Cleaner reflects on latest bomb hoax

By Genevieve Allpass

Yesterday began as a typical day for Seagulls club cleaner Catherine De Freitas. But very quickly her world was turned up-side-down.

When she entered one of the ladies' rest rooms staring back at her in a mirror alongside her reflection was a bomb threat.

Scrawled across the glass in pink lipstick was "Bomb to go off at 10am on 20/9/05".

Ms De Freitas immediately called duty manager Noel Turner who initiated an evacuation plan and staff were out of the building within five minutes.

"The safety of personnel was my prime priority," he said.

The scare is the second in a matter of weeks in the Tweed region following the National Australia Bank hoax on September 5 but police do not believe there is a connection.

"It appears unlikely to be linked at this stage but we can never rule out anything completely until the enquiries are completed," said Tweed Heads Acting Inspector Brett Greentree.

Seagulls general manager Wayne Kendrigan said he was very happy with how his staff managed the situation.

"Everything was in control by the time the police arrived because the staff just rallied together and did what needed to be done," he said.

At 11am staff were allowed to return to their work stations where they checked for anything unusual or out of the ordinary. They were warned not to touch anything.

Mr Turner said he had not experienced a bomb threat while working in the hospitality industry since 1990 but his previous occupation in the navy had helped him remain calm and assess the situation appropriately.

While members of staff re-entered the building, a cautious Ms De Freitas remained outside.

"I have two children so I have to think about them," she said.

"These days you have to take things like this seriously particularly with what's been happening in our area lately. You never know."

Tweed Heads detectives will continue their enquiries on both bomb hoaxes and are appealing to the public to come forward if they have any information relating to either of the incidences.

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