Mayor in chambers at time of bomb threat: police investigate
Mayor Denise Knight has told of the moment she first heard a bomb threat had been made towards Coffs Harbour City Council.
She was sitting in the chambers with fellow Councillors Keith Rhoades and George Cecato.
"We were checking emails and chatting and some staff were in there as well," Cr Knight said.
"Then about four police officers came in uniform and asked us to leave the chamber and the building which we did."
They informed her a bomb threat had been received via phone prior to the 5pm extraordinary meeting called to discuss a rescission motion to overturn the controversial airport lease deal.
"It was also announced over the PA system for all staff to clear the building because there had been a bomb threat.
"I was a little bit scared because this sort of thing doesn't happen in Coffs Harbour and to be honest our community is above that.
"It is an offence to ring and make bomb threats so it is in the hands of police and they are investigating. I just got off the phone to them now," she said around 9.30am on Thursday morning.
Other Councillors who had not arrived yet were confronted with the scene of police and fellow Crs and staff assembled outside on the grass down towards Coffs Central.
"I've got to tell you our emergency protocols kicked in very quickly," Cr Knight said.
NSW Police say investigations are ongoing.
"The building was evacuated as a precaution and a search commenced," a NSW Police spokesperson said.
"Nothing suspicious was located and people were permitted to return to the building."
The meeting finally got underway at around 5.15.
In a written address to Councillors Gai Anderson spoke in support of the rescission motion saying the lease would be like selling "the golden goose".
After her address Cr Michael Adendorff asked Ms Anderson if it was somebody from "her community" who made the bomb threat.
Mayor Knight ruled the comment out of order and Ms Anderson assured Councillors she did not make the threat.