Bomb threat issued to Council as it decided Coffs Airport lease

A bomb threat delayed Council’s Extraordinary Meeting last Wednesday to hear a rescission motion on the recent approval of the Coffs Harbour Airport lease. Photo: Emma Darbin.

 

A BOMB threat at Coffs Harbour City Council Chambers halted Council’s Extraordinary Meeting to discuss the Coffs Harbour Airport lease on Wednesday 2 December, with the meeting delayed ten minutes to allow police to declare the building safe.

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The Extraordinary Council Meeting was called to hear a rescission motion by three councillors on the approval of the Coffs Harbour Airport lease, on the Mayor’s casting vote, at Council’s earlier ordinary meeting on Thursday 26 November.

When the Extraordinary Council Meeting finally commenced at 5.10pm, Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight stated that the Council meeting had been delayed “due to unforeseen circumstances”.

The bomb threat caused concern and anger among the councillors present with Cr Michael Adendorff asking member of the public Gai Anderson, who spoke for the rescission motion at the meeting, “Is part of your community the one that made the bomb threat tonight?”

Mayor Denise Knight ruled Cr Adendorff’s comment out of order at the meeting.

Cr Tegan Swan pleaded with fellow councillors at the meeting to rethink approving the Airport lease.

“I know that we have come into this room rather late after a little bit of excitement, with pretty defined values of where we stand,” Cr Swan said.

“I know every single person here wants the best outcome for the future of the city.

“How sure are we of what we’re going to get?”

The Airport lease length has not been publicly revealed as the information is considered ‘commercial in confidence’.

However, Cr John Arkan stated that the Airport lease was “a long lease; it’s bigger than my lifetime”.

In a comment made at Council’s earlier ordinary meeting, Cr Arkan stated that the Airport lease was 100 years.

The rescission motion on the Airport lease was again tied 4-4 at the Council vote, which meant the rescission motion lapsed and the original approval of the Airport lease remained the status quo, with the Mayor not needing to use her casting vote at the second meeting.

Cr Tegan Swan, Cr John Arkan, Cr Paul Amos and Cr Sally Townley voted against the Airport lease, and Cr Michael Adendorff, Cr Keith Rhoades, Cr Denise Knight, and Cr George Cecato voted for the lease.

Police are investigating the bomb threat.

 

By Emma DARBIN

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