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A spokeswoman for the Australian Federal Police said: "Police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages delivered to embassies and consulates in Melbourne today".

It was immediately unclear if a package was found at the Indian consulate in Melbourne too. "The circumstances are being investigated", it said.

The Australian Federal Police say that police and emergency services are examining suspicious packages delivered to the foreign consulates.

The AFP said some embassies and consulates in Canberra had also been affected.

Melbourne emergency services have responded to a number of call-outs for "hazardous material" in the last hour according to the state's emergency response website, which shows a total of 17 hazardous material incidents now in progress.

The British High Commission in Australia confirmed that the consulate in Melbourne had received a package but said nobody was injured.

The Indian and USA consulates on St Kilda Road as well as the British, Swiss and German diplomatic mission are believed to have been targeted.

The Emergency Management Victoria website showed firefighters were responding to reports of hazardous materials at the British consulate general in Collins Street and at several locations on St Kilda Road, in the vicinity of the US, Turkish, Italian and Korean consulates.

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There were no immediate reports of any injuries to staff in the buildings.

The ministry said staff were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

A New Zealand official told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the consulate received an envelope with small plastic bags that appeared to contain concrete and asbestos, with "asbestos" written on one of the bags.

"We are liaising closely with the AFP and the local authorities regarding the situation", the spokeswoman said.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) said it was assisting police.

Emergency workers wearing chemical suits were seen entering some of the buildings.

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


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