An incident in which a man attempted to jump the front counter of the Family Law Court in Launceston causing minor damage while children were present has further heightened calls for the court's relocation.
Police attended the courts at the corner of George and Brisbane streets on Tuesday afternoon to investigate the incident which occurred about 12.55pm that same day. Tasmania Police confirmed it is continuing to investigate.
The man was believed to be attempting to gain access to children who were in a restricted area of the courts.
Family Law Practitioners Association of Tasmania has held long-term concerns over the safety of the courts, where all attendees are required to use the same lift, go through the same security entrance and use the same small waiting room.
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Past incidents have included a lawyer being spat on by a litigant, an attendee bringing 15 support people in an attempt to intimidate lawyers and other parties, lawyers being ambushed coming down in the lift and parties to Family Law matters regularly coming face-to-face.
FLPA Tasmania chairperson Julia Higgins said the latest incident was a "real escalation" because it involved elements of violence in the presence of children.
"We have been worried that things might escalate. It's very rare for children to be there - they are only required to attend in a small number of cases - but this incident demonstrates that children are at risk when they come to the court facilities," she said.
"The incident also put staff at risk.
"The single point of entry creates clear risks. The courts are just not big enough to facilitate when an event is happening with the whole family there."
The courts have been at the location for more than 20 years but were reduced from two floors to one floor during that time.
FLPA has held constructive discussions with Liberal Bass MHR Bridget Archer about the issue, and was given assurances four weeks ago that Attorney-General Christian Porter would visit the courts "at the earliest opportunity". They also sent Mr Porter a letter outlining their concerns.
FLPA is yet to hear from Mr Porter. Ms Higgins reiterated a request that he urgently visit the courts.
Mr Porter said a visit to Launceston was still on the cards.
"I have not yet had the opportunity to visit the court in Launceston, but will do so at the next available opportunity," he said.
"In the meantime, I am continuing to work with the heads of the courts on their security and accommodation needs."