Member for Ripon Louise Staley has called on the attorney general to visit the Maryborough Magistrates’ Court to see the building which she labelled as “unfit for modern court proceedings” and “dysfunctional”.
Meeting with the Shadow Minister for Police, Edward O’Donohue, at the town’s courthouse on Thursday, Ms Staley claimed the court is continuing to put people, including victims of family violence at risk and limits access to justice.
“When you’ve got family violence victims and their alleged perpetrators having to stand out the front together, it’s just unsafe,” she said.
“I asked the attorney general to come to the Maryborough Magistrates’ Court with me so that he can see for himself that this is just not functional.”
Mr O’Donohue urged Premier Daniel Andrews to address the issues at the court.
“Daniel Andrews says that family violence is Victoria’s number one law and order issue, if he really thinks that, he should address the issues at the court where you see victims and their perpetrators having to stand to together,” he said.
“It’s time for the talk to be turned into action.”
In December last year, the Andrews Government stationed three court security officers at the court house, as part of delivering key recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
The security officers undertake entry screening and provide a roving security presence, as well as provide escort services for vulnerable people when required, including women and children who have been victims of family violence.
In her speech in parliament earlier this month, Ms Staley labelled the appointment of the officers as an “inadequate” response to the failings of the courthouse.
For more on this story see Page 3 of The Advertiser, Tuesday, February 20.