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Bathurst courthouse restoration set in stone

Last published on 30 Oct 2020 in Media Releases

One of NSW’s most historic courthouses will have a multi-million dollar restoration preserving the building’s rich heritage and providing much needed jobs and investment into the region.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said the restoration will breathe new life into a court complex that’s served Bathurst for 140 years.

“Bathurst Courthouse is one of the most beautiful public buildings in NSW and I’m thrilled that the NSW Government is committing to this major project,” Mr Speakman said.

“This is an important heritage conservation project which will preserve this beautiful building for future generations.”

Bathurst Courthouse courthouse was built in 1880 by Colonial Architect James Barnet. With Doric columns, an imposing portico, colonnade and copper-sheeted dome, its exceptional heritage significance is recognised on the NSW State Heritage Register.

The restoration works include repairing the building’s sandstone, copper, metal, leadwork and wood elements and will involve replacing the deteriorated sandstone cornice at the base of courthouse’s copper dome, maintenance of the copper-clad bell tower and restoration of  the building’s 27 chimneys..

Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said the project presents an extraordinary opportunity for the Central West’s stonemasons and heritage restoration specialists.

“The project will create jobs in the district, improve the condition, enhance the appearance and extend the lifespan of Bathurst Courthouse for many decades to come. Whoever wins the tender will have access to all the skill and expertise that the Central West has to offer for this historic restoration,” Mr Toole said.

The courthouse will also benefit from improvements that have this week gained approval from Heritage NSW. These are part of the Government’s $148 million package to ease pressure on the District Court by appointing seven extra judges, including Judge Graham Turnbull SC who commenced sitting on the Bathurst, Orange and Parkes circuit in February this year.

The project includes a complete security upgrade with a new entry courtyard with scanning equipment and perimeter security for the complex. There’ll also be a new lobby and public toilets, a jury assembly room and refurbishments to the judges’ chambers and associate’s office.

This is in addition to the $106,000 invested in fresh internal painting as part of a $9.2 million COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Program announced in May.

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