NSW Premier’s new laws to remove tents

NSW Parliament will give police tough new powers to tear down Sydney’s tent city in Martin Place.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the legislation would be introduced to the parliament on Tuesday, and is expected to pass by Thursday.

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

“This is a course of action I wish I didn’t have to take,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Tuesday.

“It’s a course of action we have to take because, to date, the City of Sydney has not done what it had within its power to do and what it should have done.

“There was nothing in existing laws that we could do that would resolve this issue amicably over and above what the City of Sydney could do.”

The premier said the changes will give the government the power to order police to remove people from Crown land, including Martin Place, if the Lands Minister deems there is a “public safety issue”.

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