Royal commission announced for defence and veteran suicide
A Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide has been announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The commission will investigate why the number of war veterans taking their lives is so high, accounting for the factors of military lifestyle.
The Minister for Veterans Affairs Andrew Gee told Perth LIVE’s Mark Gibson the commission is an important issue.
“It is a seminal moment in Australia’s treat and care of veterans and their families, both for now and for future generations as well,” Minister Gee said. “The commission will try to make recommendations to improve the lives of veterans.”
Former NSW Police deputy commissioner Nick Kaldas will head the commission along with James Douglas QC – a former Queensland Supreme Court Judge – and Dr Peggy Brown – who is a psychiatrist and mental health policy leader.
Mr Gee was sworn in as the Veterans Affairs Minister last week, and believes the royal commission could be the key to helping those veterans.
“The commission is unfettered in the issues it can look at so it will be guided by the evidence it hears and the directions it wants to take,” he said.
Retired Special Forces Major and Founder of Voice of a Veteran, Heston Russell, and a team of veterans compiled 865 submissions and key recommendations to the Federal Government and is glad to hear the announcement of the commission.
“All of those recommendations are within these terms of reference that were released today, including some key changes to terminology,” Mr Russell said.
The royal commission will provide an interim report on August 11, 2022 and the final report on June 15, 2023.
Press PLAY to hear more about the Royal Commission