The largest renovation of Penrith Courthouse in more than 20 years is complete, with sittings to resume next week.
Attorney General Brad Hazzard and Police and Emergency Services Minister and Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres today inspected the courthouse.
“The most important part of the renovations improve court access and safety for jurors, victims of domestic violence and people with a disability,” Mr Hazzard said.
Two new jury deliberation rooms are equipped with technology to enable jurors to review audio and visual evidence while considering their verdict.
“The new deliberation facilities are adjoined to trial courtrooms, which means jurors will be able to walk directly into the jury box, minimising the risk of them crossing paths with the accused,” Mr Hazzard said.
The number of interview rooms at the courthouse has more than doubled, with 10 rooms now available for the legal profession, as well as additional office space.
A private and secure zone for vulnerable witnesses, such as victims of domestic violence, has also been expanded to include an interview room.
Mr Ayres said the renovation significantly improved access to the courthouse and its services.
“The security screening zone at the entrance to the court has been expanded to reduce crowding, and been brought down to street level to provide easier access for people with a disability,” Mr Ayres said.
“The new registry is also more user friendly – in addition to the traditional counter services, it has a public computer kiosk, information boards and a separate room for private enquiries.
“A new elevator will enable people using a wheelchair to access level two.”
The Penrith Courthouse registry and Local Court sittings will commence on 7 July. The District Court will resume sitting in Penrith on 28 July.