Official Media Release

COVID-19: Upper Hunter Electorate to Win From $9M Justice Upgrade Stimulus Package

Michael Johnsen MP, Member for Upper Hunter today announced that the Upper Hunter Electorate is one of 63 regional areas to benefit from a $9 million investment in fast tracking the delivery of courthouse and corrections facility upgrades across regional NSW.

Mr Johnsen joined with the Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, Industry and Trade John Barilaro, and Attorney General Mark Speakman in announcing that  the stimulus projects will boost local economies that have been hit hard by COVID-19, bushfires and drought.

“The NSW Government is accelerating tender and planning approval processes and is committed to prioritising our Upper Hunter Electorate companies and suppliers where possible, with $535,000 of funding to our Electorate,” Mr Johnsen said.

“It means tradies will be on the tools in record time, creating vital job opportunities for locals who need our support more than ever during this tough economic period.”

“There will be $160,000 in funding for the Singleton Courthouse which will deliver improvements to fire compliance.”

“Fires often start without warning and can spread rapidly, as we saw during the devastating spring and summer bushfires, which is why it’s important to ensure alarms are in line with modern safety standards.”

There will also be general maintenance and fire compliance totalling $375,000 to the Muswellbrook Courthouse, as well as structural repairs to the outside of the building.

Mr Barilaro said the courthouse projects are part of $10 billion in NSW Government support measures to underpin our state’s recovery from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The $9 million funding forms part of more than $100 million for regional stimulus announced last month.

“This package aims to provide a swift and significant injection into regional economies and to that end, the majority of projects will begin this month and be completed this year,” Mr Barilaro said.

Mr Speakman said these investments will put courts in the best possible position to address the busy period ahead when normal sittings resume.

“Carrying out renovations during the period of reduced court sittings in place to help manage the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic makes sense because fewer disruptions mean the work can be completed faster,” Mr Speakman said.

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