The construction of Bendigo’s new $152.4 million regional court hub has passed the halfway mark, with the new facilities set to provide regional Victoria with even greater access to critical justice services.
Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes visited the project site to inspect progress on the modern, multi-jurisdictional regional courts.
It will be the first regional court in Victoria to provide specialist courts for the Koori community, drug and mental health matters, family violence matters, as well as a specialist Children's Court response.
The development is estimated to create 390 jobs in the region and have a construction value of $130 million. The building structure was finished in December last year and the purpose-built facility remains on track for completion by the end of 2022. It will open its doors in early 2023.
Built over five levels, Bendigo’s future court will have 11 courtrooms, two hearing rooms, two full mediation suites, full custody capability, remote witness facilities, and meeting and interview rooms for support agencies and client services.
The design helps everyone who is attending court, with secure entrances and separate sections for judicial staff, vulnerable people, people in custody and operational staff, as well as safe waiting areas.
It will service the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, Children’s Court of Victoria, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. It will also service the Supreme Court of Victoria, County Court of Victoria, and the Federal Circuit Court on a circuit basis.
The specialist family violence court will deliver on the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
The building will feature spaces connected to Bendigo’s unique heritage and culture, including the culture of the Dja Dja Wurrung, Bendigo’s Traditional Owners with a four-storey high representation of wedge-tailed eagle Bunjil, the creator being featuring on the façade, while a paved courtyard symbolising a smoking ceremony will greet court users.
Quote attributable to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes
“Victorians should have the best possible access to justice no matter where they live – this new precinct will be safer & more inclusive while creating hundreds of local jobs."
Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan
“The Law Courts have been built with the Bendigo community in mind – from Bunjil taking flight on the façade to the use of local suppliers, creating hundreds of local jobs.”
Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards
“The new Law Courts will not only serve the Central Victorian community, but will reflect our region’s proud culture and history of the Dja Dja Wurrung.”
Reviewed 21 February 2022