Fredon Technology is behind a new fit-out of audiovisual communications that has been rolled out in four new Downing Centre courtrooms in Sydney recently.
This follows the government’s November budget to allocate $54 million towards bringing the best technology innovation into its courts, as part of a $700 million investment to expand the digital capabilities of NSW.
The ‘Digital Courts Reform’ project aims to provide a single digital point of contact for court users, bring more proceedings online, build data capability and digitising court files in an effort to shift towards a paperless environment.
The technology at Downing Centre’s new level two courts includes new high definition displays and high definition cameras, capability for virtual court hearings and remote monitoring, enhanced evidence playback for video and document content, four additional remote witness rooms, a conference room for Department of Communities and Justice (DoCJ) staff, digital signage for public-facing messaging i.e. COVID-19 information.
Fredon Technology project manager Mihkel Pulk said the courts have been built using the latest AV over IP technology, NVX along with equipment from brands including Crestron, Extron, Sony, Samsung, Lectrosonics, APC, Cisco, Powersoft, Shure, Sennheiser and Audix.
“Working for DoCJ over the years, Fredon has established a good understanding of the end user's needs. While we remain confident in our delivery, on later projects we have experienced delays in equipment procurement, which sometimes results in early investment by Fredon (sometimes pre-contract) to be able to deliver the system in time.
“As courtroom technology upgrades are essential works with a critical timeline, meeting handover dates is the utmost priority."
Fredon has partnered with the DoCJ in the past, first working on three courts in John Maddison Tower in 2015. Since then, it has delivered more than 100 courtrooms across NSW including King St and Darlinghurst heritage courts, and Sydney West Trial Courts.
In addition to its primary focus on courts, Pulk said it was doing works in various correctional centres, looking after installations in smaller spaces like remote witness rooms, legal suites, jury assembly rooms, jury deliberation rooms, video conferencing rooms and digital signage.
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“What is somewhat unique to Fredon's team is that we have developed a dedicated, specialist team and processes to provide a better, more effective service to DoCJ,” Pulk said. “On larger projects like Downing Centre, the most important time arrives when the system has been handed over to the end-user and they have had some time to use it. This might reveal some additional needs that will be addressed afterwards.”