Bondi Junction Westfield opens to public for community reflection

Bondi Junction Westfield opens to public for community reflection
Image: The Bondi Junction shopping centre will keep a section cordoned off for the long term to allow tributes. Image: Stephen Saphore, AAP

Bondi Junction Westfield will reopen to the community today for a day of reflection, five days after the horrific stabbing attack that shook Sydney.

The centre was closed on Saturday after a mass stabbing attack left six people dead and a further 12 injured, six of whom, including a nine-month-old baby, remain in hospital.

For six hours, “the centre will be open for members of the community to visit the centre, to walk through the centre and to pay their respects,” said Elliot Rusanow, chief executive of Scentre Group, which owns the shopping centre.

“Having a reflection day allows members of the community to come back, in a way that is not about retail trade.”

Normal trading won’t resume until Friday, but Premier Chris Minns has promised increased police presence in Bondi “for as long as necessary”, acknowledging that people in the state have been nervous since the Bondi and Wakeley church attacks.

“Not just for the immediate security needs, but so that people feel confident and safe in their community,” he said.

“And I completely understand why there would be a reticence or a reluctance in those areas to return to normal.”

At today’s opening, counselling services will be available at the site and a section of the centre will be dedicated as a place for the community to lay wreaths, flowers and tributes.

Federal member for Wentworth Allegra Spender welcomed the symbolic gesture of today’s opening.

“It is important that Westfield has opened today in this very gentle way so people can walk through and in a solemn way acknowledge in that space what has happened as we try and find ways to cope with this and to work out what is life like after that,” she told ABC. 

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