Wellington Shire Council’s offices evacuated

WELLINGTON Shire Council’s offices were evacuated on Christmas Eve after a suspicious package prompted an emergency response.

Council’s Port of Sale Civic Centre was temporarily closed after the package was delivered and advice sought from the Victoria Police Bomb Response Unit from Melbourne.

The package, believed to be sent via post, was not addressed to an individual council staff member.

It was opened by a council staff member and contained sand and a book.

Police would not comment on what type of book was in the package, although said it was not of a threatening nature.

Police said the package was sent from an overseas address, but could not elaborate as to its origin.

Concerned by the overseas address and unknown sender, staff notified police immediately and following their advice, evacuated the building.

Local police were called to the scene and liaised with the Bomb Response Unit from Melbourne.

Wellington Shire Council advised ratepayers via social media that the CFA removed the package and cleared the building, enabling staff to re-enter soon after 10.30am.

The package was sent to Melbourne for analysis and testing confirmed the grainy substance was sand.