Community revolt on court closure

Almost 1000 residents have petitioned the Weatherill Labor Government to reverse the decision to close the Port Adelaide Magistrates Court due to the proposals ‘overwhelmingly negative impact on the community’.

Member for Port Adelaide Susan Close tabled the 926 signature petition today on behalf of the residents despite being a member of the Cabinet whose funding cuts have forced the Courts Administration Authority into closing the Port Adelaide Magistrates Courts.

“The Weatherill Government should sit up and take notice of the local community’s valid fears as to how the irrational closure of the Port Adelaide Magistrates Court will impact on the local community,” said Shadow Attorney General Vickie Chapman.

“Minister Close should have fought harder in Cabinet to protect the people of Port Adelaide from these budget cuts – tabling a petition will be cold comfort for the local business that service the courts.

“Local people forced to travel to Adelaide Magistrates Courts as act as a witness are not going to be happy about the closure of the courts.

“The Weatherill Labor Government’s decision to close the Port Adelaide, Holden Hill, Mount Barker and Tanunda Magistrates Courts will inconvenience the public and delay victims’ access to justice.

“The magistrates courts were already overworked, with twelve per cent of matters taking longer than a year to finalise.

“Our court system is under enormous stress from an increased workload yet the Weatherill Labor Government is cutting services.

“These closures will increase the time it takes to process cases and will hurt the public.

“The Weatherill Labor Government’s decision to cut services at the same time they are increasing taxes is a kick in the guts for South Australians."