Residents, workers, visitors

Residents, workers, visitors

Living, working or visiting the city centre

The central business district (CBD) or city centre, is the main commercial area in the City of Sydney. It stretches from:

  • Walsh Bay, Circular Quay, Opera House and Royal Botanic Garden in the north
  • The Domain, Eastern Distributor, Flinders Street, Moore Park Road and Driver Avenue in the east
  • Lang Road, Cleveland Street and City Road in the south
  • Broadway, Wattle Street, Pyrmont and Barangaroo in the west.  

If the city centre is disrupted for any reason, the state government's Sydney CBD emergency plan will come into force. The plan has 4 control measures you may be directed to follow:

  • Stay at work/home
  • Evacuate to assembly area
  • Shelter in place
  • Return to work/home.

You can read more about each control measure below. 

Types of emergencies

An emergency is any incident causing significant disruption to individuals or the community and requires an immediate response. This may include a fire, a hazardous materials incident, a flood, a severe storm, an explosion, an earthquake, an outbreak of contagious disease, transport accident, civil disturbance or failure of electricity, water, gas or telecommunications services.

Be prepared and plan ahead

Emergency services have plans in place for responding to incidents and emergencies and will coordinate the response but you can also plan ahead. 

As a resident, worker or visitor to the City of Sydney, you should prepare for a possible emergency situation in the city centre. The more prepared you are, the calmer you will be if an emergency is declared by authorities.

You can prepare a personal emergency plan and prepare a Go Bag.

If you are a childcare worker, you can take some extra precautions for children in your care

Emergency contacts

Do not dial 000 (triple zero) for general advice or information. Only call 000 (triple zero) during a life-threatening emergency requiring police, ambulance or fire brigade assistance. For non-emergency situations call your nearest ambulance, fire or police station, which can be found in the local White Pages telephone directory.

Alert NSW brings together social media messages from emergency services in one place.

Emergency messages

Stay at work/home

If the disruption is not in your immediate area you may be asked to stay at work/home until advised otherwise. You will be asked not to use public transport so affected areas can be evacuated.

You may receive this 'Stay at work/home' message from your building warden, the media, Sydney ALERT and/or public address systems.

To be prepared:

  • know in which situations you might be asked to stay at work/home
  • know how you might receive the message
  • have your Go Bag ready.

Evacuate to assembly area

Your building warden or emergency services personnel may ask you to leave your building. 

Once outside you are to move directly, quickly and calmly to your assembly area as directed by your building warden or emergency services personnel.

Depending on the nature of the emergency you may be further directed to an official assembly area, which will be managed by police. 

To be prepared: 

  • know your building evacuation route including your nearest fire escape
  • know your building evacuation assembly area
  • understand your building's various alarms and sirens
  • know the location of the CBD assembly areas and how you might get there
  • have your Go Bag ready. 

Shelter in place

In some emergency situations, staying inside your building may have been assessed as the safest place to be.

If you are directed to shelter in place, you should:

  1. Stay inside your building. You may need to turn off air conditioning and in some cases move to other floors. 
  2. Listen to the radio – 702AM in Sydney is the designated emergency broadcast channel – or go to Emergency NSW for updates.
  3. Use a landline phone to contact family or friends, and make arrangements for children. Avoid using mobile phones if possible.
  4. Be prepared to evacuate your building if directed.

Return to work/home

When it is safe to do so, you will be asked to return to work/home. You may receive the message from your building warden, assembly area marshals, media or public address systems.

Depending on the nature of the disruption, it might be several days before you can return to work/home:

  • Stay tuned to your local ABC radio station and listen for advice or warnings.
  • Register at an evacuation centre, if one has been set up in your area.
  • Contact your work, friends, and family and let them know where you are and your plans.
  • Do not return to work or home until emergency services have advised it is safe to do so. 

Last updated: Monday, 10 October 2016