I welcome this historic funding announcement by Attorney General Mark Speakman of significant upgrades to Katoomba Courthouse.
For decades Labor has taken the Blue Mountains for granted but yet again we witness a Liberal government making serious investments in both our local heritage but equally important a pillar of our local legal system.
Katoomba Courthouse is undergoing a makeover which includes the installation of a new high tech audio-visual link and restoration of its historic sandstone façade.
Attorney General and Minister for Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Mark Speakman said the $855,000 project is modernising the courthouse while preserving its past.
“One of the NSW Government’s key aims is to increase efficiency and reduce the time people have to wait for justice. With AVL now fitted in both courtrooms, Katoomba is fit for the future, while the restoration of its exterior recognizes its history,” Mr Speakman said.
As well as the additional AVL installed last month, maintenance to the 124-year-old building includes rebuilding one chimney, stabilisation of other chimneys and gables, roof plumbing and timber and stone repairs.
The works follow the resumption last year of District Court sittings at Katoomba Courthouse after a two-decade hiatus.
“As a result, the court has become busier and these works will ensure it is in its best shape to deal with the number of matters being heard,” Mr Speakman said.
The conservation work is taking place in conjunction with the Public Works Advisorywhich manages the Minister’s Stonework Program. It is funded from the $100 million Sustaining Critical Infrastructure Program announced in last November’s budget.
Katoomba Courthouse was designed by Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon. The foundation stone was laid in 1895 by the Lieutenant Governor, Sir Frederick Darley, with construction completed in 1897.
The Mountaineer newspaper reported it would be a building whose "outward appearance will delight those with architectural tastes, while its inner compartments will be a terror to evil doers".
Image Source: Daily Telegraph