NEWS

Gladys Berejiklian Warns The Government 'Will Take Action' on Martin Place's 'Tent City'

The NSW Premier has called on the City of Sydney to act on the homelessness crisis.

06/08/2017 1:26 PM AEST | Updated 06/08/2017 2:26 PM AEST

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has issued a warning to Sydney City Lord Mayor Clover Moore that the government will intervene on the Martin Place 'tent city' if the council refuse to act.

Despite Moore assuring 'tent city' would not be dismantled until long-term housing solutions were in place for residents, Berejiklian said if the council don't take action, the government "will be forced to do so".

On Sunday Berejiklian and New South Wales Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister for Social Housing, Pru Goward, issued a joint statement calling on Moore to stop playing "political games".

"It has become increasingly clear that Clover Moore has no interest in resolving this issue and serving her ratepayers, but would rather play political games," Berejiklian said.

"We call on councillors of the City of Sydney to do their jobs and move against this blatant act of politicking at their council meeting on Monday night.

If they don't act, the NSW Government will take appropriate action to resolve this issue for the homeless people and the people of Sydney.

Berejiklian has outed Moore for using "public property and people's lives to make a statement".

"It is disappointing that vulnerable people are being exploited by a few people who are engaged in a political protest," Berejiklian said.

The warning comes after Moore issued a letter to Goward and NSW Police Commissioner Michael Fuller refusing to agree to remove homeless people from a tent settlement in Sydney's Martin Place unless five housing measures were met.

A political spat ensued with Goward making a public statement urging Moore to "act on these public safety issues".

'Tent city' has grown to become a community of homeless people built around a make-shift street kitchen in Martin Place.

According to Goward, Department of family and community services staff have visited the site 41 times to offer services and accommodation to those sleeping rough, with around 60 residents now in permanent housing.

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The residents of 'tent city' remain on edge as a decision about their movement is pending.

NSW Police Commissioner Michael Fuller has indicated he wants a resolution on the 'tent city' homelessness crisis by the end of the weekend.

The issue is expected to be discussed wider at the City of Sydney council meeting on Monday night.

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