NSW Government to support Bondi Junction workers and businesses after stabbing attack

NSW Government to support Bondi Junction workers and businesses after stabbing attack
Image: Shoppers place flowers at the memorial site during the reopening of the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping centre in Bondi, Sydney, Friday, April 19, 2024. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)



As shoppers return to Westfield Bondi Junction after almost a week of closures, the NSW Government has announced a package supporting workers and businesses after the horrific stabbing rampage.

Minister for Industrial Relations Sophie Cotsis, also the Minister for Work Health and Safety, has tasked SafeWork NSW with creating a package “of psychological health and safety support for businesses with fewer than 200 employees”.

Businesses may be able to access business interruption insurance, while workers may be entitled to make workers compensation claims.

The package will include confidential one-on-one sessions with an expert on psychological health and safety, and free mental health training.

“The NSW Government is in for the long haul supporting all the workers and shop owners today and into the future,” said Cotsis.

She also urged that shoppers be “kind, gentle and sensitive” to retail workers as they return to the shopping centre, saying “everyone reacts to these moments in different ways and some workers may find it difficult to return to work.”

Before normal trading resumed on Friday, the centre opened its doors on Thursday for a “community reflection day,” during which businesses refrained from opening for trade and music was silenced.

Counselling services were made available onsite to offer support to both the public and staff.

In tribute to the 18 victims of the attack, including Westfield security guards Faraz Tahir, who tragically lost his life, and Muhammad Taha, who sustained serious injuries, staff donned black ribbons as a mark of remembrance.

Visible signs of heightened security were apparent on its first day of trade as guards wore protective vests and uniformed police maintained regular patrols as part of newly implemented safety measures.

18 Million Grant Aims for Trauma Assistance in Wake of Bondi Junction Incident

The NSW Government will provide up to $18 million in extra funding to the Coroners Court, facilitating a comprehensive and prompt investigation into the Bondi Junction incident.

This funding will allow the inquiry to prioritise trauma-informed care for victims and their families, including the provision of suitable family liaison support.

Premier Chris Minns affirmed that the allocated funding would be directed to the coroner’s office, and that the inquest will have “full staff and resources”.

He also announced the appointment of an assistant deputy state coroner to oversee all forensic investigations throughout the public inquiry period.

However, Minns firmly dismissed the notion of arming security guards.

“The government is not considering policy changes in relation to stun guns or firearms,” he said.

“We don’t believe that more firearms in the community is a good decision, but we’re looking at the current restrictions that are in place for equipment, for security guards, and the resulting training that would be required if there was to be a policy change”, he added.

Thousands Attend Candlelight Vigil at Bondi Beach

In honour of the victims who tragically died in the stabbing rampage, thousands of people gathered at Bondi Beach on Sunday evening for a candlelight vigil. The event featured speeches, music, and a minute of silence.

The victims included five women: Ash Good (38), Dawn Singleton (25), Jade Young (47), Pikria Darchia (55), and Yixuan Cheng (27). Additionally, Faraz Tahir, a 30-year-old refugee who fled persecution in Pakistan, lost his life in the attack.

During the attack, Ash Good tragically lost her life while attempting to shield her baby.

NSW Health Minister Ryan Park confirmed over the weekend that Good’s nine-month-old daughter, who was also injured in the incident, had been discharged from the hospital and taken home.

“She continues to receive care from the expert clinicians at Sydney Children’s Hospital,” Park said.

“At the request of the family, I strongly urge the media and community to respect their right to privacy at this extremely difficult time”, the NSW Health minister said in a statement.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton and NSW Premier Chris Minns joined members of the community at the vigil.

Albanese declared that the crowd had come together “to mourn the loss of what has been taken from us.”

He spoke of the kindness and humanity, as well as the love and laughter embodied by the six lives tragically lost on that fateful Saturday afternoon.

“To the families and friends who are here with us and to all who are with us in spirit – please know this – that every Australian is thinking of you. We are with you as a community, as a country – today, tomorrow and always”, Albanese said.

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