The real issue at court: Mackay can't attract Magistrates

Mackay Court House.
Mackay Court House. Peter Holt

MACKAY cannot attract interest from any of the state's 88 full-time magistrates in presiding over court proceedings in the city.

The lack of interest in moving to Mackay among existing magistrates has led to Chief Magistrate Ray Rinaudo asking Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath to appoint one.

The decision is expected to be made this week.

Magistrates must complete two years of regional service before they can apply for a transfer to the south-east corner.

But the lack of interest magistrates have shown for the Mackay jurisdiction has resulted in appointments in other jurisdictions being held up.

A spokesperson for the Chief Magistrate confirmed no interest had been shown in Mackay when expressions of interest closed last week.

She said other locations in the latest round of expressions of interest included Cairns, Innisfail, Bowen, Maroochydore, Redcliffe, Brisbane and Southport.

"The Chief Magistrate has to undertake a complex internal round of offering vacancies to current magistrates before new ones can be appointed," they said.

"Once this round of transfers are made, a number of consequential vacancies will arise, and they in turn will need to be advertised and filled.

"Once that is done the Chief Magistrate will ask the Attorney-General to appoint to the final vacancies as necessary.

"The Chief Magistrate is completely satisfied that the process is continuing as necessary and thanks the Attorney-General for her continued co-operation."

Mackay District Law Association president Kane Williams said he was surprised and disappointed to learn the city could not attract a magistrate who wanted to preside over the jurisdiction.

"Mackay is a great city and on its doorstep is the Great Barrier Reef," he said.

"The legal fraternity would welcome the appointment and looks forward to learning who our new magistrate will be."

There are three full-time magistrate vacancies to be filled across the state with a further three appointments to be made in the coming months.


Topics:  court crime mackay magistrate

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

KAKADU CALLING: Wildlife guide finds feet after loss of ear

FIRM FOOTING: With sights set on a new career Kakadu national park, Emma Walton has found a new direction in life after recovering from Meniere's disease, which destroyed her inner ear.

Warwick woman's sights set on nature after loss of inner ear.

NO END TO NEGATIVITY: Millennials carry conflict everywhere

Warwick teenagers Jack Kearns and Jakob Miklejohn speak about the benefits they got from the Young Leaders program, mental health, social media and what young people need. Two teenage boys pictured at Warwick skate park holding mobile phones, youth engagement.

Young Warwick leader says no escape from conflict in digital age

Hospital recognised as best practice

Prof Paul Worley on his recent visit to Stanthorpe Hospital

Stanthorpe a role model for rural generalists

Local Partners