Local MP Sharon Claydon has welcomed the appointment of two Federal Court judges to the Newcastle circuit but claimed it was “long overdue”.
After eight years of pleading with the Australian Government to properly resource the Hunter, Julie Kearney and Vivienne Carty will step into the much-vaunted roles.
The Newcastle Registry had been down a senior judge for more than two months following the departure of Janet Terry, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.
“This is a huge win for the people of Newcastle and our region,” Ms Claydon said.
“However, leaving judicial positions vacant for months on end has become a shocking pattern of neglectful behaviour under this government.
“It’s taken almost a decade, three different Attorney-Generals and the abolition of our stand-alone family court system for the Liberals to finally accept that our Federal Courts are at breaking point.
“It’s time the Commonwealth Attorney-General prioritised our community interests over and above the narrow political interests of the Morrison government.”
The federal member also stated it was beyond doubt that Newcastle was entitled to additional support.
“It’s a no-brainer, given the heavy caseload in the Newcastle Registry, and the complexities of these cases, which often involve the trauma of marital breakdown, domestic violence, drug abuse and child custody disputes,” Ms Claydon said.
“But, in saying that, I welcome the appointment of Julie Kearney to replace Judge Janet Terry and Vivienne Carty as an additional judge to Newcastle’s Federal Courts.
“They have an enormous workload ahead – and must be properly resourced to do their jobs.
“The federal government has a very clear responsibility to provide efficient and appropriate judicial and court services to the people of Newcastle.
“Having neglected our Federal Courts for so long, the Attorney-General must now fix the damage that’s been done.”
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