The following feedback has been received during community consultation forums:

 

Feedback Provided
  • The Port Augusta and Whyalla sittings are consistently busy and current staffing and services should be maintained.
  • The courthouses (particularly Port Augusta) are well utilised by visiting District and Supreme Courts, which enables not only justice to be seen and actioned in the regional context, but also sitting juries that consist of genuine peers, rather than cityfolk that may never have left the metropolitan area. Additionally country citizens can observe court in action as their city counterparts are able to do, an important feature of our justice system.
  • Efficiencies in the civil system could be achieved by enhanced e-filing processes. Practitioners should be encouraged to use e-applications wherever possible. The criminal jurisdiction could also develop an e-application system for non-controversial matters.
  • Regional areas are often most vulnerable – reduction of services will create a strain on community - particularly for victims (APY Lands emphasised).
  • Cutting of regional/conveniently located courts removes officers from the street – less safe community.
  • Trials being transferred to Adelaide will change the jury, who will be people not from the area. There will be disconnect between counsel and client and barrister if matters are moved to Adelaide.
  • Defendants and complainants/witnesses will often have difficulty getting to a more distant location (problems with transport/time/affordability). It will be much more difficult for Aboriginal people to get to court.
  • A lot of defendants benefit more greatly from being in court before a judge in person (language cues, body language, etc).
  • Not enough office space to accommodate more police prosecutors from another region; currently at about max capacity.
  • In previous cost-cutting measures undertaken by CAA, regional areas have been particularly hard-hit, with the closure of many smaller registries, and reductions in court circuits, resulting in reduced Access to Justice for remotely located clients – in this region alone the Roxby Downs, Coober Pedy, Leigh Creek and APY circuits have already reduced significantly. Lack of adequate AVL facilities in those locations means that those remotely located clients will need to travel extensively to attend court, being far away from home, possibly apprehensive and confused, without supports, losing pay and time at work, etc -  factors not equally suffered by their city counterparts. The current circuit court service should not be reduced. If the circuit court to Pt Augusta was reduced it would impact significantly and unfairly on indigenous people.

 

Provide Feedback

View a summary of feedback of these consultations via the links for each location. If you wish to provide feedback directly, please email community consultations.