Published: 03 April, 2023

Media release: Opening of new Launceston court facilities to better service the local community and the legal profession

On Monday 3 April 2023, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1 and Division 2) will host an event to officially open new court facilities in Launceston.

Guest speakers include the Honourable Mark Dreyfus KC MP, Attorney-General for the Commonwealth of Australia, the Honourable Chief Justice Will Alstergren AO, and Ms Amanda Thompson, President of The Law Society of Tasmania. Members of the local legal sector will also be present.

Launch details for media

  • WHAT: Opening of the new Launceston court registry 
  • WHERE: Level 1, Henty House, 1 Civic Square, Launceston
  • WHEN: 10.15am for 10.30am start, Monday 3 April 2023

Media are to advise of attendance via email: or SMS: 0409743695

Chief Justice Alstergren said that the new court premises is greatly welcomed and now provides a much safer environment for the Launceston community who are involved in family law and other proceedings in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

“I commend the local profession for their important role in seeking better court facilities, and I acknowledge the Commonwealth Government for the provision of funding to enable us to relocate to the new court premises and $4.95 million for the refurbishment of this new site.

“The Courts’ priority continues to be keeping children and families safe, and this purpose built facility is one of many initiatives that demonstrates the Courts’ commitment to addressing safety and issues of family violence.

“These new premises provide tangible improvements, including a dedicated safe room for vulnerable litigants and their children, as well as a separate but adjoining video-conferencing safe room to enable litigants who are concerned for their safety to attend court events remotely while remaining within the safety of the court precinct.

“Further demonstration of the Courts’ commitment to addressing issues of family violence is through the national expansion late last year of the Courts’ world-leading Lighthouse initiative. Family law litigants in Tasmania now have the added benefit of screening for risk at the very beginning of their case, which assists the Courts to identify family violence and other safety risks. It also enables the Lighthouse team to provide tailored referrals to support services and case manage each matter according to the needs of the families.

“Local family law practitioners should familiarise themselves with Lighthouse, encourage their clients to undertake the screening process, and consider how to facilitate their client’s safe attendance at court by utilising the new facilities in Launceston.

“I wish to acknowledge the incredible work undertaken by Judge Turnbull who is the Court’s resident judge in Launceston, and who is greatly supported by our local staff. Justice McGuire and Judge Taglieri also regularly sit in Launceston to hear northern-based matters, and Senior Judicial Registrar Fitzgerald, who is based in Hobart, will sit in Launceston on a regular basis to conduct Launceston and Burnie lists. In addition, we have the professional services of our Court Child Experts, as well as external support from Tasmania Legal Aid, the Family Advocacy and Support Service and the Women’s Legal Service. With this breadth and depth of experience, I can confidently say that Tasmanian families are in safe hands,” Chief Justice Alstergren added. 

The new premises is located on level 1 of Henty House, a five level CBD landmark building at 1 Civic Square originally built in the 1983 for the Tasmanian Government. The new facilities have been architecturally designed and provide a larger floor plan area than the previous registry. Other design features include:

  • Purpose built office space for Legal Aid Tasmania and the Family Advocacy and Support Service
  • A dedicated safe room for vulnerable litigants and their children located within a secure corridor that includes a safe access bathroom
  • A separate but adjoining video-conferencing safe room for vulnerable litigants, to enable them to attend court events remotely and remain within the safety of the court precinct
  • A large child minding room within the safe corridor for Court Child Experts to be able to undertake interviews with children in a safe environment
  • Two court rooms and two Judges’ chambers
  • A mediation suite with two purpose built break-out rooms with one that has a separate entrance into the registry. This room can also be used as a secure interview room for Court Child Experts when meeting with families and children
  • A secure subpoena inspection room with visibility from the secure registry area and counters for litigants to be able access court documents electronically
  • Offices for Registrars and Court Child Experts
  • A robing room for the Tasmanian legal profession