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The current location of the Mornington Island Courthouse (inside the Police station) is far from ideal in many ways, from the perspective of the principle of separation of powers to the practical lack of sufficient space, absence of proper waiting areas and interview rooms, no infrastructure for justice related activities, no space for legal aid provision, sub-standard facilities for judges and administrative staff etc.  The Police would like to use the space now occupied by the courthouse as its staff has expanded beyond the capacity of the Police station part of the building.  Apparently there are some plans to install a few “portacabins” or to extend the current facility with an annexe containing interview rooms, to resolve some of the capacity issues, obviously an unattractive and sub-standard option in a town that already suffers from a serious lack of building and planning standards.

After having been moved from its previous offices (which were admittedly in poor state of repair), Junkuri Laka has been located in too expensive, too small offices which are too far from the centre of town to be easily reached by its clients.  Other justice related agencies, such as Corrective Services are located elsewhere and suffer in some small or large degree from inefficiencies of having to organise their complete infrastructure for relatively small operational teams.  Other related agencies, such as ATSILS have no office or client interview space at all, and have to rely on what can be provided by Junkuri Laka, or worse, the Police.  In addition there are potential justice related activities that could conceivably be located in premises associated with a court house, such as mediation activities, community service activities, offender programs etc.

Following the example from other indigenous communities, Junkuri Laka wishes to develop an initiative to provide Mornington Island with a culturally appropriate Justice Centre that would bring together all Justice related activities in a centrally located, accessible and attractive building.  It is Junkuri Laka’s ambition to be the driving force behind this project and to eventually take on the role of its management, whereby Junkuri Laka can become the central infrastructure provider for all Justice related activities on Mornington Island, and whereby these services thus become strongly integrated in the community rather than being forced upon it by external powers.

While this idea has only been recently conceived, there is support from Police and Shire Council for this initiative.  A tentative location has been discussed that would provide appr 3000 m2 of total space, and this preliminary concept has been accepted by the Shire Council.  A scheme plan for the new town centre is currently in development and the new Justice centre will be integrated in it.