MPs call for a new courthouse as space and security concerns peak

Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki and Member for Bundaberg David Batt have joined the legal community in calling for a new Bundaberg Courthouse to be built next to the police station.

Mr Janetzki MP, who is also the Shadow Minister for Justice, said the recent transferring of a high-profile kidnapping case from Bundaberg to Brisbane due to security reasons highlighted some of the issues with the small courthouse.

“The current Bundaberg Courthouse is 60 years old and its limited space is causing practical and security problems for people who work in the courthouse, those appearing in court and victims of crime seeking justice,” Mr Janetzki said.

“The courthouse is currently located too far from the police station which means extra time, money and police resources are being wasted on securing the courthouse and transferring those in custody between the two locations,” he said.

Mr Batt said the Bundaberg Police Station and Watchhouse were originally built on Bourbong St in 1996 to accommodate a courthouse next door.

“It was always the plan, there is even a passage way already built to connect the police station with a future courthouse, but it just leads to a dead end because 22 years later construction has never begun,” Mr Batt said.

Mr Batt said space inside the Bundaberg Courthouse is so limited that prospective jurors for trials cannot fit inside and people seeking legal advice on issues such as Domestic Violence have limited opportunity to speak in private.

“It’s good to hear that the government has allocated up to $1.8 million to undertake refurbishment work on the courthouse, but I think that money would be better spent towards a contemporary facility,” he said.

“If the courthouse was rebuilt next to the police station, it would not only benefit staff at both facilities immensely, it would save Queensland taxpayers money and open up prime business opportunities on Quay Street in the CBD.”

Monday 8 October 2018

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