'Awful' and 'untidy': Locals fed up with court maintenance

Upkeep of Crookwell Local Court is "awful" and "untidy", community members say.

Its intermittent maintenance is managed by the state government Department of Communities and Justice.

Community question intermittent maintenance of grounds at the Crookwell Local Court. Photo: Crookwell Community Hub

Community question intermittent maintenance of grounds at the Crookwell Local Court. Photo: Crookwell Community Hub

The department says courthouses are maintained and upgraded in response to the volume of work and needs of the justice system.

But members of the Crookwell Community Hub Facebook group say they are appalled by the courthouse's unkempt appearance.

More than 50 comments listed complaints included the "rundown" lawn, and that it "looks terrible" and "awful" and "untidy" in the town.

More residents expressed concerns for hazards such as snakes.

The CrookwellGazette asked the department for the total spending per year on maintenance and upgrades or distribution of funds.

The department did not respond to those questions, but verified a new gardening contractor had begun work since September.

The contract was awarded to a Sydney-based business that uses sub-contractors, particularly in regional areas, for works.

Previously, a local contractor had been employed however he was no longer available.

Solicitor Tim McCarthy has had a practice in Crookwell for about 40 years. He said the court had sat bi-monthly since the 1970s.

Since then, "the court lists have changed dramatically," he said.

"There were 30 or 40 criminal cases, and more matters involving local ... civil matters, but now you would be lucky to get half a dozen."

Crookwell Local Court now sits six times a year. It has one of the smallest workloads of any NSW local court, with 38 criminal matters lodged there in the past financial year.

The court registry had also closed, except for sitting days. "In the digital age, we don't need to physically file documents, we just lodge them online," he said.

The grounds were maintained just before the court was due to sit. "It was always a sign that the court was on that week," he said.

The lawn continues to be maintained under a similar schedule.

"It looks unkempt at this stage and looks very untidy and isn't a good advertisement for the town," Mr McCarthy said.

Upper Lachlan Shire Council acting general manager Andrew Croke said the council has had no contact with the department about the Crookwell Local Court.

  • For maintenance issues contact local_court_crookwell@justice.nsw.gov.au.

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