An accidental sugar spill at a Centrelink office in Adelaide’s south has prompted an emergency evacuation, with a HAZMAT team brought in to test the substance.
The Metropolitan Fire Service, Country Fire Service and police were called to the building at Noarlunga Centre at 11.20am after a customer spilled the white powder in the main front area of the office.
An MFS spokeswoman said a HAZMAT crew entered the building to undertake testing of the substance after staff and customers were evacuated.
“There was a call from staff to say someone had come in and put some white powder in the building,” she said.
“Crews did some testing and determined that it was sugar.”
There were approximately 300 grams of the white powder at the scene, she said.
A spokeswoman for the South Australian police said the sugar spill was believed to have been an accident.
The Human Services Department has been contacted but is yet to provide a response.
The white powder scare follows a separate incident at Salisbury Centrelink in Adelaide’s northern suburbs in March that gained national notoriety after the footage of a man yelling at workers went viral.
The 46-year-old man was reported by South Australian police for disorderly behaviour.
The national attention on bad behaviour directed at Centrelink workers prompted a commitment from the Federal Government to review penalties for people who abuse staff.
Following the March incident, social service advocates said the increasingly anonymous interactions with customers, as well as poor IT infrastructure and crashing websites, were enormously frustrating.