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19 Apr 2021

My response to the announcement of a Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide

The Prime Minister today announced the Government would recommend to the Governor-General the establishment of a Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.

I welcome this decision and I thank the Prime Minister for his leadership.

Importantly, this will follow a period of consultation on draft Terms of Reference, with the relevant community, state and territory governments.

It is well understood that the service our military women and men give willingly to our nation can often come at great personal cost.

I know this to be true from my own service in the Army Reserve for over 20 years, including time spent in Afghanistan.

The stories of pain shared with me by veterans and their families never fail to have a deep effect on me.

It is my sincere wish that this decision will take us further along the road of better understanding the needs of veterans who are in pain and prevent them from losing their lives to suicide.

The Royal Commission and the Federal Government’s existing initiative to establish a permanent National Commission will work collectively to proactively deal with future issues and achieve long-term change.

The Government is committed to ensuring all the support services available to our veterans and their families are working together.

- Senator Andrew McLachlan CSC

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