Sydney mall attack: 'Bollard man' who confronted knifeman offered citizenship by Australian prime minister

A Frenchman who confonted the Sydney shopping centre attacker - earning the nickname "Bollard man" - has been offered Australian citizenship. 

Damien Guerot used a bollard to try to stop the killer from hurting more people during Saturday's attack at the Westfield Shopping Centre in Bondi Junction.

Joel Cauchi, 40, fatally stabbed six people and injured 12 others, including a nine-month-old baby, before he was shot dead by a police officer.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese hailed Mr Guerot's "extraordinary bravery" and said he was welcome to stay in the country "for as long as you like".

After the attack, Mr Guerot had told local news networks he was on a work visa set to expire within a couple of months.

"I say this to Damien Guerot, who is dealing with his visa applications, that you are welcome here," Mr Albanese told a press conference on Tuesday.

He added: "This is someone who we would welcome becoming an Australian citizen, although that would of course be a loss for France."

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A video of Mr Guerot brandishing a bollard at Cauchi as he blocked the top of the escalator went viral.

Mr Guerot told Australian TV network Seven News he and his friend ran forward to help when they heard people shouting about an attacker.

"We just saw him coming... we were thinking, 'We need to try to stop him'," he told the broadcaster.

When he came face to face with Cauchi on the escalator, Mr Guerot said he was staring into "empty eyes", adding "he wasn't there".

"We tried to throw the bollard. We really wanted to stop him."

Mr Guerot and his friend helped lead Inspector Amy Scott to the attacker. As he lunged at her with the blade, she shot and killed him.

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Mr Guerot's lawyer, Belinda Robinson, told ABC he would be granted permanent residency and was only waiting for official documentation.

The news came after she started a petition calling for Mr Guerot to be granted citizenship, saying his "brave and courageous" decision to stand up to the knifeman was a "true act of Australianism".