Retailers at the Queen Victoria Building received a memo saying that staff would receive training in handling active shooter and explosive device situations.
They were told they would be trained in the most effective ways to react to a number of scenarios, and given the choice of attending a morning or afternoon session.
Some employees have praised the decision because the QVB is a prominent site in Sydney and a magnet for tourists.
It was also the first such training for retailers and their employees, said QVB marketing manager Taryn McGurk.
“We have extended the training to our retailers which we have not done in the past,” she was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.
“It is to teach them how to deal with armed persons and we have an external company which runs the courses.”
L&D Professional contacted the QVB for comment.
It was also reported that thousands of employees at Westfield Sydney received letters from management, explaining what to do in case armed terrorists entered the shopping centre.
“The safest place may be inside the shop with the shutter down,” it said in the letter as reported Ten Eyewitness News.
“If inside the shop consider the following… turn the lights off and place your phone on silent... stay out of sight, find cover behind solid objects.”
If there was a terrorist bomb threat, staff were told to keep the caller on the line and get as much information as possible about the device.
“What type of bomb is it… What is in the bomb… What will make the bomb explode?” the letter told staff to ask.
Australia’s current National Terrorism Threat Level is ‘probable’ which is below ‘certain’ and ‘expected’ and above ‘possible’ and ‘not expected’.
This is based on credible intelligence, assessed by security agencies, which indicates that individuals or groups have developed both the intent and capability to conduct a terrorist attack in Australia, according to the Australian National Security website.
Earlier this year it was announced that one million people who work in crowded places in the UK are to be trained over 12 months to deal with a possible terrorist attack.
The aim is to ensure that employees are aware of the risk of terrorism and how to react in the case of such a real scenario.
A few of Sydney’s largest shopping centres are preparing for a possible terrorist attack by training retailers and staff.