Simon Corbell has announced his grand vision for a new ACT Supreme Court building:
The Government will replace the ACT Supreme Court building, with preliminary procurement work to commence in early 2014, Attorney-General, Simon Corbell, announced today.
“The Supreme Court is a landmark building in the Territory and an important symbol of the judicial arm of government. The existing building recently celebrated its 50th anniversary; however the agingbuilding can no longer provide the standards of security and public amenity which is required of such an important civic building,” Mr Corbell said.
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“The planning for the new ACT Courts Facilities has been comprehensive and has had to take into account a number of factors including heritage issues, planning requirements, and the requirements of the Territory’s judicial system now and 50 years into the future. These considerations have driven the concept design which will be used as a reference for the full design of the facility.
“A number of key heritage features of the existing building will be preserved. The facade will remain on three sides, preserving the existing view of the building from University Avenue. The interior of the existing building will be replaced and a new wing fronting Vernon Circle will be constructed, linking the building with the existing Magistrates Court across three levels.
The new facility will include the following features:
— eight new courtrooms;
— five jury deliberation rooms and a secure jury reception and orientation area;
— expanded single custodial facility;
— single public entry point and counter;
— best practice child and vulnerable witness facilities;
— public cafeteria which will link the two existing building at the Knowles Place frontage;
— capacity to construct additional courtrooms in future years as demand increases with population growth; and
— best practice environmental measures supporting sustainability and respecting the heritage interpretation.
“The new ACT Courts Facilities are expected to be delivered through a Public Private Partnership agreement, the first in the Territory’s history. Work to develop an expression of interest proposal will begin early in 2014. It is expected that the new facility will be operational towards the end of the 2017-18 financial year,” Mr Corbell said.
UPDATE: The Law Society has expressed its pleasure.