/ 19 April 2024

Moving forward together

Westfield Bondi Junction

The Squiz

Westfield Bondi Junction will reopen its doors to shoppers today, nearly a week on from the stabbing attack that left 6 dead and 12 injured. After hundreds of members of the public gathered in the shopping centre yesterday to pay their respects to the victims, the focus today is on retail staff who are facing a tough return to work. Australian Retailers Association chief Paul Zahra says the focus for employers will be “to ensure they keep a very close eye on their teams” because “their wellbeing comes first and foremost”. 

It’s no wonder nerves are frayed… 

For sure, and NSW Premier Chris Minns acknowledged that people are feeling anxious after Sydney’s 2 stabbing attacks this week. He says there will be extra police in Bondi Junction “for as long as it’s needed” to help the public and traders “feel confident and safe in their community”. And thanks continue to be given to those who acted to protect the public on Saturday – PM Anthony Albanese said security guard Pakistani Muhammad Taha could be offered permanent residency after he was injured when he confronted attacker Joel Cauchi, showing “extraordinary courage”. French national Damien Guerot has already been offered a permanent visa thanks to his use of a bollard to keep Cauchi away from others. “That’s the sort of courage we want to say ‘thank you’ to,” Albanese said.

What’s next?

There’s a candlelight vigil for the victims at Bondi Beach on Sunday. As for safety changes, the NSW Government is looking into stricter knife laws. “Given these very serious criminal attacks … of course, a responsible government looks at the existing legislation,” he said. A crackdown on the social media giants and how they deal with violent/distressing content and disinformation is also on the cards. Australia’s eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant is one of many who have criticised Meta (aka Facebook/Instagram) and X (aka Twitter) for allowing out-of-bounds content to circulate widely. And just on the Wakeley terror attack, Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel – who was stabbed on Monday night – gave a statement yesterday. He says he’s “doing fine” after surgery and forgives the 16yo who is accused of the attack. The teen was last night charged with committing a terrorist act.

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