Westfield Bondi Junction Incident: Latest information and support services

The ARA is dedicated to ensuring you stay informed about ongoing developments following the tragic events at Westfield Bondi Junction on Saturday 13 April.

We have been working with the NSW Government, Crime Stoppers NSW, the SDA and Beyond Blue to make sure you have access to the best resources.

In addition to these updates, the ARA Employment Relations team and our strategic partner Artemide Law have provided advice about managing the return to work and accessing business disruption insurance.

While we are doing our best to address members’ queries, there are some questions about what happened that will remain unanswered for some time.

That’s why we welcome the announcement from Premier Chris Minns, providing $18 million to conduct an independent Coronial Inquest but this process – along with the police investigation – will take some time.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at membership@retail.org.au if we can provide further support to you or your teams. 

 

Westfield Bondi Junction

The Bondi Junction shopping centre reopened to the public on  Thursday 18 April 2024 for a community reflection day before resuming trading from Friday 19 April 2024.

The centre has re-opened for normal trading hours from 9:30am to 6:00pm for retailers ready to recommence trade. Scentre Group understand and appreciate that some retailers may have specific requirements to prepare your teams and stores for re-opening.

There will be no advertising on media screens and the music in centre will reflect “quiet time” setting. Scentre Group kindly request you adopt a similar approach.

Access to centre
Access to the centre for Business Partners will be as normal from Thursday. For Tower 2, Level 20, access via Tower 2 lobby, corner of Grosvenor and Grafton Street.

 

Support for employees

Workers Compensation

If you are an employer and need assistance with your policy to support affected workers, please call 13 77 22. You can also find out more information and see FAQs here.

If you were at work on Saturday and have been impacted by this incident and you need assistance with workers compensation, please call 13 77 22 or lodge a claim online.

icare has also provided this online resource for employers and employees impacted by the events at Bondi Junction.

Employment Relations advice

While we understand that many businesses have been able to redeploy their teams to other store locations, this may not be an option for all retailers, particularly small businesses.

Every endeavour should be made to remain connected with your team and continuity of work and/or pay.

If you need help understanding your obligations, please contact the ARA Employment Relations team at membership@retail.org.au or 1300 368 041.

Employee support

We understand the need to return as close to normal operating practices as possible. We encourage employers to be considerate of staff wellbeing in doing so.

We encourage empathy and the need to be flexible when supporting staff back into the workplace and being mindful that distress can present in different ways. Below are some support lines you can communicate to your employees.

We also encourage you to reach out to your teams that may be directly or indirectly affected by this tragedy and highlight any employment assistance programs you may have in place for those who are feeling distressed.

For those at Bondi Junction on Saturday, a dedicated phone line for victims of the Bondi Junction incident has been established – please call 1800 019 123, providing:

  • counselling, financial assistance and a recognition payment for immediate family members of the victims who have lost their lives and to the victims who have been injured; and
  • counselling for those who were witnesses.

We also suggest that you work with your Employee Assistance Program provider to ensure your teams are fully supported. If you don’t have access to an EAP, government and community organisations are providing support services.

Free and confidential counselling available

In light of recent events at Westfield Bondi Junction, ARA Strategic Partner Rest have announced a new initiative aimed at supporting the wellbeing of both Rest members and the wider retail community. Teaming up with trusted insurer, TAL, Rest are offering free and confidential counselling services to those who may be grappling with the aftermath.

No matter if you’re a Rest member or not, if you’re part of the retail world and in need of support, there’s help available. Through Assure Programs, individuals can access two complimentary 60-minute sessions with a psychologist, simply by using the referrer code ‘Rest’ when calling 1800 808 374 (Australia). This service is available around the clock until June 30, 2024.

More information

 

Support for businesses

Business interruption insurance

Some retailers may have business interruption insurance policies that may assist financially during the closure period.

Typically, each policy has a different period of “interruption”. Commonly, 24 – 72 hours of closure is usually required before you can claim under a policy. Please keep in mind that if you are eligible to make a claim, payments for claims may take some time.

Payroll is usually covered as is lost revenue and other costs under major policies. Again, it is necessary to check your individual policy cover.

For further support, please contact ARA Strategic Partner Artemide Law at membership@retail.org.au or 1300 368 041.

ARA Resource: Supporting your team after traumatic events 

The recent tragic events in Westfield Bondi Junction have shaken the retail industry, not just in Sydney but around the country.

Obviously, the people from our sector most impacted were those front-line team members working at Bondi Junction last Saturday, but the random nature of what happened means that others in our sector may also be feeling some level of stress or anxiety.

As we begin to process what happened, it is important to recognise that the process of dealing with this trauma will be different for different people at different times. A very wide range of emotions are normal and natural reactions to an incident of this nature and may include feeling shocked, scared, upset, overwhelmed, angry or numb.

Our response to incidents like this is influenced by many factors and previous life experiences. Some people who were not directly affected may have a stronger stress response than people who were in the centre on Saturday.

So, while it is critically important that we support staff who work at Bondi Junction as they return to the workplace, it is also important that we recognise that other people who work in our sector across the country may also need support in the coming days and weeks.

Access here. 

 

Mental health support

NSW Mental Health Line: Call 1800 011 511 for mental health advice and assessment available 24/7, with specialist staff who can speak to anyone affected by the incident. 

Lifeline: Call 13 11 14, text 0477 13 11 14 or chat online. 

Kids Helpline: Call 1800 55 1800 or chat online. 

Beyond Blue: Call 1300 22 4636 or chat online. 

1800RESPECT: Call 1800 737 732, text 0458 737 732 or chat online. 

13 Yarn: Call 13 92 76. 

MensLine Australia: Call 1300 78 99 78. 

Small Business Support: Beyond Blue has developed a tailored support program aimed at supporting Small Business owners and their mental health. You can find more information here.

Supporting children: You can find further helpful resources on supporting children and teenagers after traumatic events here and here.

 

Additional information

Condolences  

The people of NSW are invited to come together and sign an online condolence book in honour of those affected. 

Giving blood  

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has put out a fresh appeal for people to donate blood in the wake of the Bondi incident. More information is available here. 

Call for information 

NSW Police are calling on witnesses to assist in the investigation of the Bondi Junction incident. 

Any piece of information, anything you have seen or heard, even in the lead-up, may be crucial in this investigation.  

If you have photos, video or CCTV footage from this critical incident, please DO NOT post these on social media.  

If you have any information, photos or video or CCTV footage please contact NSW Police or Crime Stoppers. 

Crime Stoppers:  Report online or call 1800 333 000.  A direct link to the online reporting can be found here.  

NSW Police: Report online at the Police Community Portal or call the Police Assistance Line on 13 1 444 

 

Image Attribution: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

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