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Sydney tent city: Homeless people leave Martin Place after new laws

From BBC - August 11, 2017

Sydney's "tent city", which ignited debate about homelessness in Australia, has begun to be dismantled following the introduction of new laws.

Homeless people had been camping at Martin Place in central Sydney for more than six months.

State legislators argued the camp was unauthorised and compromised public safety. They granted police powers to remove the tents, but residents began leaving pre-emptively on Friday.

Some said they had nowhere to go.

The man dubbed the unofficial "mayor" of the tent city, Lanz Priestly, said some people would go to "friends' places" or "friends' backyards", but others had no such option.

Debate over what to do with the camp had dragged on for months amid a political dispute between the New South Wales state government and Sydney City Council.

It also generated wider discussion about homelessness in Sydney, which has the second-worst housing affordability in the world, according to one study.

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