McLeish puts At­tor­ney Gen­eral on no­tice

Mansfield Courier - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Vic­to­rian At­tor­ney Gen­eral, Martin Pakula, will be put on no­tice by Cindy McLeish (MLA, Eil­don) when she of­fi­cially asks him to visit the Mans­field Court­house.

Rais­ing the is­sue some months ago dur­ing par­lia­ment, Ms McLeish asked t hat Mr Pakula visit the court­house to in­spect its non-ex­is­tent se­cu­rity.

“When I raised the is­sue, the at­tor­ney gen­eral in­di­cated he would come up – but he clearly hasn’t made any plans,” Ms McLeish said.

Now, Ms McLeish has said she will take her cam­paign one step fur­ther.

“I’ m go­ing to write and in­vite him to come to Mans­field – he will then have to of­fi­cially re­spond,” she said.

“I’d like to see him here be­fore Christ­mas.”

Ms McLeish wants the State Gov­ern­ment to up­date the se­cu­rity at the court­house – par­tic­u­larly the sin­gle en­try and lack of meet­ing rooms.

“This needs to be ad­dressed – be­cause mod­ern, safe and se­cure courts are so im­por­tant, and it is im­per­a­tive that the peo­ple who are at­tend­ing court are also kept safe,” she said.

“This is typ­i­cal of city cen­tric gov­ern­ments – they con­sider re­gional Vic­to­ria places like Gee­long, Bal­larat and Bendigo.

“The real Vic­to­rian coun­try is largely ig­nored.”

It is the third time Ms McLeish has raised con­cerns about the Mans­field Court­house.

Back in Septem­ber (2016), she in­vited Shadow At­tor­ney Gen­eral, John Pe­sutto, to come to Mans­field and see the mag­is­trates court in ac­tion.

At the time, Mr Pe­sutto said he was shocked to see there were no se­cu­rity mea­sures in place.

“Any­one can walk in and out of the court as they please,” he told the Courier.

“At present, there is one en­trance for all and the reg­is­trar’s at­ten­dance desk, where peo­ple re­port to, is not suit­able at all – it is not much big­ger than a cup­board.”

Mans­field is the only mag­is­trates court within the Eil­don elec­torate, and hears cases from across the whole re­gion.

WORK NEEDED: Af­ter fail­ing to turn up for a visit to in­spect the Mans­field Court­house, the Vic­to­rian At­tor­ney Gen­eral, Martin Pakula, has been of­fi­cially in­vited by MP Cindy McLeish to be here be­fore Christ­mas. Ms McLeish is pic­tured with Shadow At­tor­ney Gen­eral, John Pe­sutto, dur­ing a visit last year.

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