TODAY |

Not all consulates thought to tell Australian authorities about suspicious packages

At least two foreign consulates in Melbourne did not contact authorities about suspicious packages in their possession until they received an email from the government, it has been revealed.

New Zealand, India, Pakistan, South Korea, Switzerland and the United States consulates were among a number across the city and in Canberra targeted with suspicious packages yesterday, sparking an emergency "hazardous material" response and some evacuations.

Another was the Greek Consular General on St Kilda Road, although vice consul Georgia Botsiou told SBS Greek radio it had received the package on Friday afternoon.

"Today (Wednesday) we received communication from the diplomatic body here in Victoria that there are suspicious packets circulating and that we should contact the police if we've received something and we have contacted the police," Ms Botsiou said, translated from Greek.

"It didn't have a return address, written on the top was 'samples' and because it didn't have a return address and without it having a note inside, we thought it was suspicious and because of that, we isolated it from the start."

The Pakistani consulate at Albert Park also received a suspicious package about 10am on Wednesday but did not contact authorities until it received an email from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, according to The Age.

DFAT told AAP it had sent an email to all Canberra-based diplomatic missions on Tuesday.

"After learning of incidents at three offices in Sydney and Canberra, DFAT sent a note to all diplomatic missions in Canberra on January 8 alerting them to the possibility of suspicious packages being delivered by mail," a spokesman said.

"Similar advice was subsequently provided to consulates around Australia."

Victoria Police confirmed a number of consulates in Melbourne received suspicious packages in what it said was a targeted attack.

"At this time we believe the matter is targeted and not impacting the general community," a statement read.

Paramedics examined a number of patients at multiple consulates but none required treatment.

The scare comes two days after Sydney's Argentinian consulate was partially evacuated following reports of a suspicious substance.

The powder, similarly contained in clear plastic bags within an envelope, was deemed not dangerous.

AAP contacted the Greek Embassy and Consulate of Melbourne but they declined to comment on the incident.

Emergency services have attended callouts in both Melbourne and Canberra. Source: 1 NEWS