Court­house to stay closed

Pilbara News - - News - Louise Alling­ham

Roe­bourne res­i­dents will have to use Kar­ratha’s court fa­cil­i­ties in­def­i­nitely af­ter the State Govern­ment made the de­ci­sion not to re­open the Roe­bourne Court­house.

The court­house has been out of ac­tion since the end of 2013 af­ter in­cur­ring ex­ten­sive dam­age from cy­clone Chris­tine, which has since been re­paired.

At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Michael Mischin said the de­ci­sion to keep the court­house closed was eco­nomic.

“Courts are ex­pen­sive pieces of in­fra­struc­ture to not only main­tain but also to staff and it isn’t war­ranted in Roe­bourne where there’s an­other court­house that is con­ve­nient and only less than a half an hour away,” he said.

Dis­grun­tled Roe­bourne lo­cal Mar­shall Smith said keep­ing the court­house closed for cost rea­sons may be coun­ter­pro­duc­tive as peo­ple may be more likely to miss their court dates.

“You’re dou­bling up the cost and the pun­ish­ment to a per­son if you’re go­ing to send a bench war­rant out and it may well have been a very sim­ple form that could have avoided that by a court­house be­ing lo­cal,” he said.

Mr Smith said lo­cals would do what they could to re­solve the is­sue, but feared their voices would fall on deaf ears.

“I think that will stay on the lips of all the peo­ple that are in­volved with the Roe­bourne Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion and oth­ers, but at the end of the day, they’re only a voice — voices can be heard and dis­re­garded,” he said.

Mr Mischin said he gave the de­ci­sion “con­sid­er­able thought” but at the end of the day it still came down to money.

“I con­sid­ered all of the ar­gu­ments,” he said.

“Some of them were very emo­tional and vague and that it’s the cen­tre of the town and it’s im­por­tant to the town and so­cial (life), but what I do need to con­sider is where the money can be best spent and made more ef­fec­tive.”

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

The Roe­bourne Court­house had been re­paired af­ter dam­age from cy­clone Chris­tine.

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