New Shepparton Law Courts a step closer

Court Services Victoria has announced settlement on 600m2 of land on the corner of Goulburn Valley and Midland Highways, adjacent to the existing law courts site, marking an important step towards commencement of the new law court project.

The additional land brings to 2,700m2 the total site size and helps ensure Shepparton's new court complex is well-placed to deliver the very best in justice services to Shepparton and surrounding communities.

The Project Steering Committee had its most recent meeting at Shepparton's city council offices, during which discussions continued on the detailed design and internal layout of the building.

Shepparton is well-represented on the Steering Committee by Pat Cummins, Senior Registrar Hume Region for the Magistrates' Court, Georgia Morrissey from local law firm SMR Legal and Karen Gurney, Managing Lawyer, from Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre.

Chair of the committee and Victoria's Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen, said inclusion of local stakeholders in many aspects of the Project structure was an important principle for the design and delivery of the project.

"In addition to the Steering Committee representation, the Shepparton community is represented on our Court Users Group and we will also continue our dialogue with important stakeholders including local council, Goulburn Valley Legal Society, the Committee for Greater Shepparton and other key stakeholders throughout the project," Chief Magistrate Lauritsen said.

After the recent Steering Committee meeting, a number of local stakeholders representing the Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre, Primary Care Connect, the City of Greater Shepparton, the Rural Housing Network and SMR Legal, plus regional representatives from Corrections Victoria and the Department of Health and Human Services, were invited by Chief Magistrate Lauritsen to an informal lunch where they could meet the steering committee and discuss the project.

According to Court Services Victoria Director of Asset Management and Planning, Brian Stevenson, the modern, expanded court facilities will provide more accessible and responsive justice services and offer a safe and secure environment for all court users.

"The new facilities will reflect the most contemporary applications of courthouse design, information technology, environmental sustainability and changing ways in which justice services are delivered," Mr Stevenson said.

"They will centre on a flexible, adaptable court and tribunal environment, comprising six main court rooms with the capacity to vary their use to meet caseload requirements.
The Shepparton Law Courts will occupy a new five-story building and incorporate six (6) court rooms of which two (2) will accommodate juries and four (4) will also be able to be used as hearing rooms. In addition, new facilities will be provided for a range of clinical, legal and voluntary service providers within the Shepparton region.

"We have a number of key principles guiding our design and delivery process. First, we are ensuring local involvement in many aspects of our project governance. Second, our design allows for multi-jurisdictional services to be provided within the one facility. Third, we want all users to find the facilities accessible and easy to navigate, while ensuring the highest levels of safety and security," Mr Stevenson said.

Mr Stevenson also noted, the design team will draw upon ideas found in the rich history of the region, from the memories of the original woodland landscape, with its ancient River Red Gums, to the immediate heritage country courthouse, which will remain in the centre of Shepparton's Justice Precinct.

This page was last updated: Thursday 21 May 2015 - 3:18pm