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Man charged over incident outside ASIO headquarters

Police at the scene near the ASIO building on Wednesday. Picture: Karleen Minney
Police at the scene near the ASIO building on Wednesday. Picture: Karleen Minney

A man has been charged with two offences and sent for a mental health assessment following an incident that caused significant disruption near ASIO's Canberra headquarters.

Roads were blocked for hours, while some nearby businesses and homes were evacuated in what police described as a precautionary measure.

The incident drew a large response from emergency services. Picture: Karleen Minney

The incident drew a large response from emergency services. Picture: Karleen Minney

Police officers were seen looking at what appeared to be a black backpack and other items outside the ASIO building at one point.

The incident had been "finalised" by 3pm on Wednesday and Australia's domestic spy agency would not comment on what had occurred.

ACT Policing would only say a man was in custody and "assisting with inquiries".

On Thursday morning, Ronald James Goodwin appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on charges of acting with intent to cause public alarm and causing public mischief.

Police were at the scene for hours. Picture: Karleen Minney

Police were at the scene for hours. Picture: Karleen Minney

He did not enter pleas to the charges and spoke only to confirm his name.

The particulars of the charges suggest Mr Goodwin is accused of falsely making it appear there was a situation that required police investigation, but no details of how he is alleged to have done this were given.

Special Magistrate Margaret Hunter agreed with an expert recommendation that she make an order for Mr Goodwin to be taken to Canberra Hospital for a mental health assessment.

Mr Goodwin will return to court to determine whether he will be granted bail at some stage following completion of the assessment.

This story Man charged over incident outside ASIO headquarters first appeared on The Canberra Times.