibility of possible future co-locations (eg Community Corrections, Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Court, and Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia). The spokesperson said construction is expected to be completed in December 2023.