Suspicious packages have been sent to several consulates – including the British consulate – in Melbourne.
The city’s Metropolitan Fire Brigade sent units to “a number of incidents” of “hazardous material”.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said all staff at the British consulate were safe and accounted for, while local media reported packages were sent to consulates and embassies of the United States, New Zealand, Germany, India and Switzerland.
MFB is assisting the Australian Federal Police at a number of incidents at embassies across Melbourne. Further information will be provided by the AFP when it becomes available.
— MFB (@MFB_NEWS) January 9, 2019
Pictures posted on social media showed cordons outside the Indian and South Korean consulates, both on St Kilda Road in the south of the city.
A number of embassies in the Australian capital Canberra also received suspicious packages, police said, although it has not been confirmed which embassies were affected.
A spokeswoman for the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said: “Police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages delivered to embassies and consulates in Melbourne and Canberra today.
“The packages are being examined by attending emergency services.
“The circumstances surrounding these incidents are being investigated.”
BREAKING: Police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages to embassies and consulates in ACT & VIC today (Wednesday, 9 January 2019). The packages are being examined by attending emergency services. The circumstances are being investigated.
— AFP (@AusFedPolice) January 9, 2019
The AFP added: “As this matter is subject to further inquiries, it is not appropriate to provide further information that may impact the investigation.”
A spokeswoman for the FCO said: “We are liaising closely with the Australian Federal Police and the local authorities regarding the situation.”