Police Minister Lisa Neville said at last night’s press conference that police officers would not arrest residents who refused to leave. She said the point of the declaration, that has been issued for seven days, was to send the most powerful message the government could for people to get out while they can.
Ms Neville said the declaration would allow the government to set up evacuation centres on private land or in community centres and to provide security and food to those people who may become trapped.
Mr Andrews said there would be more information this morning on where people could go if they did not have friends and family to stay with. He said the declaration would help the government “make quick decisions, make good decisions, not be tied up in red tape”.