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Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide welcomes appointment of new ministers

The Chair of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide says the appointment of the new Minister for Defence, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, and Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs should sharpen the nation’s focus on the terrible toll of suicide in the Defence community.

The Commission Chair, Nick Kaldas said: “I congratulate Minister Richard Marles, Minister Matt Keogh and Assistant Minister Matt Thistlethwaite on their new, critically important roles.”

Commissioner Kaldas said the Royal Commission is an opportunity to pursue lasting change to improve and save lives.

“There have been dozens of previous reviews or inquiries into the issues we’re examining, resulting in more than 700 recommendations,” Commissioner Kaldas said.

“Yet the tragedy of lives being cut short continues.”

In contrast to previous inquiries, the Royal Commission has powers to unearth issues not previously examined, to summons witnesses and to require individuals and organisations to produce evidence.

“We welcome the opportunity to engage with the new Government and inform the Ministers of our progress. Our hope is this inquiry will be a catalyst for change when our recommendations are developed and implemented,” Commissioner Kaldas said.

The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide will provide its interim report to the Governor-General in August. 

The Commission has received more than 1,500 submissions so far.

The next public hearing will be held in Townsville from 20 June, 2022.

Anyone wishing to make a submission should visit the Royal Commission website.