People line up as Bondi Junction Westfield reopens for first time since deadly stabbing attack

Aussies lined up out the front of Bondi Junction Westfield today as it reopened after the tragic massacre that rocked the country.

Dozens of people lined up out the front of the shopping centre on Thursday before it opened its doors at 11am for a “community reflection day”, five days after the mass stabbing that claimed the lives of six people

Queensland man Joel Cauchi, 40, stabbed 18 people – including 15 women and a nine-month-old baby girl – during a violent rampage at the shopping centre on Saturday afternoon.

He was shot dead by hero NSW Police Inspector Amy Scott.

Speaking from inside the Westfield today, one woman told said she was returning to the centre with her toddler because she works here and wanted to get used to going inside again after the tragic events.

Another man said he felt compelled to come today because “everyone in Sydney has been to Bondi Junction at some point”.

He noted it felt “weird” to be here but he thought it was important the victims didn’t go “unseen”.

Similarly, a young woman that works down the road in nearby Eastgate shopping centre told she was here today to “pay her respects” she also noted it felt like the “safest” day to return to the shopping centre because of the police presence.

Scentre Group chief executive Elliott Rusanow announced on Wednesday there would be no retail trade at the Westfield when doors reopened on Thursday, instead, the public will be allowed to visit to pay their respects.

Counselling and services will be on site to provide the necessary help before normal trading hours resume on Friday, though some stores may choose not to reopen.

“This has been a very difficult time and I want to acknowledge the hard work and tireless efforts of our Westfield Bondi and Scentre Group teams,” Mr Rusanow said.

“They have been working through conditions which have been devastating in their minds and in all our minds.

“The centre will be quiet, allow for reflection to occur as members of the community are able to come and pay their respects.”

A further candlelight vigil, supported by Waverley Council and the NSW government, will be held on Sunday to allow the community to “come together and honour the victims of the Bondi Junction tragedy”.

It will begin at 5.30pm at Dolphin Court on Bondi Beach – south of the Bondi Pavilion.

– with NCA Newswire