The bullet found at the Quirindi High School which sparked a security alert on polling day in the New England by-election was “old and rusted”, a local said.
The man, a life-time resident of the town, said the bullet, found in the grass of a playing field, “had been run over a few times by a mower”.
“It had been in the grass for a year or more,” he said.
“It was probably some kid who brought it in in their bag and dropped it accidentally.”
The man, who did not wish to be named, said media reports that a bullet and note had been found threatening a shooting incident had alarmed parents.
“The poor principle copped a caning on why they weren’t told”, he said.
However he said that he had spoken to the high school princple and no note had been found.
Reporting to police that a bullet had been discovered at the school was standard practice, he said.
“It looks like two separate incidents may have been conflated,” he said.
Yesterday lunchtime a police officer was stationed at the entrance to the school in an increased visible presence to reassure the community.
Most of the voters who braved a rainy day were relaxed, with a few making light-hearted quips about the media reports.
“I think a crazed shooter would be hard pressed to find where Quirindi is,” one man said.
“I hope I don’t get blown up,” said another.
On Friday media extensively reported that a threatening piece of writing with a bullet had been found 10 days ago at a school in the town of Quirindi, south of Tamworth. It had warned there would be a shooting on December 2, the date of New England by-election.
"Police of Oxley local area command are investigating after the discovery of an item and graffiti at an education facility in Quirindi," NSW police said in a statement on Friday
"The item, which was discovered about 3pm on Thursday the 21st of November, has been removed for further forensic examination. Police of Oxley local area command will maintain a police presence at the location throughout Saturday 2nd of December."