Photo: Mayor Allan McGrath at Yass Courthouse

The Yass Courthouse will soon receive a facelift after Yass Valley Mayor Allan McGrath made motions to local MP Wendy Tuckerman and NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman to address the neglect of the iconic building.

The mayor said he was absolutely delighted to hear the Courthouse will be receiving some improvements. It will be benefitting from a $240,000 investment dedicated to maintenance and improvement from the NSW Government.

Allan originally wrote to the Member for Goulburn last October before he was elected to Council in the December local elections and again in April this year to express his concerns about the neglect of the iconic courthouse. Before he penned the first letter, he said there was an indication that funds were set aside to work on the courthouse, but at the time it wasn’t specified what exactly was happening.

In recent months, Allan said he had noticed the neglect of the garden at the front of the courthouse.

“Usually, the hedges have been well maintained and at least that aspect has been presentable, but it’s become really overgrown.”

“It was just such a magnificent building and it had become so sad and neglected.”

Allan added that the courthouse was built in 1880 at a huge cost and architecturally designed by one of the leading colonial architects James Barnet.­

When Allan wrote to MP Wendy Tuckerman last month, she made further representations to the state Attorney General and returned with a multistage plan to address the needs of the courthouse.

Stage one is expected to be delivered by June 30 and will include landscaping, tree and shrub trimming, painting of priority internal areas, and replacement of floor coverings.

Stage two will be delivered in the 2022/23 financial year and will include all external painting of the full site and the remaining internal painting.

“I very much appreciate the efforts of Wendy Tuckerman in making representations to the Attorney General on our behalf,” Allan said.

Wendy said this is a terrific announcement for the Yass community.

“[The local community] have great pride in the heritage buildings of Yass, and this magnificent building is a model example of James Barnet’s work which should be preserved and cherished.”

NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman acknowledged the architectural significance of the historic courthouse to NSW, as well as the place it holds in the Yass community.

“The NSW Government has initiated a maintenance program for the courthouse which will be managed by the Department of Communities and Justice, in a multi-staged approach.”

Brianna O’Rourke