19/02/2016 9:47 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Let Them Stay Protesters Risk Their Lives To Climb Melbourne Arts Centre Spire


It's been more than nine hours since the ‘Let Them Stay’ protesters climbed Melbourne’s Arts Centre spire on Friday to protest against the decision to send refugees back to Nauru.

The protesters are the same women who abseiled from a Melbourne bridge last week in a similar protest.

Police officers are maintaining a close watch since the early hours of this morning when the two climbed 162 metres to hang a banner declaring 'Let Them Stay' -- in reference to the federal government’s decision to send refugees back to Nauru.

The women, who have been named as 25-year-old Katherine Woskett, and 22-year-old and Hannah Patchett -- a professional rope access worker -- climbed the spire about 3.30am.

Last week the women hung from the Yarra Bend overpass for three hours. They only came down as police were prepared to climb up to get them. They were then questioned by police but were not charged.

The Arts Centre spire reaches a height of 162 metres, with the women currently some three-quarters of the way up.

Police are currently trying to negotiate with the women in a bid to convince them to come safely down.

It is part of a wave of protests across the nation under the #LetThemStay banner, in response to the decision to send baby Asha back to Nauru after receiving treatment in Brisbane's Lady Cilento hospital.