The Gold Coast Bulletin
JUSTICE IS BLIND BUT PROBLEM EASY TO SEE
JUSTICE delayed is justice denied, yet that is the reality facing Gold Coast victims of crime. The Bulletin has campaigned for measures that would ease the astonishing workloads at Southport courthouse, one of the busiest in the state.
Prime among them is the creation of a justice hub in central Southport. It has the support of civic leaders and the legal fraternity.
Yet these calls have gone unheeded and the proverbial chicken is coming home to roost.
It’s only April, but there are no new trial dates left in the Southport District Court for the rest of the calendar year. Those pleading guilty will have to wait four or five months before they get a sentence date.
The lack of available dates has been blamed on a perfect storm of huge workloads, COVID delays and more alleged offenders wanting to defend charges.
While COVID has shifted timelines on many projects, it is outrageous that this has been allowed to reach this point.
The Chief Judge has said there was no current concern about the volume of matters but the clear result is that victims will wait longer to see justice, witness memories will deteriorate with time and those acquitted may spend longer in custody on remand than necessary.
The Gold Coast is the sixth-largest city in Australia yet our court system is not keeping up with the growth in caseloads and our population. This cannot be allowed to continue. In 2018 the Bulletin backed calls by Mayor Tom Tate for a new justice hub at Mal Burke Car Park in Hind St, Southport. It was to include both a court and chambers for barristers.
It was pitched to the state government by the council as a joint venture but the political will was non-existent.
Given neither our population, nor legal caseloads are slowing down, something must change for the Gold Coast and it is in the state’s hands to enact this solution.
Justice is blind but the state government must not be when it comes to our justice system.
YOU can’t take from our Mayor his ability to write a good yarn (fairy story if you like); even the title of the piece “Let’s work together”, a direct take from the national “We are all in this together”. Shows his style.
This piece is crafted to be big on rhetoric (“look what we are doing” syndrome) and light on the “look what we have done” side of things.
The Mayor mentions briefly, very briefly, some of the problems created by City Plan One and its effect on and criticism by residents and moves right on to the “new sunrise” we can all expect with City Plan Two.
With the multitude of surveys floating about, the Mayor is quite right in suggesting that everyone can have a say, but whether what
is said is heard is quite another thing and writing using upmarket phraseology such as online portals, tailored engagements and such makes great text but does not give the feeling of confidence that the council needs to achieve and by the way not everyone wants to live in a high-rise with their associated problems and these days not all new houses have terracotta roofs. DAVID LISSENDEN,
FOR aeons men played the dominant role in society. They became the providors and protectors whilst women became the procreators and the parents. This scenario still exists in many parts of the worid today.
In the same timeframe
civilisations worshipped various Gods and lived by their rules. Today in western societies we still need rules to keep societies together. Our current rules were set about 2000 years ago based on Christian principles.
These rules served society very well. However, in the last 200 years these rules have slowly been eroded and the structure of society has changed. WWII saw a major change in civilisation.
The men as potectors went out to fight. This forced women to play a different role and become providers. Women went to work but because men still played the dominant role they were paid less and still had to run the household and look after the children.
This scenario saw the
emergence of protests for women’s rights and inch by inch those protests brought about change much to the chagrin of the male dominated society. The last 80 years have seen momentous changes in western society.
Those rules set 2000 years ago have been almost completely eroded in this period. Men’s innate dominance has been challenged to the point where roles are being reversed. Subconciously men are resisting what appears to them as a threat to their very existence.
It will take more than world conferences to change anything in the short term. It will take several generations for a new balance to be achieved. Perhaps persuasion will work better than pressure.