BONDI JUNCTION ATTACK: Minns announces $18m for Coronial inquiry and orders probe on security guards

Georgina Noack
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Chris Minns shares new details of the inquest into the Bondi stabbing attack.

NSW Premier Chris Minns has ordered a probe into current restrictions on security guards at major crowded centres, in the wake of the Bondi Junction stabbing rampage.

Mr Minns said while he did not believe more firearms were needed, he wanted to examine the regulations around security guards’ equipment.

On Monday, he also announced $18 million in State government funding for the coroner’s office to “establish an independent coronial inquiry” into on Saturday’s attack.

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Mr Minns said the money would be immediately forwarded to the coroner’s office to fund “full staff and resources” for a comprehensive and independent inquiry into the Westfield massacre that left six dead and 12 hospitalised.

“Concurrently an assistant deputy state coroner will be appointed for all forensic investigations that take place during the period of that public inquiry,” he said.

“I expect that inquiry will look at not just the New South Wales police response and the criminal investigation surrounding the events in Bondi Junction on Saturday afternoon, but also this offender’s interactions with the NSW government ... as well as with help from the Queensland government, any interactions that this man had in that State.”

The premier said he expects NSW Police to continue their investigation into the attack and has asked his cabinet and police for an “independent report on the current restrictions in relation to security guards at major crowded centres”, such as public hospitals and retail venues.

He said while they want to look at how “tightly regulated” security guards’ equipment is, the government is not considering changing any policies on the use of stun guns or firearms.

“We don’t believe that more firearms in the community is a good decision or a good policy decision, but we are 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,” Mr Minns said.

“I’m not in the position to claim that alternative equipment used by security guards could have given a different outcome, the truth of the matter is we may never know.

“I’m not announcing an immediate policy change but we’re reviewing the restrictions in place. Except in relation to firearms.”

He also said the government would “sweep” its agencies to see what interactions the assailant Joel Cauchi had outside NSW Health and NSW Police.

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke said he expects the police investigations into the massacre to take “weeks and months” as many lines of inquiry remain open.

Police have made contact with two victims’ families who were overseas and are expected to arrive in Sydney soon.

Mr Cooke said police were supporting Westfield to reopen, including aiding the return of personal belongings and some 1500 cars left in the carpark, as well as “maintaining security of the premises”.

“We understand some people are inconvenienced by this, but we thank them very much for their patience as we go about the investigation,” he said.

Premier Minns cautioned members of the public against viewing or posting “unedited, graphic footage” about the attack on social media. He urged witnesses to send any footage of the incident to NSW Police or Crime Stoppers to aid their investigations.

“We want to learn from what happened on the weekend and ensure that we put measures in place to do everything we can to stop it from happening again. But that can only happen if we get help from the public,” Mr Minns said.

“So if there’s information provided, rather than uploading it to social media, consider calling Crime Stoppers first, calling your local police station, and providing that information.”

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