Victorian County Court Project

Overview

The Victorian County Court is a fully integrated court complex located in Melbourne’s legal precinct. It is a landmark building combining modern court design principles with state of the art technology.


 

Entrance to the County Court    Courtroom

Project name

Victorian County Court Project

Value

$195m (net present value, as at October 2000)

Status

Service delivery commenced

Department or agency

Department of Justice

Private sector partner

The Liberty Group Pty Ltd consisting of ABN AMRO, NM Rothschild & Sons (Aust) Ltd (financiers), Multiplex Construction Ltd (construction), and Honeywell Limited (facility services).

Equity interest has since been sold and the Liberty Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Challenger Financial Services Group, an Australian property and funds management company.

Description

The County Court is an integrated complex in the heart of Melbourne’s legal precinct at the corner of Lonsdale and William Streets. It is a landmark building combining modern court design principles with state of the art technology.

For example, it has video-conferencing and remote witness facilities to enhance the management and efficient conduct of cases.

It is one of Australia’s largest court complexes and was the first major social infrastructure project under the Partnerships Victoria policy. The new facility opened on 31 May 2002, on-time and on-budget.

The County Court is the State's busiest trial court, handling most criminal trials and a very significant workload of civil cases. It has 54 courtrooms, (including an additional eight courtrooms commissioned in 2008) a jury pool area which can accommodate up to 400 people, and attractive public spaces.

The new County Court has worked towards reducing waiting times for court appearances, provided better security, reduced court costs and improved facilities for jurors, victims, the public and the legal community.

All court services integral to the administration of justice have remained in government control in accordance with Partnerships Victoria policy that core services should be provided directly by Government.

The Liberty Group services are delivered in partnership with government agencies including the Department of Justice, County Court, Juries Commissioner's Office, Victoria Police, Victorian Government Reporting Service, and Corrections Victoria.

The contract with the Liberty Group is to design, build, finance and provide building management services, security and information technology systems. The Liberty Group has a 99-year lease over the crown land on which the court is situated, for a peppercorn rent.

The term of the contract is 20 years (with shorter time frames for other services). Unlike other Partnerships Victoria accommodation contracts, the court building remains the property of the Liberty Group at the end of the contract period.

The project commenced under the previous government and the Infrastructure Investment Evaluation Policy for Victoria. The final stages of the project were completed under the Partnerships Victoria policy.

In 2007 the County Court elected to take up the option for additional courtrooms to be built. Levels 8 & 9 were originally constructed as vacant "shell" floors for future expansion.

The Liberty Group executed the Fit out Works Contract with Multiplex (the original builder) in May 2007. Practical completion and the fit out of eight additional courtrooms on levels 8 and 9 was achieved on 31 January 2008, four weeks ahead of the program.

Contact information

Tracey Watson, Contract Monitor - Victorian County Court Project

Ph: 613 9032 0815 

Email: tracey.watson@courts.vic.gov.au

Related information:

Contract details external site icon

Visit the Liberty Group's website to view photos and make room bookings external site icon 

To find out more, visit the County Court external site icon. A virtual tour of the building is also available.