Royal commission into veteran and serving Defence suicides announced

A royal commission into veteran and serving Defence personnel suicides has been announced after the government relented to pressure to support the broad-ranging and powerful inquiry.

In March, a motion passed both chambers of Parliament supporting the creation of the royal commission.

While the Prime Minister Scott Morrison did not oppose the motion, the government previously said it wanted to look into the issue through its plan to establish a permanent national commissioner for veteran suicides.

Speaking today, Mr Morrison said he hoped the commission would be a “healing process”.

“The royal commission will have a mandate to examine the systemic issues and any common themes and past deaths by suicide of Australian Defence Force members and veterans,” he said.

“[It will examine] the experience of members and veterans who may continue to be at risk of suicide.

“And 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 royal commission would work alongside the National Commissioner, who he hoped would have a “forward looking role” and would implement any recommendations from the inquiry.