Victorian budget answers call for safer courts

25 November 2020

 

Western suburbs legal service, WEstjustice, has applauded the state budget announcement of a $300 million justice upgrade and new family violence specialist court which will make the delivery of justice safer and see the end to overcrowding.

Over the past several years, WEstjustice has been advocating for a new justice precinct in Werribee and an upgrade for Sunshine.

According to WEstjustice CEO, Melissa Hardham, Werribee and Sunshine Magistrates’ Courts have struggled under the pressure of a significant population growth over the years.

“The Western suburbs have seen a surge in family violence particularly during the pandemic.”

“Our current Court at Werribee is unsafe, unfit for purpose and doesn’t have capacity to meet demand. In addition, the Sunshine Magistrates’ Court is overburdened and needs a new approach to delivering justice.” Hardham said. 

Now people in Melbourne’s western suburbs will have access to safe, effective and specialist court services. “Victims and perpetrators have been crammed into the small court at Werribee for too long”, Hardham said.

Westjustice provides family violence duty lawyer services at both Werribee and Sunshine Magistrates’ Courts.

Westjustice family violence specialists, Priyanka Shetty appears in these Courts on a weekly basis and was thrilled to hear that specialist family violence court will be included in the proposed plans.

“The model will allow for a consistent approach to the administration of justice and a safer environment for victims and their families.

“These types of specialist courts provide an opportunity to address the underlying causes of family violence.” Shetty said.

 

Ends

 

For further information please contact WEstjustice on (03) 9749 7720 or Melissa Hardham on 0409 334 160.

 

WE are located

  • Footscray
  • Werribee
  • Sunshine
Footscray

Level 1 / 72 Buckley Street, Footscray VIC 3011

Tel: + 61 3 9749 7720
Fax: + 61 3 9749 8276
Email:  admin@westjustice.org.au

Office hours:
Monday to Friday, 9.00am-1.00pm and 2:00pm-5:00pm. (Office currently closed due to COVID-19 situation)

Please call us to get legal help (appointment time needed).

Werribee

Level 1 / 8 Watton Street, Werribee VIC 3030

Tel: + 61 3 9749 7720
Fax: + 61 3 9749 8276
Email:  admin@westjustice.org.au

Office hours:
Monday to Friday, 9.00am-5:00pm. (Office currently closed due to COVID-19 situation)

Please call us to get legal help (appointment time needed).

Sunshine

Visy Cares Hub, 80B Harvester Road, Sunshine VIC 3020

Tel: + 61 3 9091 8237
Fax: + 61 3 9091 8207
Email:  admin@westjustice.org.au

Office hours:
Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 9.30am-1.00pm and 2.00pm-4.30pm.

Drop-in service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9.30am-4.30pm, for people up to 25 years old ONLY.