Pilbara gain in Goldfields court cut
One region’s loss is another’s gain as the number of magistrates from the Goldfields was cut from three to two with additional services being shifted to the Pilbara.
The combined number of criminal and civil case lodgements in the Pilbara has increased from 5147 in 2011-12 to 6211 in the past financial year.
Many of these cases were handled by permanent Pilbara magistrate Deen Potter, based out of South Hedland, with a second magistrate appearing one week a month. Comparatively similar case loads in the Kimberley and Goldfields were being handled by multiple magistrates.
Now, the additional resource taken from the Goldfields has resulted in a second magistrate being flown from Perth to appear three weeks out of every month in the Pilbara.
Asked whether this format would continue into next year’s circuit calendar, the Department of the Attorney-General told the Pilbara News an assessment would be conducted later this year.
Kalgoorlie MLA Wendy Duncan said she was “dismayed” to learn another public service in the Goldfields was being cut.
“I think that this is just another example of our city-centric Government not understanding the implications of the withdrawal of services,” she said.