Veteran suicide royal commission welcomed, but why did it take this long?

 Federal Member for Lyons Brian Mitchell MP has welcomed today’s announcement of a Royal Commission into veterans and serving Defence personnel suicides.


The announcement follows a long campaign by veterans and families and friends impacted by suicide, supported by Labor, with more than 400 returned servicemen and servicewomen having taken their own lives in the past 20 years.


In March this year both the House of Representatives and the Senate voted for a royal commission to be held. Despite Government MPs and Senators also voting for the measure, Prime Minister Scott Morrison refused at the time to commit to calling one.


“The Prime Minister could and should have committed to this Royal Commission after the parliament took that historic vote,” Mr Mitchell said.


“I really do hope he has not just been sitting on this, waiting for Anzac Day to draw near so he can maximise his publicity.


“So yes, I am disappointed it took the Prime Minister this long to act but I am pleased we got there in the end,” Mr Mitchell said.

The Lyons MP was amongst those who publicly called for a royal commission to be held, telling the parliament he needed to be able to “look veterans in the eye and tell them that when the opportunity arose, I spoke up for them”.