A POLICE bomb technician arrived in Mackay to examine a "suspicious package" only to be told it was an empty box that had been used to transport an injured animal.

Mackay police erected a 100 metre exclusion zone around the object, which was discovered near Centrelink about 9.15am yesterday, and monitored the box for about five-and-a-half hours.

The Centrelink office was evacuated and had to be closed during this time.

Mackay Police Station acting Officer-In-Charge Senior Sergeant Tony McDowall said the box turned out to be "quite innocent".

"Fortunately it's worked out quite well. Just as our bomb technician has arrived from Rockhampton, we've received information... from the person who actually dropped the box off in the rubbish," Snr Sgt McDowall said. "It appears that someone had brought in an injured animal to give to a welfare carer and has used that box to transport it."

Snr Sgt McDowall said unfortunately the box was left behind "in a suspicious location", which is why it was treated the way it was.

A police spokesperson said it was standard procedure for specialist police to be called for something like this and it didn't necessarily mean the package was dangerous.

Snr Sgt McDowall said it was a good training exercise for all emergency services.

"We treat everything as suspicious and that's the correct way of dealing with it..."


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