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Police to tear down Sydney's Martin Place tent city

Police to tear down Sydney's Martin Place tent city”

More than 50 people had been living in colorful tents erected amid the high-end office buildings and glitzy stores of central Martin Place, with the camp becoming the most visible symbol of the lack of low-priced accommodation in Sydney.

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.

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.

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.

Some said they had nowhere to go.

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

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It also generated wider discussion about homelessness in Sydney, which has the second-worst housing affordability in the world, according to one study. The law came into effect on Friday.

"Our intention is to go indoors now... where everybody that ever has a need for safety, a roof or food, can go", he said.

"Everyone will be supported".

"They are not looking at the people - they are looking at the tents", he told Sydney's Daily Telegraph.

More than 100,000 people across Australia were reported homeless in the 2011 national census, with welfare groups expecting the most recent survey held a year ago to show an increase.



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