Residents of social housing protest against “surveillance” after alcohol confiscation and parcel search

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The building is managed by Mission Australia, with most residents having experienced long-term homelessness.

Residents called on those who live 3 miles from the building to “show solidarity,” bring a rainbow or aboriginal flag and exercise under the Common Grounds development on Saturday wearing clothing. purple or white.

NSW Police said SBS News he is aware that “there is some activity” in the building this afternoon but “so far there have been no arrests or charges”.

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Common Ground resident Ms Saffaa said the strict lockdown “should have been led by a public health response, not the police.”

“We are over-charged at Common Ground and this must stop,” she said.

Robin, another resident of the building, drew comparisons to the hard foreclosure on Melbourne’s Flemington subdivision last July.

“We know the Flemington public housing estate in Victoria also has cases of COVID and they are in semi-lockdown,” Robin said.

Earlier this week, another Flemington public housing tower was added to the list of COVID-19 exposure sites. It comes after two nearby social housing towers were added to the list of exhibition sites last month.

“Last year this area was quarantined and horribly over-policed,” he said.

“The ombudsman has called on the Victorian government to apologize to the residents of the public housing that they have locked up without adequate food or medication.

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Tuesday, Food spoke to Ms Saffaa, who said authorities searched the building for medical packages and deliveries and confiscated items such as alcohol and cigarettes.

Food submitted these claims to NSW Police and was advised to contact NSW Health, which operates the site.

A spokesperson for the Sydney Local Health District confirmed that “some alcohol deliveries have been restricted to ensure the safety of health workers and residents”.

The spokesperson said the same drinking guidelines apply to people quarantined in the special sanitary accommodation “which cares for those diagnosed with COVID-19 or close contacts or d ‘a confirmed case’.

“All alcohol deliveries that have been suspended will be available to residents when the building ceases to be locked down.”

On Friday, a group of legal and human rights groups issued a statement condemning “the inappropriate policing and illegal searches imposed on residents of Common Ground in Camperdown”.

The open letter was signed by Amnesty International, NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Legal Observers NSW, Tenants Union NSW, Shelter NSW and Melbourne Activist Legal Support.

In it, the groups expressed concern about “illegal searches of residents’ deliveries, seizure and confiscation of personal items, and subsequent distribution of personal items to the wrong recipients.”

The groups noted: “The Public Health Ordinance No.3 (COVID-19 Self-Isolation) and the Public Health Act 2010 do not confer any express or implied power on NSW Health or the NSW Police to search or confiscate the property of persons required to isolate themselves or impose limits on their consumption of legal substances “.

“This is a serious abuse of power that is of particular concern in light of the abuse and continued expansion of police powers during the COVID-19 pandemic. “

A supporter of the locked out residents poses for a photo outside the Common Ground towers at Camperdown in Sydney on Thursday, September 9.

Source: PAA


In a press release on his website, Mission Australia said it welcomed the “right of persons to protest in safety in accordance with public health orders and the law”.

“Mission Australia’s goal continues to be to provide ongoing support to our Common Ground tenants to ensure their safety and well-being during the lockdown and so they have access to everything they need right now” , said a spokesperson.

“We have on-site and off-site staff working around the clock to provide tenant support and continue to work with NSW Health to ensure the safety of all tenants on-site.

“Additionally, tenants may be eligible for income support from Centrelink if they have lost income or are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 or this current foreclosure. Our Tenant Care Team works with tenants to help them access this income support. “



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