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    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Attorney-General's statement on Commonwealth judicial appointment to Rockhampton

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Tuesday, February 02, 2016

    Attorney-General's statement on Commonwealth judicial appointment to Rockhampton

    Today the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis QC, announced the appointment of a new Federal Circuit Court judge, Judge Anne Demack, to Rockhampton.

    Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath makes the following statement:

    It is extraordinary that a Commonwealth Attorney-General should announce a significant judicial appointment where he proposes to access state facilities without first consulting with myself, the Department of Justice and Attorney-General or with the Chief Justice of Queensland.

    There are vital services for locals that operate out of the Rockhampton Court House, including the Supreme Court, the District Court, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and the Magistrates Court.

    Although I recognise the high-quality Federal Circuit Judge appointment announced today, I am advised it is not within the Rockhampton Court House to accommodate this judicial officer without first carrying out significant renovations.

    It appears the Attorney-General George Brandis has made this announcement without allocating any federal funding to support it.

    This is an empty gesture to serve a cynical political purpose in an election year.

    The LNP should not play politics with our courts and judges. I urge them not to play politics with the people of Rockhampton.

    The Federal Government needs to make funds available for an upgrade of the existing court house, or the construction of a new court house or, outline a funding plan for any ongoing expenses association with accommodating an additional judge, including security.

    Failure to take these issues into account runs the serious risk of displacing vital state services that the people of Rockhampton deserve.

    I urge Senator Brandis to commit Federal funding to deliver on his promise and look forward to a subsequent announcement allocating vital Commonwealth funding to support this important judicial appointment.