Tensions among a peaceful Coastal neighbourhood are beginning to boil, as works to move a major court complex into the middle of a residential area continue.
The state government in 2020 announced it would ditch a $15 million upgrade to the Burnie courthouse, and instead move the entire complex to the old University of Tasmania campus.
Among those opposed is Sam Cocks, whose property shares a fence with the future court.
"I'm worried about my kids," he said.
"What happens if someone escapes custody? And what happens to the value of our homes? A lot of us worked hard to have homes here."
Al Stewart also lives near the development, and said he was concerned about a lack of access for police and emergency services.
"The lack of consultation is really nothing less than astounding," he said.
"It makes sense to have a courthouse near a police station. At the moment they're so close they can go on foot if they need to respond to something."
The new site will be about three kilometres from the nearest police station, close to multiple schools.
In Hobart, the courthouse is 80 metres from the police station. The Launceston police station is 120 metres from the courts and the Devonport police station is about one kilometre from the magistrates court.
"How many courthouses are in a residential area?" Andrew Boyd, another nearby resident, asked.
Braddon Labor MHA Anita Dow said many residents had made representations to her ever since the announcement.
"I've also been contacted by members of the business community who have been concerned about the impact to the central business district," she said.
Meanwhile, the legal fraternity have also been expressing concerns about the move.
Law Society president Simon Gates is from the North-West, and said local practitioners had raised a number of concerns about the location.
"The law society supports a fit-for-purpose court facility in Burnie," he explained.
"However, it's vital that the location doesn't discourage local lawyers from taking on matters that involve frequent appearances such as criminal and family law matters."
He said there were already "too few" lawyers who practiced in those areas on the Coast, and that many had their offices in the CBD.
"For example, lawyers doing legal aid work may need to travel to the court multiple times a day," he said.
"Cases may be stood down or they my alternatively be unable to return to their offices to work before appearing for another matter. Any kind of barrier like that may push lawyers towards other areas."
A government spokesperson said the council had been notified of the relocation before the public was told.
"Consultation with other stakeholders is well underway and will continue through the life of the project, including as part of the usual planning process," they said.
"Tasmania Police are a key stakeholder for the project and are actively engaged in regular meetings and discussions with the project team."
They said consultation with the local community would be carried out at "appropriate stages in the project".
"The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works is considering the project with submissions currently invited from interested individuals and organisations with a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, 14 December," they said.
"The safety and security of Tasmanians is always a priority of our Government and the new Court complex will have extensive security measures in place to ensure the safety of all court users.
"The Mooreville Road location is well serviced by public transport and has onsite parking. Facilities for other support services to operate out of the new Court complex are included in the current design. The site also offers scope for possible future co-locations (for example, Community Corrections, the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia)."
The spokesperson said construction was expected to be completed in December 2023.
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