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High Court spits the dummy

By johnboy 17 December 2008 19

The ABC brings word that High Court Chief Justice Robert French has let rip over his deteriorating and under-funded court house.

The fountains are silent, the building is closed to visitors on the weekend.

    “In the court’s annual report, Chief Justice French complains that the court’s funding is treated as that of a small executive agency rather than the third branch of Government as provided in the Constitution.

    The judge says the court is operating in a building and surrounds that are deteriorating and which prevent full access for the public.

    He is calling for a comprehensive re-assessment of the of the court’s resources to put it on a proper financial footing.

No matter how it’s funded, the building will remain a testament to ugliness.

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19 Responses to
High Court spits the dummy
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Mr Waffle 8:00 pm 18 Dec 08

The fountain used to be cleaned by what is now TAMS, but the contract was killed due to penny-pinching. Now that it has been complained about they might cough up the dough to get it looked after again (like when some schools got flooded due to Education cancelling the gutter cleaning contracts…).

Capitalist 2:03 am 18 Dec 08

Ok, the High Court isn’t the prettiest building, but it pales in ugliness compared to the oversize morgue next door that is the NGA or the newly constructed crack den in front.

astrojax 9:57 pm 17 Dec 08

i think ‘fixing the high court’ is some sort of extreme perjury, innit?

I-filed 7:32 pm 17 Dec 08

Yes they should fix it. Bit strange that the luvvies got $80 million for the portrait gallery kowtowing to captains of industry and including that shockingly bad painting of Mary Donaldson aka Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, while our Justices – our third arm of government – are treated like poor cousins.

Pandy 6:29 pm 17 Dec 08

Fix the High Court

seekay 4:33 pm 17 Dec 08

I wouldn’t say “it holds up quite well” when the Chief Justice says it is falling down.

trevar 3:57 pm 17 Dec 08

As ugly buildings go, it’s not an extreme case. The wall of glass gives it an appropriate aloofness. And next to the hideous NGA, it holds up quite well.

seekay 3:20 pm 17 Dec 08

“I quite like it as it fits into the landscape nicely.”

Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of ugly buildings.

tylersmayhem 2:53 pm 17 Dec 08

I think the case is the same with the water feature at the Parli House. We’re in a drought – not too sensible to be running water features I suppose.

sepi 2:26 pm 17 Dec 08

I’m not sure of their level of funding or status (Stand alone Govt Agency or under a dept?).

Anyway – they should benefit from the decision to spare smaller agencies the efficiency dividend on the first 50 mill of funding. This will spare all smaller places like The Gallery, the AIS etc, from cutting staff to meet the dividend.

New Yeah 2:17 pm 17 Dec 08

I think the High Court looks fantastic. However, I think that the unused water feature out the front is in a sad state (not sure about indoors, I haven’t been inside lately, thank Jeebus).

The water feature’s design is such that even when it is turned off, water collects in the ‘steps’ where it collects detritus and turns stagnant. Not a good look for our highest court.

In our post-decorative and frivolous water world I can understand why the water feature is turned off, it just should be maintained a bit better.

jessieduck 2:16 pm 17 Dec 08

Hopefully some of the $10 million they received in October will help pretty the place up.

Thumper 2:12 pm 17 Dec 08

I quite like it as it fits into the landscape nicely.

phototext 2:09 pm 17 Dec 08

One persons ugly is anothers beauty.

Love the High Court and the NGA.

I also thought it was a shame that the Cameron Offices where half demolished.

astrojax 2:07 pm 17 Dec 08

it isn’t an ugly building. it is monumental, stout, imposing and deliberately brutalist. inside, the scale of the space is fantastic and it’s inner atrium is a favourite space of mine in canberra.

it has always saddened me it isn’t, as a building, especially as a national monument, been open outside business hours and on weekends, for the people it serves to feel it and absorb the spaces and raw majesty it invokes.

good on old frenchy for sticking it up ’em about this – dunno if he’ll foment any change, but one might hope.

fnaah 2:07 pm 17 Dec 08

No matter how it’s funded, the building will remain a testament to ugliness.

Hooray! I thought it was just me.

caf 2:01 pm 17 Dec 08

I actually quite like the architecture of the High Court.

johnboy 1:48 pm 17 Dec 08

Ah there we have it.

The portrait gallery makes the great and the good seem better and grander.

Whereas the High Court tells the great and the good that they can’t actually do whatever they damn well please.

Which do you think will get the money?

Skidbladnir 1:44 pm 17 Dec 08

No matter how it’s funded, the building will remain a testament to ugliness.

Yes its ugly, but its a Monumentally Ugly Public Building, so should be treated as such.
He has a point, it _is_ the home of a Branch of Government.

The Portrait Gallery, on the other hand, is not.

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