CONSTRUCTION on the ACT's new law courts precinct has officially commenced, after Attorney-General Simon Corbell and Supreme Court Chief Justice Helen Murrell last week turned the first sod for the major project.
"The new ACT Law Courts precinct will meet the territory's needs for the next 50 years in a more functional, flexible and sustainable way, and create about 350 jobs throughout the construction phase of the project," Mr Corbell said.
The turning of the sod for the ACT Courts building project marks the start of construction in two stages. Work is due to be completed in late 2018.
"The ACT Government, together with the legal community, is pleased to support a project that will create a new landmark building for Canberra," Mr Corbell said.
"The new courts precinct will include best practice facilities for witnesses and their families, dedicated spaces for community service and domestic violence support agencies and a mediation hub capable of hosting large multi-party mediations.
"This new facility has also been designed to achieve a five star green star standard. A number of features have been incorporated into the design including solar photovoltaic panels and water heating, rainwater harvesting and end of journey facilities for cyclists."
The first stage of works involves construction of a new entrance hall and four-storey wing fronting Vernon Circle which will house six courtrooms, judicial chambers, library, public spaces including a cafeteria and dedicated juror facilities. The first stage is due to be completed in late 2017.
The second stage of works involves refurbishing and restoring the existing 50-year-old heritage building.
The heritage building will house two courtrooms, a large conference room, the mediation hub and dedicated spaces for community and justice support agencies. Stage two is due to be completed by September 2018.
In December 2015 the Territory partnered with Juris Partnership to deliver the new court facilities.
The Juris Partnership consortium is made up of companies with national and international experience in delivering PPPs, including Laing O'Rourke Australia Construction Pty Ltd, Macquarie Capital Group Limited, Programmed Facility Management Pty Ltd and Lyons architects.
As the Territory's first PPP, Mr Corbell described the project as an important pathfinder, and demonstrates the ACT Government's commitment to working innovatively in partnership with the private sector to deliver Canberra's future infrastructure needs.