Suspicious packages sent to embassies in Australia

Staff have been evacuated as emergency crews respond to a number of incidents involving foreign consulates in Melbourne. AAP Image  Kaitlyn Offer

"The circumstances surrounding the incidents are being investigated", said the Australian Federal Police.

There are unconfirmed reports that the Italian, Japanese, Egyptian and Danish consulates also received packages.

Authorities did not confirm the specific locations or intended targets of any of the packages, but the Australian federal police confirmed it was investigating and would examine the packages.

Staff members were later allowed to re-enter the building, which was deemed safe by Vic Emergency, the collective body of emergency agencies in Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital.

Images on social media reportedly showed emergency services in protective clothing entering various consulates in Melbourne.

The alerts come after Sydney's Argentinian consulate was partially evacuated on Monday after reports of a suspicious substance.

An Australian Federal Police statement said police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages delivered to embassies in Melbourne.

An AFP spokesperson said that as the matter is subject to further inquiries, they would not be providing further information.

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The Victorian Emergency website lists more than 10 "hazardous material" events occurring across Melbourne, which began unfolding from about 1.00pm.

"We are assisting at a number of embassies across Melbourne", she said.

Officials at the United States and British consulates in Melbourne separately confirmed suspicious packages had been received.

"We handled the package according to our standard procedures and in close coordination with local authorities - the Melbourne Fire Brigade, the Victoria Police, and the Australian Federal Police - who are investigating the incident".

However the USA embassy in Canberra was not targeted with a package, a spokesperson said.

Victoria Police said they are aware of the suspicious packages, but do not believe the public should be concerned.

The NZ consulate was one of at least seven worldwide consulates evacuated after multiple suspicious packages were found, in what officials labelled a "hazardous material" event.

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