Hervey Bay District Court Has Trials Waiting To Be Heard Since 2007

Hervey Bay District Court Has Trials Waiting To Be Heard Since 2007

Queensland Shadow Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie

Queensland Courts Failing Under Labor

Victor P Taffa

The Queensland Justice System is in gridlock for the third year in a row, the State Opposition said today.

Shadow Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said the 2011 Australian Productivity Commission report into Government services highlighted Labor’s mismanagement of Queensland’s Court system.

“The bottleneck in Queensland’s Justice System was made more obvious by 29,000 criminal cases and 28,000 civil matters in the magistrates court alone, during the 2009/10 financial year.” Mr. Bleijie said.

“Queensland has one of the worst court congestion problems in Australia and the Bligh Labor Government’s proposed “reforms” would only put further pressure on the Magistrates Courts and District Courts.”

“Regional Courts are also suffering. Brisbane judges are on record as repeatedly expressing frustration about the Regional Court circuit.”

“It is no wonder our judges have lost confidence when for example, the Hervey Bay District Court has trials waiting to be heard since 2007.” Mr. Bleijie said.

“The excuses are said to range from missing documents, incomplete reports and unavailable witnesses necessitating an almost 5 year delay in sentencing Queensland criminals.”

“This grid-lock in our State’s court system has become critical.” Mr. Bleijie said.

“It is the result of poor planning and poor management by Premier Anna Bligh’s Labor Government.”

“Nobody’s interests innocent or guilty are well served by a long and drawn out wait to access Queensland’s court system for justice.”

The report also showed Queensland’s courts had the highest number of new criminal cases in the country.   Queensland had 223,500 new criminal cases last year, compared with 216,800 in NSW, 189,200 in Victoria.

“Queensland should have a robust justice system that is timely, firm and fair.”

“The Liberal National Party is so committed to improving Queensland’s justice system, the State Opposition is currently finalising a public consultation review for the role of the Justice of the Peace and how they may assist in reducing the workload of our court system.”  Mr. Bleijie said.