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February 28, 2021

Police to tear down Sydney’s tent city

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Police have been given the power to tear down the tent city in Sydney's Martin Place.  Photo NSW Police
Police have been given the power to tear down the tent city in Sydney’s Martin Place. Photo NSW Police

Sydney’s CBD ‘tent city’ residents will have to find shelter elsewhere, with police given the power by government to tear the camp down.

The bill authorises police to remove people from crown land if the land minister deems there is a “public safety issue”.

It was passed in the upper house on Wednesday evening without amendment after being introduced by the government on Tuesday in a bid to quickly clear the Martin Place camp.

The bill was opposed by Labor and the Greens who described it as nothing but a smokescreen to mask “political argy-bargy” between two tiers of government.

Social Housing Minister Pru Goward on Wednesday said the proposed legislation would ensure any unlawful use of Martin Place could be dealt with “appropriately and in a timely manner”.

The move comes after a plan agreed to by the City of Sydney and the homeless tent dwellers to vacate the Martin Place campsite failed.


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