Bullet and note found at school ahead of Joyce byelection

Barnaby Joyce, pictured near Tamworth, NSW. Photo: Simon Chamberlain
Barnaby Joyce, pictured near Tamworth, NSW. Photo: Simon Chamberlain

Tamworth: Police will be on guard at a school where voters will lodge ballots on Saturday to decide whether to return Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce to Parliament after a bullet and a threatening note were reportedly found on the school's premises.

A bullet was also sent to Mr Joyce's former electorate office in Tamworth, though local police reportedly said they believed the latest incident was related to the school itself, not to the election campaign.

Fairfax Media understands a threatening piece of writing with the latest bullet, found 10 days ago at a school in the town of Quirindi, south of Tamworth, warned there would be a shooting on December 2, the date on which the New England byelection is being held.

"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.

"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."

Sky News reported that Tamworth police had said they believed the bullet related to a local school issue and there were no known links to the election campaign.

A bullet was sent in early November to Mr Joyce's former electorate office in Tamworth with a note about a number of environmental issues including the planned Adani coal mine in Queensland.

The former deputy prime minster was forced into the byelection after the High Court found his 2016 nomination was invalid due to his New Zealand dual citizenship.

More to come