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Attorney General; Minister for Health; Electoral Affairs
Work starts on new high security court building
28/06/2005 12:00 AM
Work has begun on Perth’s new state-of-the art District Court building designed to be one of Australia’s most modern and secure judicial facilities.
Attorney General Jim McGinty said the $195million project on the corner of Hay and Irwin Streets would overcome problems in the current buildings and provide more secure courts and better facilities for the judiciary and all court users.
“The new building will have the State’s first purpose-built high security courtroom, with the ability to separate the accused from the rest of the court, as well as capabilities to allow victims of crime to give evidence remotely,” Mr McGinty said.
As well as District Court trials, the new complex will house Supreme Court criminal jury trials, as it will have one of the most secure custody centres in the country.
Security features in the new building will include:
Western Australia’s first permanent high-security courtroom;
separate circulation routes for the judiciary, persons in custody, jurors, vulnerable witnesses and the public;
security scanning equipment and systems to screen people entering the court buildings for weapons and other unauthorised articles; and
surveillance equipment and security staff in the court buildings, car parks, perimeter landscape and courtyards.
In the year to the end of April, the District Court conducted more than 770 criminal and civil trials. The court receives about 3,500 new civil matters each year and about 3,000 new criminal matters.
“This is a heavy workload conducted in a building that is not secure as it could be and is generally run-down and drab by modern standards,” Mr McGinty said.
The CBD Courts Project also includes the $35million refurbishment of the Central Law Courts building opposite the new District Court site.
“The Central Law Courts building was built about three decades ago and a complete face-lift will create a more fitting home for the new Magistrates Court and the Coroner’s Court,” the Minister said.
“There will be major improvements to the fa�ade and the entry, extensions to the ground floor to better accommodate the public registry function, improved facilities for the public and better access for people with disabilities.
“There will be new lifts, major internal refurbishing and significant improvements in fire protection, air-conditioning and ventilation.”
The project is being undertaken by the Western Liberty Group - led by ABN Amro, and includes Multiplex and John Holland as the builders.
The Western Liberty Group’s work not only includes the construction of the new building but the operation of key services for up to 25 years after construction.
The new $195million CBD Courts Project is part of the Gallop Government’s commitment to improving the quality of services to all Western Australians.
“We are spending $228million on law and order projects in this financial year alone - a massive 71 per cent increase over 2004-05,” Mr McGinty said.
“It also stands apart as the Government’s first public private partnership (PPP) under the Partnerships for Growth policy - delivering better value for money to taxpayers and a more innovative design that will make the courts more secure and functional.”
Under the PPP arrangements, the State does not pay for the building or any of the services until construction is complete and the services are operating. Performance penalties will apply if the services are not delivered to a very high standard.
The new District Court building is due to open in 2007, while refurbishment work on the Central Law Courts building is scheduled to be completed by 2009.
Attorney General's office: 9220 5000