Travel cut with court sitting changes

By Brigid Simeoni Many family law matters will no longer require Ipswich lawyers and clients to travel to court in Brisbane.

Yesterday, Ipswich joined the Federal Magistrates Court circuit, with the first session held in Ipswich's courthouse.

Federal Magistrate Michael Jarrett said the court would mainly deal with family law, such as child custody and property proceedings.

Now sitting in 12 regions in Queensland, the court also hears a range of matters spanning industrial relations, bankruptcy, trade practices and copyright.

Mr Jarrett said it would free up the State courts, with plans to sit in Ipswich about once a month for one day for matters including interim hearings.

"Hopefully it'll provide some value to the local community and the local practitioners," Mr Jarrett said.

It would save local lawyers and clients a trip to Brisbane and potentially reduce expenses for parties involved, he said.

Mr Jarrett said many people who came into the court struggled to raise their families and the last thing they needed was to try to travel to Brisbane.

While longer matters such as trials would still go to Brisbane, he said many settled without a trial and it was important to get applications going.

Having more people appear in person instead of over the phone is expected to be beneficial in the family law jurisdiction.

"It's amazing what you can achieve when you have them standing in front of you," Mr Jarrett said.

Southport and Toowoomba are among the other regions where the Federal Magistrates Court sits regularly.



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