Access for people in regional areas
The Land and Environment Court aims to give access to the Court to everyone in NSW. In 2011, 25% of finalised cases were outside the Sydney-Wollongong-Blue Mountains-Gosford area.
Although it is located in Sydney, the Court has adopted a number of measures to extend its reach beyond the metropolitan area:
- The NSW Online Registry enables parties to lodge certain Land and Environment Court documents online, and some cases can be started online.
- Land and Environment Court documents can be filed at any Local Court in NSW. There are over 150 Local Court courthouses spread across the state. The Local Court Registrar is then required to forward the original documents to the Land and Environment Court in Sydney (see r 2.5 of the Land and Environment Court Rules 2007).
- Directions hearings and other preliminary court proceedings can be conducted by telephone or by using Online Court, the Court’s secure online forum for the parties to seek directions online.
- Final hearings are often conducted on the site of the dispute.
- The Land and Environment Court often sits in country courthouses located near the parties (see the Local Court website for details of these courts).
- Parties and their legal representatives can communicate with the Court by email or request that orders be made online using Online Court.
If you live in a regional area and wish to file court documents or access Land and Environment Court services and you are unable to do so using Online Services, you should contact your nearest Local Court. You can also call the Sydney registry to find out how the Land and Environment Court can serve you in your area.