Labor has thrown its support behind Julie-Ann Finney’s campaign for a Royal Commission into the veteran suicide rate in Australia.
Image: Campaign-update screenshot.
“We’re getting somewhere,” Mrs Finney announced in a campaign update today.
“Did you see the front page news that Labor leader Anthony Albanese has joined our movement, and is calling for a Royal Commission into the rate of Veterans suicide?
“Mr Albanese even made it the first question today in Parliament, during question time, to which the PM responded, “This has been a matter that has been made a national priority by my government”.
“Mr Morrison says the government will continue to reflect on the issue of a royal commission over the Christmas break.
“He said every time a veteran suicides, there “must be justice”.
“I couldn’t agree more, Mr Morrison, and I hope you don’t spend another second deliberating over whether we need this Royal Commission.
“While we wait, we will lose more veterans to this crisis.”
Mr Finney asked that her supporters contact Mr Albanese and politely thank him for his support?
“A quick email or tweet will show Labor that they have made the right decision in supporting our cause.”
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Labor’s statement in full:
Labor has announced today it will support a royal commission into veteran suicide.
Official figures released last week showed a disturbingly high rate of suicide among current and ex-service men and women, with more than 400 deaths since 2001.
This Australian Institute of Health and Welfare research indicated that suicide rates for current and former defence personnel compared to the rest of the Australian population are higher than ever.
Australia can no longer tolerate this senseless loss of life.
This is nothing less than a crisis and as a nation we need to do all we can to tackle this.
Labor believes the best way to do this is through a thorough and comprehensive royal commission.
We are calling on the Morrison government to do the right thing by our ex-service men and women, and establish a royal commission into veteran suicide as soon as possible.
This will help to shine a light on the issue, investigate why so many of our veterans are taking their own lives, and determine what measures are needed to stop these tragic deaths.
The terms of reference should include serving men and women, their transition from active service back to civilian life, and their ongoing circumstances.
The men and women who serve our country deserve our gratitude and respect, and we owe it to them to have a comprehensive examination of how we can reduce, and hopefully eliminate, these tragic numbers.
Their deaths are heartbreaking and cause immeasurable loss and grief for their loved ones left behind, their local communities, and indeed the nation.
We know many veterans and veterans’ families have been calling for this for some time now – they want to prevent future suicides and other families from suffering in the way they have.
And we have listened to courageous advocates like Julie-Ann Finney, whose son David took his own life in February this year after a battle with PTSD.
Labor Members of Parliament have met with Ms Finney and she has made a strong case for a Royal Commission.
We want this to be a bipartisan effort – we want to work with the Government, the Parliament and the veteran community and do all we can to address the scourge of veteran suicide.