MEDIA RELEASE - New Federal Court judges welcome, but long overdue

  • Media Release

It has been eight long years of pleading with successive Liberal governments to properly resource our Federal Courts in Newcastle, so news of two new Federal Courts judges being appointed to our courts is certainly welcome. This is a huge win for the people of Newcastle and our region.  

The Newcastle Registry had been down a senior judge for more than two months since the former Judge Janet Terry reached the mandatory retirement age of 70. But leaving judicial positions vacant for months on end has become a shocking pattern of neglectful behaviour under this government.

It has taken eight long years, three different attorney-generals, and the abolition of our stand alone family court system, for the Liberal Government to finally accept that our Federal Courts are at breaking point. 

It’s more than time that the Commonwealth Attorney-General prioritised our community interests over and above the narrow political interests of the Morrison Government.

Given the heavy caseload in the Newcastle Registry, and the complexities of these cases, which often involve the trauma of marital breakdown, domestic violence, drug abuse and child custody disputes, it is beyond doubt that Newcastle was entitled to additional resources. 

I welcome the appointment of Ms Julie Kearney to replace Judge Janet Terry and Ms Vivienne Carty as an additional judge to Newcastle’s Federal Courts. They have an enormous workload ahead - made worse by the Morrison Government’s continuous attacks on the Family Court - and must be properly resourced to do their jobs. 

The Federal Government has a very clear responsibility to provide efficient and appropriate judicial and court services to the people of Newcastle. Having neglected our Federal Courts for so long, the Attorney-General must now fix the damage done. 

It’s time for the Morrison Government to put an end to this reckless management of our Federal Courts once and for all. 

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