Hold on Far West bench

WENTWORTH Local Court will remain without a permanent magistrate well into the new year while builders renovate a house rejected by the Sydney barrister-turned-magistrate appointed to sit in the Far West.

Visiting magistrates have been sitting at Wentworth, Broken Hill and Wilcannia local courts on a rotational basis since December, when magistrate Brett Shields refused to live in the government-owned house he claimed was in a “state of disrepair”.

The government initially planned to sell the home and buy a new one but gave up because of a “thin” real estate market in the Silver City.

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