Conditions in shelters

Shelters are a last resort for people who have nowhere else to go. They are configured to accommodate the most  people, resulting in close and cramped conditions. You have less space than on a standard economy plane seat.

Strict rules have been set to ensure public health and safety and you can be refused entry or asked to leave by police if they are not met.

Shelters can be locked down for up to 18 hours, meaning no one can enter or exit the building.

Sitting not lying

Seating is provided and arranged to fit the maximum number of seats, meaning you will be sitting close beside other users and have limited leg room.

You will not be able to lie or sit on a mattress or stretcher.

What to bring

You need to be self-sufficient for the period you are at the shelter. You will need:

  • Food
  • Water, refreshments
  • Clothing
  • Medication for yourself and all members of your family/group
  • Proof of identity and your important documents.

There are no cooking facilities.

Anything considered oversize or unnecessary will not be allowed.

Personal belongings

You must be able to keep all your personal belongs, including supplies of food and water, underneath your chair. These are to be kept in an orderly manner, in a bag or backpack, to keep aisles clear.


There are no cooking facilities, limited bathroom facilities and limited medical support.

There may also be limited transport and parking options. 


Pets are not allowed in any shelters.

Assistance animals

Assistance animals are allowed. You will need to provide evidence of their registration, food, water and other requirements for the period you are at the shelter.

Smoking, alcohol, drugs and prohibited items

Shelters are non-smoking areas. Once the shelter is locked down you will not be able to leave the building for any reason, including smoking.

Alcohol and non-prescription drugs are not allowed.

Weapons of all kinds, including knives and other edged items, are not allowed.

People entering the shelter must surrender any prohibited items. You and your belongings may be searched by police is there is a reasonable belief that any of these items have been taken into the shelter.

Code of conduct

By entering a shelter you agree to abide by the code of conduct, specifically.

  • Provide the required registration details to shelter managers before entry
  • Follow directions of shelter managers
  • Not use anything that is dangerous or interferes with the health and comfort of yourself and others
  • Be mindful of the large number of people in a small space and keep calm
  • Not intentionally damage the building, furniture of fixtures
  • Report any damage, vandalism, theft or other illegal activity to shelter managers
  • Supervise children closely. Children must be accompanied to the toilets and showers by a parent or guardian
  • Wear footwear at all times
  • Occupy the seat allocated to you and stow personal items under the chair
  • Keep walkways and emergency exits clear
  • Stay in the main area of the shelter – do not enter storerooms, kitchens or office spaces without permission of a shelter manager
  • Respect others and don't shout, yell or use obscene language
  • Use earphones to listen to electronic devices
  • Only use shower facilities at the direction of shelter managers
  • Keep your area clean and place rubbish in bins provided
  • Notify shelter managers of any medical emergency or other critical incident

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Last updated: 16 June 2020