CRAMPED: Calls for a new Murwillumbah Court House, pictured in 1892, were left unanswered.
CRAMPED: Calls for a new Murwillumbah Court House, pictured in 1892, were left unanswered. Contributed

Past demands for Mur'bah Court House

INAPPROPRIATE accommodation and facilities at the original Murwillumbah Court House was a common occurrence for Tweed criminals and staff in the late 1800s.

In June 1892, officials gave more importance to maintaining the Cooloon and Murwillumbah Church of England Cemeteries over building a new Court House in Murwillumbah.

Dismayed by what he saw, District Judge Fitzhaedinge shared his concerns about the Court House's insufficient accommodation and conditions with the Minister for Justice.

But despite the Minister's guarantee the Court House would receive attention, criminals and court officials continued to be confined to hot and cramped conditions at the Murwillumbah Court House.

The conditions were so dire that a room behind the bench was used as a bedroom while "proper facilities for carrying out important duties” further exasperated the judge's patience.

Judge Fitzhardinge's frustration about the lack of commitment from the Minister led to him declaring that Murwillumbah would only get a decent Court House "when they got separation or federation”.

The Tweed Daily News will celebrate 130 years of publication this October.

  • Tweed historian Di Millar contributed hugely to the Tweed Daily News' 125-year commemorative publication in 2013, from which this information has been extracted.


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