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Collapse Issue 412 - 06 Feb 2017Issue 412 - 06 Feb 2017
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Council renews commitment to level crossing
Court arrangements 'decided by Chief Magistrate'
Court workers given 25 hours to respond
Lawyers write to keep local court
New ferry services 'urgently needed', says Chamber
New government asked to address Peninsula roads
Rock pool contamination is denied
Permission sought for above-ground diesel tank
Application lodged for three villas in Booker Bay
Woy Woy Rotary hosts Rotaract launch
Empire Bay resident starts food exchange network
Water rate review deferred 12 months
MacDonald casts doubt over Gosford accounts
Council to appoint audit committee
Member remains on leave as new sitting approaches
Give us a vote to 'demerge', says Harris
Amalgamated council will stay, says MacDonald
Certificate issued for four-unit development
New committee sought for Bays Community Group
Former exchange student returns to Umina
Recognised for special contribution
Robin Norling has died, aged 77
Skateboarde to speak at Umina church
Pastor looks for apprentice
Teenagers charged with car theft
Village residents celebrate Australia Day
One quarter of average rainfall
Collapse  FORUM FORUM
Get rid of the jet skis
Plant trees to stay cool in summer
We can do without the Bulls Hill underpass
Collapse  HEALTH HEALTH
Program to combat mental illness stigma
Emergency workers offered yoga classes
Naturopathic nutritionist starts at Umina
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Bryce Sainty nominated as 'new artist'
Work hung at Hardys Bay
Collapse  EDUCATION EDUCATION
Preparing for a busy year ahead
Peer support training for Year 6 students
Staff changes at Pretty Beach
Collapse  SPORT SPORT
Lachlan Braddish is Lifesaver of the Year
Success at national pool championships
Junior life savers to compete at Avoca
Boxers pursue Games selection at Umina
Australia Day celebrated at Everglades
Bridge club holds New Year's Cup
Collapse  HISTORY HISTORY
The British arrive at Broken Bay
Spearpoint pumps on the Peninsula

Lawyers write to keep local court

Peninsula lawyers have written collectively and individually seeking the retention of the Woy Woy Local Court.

They wrote a joint submission to Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Mr Scot MacDonald, following their meeting with him on January 19.

Representatives from Coastlaw, David Kelly lawyers, Ryan and Seton, Tonkin Drysdale Partners and Central Coast Community Legal Centre, had earlier written individual letters in response to the proposal.

Mr David Kelly from David Kelly Lawyers said: "The closure of Woy Woy Local Court will prejudice our clients who reside on the Peninsula.

"The majority of our clients are based at the lower end of the socio economic spectrum.

"The closing of Woy Woy Local Court will impact on their ability to access a proximate court and place further burdens upon them both financially having to either travel to Gosford or Wyong Local Court.

"The Woy Woy Local Court is a valuable and practical asset.

"It should not be closed," Mr Kelly said.

Mr Michael Seton of Ryan and Seton Lawyers wrote to the Central Coast Law Society to state that his firm "wholly and unreservedly" opposed the proposal.

Mr Seton said he wished to clarify that his firm would financially benefit from the proposed changes but remained opposed to them.

"The Peninsula community will lose its sole avenue for efficient, affordable and accessible justice," Mr Seton said.

"This will be the case for civil and criminal litigants, including victims, alike.

"It is the vulnerable people in the community that will suffer first and suffer greatest with this proposal," he said.

Mr Paul Mereniuk from Peninsula Law wrote directly to the Chief Magistrate: "We would say that the proposal of cessation of the Adult List Day at Woy Woy Local Court will result in a 25 per cent increase in the work load at Gosford Local Court."

Mr Mereniuk said he disputed claims that the changes would result in 12 extra adult sitting days in Gosford, arguing instead that the total would be eight.

"The Gosford Court House facility struggles to accommodate the stakeholders it currently services for both the District and Local Courts," he said.

"The proposed increase work load has not been met by any increase in rooms available for conferencing clients or for accommodating victims of domestic violence.

"This will also result in security issues and the need for conferencing of clients in public as opposed to private spaces.

"This is totally inappropriate," he said.

The partners of Tonkin Drysdale also wrote to the Chief Magistrate and described his proposals as "unfathomable", pointing to the Peninsula's long history of a Local Court service to a growing population.

"The cessation of the criminal, family and civil jurisdictions of the Local Court will be a great loss and shock to the community.

"It will lead to significant negative outcomes for the administration of, and access to, justice on the Peninsula.

"The only argument that could realistically be claimed by our political masters to improve services to a community by actually taking away the service is a perception of cost-saving, perhaps more correctly described as cost-shifting.

"It is a fallacy."

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