$1.2 mil­lion jus­tice cen­tre opened

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - NEWS -

War­ragul res­i­dents now have ac­cess to a range of jus­tice ser­vices un­der the same roof thanks to the open­ing of a new Jus­tice Ser­vice Cen­tre in Queen Street.

The one-stop shop will al­low peo­ple to get con­sumer af­fairs ad­vice, make sher­iff pay­ments, see youth jus­tice staff, ac­cess the Dis­pute Set­tle­ment Cen­tre of Vic­to­ria and sub­mit births, deaths and mar­riages ap­pli­ca­tions.

The $1.2 mil­lion cen­tre will also act as a base for the War­ragul Com­mu­nity Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices (CCS) team, which is re­spon­si­ble for man­ag­ing of­fend­ers on com­mu­nity-based or­ders by en­sur­ing they com­ply with con­di­tions set by the courts or Adult Pa­role Board.

The cen­tre opened for busi­ness on Septem­ber 11 in close prox­im­ity to the train sta­tion and other govern­ment ser­vices in­clud­ing Cen­tre­link and Medi­care.

The cen­tre is part of the state govern­ment’s in­vest­ment of more than $65 mil­lion to open new Jus­tice Ser­vice Cen­tres and re­fur­bish ex­ist­ing of­fices across the state.

War­ragul is the 16th new Jus­tice Ser­vice Cen­tre to open un­der the ex­pan­sion pro­gram and adds to other Gipp­s­land cen­tres in Bairns­dale, Mor­well, Sale and Won­thaggi.

In to­tal, more than $320 mil­lion has been in­vested over the last three years to strengthen Vic­to­ria’s ex­pand­ing CCS sys­tem, with more than 300 ex­tra CCS staff re­cruited to man­age and su­per­vise of­fend­ers.

This in­cludes 16 staff in the Gipp­s­land re­gion, seven of whom are lo­cated in War­ragul.

Mem­ber for Eastern Vic­to­ria Har­riet Shing said the new cen­tre was a tremen­dous as­set for War­ragul res­i­dents, who pre­vi­ously had to travel to Mor­well or Pak­en­ham to ac­cess Births Deaths and Mar­riages, Con­sumer Af­fairs, the Dis­pute Set­tle­ment Cen­tre and Youth Jus­tice Ser­vices.

“Baw Baw Shire is one of the fastest grow­ing lo­cal govern­ment ar­eas in the state, and the cen­tre will en­sure res­i­dents have ac­cess to a wide range of jus­tice ser­vices un­der the same roof,” she said.

Corrections Min­is­ter Gayle Tier­ney said CCS has ex­panded sig­nif­i­cantly in re­cent years, with state govern­ment in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture en­sur­ing staff have the space and fa­cil­i­ties they need to con­tinue their vi­tal work.

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