Australian Govt to grant permanent residency to French national who encountered Sydney shopping mall attacker

Australia. Damien Guerot confronting the attacker. Photo Courtesy: Screengrab from viral video on X

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IBNS-CMEDIA: The Australian government has announced it will grant permanent residency to a French national who confronted the Sydney shopping mall attacker with a bollard.

The government, however, will not grant him citizenship because it cannot waive residency requirements.

The clarification comes after the prime minister, Anthony Albanese, offered him the ability to stay in Australia as long as he liked and said he was someone the country would “welcome becoming an Australian citizen”, reported The Guardian.

Dubbed as ‘bollard man’,  French construction worker Damien Guerot was caught on CCTV camera confronting the attacker in the Sydney shopping mall on an escalator.

The attacker fatally stabbed six people in the shopping mall on Saturday before he was shot dead by a female cop.

Meanwhile, Australian PM Anthony Albanese praised Damien Guerot for his bravery and told reporters: “With regard to the French citizen, the French national, Damien Guerot, who people saw such bravery in on Saturday.”

“I say this to Damien Guerot who is dealing with his visa applications, that you are welcome here, you are welcome to stay for as long as you like. This is someone who we would welcome becoming an Australian citizen, although that would of course be a loss for France. We thank him for his extraordinary bravery,” the PM said.

The promise of permanent residency was “amazing news”, Guerot told his lawyer, Belinda Robertson, after being contacted by the department of immigration, reported The Guardian.

“It is truly heartwarming for something positive to come out of all the pain and tragedy,” Robinson told Guardian Australia.

Who was the Australian shopping mall attacker?

The Australian Police on Sunday (April 14, 2024) identified the Bondi Junction attacker in Australia’s Sydney city as Joel Cauchi.

“The man was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics; however, he could not be revived and died at the scene. He has since been identified as 40-year-old Queensland man, Joel Cauchi,” read a statement issued by NSW Polie Force.

Who was his target?

Australian Police have said the man who stabbed to death six people in a shopping mall in Australia’s Sydney city may have been targeting women.

Speaking outside his home in Toowoomba, Queensland, Andrew Cauchi told ABC News that he was “not really” coping with the aftermath of his 40-year-old son’s actions.

“He was a tormented soul, tormented, and frustrated, and I’m sorry that he’s done this to your children and this nation,” the father told the news channel.

Cauchi’s mother, Michele, told ABC News her son had been under the care of doctors for about 18 years while receiving treatment for mental illness.

Police told The Guardian that Cauchi had mental health problems and that he had moved from Queensland to New South Wales only a month before he took a knife into the crowded Sydney mall on Saturday afternoon and killed six people in an unprovoked stabbing spree.