Dear Minister Reynolds,
I am writing to you in strong support of the countless calls for a Royal Commission into Veteran Suicide.
As you know, our veteran community has been plagued with a heartbreaking scourge of suicide. From 2001 to 2018 a staggering 465 serving or retired service men and women took their own lives. This figure is absolutely devastating.
I have been contacted by hundreds of my constituents. The overwhelming consensus is that a Royal Commission into this matter is needed. Your Government's proposed 'National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention' does not go far enough and to my constituents, looks like the Government is avoiding scrutiny and investigating themselves.
This was indeed confirmed by the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee which reported that the proposed National Commissioner would not have the independence, scope or resources needed to ask the really difficult questions.
One more suicide is one too many. I urge you to support Labor and work with the Shadow Minister for Defence Richard Marles and the Shadow Minister for Veterens' Affairs and Defence Personnel, Shayne Neumann, in order to tackle this issue in a systemic way once and for all, through the establishment of a Royal Commission.
We owe this to our veteran community, their families, and those that have been left behind.
Member for Canberra