THE JOY 94.9 studios were evacuated and searched by Victoria Police last night after reports of a possible bomb threat.
Leading Senior Constable Kendra Jackson said police conducted a security check at the Melbourne radio station just before 8.30pm.
All staff and volunteers were required to evacuate the building as soon as the alleged threat was made.
A volunteer present told the Star Observer everyone was instructed to grab their things and evacuate, making sure to “disperse” when they exited the Bourke Street building.
The iPad housed at JOY 94.9 used to sign in and out any visiting volunteers was also taken downstairs.
Volunteer Liam Clark said he was in the middle of radio training when one of the volunteers told everyone to evacuate.
“While we were still upstairs someone said it was a bomb threat,” Clark said.
“A lot of people ended up going to Starbucks, I don’t think anyone believed that it was real.
“We just thought it was someone trying to disrupt the studio, and protocol had to be followed.”
Clark also said that while the other floors in the building may have already been empty, they were the only ones who evacuated.
“Someone asked if the other floors had received an email, so I think the threat was via email,” he said.
“The person who took our training said they would speak to us as a group when we were all together but they didn’t get anymore information.
“After a while they said our training was cancelled for the night.”
The station was subsequently put on auto play.
Chief Executive of JOY 94.9 Tennille Moisel said the station strongly condemned the threat.
“Our communities have faced many threats over the years, and this latest one will not silence one of the only LGBTI radio stations in the world,” she said.
Moisel added that the threat highlighted the damage a plebiscite on marriage equality could inflict.
“A plebiscite is a delaying approach to the issue of marriage equality,” she said.
“Parliament can do its job and represent the views of the vast majority of Australians to legislate for marriage equality now, without the need for a plebiscite and the risks it will create for our station and our communities.
“JOY will remain on a heightened security alert.”