Funding to upgrade Launceston Court facility
Minister for Industrial Relations
The Hon. Christian Porter MP
Member for Bass
The Hon. Bridget Bass
Joint media release
Family Court facilities in Launceston will receive a $5.4 million upgrade as part of the Morrison Government's commitment to improving legal services for regional Australians.
The funding – announced in Tuesday's Federal Budget – will see the court move from its existing shared premises to a specialist, fit for purpose facility within the Launceston CBD.
Once a suitable site is identified, refurbishment works will begin to provide appropriate security and screening points, separate judicial entrances, more interview rooms and greater physical separation in public spaces for parties involved in disputes.
Attorney-General Christian Porter said work to identify a new building had already begun and it was hoped the facility could be ready to open by late 2021.
"Recent incidents at the existing court facility demonstrated the need for this investment, which will greatly enhance security and the overall experience for everyone using the court, including families, court staff and legal practitioners," Mr Porter said. "As the local member, Bridget Archer has been tireless in her efforts to secure this new facility."
Federal Member for Bass Bridget Archer today welcomed the investment in Launceston's future. "The court deals with separating families who can be going through stressful situations such as domestic violence, which is why we need a modern facility that provides a safe and secure environment for all parties involved in disputes," Ms Archer said.
"I thank the Government for listening to the community's concerns and for providing this funding which will make these much needed improvements a reality."
The investment in Launceston is one of many initiatives in this year's Budget designed to help those dealing with a separation to resolve their matters as quickly and efficiently as possible.
An additional $87.3 million has been provided for family law services that help families going through a separation to resolve matters without having to go to court.
Other measures to help families include:
- $35.7m in additional resources and judges for the Federal Circuit Court (FCC) to ensure timely case hearings for migration and family law cases.
- $4.8m for the Family Violence and Cross-examination of Parties Scheme.
- $2.5m to allow the federal family law courts to continue to hear urgent matters through a specialist COVID-19 List.
- $2.5m to transition the Family Court of Western Australia to a new case management system.
- $1.8m to implement criminally enforceable federal family violence orders (FFVOs).