Elise Archer,Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
The Tasmanian Government is committed to ensuring that all Tasmanians have access to an effective and efficient justice system.
Unfortunately, it has become clear that the current court facilities at Alexander St in Burnie are out-dated and no longer fit for purpose. In particular, it has become difficult with physical distancing requirements, to ensure the safety of court staff and its users during the COVID- 19 pandemic.
A thorough assessment of the current building has made clear that the best and most efficient option is the development of court facilities in a new location.
The decision by the University of Tasmania to relocate its Burnie campus from the current Mooreville Road location has presented the Government with an exciting opportunity to develop this site into a modern court facility that will serve Burnie well into the future.
As part of our COVID-19 pandemic response, $5.9 million of our $15 million investment will be brought forward, which will enable the relocation to progress as soon as possible.
About 50,000 Tasmanians rely on access to the courts in Burnie each year alone. Importantly, this relocation development will ensure minimal interruption to service delivery.
The investment will also provide better access to justice for those in the North West by enabling the long-term continuation of Magistrate and Supreme Court services in Burnie in a fit-for-purpose premises.
At this stage, it is anticipated that UTAS will vacate part of the Mooreville Road premises in the second half of 2021, which would allow works on the site to then commence and be completed by the end of 2023.
In the meantime, design works and pre-planning matters are being worked through and over the coming months we will be consulting with stakeholders on how to maximise the opportunity with which we have been presented by the availability of the new site. This will ensure that the new facility meets the needs of the Courts, court users and the community.
As Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, I look forward to progressing this exciting project and delivering to the people of Burnie and the North West facilities that will ensure access to an efficient and effective criminal and civil justice system into the future, whilst remaining committed to a two court model for the North-West region in both Burnie and Devonport.