I welcome the Commonwealth’s release of the Terms of Reference for this Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.
This important step is a testament to the strength of the Victorian veteran community and their families, who – with the Andrews Labor Government – have been calling for this since 2019.
For far too long too many of our service men and women, who fight bravely for our country, have been denied the support they need when they return.
I acknowledge the input from the Victorian veteran community and Victorian Veterans Council, RSL sub-branches, Legacy, Vasey Care, Cary On and other groups and individuals that contributed to this process.
I look forward to continuing to work with them and the veteran community to ensure this Royal Commission delivers on its potential to prevent further tragic deaths.
However, I urge the Commonwealth to only proceed with creating a permanent body to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission if this is a recommendation.
This royal commission presents a once in a generation opportunity to deliver real change and protect the lives of those who have protected us.
The harrowing stories our veterans will share with the Royal Commission must be listened to and acted on in full – to ensure the meaningful reform they have sought for far too long.