Shopping centre to open for ‘reflection’ after killings

Source: AAP

The Sydney shopping centre where six people were fatally stabbed will reopen for a day of community reflection before customers are allowed to return.

Bondi Westfield Junction, in the eastern suburbs, will open on Thursday to allow people to pay their respects to those affected by Saturday’s attack.

The shops won’t open for business until Friday.

Scentre Group, which owns and operates the shopping centre, made the announcement on Wednesday after earlier admitting customers to retrieve cars and belongings abandoned following the murders.

“The centre will be open for members of the community to visit the centre, to walk through the centre and to pay their respects,” chief executive Elliott Rusanow said.

“There will be counselling services to all who need them.”

The shopping centre will resume normal trading hours on Friday, although Rusanow said some retailers would choose not to reopen on that day.

It will mark nearly a week since six people were killed when 40-year-old Joel Cauchi went on a stabbing spree.

The Queensland man, who had a long history of mental illness, was shot dead by police inside the shopping complex.

The Waverley Council and NSW government have also announced a candlelight vigil for the victims of the attack on Sunday.

It will be held at 5.30pm at the Dolphin Court at Bondi Beach. There will be a one-minute silence, with attendees asked to bring their own candles for the event, and then take them home.

Six people remain in hospital following the attack.

The latest condition report on the victims, as at 8pm on Tuesday, was that two patients remained at St Vincent’s Hospital (one male and one female). The woman is in intensive care. Both are in a stable condition.

At Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, there are two patients. One woman is in the ICU in a serious but stable condition, while a man is in a stable condition.

One woman is in a stable condition at the Royal North Shore Hospital while the nine-month-old baby whose mother was among the dead last Saturday is in a serious but stable condition at Sydney Children’s Hospital.

Meanwhile, social media companies are being threatened with legal action over graphic images and videos circulating online after the recent stabbing attacks in Sydney, as a cabinet minister implores people to switch off.

The attack on Saturday that left six people dead and a knife assault on a bishop on Monday deemed terrorism by police have inflamed social media and public discourse and led to calls for calm.

“Switch it off if you can. Switch it off,” Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said on ABC News on Wednesday.

“I really don’t think that the social media companies are doing as much as they ought to be to support the police in their efforts to keep calm in the community,” she said.

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