Even as the District Court backlog is at double historical levels, the NSW Government’s own plans to service the demand have been left on the shelf.
Progress has stalled on a plan for redevelopment and expansion of community and justice facilities in Campbelltown, meaning that prospective jurors who use wheelchairs continue to be excluded from serving, and colonial era Children’s Court facilities leave vulnerable witnesses exposed to unacceptable risks and intimidation.
Mayor of Campbelltown George Greiss said despite joint funding from the three tiers of government for a masterplan of the site, an expected commitment to invest in court infrastructure had not been forthcoming from the NSW Government.
“Our community can’t wait for Macquarie Street to wake up to the sheer scale of neglect being inflicted on South Western Sydneysiders,” Cr Greiss said.
“We’ve done the rounds of the politician’s offices time and time again with our hat in our hand, but commitment to the court infrastructure that our region desperately needs has been delayed and progress stalled.
“Macarthur deserves better than stonewalling.”
Campbelltown City Council has long advocated for a Community and Justice Precinct in Campbelltown – a new style of justice precinct combining Federal and State justice services alongside community services, providing high-value career opportunities and a more supportive experience for those utilising justice services in the rapidly growing Western Sydney region.
State Member for Campbelltown Greg Warren said that the current State Government has had 12 years to to increase court infrastructure in South West Sydney, but they have buried their heads in the sand.
Meanwhile residents of South Western Sydney are left waiting, often in custody, for criminal matters to come to court.
“I have made copious representations to the NSW Government regarding the justice precinct but those have all fallen on deaf ears; it’s simply not good enough,” Mr Warren said.