New magistrates for the north-west

The North-West coast will be getting two new magistrates in a move that the Law Society believes will alleviate the long wait between court hearings. According to the President of the Law Society of Tasmania, Matthew Verney, even child protection matters can take months to get hearings on the coast, which is diabolical, he says. Even police matters can take months to get hearings.

Mr. Verney said that the Society would welcome the new appointments, “This is an example where the government has got it right,” Mr. Verney said. “Since we ceased having three magistrates on the coast, there’s no doubt the lists have blown out. That’s no criticism of the court, there’s only so many hours in the day.”

The North-West coast currently only has two permanent magistrates – Mrs. Melanie Bartlett, and Mr. Andrew McKee – and the coast has been getting a circuit magistrate from Launceston for five days per fortnight. One of the new magistrates will be replacing Magistrate Bartlett.

Jakob Barrett