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The largest ever renovation to Queanbeyan Courthouse since its construction nearly 45 years ago is underway, thanks to a multi-million dollar investment by the NSW Government.

Member for Monaro John Barilaro said the courthouse will undergo a complete upgrade, including modifications to the exteriors and advanced technology.

“I’m excited to be here today alongside District Court Judge Laura Wells and Magistrate Roger Clisdell, to mark the beginning of construction.

This upgrade will set a new benchmark for court services in the region,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Over the past four decades the existing courthouse has served the region well, however, the community deserves an updated facility that is equipped to deal with modern crimes, cases and situations.”

The NSW Government was initially set to undertake a knockdown and rebuild of the courthouse, however, following extensive consultation with stakeholders the decision was made to instead opt for a complete upgrade.

This not only means the project will be completed ahead of what was initially projected, but the disruption to court services will be reduced.

Mr Barilaro said the end result will be a state-of-the-art courthouse that will service the needs of Queanbeyan and the wider community.

“This upgrade is significant and will see the current layout modified to include a new call over court, a multi-purpose room, one additional interview room, an additional public waiting area and a conference room,” Mr Barilaro said.

“In addition, an outdoor space will be converted into a jury assembly room and new high definition Audio Visual Link (AVL) will be installed throughout the courthouse, reducing the need to transport defendants in custody to court.

“A big focus of this upgrade is on ensuring the courthouse is a more comfortable and welcoming sanctuary for vulnerable court users, with upgrades also being made to witness and victim suites.”

Mr Barilaro also added that the façade has been designed so its complements the new police station next door, which is currently being built.

“A new police station and a complete upgrade of the courthouse will make a massive difference in Queanbeyan and the surrounding region, by ensuring the community has the facilities they deserve,”

Mr Barilaro said. “Work is continuing next door on the new police station, with the ground floor concrete pour completed and the level one and ramp pours underway.”

Work on the Queanbeyan Courthouse and the new Queanbeyan Police Station is expected to be finished in early 2021.

Queanbeyan Police are currently operating from 7-9 Morriset Street, Queanbeyan.