Sunday, December 5, 2021

Prime Minister announces commission to probe suicides in Defence services

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a royal commission into suicides by Australian veterans and serving Defence personnel.
The Federal Government will release a draft terms of reference today, recommending the royal commission to Governor-General David Hurley.
The royal commission will have a mandate to examine systemic issues, any common themes and past deaths by suicide of Australian Defence Force members and veterans, Mr Morrison said.
“We want this to be comprehensive,” Mr Morrison said.
“And I have no doubt that that will get supported.”
It will examine all aspects of service in the Australian Defence Force and the experience of those transitioning from active service.
Mr Morrison said the inquiry would not be about making findings of civil or criminal wrongdoing, nor on the manner or causes of death in relation to particular cases of suicide.
“We want this to be comprehensive,” Mr Morrison said.
“And I have no doubt that that will get supported.”
It will examine all aspects of service in the Australian Defence Force and the experience of those transitioning from active service.
Mr Morrison said the inquiry would not be about making findings of civil or criminal wrongdoing, nor on the manner or causes of death in relation to particular cases of suicide.
The commission will have the full range of compulsory powers including being able to summon witnesses, hold public hearings, take evidence on oath or affirmation and compel the production of documents and witness statements.
“This will be an important process for the families,” Mr Morrison said.
“I think and I hope it will be a healing process.”

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