Jim McGinty

Jim McGinty

Attorney General; Minister for Health; Electoral Affairs

Michelle Roberts

Michelle Roberts

Minister for Housing and Works; Indigenous Affairs; Heritage; Land Information

    State-of-the-art court and police facility opens in Albany

    26/10/2005 12:00 AM

    Judicial and police services in Albany will be among the most advanced in Western Australia with the opening of the $20million new Albany Justice and Great Southern District Police Complex.

    Attorney General Jim McGinty and Police Minister Michelle Roberts formally launched the Stirling Street complex today, which will significantly improve the processing times of cases and provide better facilities for the judiciary and all court users.

    Mr McGinty said the state-of-the-art facility, which featured a jury court and two multi-purpose courts, had improved security and would offer greater protection to victims and witnesses.

    “The court process can be a difficult and traumatic time for victims and witnesses, especially when they are faced with the daunting task of giving evidence or seeing their accused,” he said.

    “The new building has remote witness rooms and discrete waiting rooms, which are able to separate the accused from the rest of the court and allow special victims and child witnesses to provide evidence to the court via closed-circuit television.

    “The court’s state-of-the-art technology system will also enable victims of crime and witnesses to give evidence from around the State directly to the Albany Court via video link-up.

    “The new system will allow pre-recorded evidence to be played back in court, saving victims and witnesses the trauma of facing the accused in court.”

    Mr McGinty said the court’s video link-up system would also boost security at the complex, as it would allow defendants in custody to provide evidence from prison directly to the court.

    The Minister said the court’s jury room, judicial chambers and offices for court staff had also been significantly upgraded.

    The jury court will be housed in the new complex until it relocates to the refurbished old courthouse in January 2006.

    Police Minister Michelle Roberts said the new police complex was part of a $260million funding program by the Gallop Government to build 28 new facilities including police stations, a new crime headquarters, lock-up and forensic centre.

    “This new complex is part of the biggest capital works program ever undertaken by the WA Police Service and these new facilities will ensure our frontline police have the support and resources to make local communities safer and more secure,” she said.

    Mrs Roberts said 86 personnel would be based at the new complex, which featured a modern custodial facility and DNA forensic laboratory.

    “The DNA program is having a profound impact on cutting the crime rate in WA and we currently have crimes such as burglary and car theft which are at their lowest levels in more than a decade,” she said.

    Albany MLA Peter Watson said he was pleased the new complex maintained the historical aspects of the 107-year old Albany court.

    Mr Watson said extensive public consultation had been undertaken to ensure the project met community expectations.

    “I am confident that the new $20million complex will allow police and the courts to work together to improve law and order services in Albany and increase community safety in the Great Southern region.”

    Attorney General’s office - 9220 5000
    Police Minister’s office - 9213 6600