THE State Government is investing $300,000 to upgrade technology at Armidale Courthouse to improve and modernise services for court users, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall announced today.
Mr Marshall said the upgrade is part of the government’s four year $40 million Audio Visual Link Consolidation Project (AVL) across NSW that will expand technology to meet current and future needs of criminal and civil proceedings in a safer, more efficient justice system.
“The project involves upgrading the court’s current AVL facilities to high definition to provide faster and higher quality video connections ensuring more reliable services,” Mr Marshall said.
“AVL is available in the courtrooms to enable magistrates to hear bail applications made from jail.
“This reduces unnecessary costs of transporting prisoners across the state for court appearances.
“AVL also gives the court more flexibility to hear testimonies from remote witnesses who live out of town, interstate or overseas.”
Armidale also has AVL services in its remote witness room, making it easier for vulnerable witnesses, such as sexual assault victims, to give evidence from a safe location.
“Remote witness facilities spare sexual assault victims the trauma of having to come face-to-face with their attacker in the courtroom,” Mr Marshall said.
In addition, the court has a video suite for legal practitioners so they can interview clients in custody without having to travel to prison.
There is also a digital presenter in courtrooms to allow exhibits to be projected onto high definition screens so participants can view images, videos and documents clearly.
The new high definition technology will be installed at Armidale before the end of the year.
The AVL project covers 99 courts, 34 correctional centres, nine Juvenile Justice facilities, 89 police stations, 10 metropolitan and regional officers of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and 21 Legal Aid offices.