The grand historic exterior of Cootamundra Courthouse will soon contrast with the latest in state-of-the-art audio-visual link (AVL) technology inside the building.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the installation of the $383,000 AVL system would make access to justice easier and more efficient for local people.

“The installation of this technology in the court room could revolutionise the way things are done at Cootamundra Courthouse. This is a win for the people of Cootamundra and it’s an important step forward for justice in our area,” Ms Cooke said.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said the government is committed to the technological transformation of the justice system.

“Adding state-of the-art AVL to the courtroom will increase efficiency, lower costs and avoid the need for some people to travel long distances to appear in court. It will also help ensure that witnesses, including complainants in domestic violence criminal cases who are now entitled to give evidence via AVL, can do so,” Mr Speakman said.

The government announced its commitment in the 2020–21 budget last November to deliver a digital transformation for NSW courts to drive a faster, smoother, and more convenient court service.

More than 400 Local Court criminal matters are heard in Cootamundra each year. Court sittings are held three to four days a month, while the registry operates five days a week. The balance of maintaining the heritage building whilst also incorporating modern technology is vital for the sites operation.

This latest upgrade to the courthouse follows the $220,000 spruce up which included painting the outside of the building and front fence, landscaping and roof and chimney repairs. Cootamundra Courthouse was designed by one of NSW’s most prolific government architects. Construction began in 1901 and the courthouse opened the following year. It replaced a more rudimentary courthouse, built in 1879. The courthouse expanded in 1924, with the addition of the classical portico.