Sydney’s homeless tent city taken down after new law comes into force


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Sydney’s homeless tent city taken down after new law comes into force” was written by Naaman Zhou, for theguardian.com on Friday 11th August 2017 00.50 UTC

Occupants of Sydney’s tent city have begun packing up their belongings after more than six months camped outside the Reserve Bank building in Martin Place.

After the New South Wales parliament passed a law to allow the removal of the tents from Crown land, the homeless community started to take down their tents at about 9am on Friday as police watched on.

Homeless people speak to police as they pack their belongings on Friday.
Homeless people speak to police as they pack their belongings on Friday. Photograph: David Moir/AAP

The man dubbed the “Mayor of Martin Place”, Lanz Priestley, said some camp dwellers were moving to “friend’s places” or “friend’s backyards”. But some of the people “don’t have anywhere to go”, he said.

Residents of the camp and volunteer organisers were also packing up the free kitchen at the site and the “24/7 safe space”. Priestley said the free kitchen would be re-opened on Friday night in a new location.

Despite being granted the new powers, police officers on the scene said they had not given anyone official orders to move.

Dan, a volunteer chef at the kitchen, said: “We’re just moving ourselves before they come and kick our arse.”

This is a breaking news story and will be updated shortly.

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