Deb Frecklington announcing the Courthouse Upgrades. Photo Kate Darvall/ South Burnett Times
Deb Frecklington announcing the Courthouse Upgrades. Photo Kate Darvall/ South Burnett Times Kate Darvall

Revamp for courthouses

MORE than $3million in long overdue upgrades to the Nanango and Kingaroy courthouses will start in January.

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington announced a $2.2million State Government upgrade to Kingaroy Courthouse, and a $900,000 upgrade to Nanango Courthouse starting in mid-January.

Mrs Frecklington said she had been fighting for these upgrades for years, even before she was elected as the local member.

She said the upgrades were vital "mainly because of the lack of privacy and facilities in relation to domestic violence clients".

Department of Justice and Attorney-General's Director-General John Sosso said domestic violence clients were considered the most vulnerable and most in need.

He said a focus on the requirements for domestic violence clients were at the centre of the revamp at the Nanango Courthouse and the Kingaroy Courthouse upgrade plan includes multiple new facilities.

"It's really vital that we highlight the Kingaroy upgrade will include getting a lift," Mrs Frecklington said.

"It's one of the biggest concerns the law society and the locals bring up with me on a regular basis."

The upgrade of Kingaroy Courthouse is also set to involve the installation of a holding cell "so we don't have people jumping out windows".

"The project has been a work in progress since about 2010," Mrs Frecklington said.

The funding came after Mrs Frecklington met with Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie in 2010 to discuss the need for upgrades to Nanango Courthouse.

"We're not waiting for the next budget, and we're not waiting for the next election, which is what a lot of people expected me to do," Mrs Frecklington said.

"We're doing this now."

In the process of improvements, she promised Nanango Courthouse's heritage listing would be taken into account and the style of the building would be retained.

The upgrades are also expected to create employment in the region, with 100 new jobs predicted for Kingaroy and 75 for Nanango.

South Burnett

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