The rapidly growing South-West region will soon have a third magistrate to meet the needs of the area and cut trial delays.
Attorney General Jim McGinty said more than $700,000 had been allocated in the State budget for an additional Bunbury-based magistrate.
“The funding for a new magistrate is part of a $2.713million boost to courts in the South-West over the next five years,” Mr McGinty said.
“This resources injection also includes five new support staff to help maintain high levels of customer service for court users.
“The current waiting time for a trial in Bunbury is unacceptably high - up to 48 weeks.
“The new magistrate will cut trial delays in Bunbury but will also have a positive flow-on effect upon the rest of the South-West, because the magistrates will be able to spend more time on circuit in regional areas including Collie, Manjimup, Harvey, Bridgetown, Margaret River and Donnybrook.
“The magistrates will also spend more consecutive days sitting in Busselton.”
It is estimated the funding will reduce local court waiting times across the South-West from between 30 and 40 weeks to 15 weeks by 2012-13.
Collie-Wellington MLA Mick Murray said he welcomed the addition of a third magistrate to the region.
“This significant investment in the South-West court system will cut trial delays and ensure people living in the region have better access to justice,” Mr Murray said.
The new magistrate is expected to start early in the new financial year and will join the two existing Bunbury-based magistrates, Kelvin Fisher and Vivien Edwards.
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