UPDATE: All-clear for suspicious package on Howick Street

10.15PM: HOWICK Street has been reopened after a suspicious package found outside the Bathurst post office was given the all-clear.

Police closed Howick Street between George and William streets after a blue esky was found abandoned near the post office about 6pm.

NSW Police remain on high alert following last week's terror attacks in Paris and were taking no chances this evening.

Thermal imaging of the esky by NSW Fire and Rescue found the interior temperature was the same as the temperature outside the esky, suggesting there was no cause for concern, but police kept the street closed until a specialist officer arrived in Bathurst to x-ray the container.

The officer arrived around 9pm and declared the esky safe.

Police opened it to find only water inside.

EARLIER: BATHURST'S CBD remains shut down this evening after a suspicious package, a blue esky, was left on the footpath outside the Bathurst Post Office.

NSW Police remain on high alert following a series of terror raids in Paris last week and local officers were taking no chances this evening after the esky was discovered.

Local patrols called in the rescue squad, NSW Fire and Rescue and a specialist officer to x-ray the package to determine its safety.

An exclusion zone has been set up around the esky with police cordoning off the area, preventing any pedestrian thoroughfare.

Traffic has been diverted away from Howick Street with police blocking off the area from both William and George streets.

Chifley local area command duty officer Acting Inspector Joel Fawkner told the Western Advocate police had been contacted after someone noticed the esky sitting on the edge of the footpath, outside the post office.

He said due to the high terrorist alert, and the fact the package was located in close proximity to a number of government buildings, police were taking no chances.

"The whole area is surrounded by government buildings - the Public Trustee, the Post Office and DoCS," Inspector Fawkner said.

Inspector Fawkner said firefighters from NSW Fire and Rescue had conducted thermal imaging on the esky, revealing the heat on the outside was the same as the inside, which probably meant it was empty.

However, he said police rescue were not prepared to open the esky until an x-ray had been completed.

"If that is clear we will take the lid off then," Inspector Fawkner said.

Inspector Fawkner said the drama began at around 6pm after police were alerted to the situation.

The area remained cordoned off at 8.30pm as officers waited for specialist police to arrive to conduct the x-ray.

The Australian Government raised the terror threat from medium to high in September 2014 and the nation's national security campaign highlights the importance of information from members of the public.

The advice from Australian National Security hotline is if you see or hear something that just doesn't feel right, call and "keep the information flowing".

The National Security Hotline's number is 1800 1234 00.

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