Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 18 August 2011) . . Page.. 3527 ..
The building concept includes a link with the existing Magistrates Court building through one of the new basement levels. This below-ground connection will preserve the existing curtilage and presentation of the Supreme Court as the pre-eminent building in the Knowles Place complex. It will also allow for a one-court complex with a common entry and the opportunities for shared facilities between the two courts. The new building will become a law courts building rather than separate Magistrates Court and Supreme Court buildings.
The proposed method of construction will be recommended during the forward design stage of works. As part of the current works, a temporary courts accommodation strategy will also be assessed and prepared. It is expected that the existing Supreme Court function will need to be relocated to temporary accommodation for a two-year period as part of this project.
As part of the next stage of works, the government is moving ahead with further engagement with key stakeholders and consultation processes. We expect that this project will include a floor space of between 9,000 to 10,000 square metres, and this will be further refined during the current stage of works after consultation with stakeholders. The 9,000 to 10,000 square metres is essentially double the existing gross floor area of just over 4,000 square metres in the current Supreme Court building. The government has allocated $4 million for forward design work, and some of that is also being used for feasibility studies and some will be used for due diligence and concept design work.
This is an important project for the future of the justice system in the territory. Supreme Courts are central public buildings, civic buildings, and they need to be designed for the long term. The work currently underway and the government’s decision on the preferred site allow this important work to now progress.
MS PORTER: A supplementary.
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Porter.
MS PORTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Can you please inform the Assembly of how the plans for the new ACT Supreme Court will take in the heritage of the present building?
MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for the question. The current Supreme Court is not a heritage-listed building but it has been recognised as having a number of meritorious design features which should be retained as part of any work on the existing building. The government is keen to see these features retained and preserved in the new building. Where possible, the design will incorporate those aspects of the existing building which have been recognised as values of significance, including the external marble cladding, the raised podium feature and colonnade, and the wood panelling inside the various courtrooms.
A heritage consultant has been engaged as part of the options study commissioned by the government to consider which of the options would best take account of these important design aspects of the building. The report confirmed that the exterior of the