Pil­bara gain in Gold­fields court cut

Pilbara News - - News - ■ Peter de Krui­jff and An­drew Bros­nan

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.

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