A $1 million funding commitment to examine the development of a multi-purpose justice precinct at Campbelltown, in Sydney’s south west, has been welcomed by the Law Society of NSW.
The Federal Government, NSW Government and Campbelltown City Council today issued a joint statement announcing a $1 million strategic business case to investigate the potential development of a Community and Justice Precinct in one of Australia’s fastest growing regions.
The strategic business case will examine how Campbelltown could benefit from a new economic base focused on justice and community service professions.
The Law Society of NSW, which has long advocated for improved court services in the region, last year launched a major community-backed campaign for a South Western Sydney Justice Precinct.
In welcoming today’s announcement, President of the Law Society of NSW, Richard Harvey, said there has never been a more pressing time to enhance and streamline court facilities in the region.
“The Law Society is pleased that all levels of government are working together to ensure access to justice for the residents of south western Sydney,” Mr Harvey said.
“Current court facilities in the region are out-dated, under-resourced, unsafe and fail to meet basic community needs.
“Three courts in the region, Camden, Campbelltown and Picton, are either at capacity or not equipped to manage the current backlogs in criminal and civil cases.
“Victims of crime and people seeking resolutions to business disputes and family law disputes are being forced to wait inordinate lengths of time for justice or travel into the Sydney CBD to have their matters heard.
“Of real concern is the lack of security at the ailing Camden and Picton Courts, where cases relating to family violence and involving Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs) are being heard.
“It’s also concerning that there is no Federal Circuit Court in the region to deal with family law matters – which means residents must travel to Wollongong, Parramatta or the Sydney CBD to resolve family disputes.
“The funding commitment to examine the business case for the Community and Justice Precinct provides a real opportunity to identify how best to improve and streamline justice services in the region.”
Mr Harvey said the demand for a multi-purpose precinct is only going to become more urgent as the population in Sydney’s south west grows.
“By the time the “Western Sydney International Nancy Bird-Walton Airport” at Badgerys Creek is open in 2026 the population south of the airport is expected to have grown to nearly 900,000 and by 2036, it is expected to reach 1.1 million people.” Mr Harvey said.
The strategic business case follows an earlier Memorandum of Understanding signed by Campbelltown City Council and the NSW Government to examine the possibilities of a South Western Sydney Justice Precinct. It will provide decision makers with an early indication of the best options for any future investment and is due for completion this financial year.