Shadow Veterans’ Affairs spokesman calls for suicide Royal Commission

Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Shayne Neumann added to calls for a Royal Commission into veteran suicides following the release of the latest official suicide figures.

FILE PHOTO: A 2RAR soldier on Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015. Photo by Lance Corporal Kyle Genner.

“The latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare figures on defence and veteran suicides show we are failing our veterans and we urgently need a Royal Commission to get to the bottom of these tragic deaths,” Mr Neumann said.

“Many veterans are concerned the government’s proposed National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention will not be up to the job – they simply won’t have the resources or independence to ask the hard questions.”

Mr Neumann said he believed government needed to do a lot more to support our ex-service men and women when it comes to mental health and wellbeing, employment and housing.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare issued a report called “National suicide monitoring of serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force personnel 2020 update” yesterday – which was inexplicably noted by Minister Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Darren Chester as simply a numbers-based improvement on the previous year, and an opportunity to blow the government’s trumpet.

Meanwhile, Julie-Ann Finney’s petition for a A Royal Commission into the Veteran suicide rate in Australia is nearing 400,000 signatures.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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