The siege of the Sydney Opera House has resulted in more than two dozen police officers being placed on unpaid leave after a siege at the venue in the heart of the city.
Key points:Police are not authorised to enter the building but are instead taking a ‘self-imposed’ leave of absencePolice are also being asked to ensure everyone has their phone, keys and money on themThe Sydney Opera Hall has been locked down for two hours since the lockdownThe lockdown is not being lifted until a team of emergency medical workers from the NSW Ambulance Service has arrived to secure the venue.
A large crowd of people, many of them children, have been camping out in the area since early yesterday, and police are using water cannon and tear gas to control them.
A crowd of up to 2,000 people, some of whom were holding signs and chanting “No more lockdown!” at the time, was forced out of the building on Monday.
The siege has been largely blamed on a dispute between the local residents who live in the surrounding area and the local management company.
The group has been refusing to sell the building to the city and has taken to staging a sit-in at the building.
Police say it is a “self-appointed” emergency police team who are being used as a force of last resort.
But protesters have not been permitted to leave the site until a local council team has arrived and they have been told to secure their property.
It is not clear whether the local council’s team has been able to secure any of the buildings occupants or if they have had to do so themselves.
Police have told the media that they are not permitted to enter, and are not being allowed to leave.
“They are using self-imposed leave of absences, they are in the control room at the moment, they don’t have the authority to enter,” NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said.
“This has been a very difficult situation for the community and for police in relation to the building and the situation.”‘
No go zone’The siege is being caused by a dispute with the local community, police said.
Police will be working with the Council of Australian Governments to determine whether or not they can proceed with a formal eviction notice.
“There are a number of issues involved here with the property and the way in which the council has treated it,” Mr Scipion said.
“This is not an isolated incident and we are doing everything we can to get it resolved as quickly as possible.”
He said the situation is under control.
“The siege of Sydney Opera Houses has not been lifted until emergency medical professionals from the SAW have been sent to secure and secure the building,” he said.
“This is an extremely complex situation involving a number people and there is a lot of information to go through.”
Topics:government-and-politics,terrorism,sunday-harbour-2700,nsw,australiaFirst posted April 07, 2020 16:16:21Contact Ashley JonesMore stories from New South Wales