Four major South Australian regional towns are to have court services slashed as part of the Rann Government cuts to services in the lead up to the May 2009 budget.
Information given to the SA Liberal Party reveals that legal advice, Justice of the Peace witnessing and a range of other services currently available in Kadina, Ceduna, Coober Pedy and Naracoorte are set to cease, with court officers facing redeployment or retrenchment.
Leader of the Legislative Council David Ridgway said access to advice on how to approach the often intimidating legal system is a fundamental right that must be maintained for country residents.
“The closure of court services in these regional centres except for the one week that a visiting Magistrate sits, deprives locals of contact with officers who can provide expertise, information and advice,” Mr Ridgway said.
“Living outside of the city should not preclude people from accessing free and independent advice on their legal rights.
“This latest cut to services and the loss of jobs follows other Rann Government cuts to services and jobs in country SA.
• $31 million cut to country health and health services remain under threat
• Loss of 500 public service jobs from country SA with the Rann Government’s Shared Services initiative potentially costing regional SA $163 million.
“The city-centric Rann Government’s disdain for the needs of country people must be stopped.
“Mike Rann must intervene and halt the continuing attack on services available to country South Australians.”
Mayor Steve Baines of Coober Pedy when asked to comment today on the latest cut to outback services said, “This is just another example of how the State Government is cutting costs at the expense of regional South Australia.
There has been no consultation in regards to this decision, no consultation with the communities, no consultation with the third tier of government that is the closest to the people, and no consultation with the court staff.
If the State Government expects our communities to just lie down and accept further cuts to our already dwindling resources they are very mistaken. We will not tolerate further job losses and cutbacks in our regional communities.”
Categories: COOBER PEDY News & Events