Property and Infrastructure Specialists
Providing design, procurement and project management services to overcome major challenges and deliver Newcastle’s state-of-the-art new court precinct
Department of Attorney General and Justice
Newcastle, NSW

Replacing one of Australia’s busiest court complexes

Newcastle is one of the busiest court complexes in Australia and the third largest in NSW.

The existing courthouse was housed in four buildings over two sites. The buildings, which were constructed between 1892 and 1983, no longer met the functional needs of the courts and were becoming too difficult and costly to maintain. They were also the subject of many complaints about their functionality and condition.

Refurbishment or upgrade of the current site was not practical because of the size and heritage constraints, so the Department of Justice and Attorney General proposed the construction of a new courthouse on a ‘brownfield’ site in Newcastle CBD.

Significant challenges

The new project needed to be delivered as quickly as possible while remaining within the allocated cash flow.

The site presented several major challenges, including:

  • An irregular shape
  • Mine subsidence constraints
  • Limitations on the allowable floor-space ratio
  • Located within a heritage conservation area
  • Flood restrictions
  • Height limitations
  • Car parking capacity and access limitations
  • The need to maintain a trafficable service access through the site to support the adjacent Clarendon Hotel.

New state-of-the-art facility

APP was appointed to project manage the delivery of the new Courthouse precinct, featuring:

  • 10 courts in a eight storey building on a 3,000m2 site for local, district and supreme court use
  • 12 holding cells
  • Seven courtroom holding cells
  • Specialised, non-contact interview rooms
  • State-of-the-art technology incorporating video testimony, recording and presentation systems
  • Office accommodation for various agency groups and the judiciary.


APP successfully managed all the design and procurement activities on the project, as well as enabling works required to prepare the site for construction – including rectification of old mine workings.

We also managed the main works construction and the relocation of staff from the existing facility to the new complex.

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