Court arrangements 'decided by Chief Magistrate'
The Department of Justice has confirmed that the Chief Magistrate, Judge Graeme Henson, was responsible for decisions about sittings at Woy Woy Courthouse.
The department was responding to reports that the Attorney-General was making the decision.
"Sittings are arranged by the Chief Magistrate of the Local Court. Only he determines sittings," the statement from NSW Justice said.
"He is independent of government and nothing to do with the Attorney-General."
The statement said Judge Henson's proposal would "increase services at Woy Woy Court to make it a full time standalone Children's Court."
The statement said: "The Local Court registry is not going anywhere.
"It will remain open five days a week as it always has so people can lodge forms and applications as they always have.
"They won't need to go to Gosford for that.
"More importantly, in relation to Apprehended Violence Orders.
"Police now have the power to put these orders in place on the spot.
"They don't need to go to court to put an interim order in place.
"More importantly, the registrar at the Local Court can also enforce them.
"In addition to this police can now video record a victim's statement when they attend an incident and that video statement can be used as the main evidence in court so victims don't have to repeat their story, and in many cases the victim doesn't need to attend court unless it is necessary.
"Gosford Court will now have two full-time magistrates which means the court has the capacity to take on Woy Woy's caseload.
"Woy Woy's Local Court workload has decreased to the point it only sits two to three hours a day, once a week only."
Media statement, 24 Jan 2017
Georgie Louden, NSW Justice