Werribee waits for new court

By Esther Lauaki

As Werribee Magistrate’s Court struggles to keep up with demand – an expansion could be on the cards for neighbouring Sunshine court.
Extra space opened up this month within the Sunshine court after a tenant vacated the building.
A Court Services Victoria spokeswoman said it was currently reviewing the functional requirements of the Sunshine Magistrate’s Court.
The review is taking place as part of a broader statewide strategic asset planning review being undertaken by Court Services Victoria.
Meanwhile, Werribee Magistate’s Court which only has two courtrooms – including one for VCAT – has been earmarked as a “high priority region requiring a new purpose-built court” since 2016.
State funding has been allocated for planning and land acquisition for a new law court to be constructed as part of the Wyndham Justice Precinct development.
Wyndham Cr Kim McAliney, who holds the safer communities portfolio, has been outspoken about her concerns over the safety risks posed for victims of family violence who attend the often “overcrowded” Werribee court.
“The building cannot accommodate the sheer number of people requiring legal intervention, without compromising safety,” Cr McAliney told Star Weekly in January.
The existing Werribee court was recently upgraded, with safety and security works including the replacement of the registry counter to improve privacy.
Two new offices were also constructed on the upper floor for support workers.

~ with Tate Papworth