An additional magistrate has been allocated to sit at the Werribee Magistrates Court one day a week to help deal with an “increased workload” in the region.
A court spokesperson last week said: “An additional list has been added to the Werribee Magistrates Court on Wednesdays as of 23 January, 2019.”
“This will mean that apart from a few ad hoc Wednesdays, two magistrates will sit at Werribee on a Wednesday.”
The spokesperson said this meant more legal cases would now be heard at Werribee on Wednesdays.
The spokesperson said the additional magistrate was added as “part of a reworking of the current listing structure for the region” to accommodate increased workloads at both the Werribee and Sunshine Magistrates Courts and the ability to hold Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) sittings at both courts.
“VCAT sat at Werribee on Wednesdays but now sits on Thursday – they also sit there on Mondays and Fridays,” the spokesperson said.
During August last year, Star Weekly published an article in which Wyndham Cr Kim McAliney called on both the state government and opposition to commit to funding a new multi-jurisdictional court in Werribee.
Cr McAliney, the council’s safer communities portfolio holder, said Werribee’s court was built more than 30 years ago, when the municipality’s population was about 40,000.
“Despite the massive population growth we’re experiencing in Wyndham, our magistrates court is dangerously small and antiquated, with residents required to travel outside of the municipality for both criminal and civil matters,” Cr McAliney said.
“Our population has surged past 250,000 and we are bigger than Geelong, it is inconceivable that our community should be expected to make do with these outdated and insufficient facilities.
“We need a multi-jurisdictional court that can service a community of our size, not one built in the 1980s.”