Victoria’s oldest operating courthouse at Portland will undergo a $30,000 safety upgrade to deliver on key recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

The project to upgrade the Portland Magistrates’ Court is part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $58.1 million investment in the state’s courts delivered in the Victorian Budget 2016/17.

The upgrade will enhance the safety of public spaces in the building with dedicated security officers who have been trained specifically to operate in courts and tribunals.

The security officers will use a walk-through metal detector and handheld scanning wands to stop prohibited items being brought into the court building.

The officers will also provide roving patrols and escort services for vulnerable people, including women and children who have been victims of family violence.

The existing registry counter will also be upgraded to create a more secure environment for staff.

The bluestone Victorian Regency-style courthouse was built in 1843-45 and is the earliest serving courthouse in Victoria.

Plans for the security upgrade began in July this year and works are due for completion in mid-2017.

Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Martin Pakula

“We’re making sure our justice system supports and protects those most in need.”

“It’s vital that when vulnerable people, particularly victims of family violence, attend court they can do so safely and free from threat or intimidation.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney

“The safety of those who work or attend the Portland Courthouse is of the utmost importance.”

“The refurbishment of the Portland Courthouse will deliver on key recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence to help keep Victorians safe.”

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