Courthouse to stay closed
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.”
The Roebourne Courthouse had been repaired after damage from cyclone Christine.