Local News

Local court boost for Muswellbrook

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Muswellbrook, and surrounding local courts in the district have received a boost.

Muswellbrook will now have a magistrate based in town to preside over the local court matters, including sittings at Scone and in Singleton. 

Attorney General Mark Speakman welcomed the establishment by the Chief Magistrate Judge Graeme Henson of the additional circuit in the Hunter to commence from 1 July this year.

“The new Muswellbrook Local Court Circuit is great news for communities in the Hunter because extra sitting days will take pressure off the regional courts and ensure victims and their families have better access to justice.” Mark Speakman said.

“Under the changes, Cessnock Local Court will gain 60 additional sitting days per year, followed by 48 in each of Muswellbrook, Singleton and Toronto Local Courts."

“Tamworth and Belmont will each benefit from 24 extra sitting days a year. Sittings at Scone and Kurri Kurri will remain the same.”

The Chief Magistrate will announce the Muswellbrook appointment in the next few months, but the position will take the number of Local Court magistrates in the Hunter to nine. There are two magistrates at Newcastle and one magistrate at Maitland, Tamworth, Cessnock, Toronto and Belmont, as well as a relieving magistrate.

“Our country magistrates do an incredible job dealing with a significant and diverse workload.

The Local Court is the busiest and most efficient jurisdiction in Australia, dealing with 96 per cent of all criminal matters from start to finish,” Mark Speakman said.

Image credit: Grant Broadcasters