The Tasmanian Liberal Government will put in place arrangements to transition to the replacement of police officers with Tasmania Prison Service staff at the Burnie courts from 1 July this year.

From 1 July police officers performing court security duties will be replaced with security contractors for an interim period until the new Burnie courts complex is available.

In addressing the Police Association of Tasmania Bi-Annual Conference today, Premier Peter Gutwein said, “the new interim arrangements at the Burnie courts would be similar to Magistrate Court arrangements in Hobart, until the commissioning of the new Burnie courts complex when Tasmania Prison Service Staff will take over those duties.

The temporary arrangements will have an additional budget impact of around $1.7 million over two years, to cover the period between 1 July 2021 and the completion of the new courts complex,” Premier Peter Gutwein said.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice & Corrections Elise Archer said “importantly there will be thorough consultation with key stakeholders, including the Police Association of Tasmania, the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), United Voice and other appropriate stakeholders, to ensure that there is a seamless transition to the new arrangements and to maintain the safety of the courts, staff and the community.

This decision will free up more frontline police in our community as part of our promise to keep police on the beat and keep Tasmanians safe,” Attorney-General Elise Archer said.

The first phase of removing police officers from prisoner transport and court security was successfully completed at the Launceston Supreme Court in July 2019, with TPS staff taking over court duties based at the courts and Launceston Reception Prison.

The second phase of this plan has been the removal of police out of courts in the north-west, including a review of the prisoner transport and court security arrangements for the Burnie courts. The Northern Regional Prison facility, once completed, will also provide a base for correctional officers and prisoner transport, additional to the Burnie courts complex.

We have committed to delivering a $15 million modern, fit-for-purpose court complex on the UTAS Moorville Road site in Burnie, and we expect construction of this facility will commence in 2021, once UTAS has vacated the premises.

Elise Archer, Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Minister for Corrections