On the back of a serious security breach in Griffith Court recently, the NSW Shadow Attorney General Paul Lynch has accused the Berejiklian Government of only paying attention to Wagga.
The February incident saw a sex offender slit his own wrists and throat in a court room after allegedly smuggling a sharp implement into the court house.
In the wake of the incident, NSW Opposition questioned the lack of staffing and metal detectors at Griffith Court.
Mr Lynch says the NSW Government treats regional courthouses with “scant regard”, pointing to a cut in the number of magistrates in regional and rural areas.
“The only court west of the Great Dividing Range they have paid real attention to was Wagga Court – whose redevelopment was trenchantly criticised by the profession as being inadequate,” he said.
“They clearly need to pay more attention and devote more resources to court security. They can find $2.5 billion to spend on Sydney stadiums but can’t fund court security properly.”
Across the border in Wodonga, scanners were installed and new security personnel hired last December amid concerns about violence at venues.
A spokesman for the NSW Sheriff said the department had appointed 58 new officers to ensure court safety in 2018, including four at Riverina courts.
"The NSW Sheriff is continually reviewing security in courts to ensure the safety of its users. Fifty eight new Sheriff's Officers were appointed in 2017,” he said.
“In the last two years, four new recruits have been deployed to Riverina courts. One of the additional officers is based at Griffith and supports other nearby courts five days a month.”
Griffith also missed out on a $67,000 investment in portable metal detectors by the NSW Government in 2016.
The scanners were rolled out in 13 locations across the state including Bathurst, Dubbo, Armidale, Lismore, Port McQuarie, Tweed Heads, the Supreme Court’s King Court in Sydney and Wagga Wagga.