Sydney’s 'tent city' outside the RBA will be pulled down by police

Tents erected by the homeless in Martin Place on August 6, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Brook Mitchell/ Getty Images.

Police have been authorised by the NSW government to pull down the “tent city” which has been erected in Sydney’s Martin Place.

Its residents will be forced to find alternative shelter.

A bill giving police power to remove people from Crown land if are deemed a “public safety issue” was passed in the upper house overnight after being introduced by the government on Tuesday.

Social housing minister Pru Goward said it would ensure any unlawful use of the area could be dealt with “appropriately and in a timely manner”.

The follows a failed attempt by the City of Sydney to vacate the campsite, and a bitter public debate between state premier Gladys Berejiklian and lord mayor Clover Moore about who’s responsible for moving on the 50 people camping outside the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Earlier in the week Reverend Bill Crews, who has been helping the homeless and disadvantaged in Sydney for nearly 50 years, said homelessness in Sydney was the worst he had seen in 40 years, and the problem had now spread from small pockets in the inner-city to the suburbs.

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