The refurbishment of Inverell’s iconic court house is moving into its next phase with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, left, and Local Court Registrar Susan Monckton discussing measures to improve witness and complainant safety.
Tuesday, 10 August 2021
THE refurbishment of the iconic Inverell Court House is moving into its next phase, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall last week announcing a $160,000 State Government grant to upgrade security for the protection of domestic violence complainants and other vulnerable witnesses.
The refurbishment commenced in 2020 when $170,000 was spent painting the outside of the building and installing fresh carpet.
Mr Marshall said the court house was undergoing considerable improvements to ensure vulnerable complainants and witnesses felt safe, during what could be a very stressful experience.
“Witnesses have commonly been through serious trauma and coming to court can be very difficult, especially for victim-survivors of domestic, family, and sexual violence,” Mr Marshall said.
“In order to alleviate some of that stress, the State Government is using the down period caused by COVID-19 to improve safety and comfort at a number of local courts.
“At Inverell Court House, a new remote witness room will be installed with state-of-the-art audio-visual link technology and secure access.
“This will enable vulnerable people like children and people with a cognitive impairment, to communicate evidence to the courtroom by means of closed circuit television facilities.
“The existing safe-room will be made more comfortable with the addition of new furniture and a television.
“Secure access doors will also be installed to provide added protection for those inside.
“As with upgrades to Moree Court House, these works will be carried out by North West based contractor Shay Brennan Constructions and are expected to be complete by the end of this year.
“These facilities will give witnesses private and secure areas to prepare for court, to therefore be empowered to give their best evidence.”