PETER Doyle, a fed-up barrister, has slammed the poor state of Campbelltown's overburdened court house. Local MP Bryan Doyle, a target of his frustration (and his brother) now hopes to provide the answer.
IT HAD leaky ceilings, a ramshackle wheelchair ramp and juggled a pile of extra legal cases while Liverpool Court was closed for renovations.
Now historic Campbelltown Court House — designed in a classical revival style by James Barnet and built in 1886 — is about to undergo a multimillion-dollar facelift.
The NSW Attorney-General's Department confirmed on Monday that design and planning for a major refurbishment to the landmark, on the corner of Railway and Queen streets, will start within months. Building works are to follow in 2014.
The renovations are long-overdue in the eyes of Campbelltown barrister Peter Doyle, who has loudly criticised a lack of maintenance at the court. Recent wet weather had exacerbated a severe roof leak in Courtroom 3 which Mr Doyle said had been there for three years.
Other courts and interview rooms had poor lighting and rundown equipment, while cracked tiles at the main entrance were a safety risk.
Mr Doyle said a temporary wheelchair ramp near the original building was an eyesore and there was no wheelchair access to jury rooms.
"It's been running down for a while and I don't get why they don't fix some of these things," he told the Advertiser shortly before the government's funding announcement.
"I just think we should have a bit more pride in our public buildings."
"It's not badly designed or a bad-looking building, it just needs a bit of TLC."
Mr Doyle received assurances from close to home: his brother — and Campbelltown state MP — Bryan Doyle said the department had responded to all 164 maintenance notices from the court's staff in the past year.
They related to graffiti removal, bathroom repairs and roof leakages.
"The recent extreme weather conditions have caused more issues than would normally be expected," Mr Doyle said.
"I am advised that the department has responded to this storm damage with the most concerted roof upgrade ever undertaken," he said.
"I note that the Campbelltown Court House is an ageing site and I am pleased that it is scheduled to receive major upgrade works shortly," Mr Doyle said.
A NSW Attorney-General's Department spokesman said the lift was upgraded last month to make the building more accessible for people with a disability.
"The NSW Government has allocated $10.8 million for the maintenance of the state's court houses in the current financial year.
"Further urgent repairs to Campbelltown Court House will be conducted when required."
Campbelltown and Bankstown courts took on Liverpool Court's caseload while it underwent a $5 million renovation which took more than a year to complete.
Those courts will be relieved of the extra cases when the refurbished Liverpool facility reopens on April 22.