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Senator Jacqui Lambie to give evidence before Royal Commission Hobart hearing

Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie and State Veterans' Affairs minister Guy Barnett will be among the witnesses to give evidence before the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, at its sixth public hearing beginning in Hobart today.

The seven-day hearing at the Wrest Point Hotel will, for the first time, investigate the issue of recruitment to the Australian Defence Force, including screening processes, psychological testing and retention.

Other key focus areas of the hearing include wellbeing centres and ex-service organisations, PTSD, suicide prevention and support for families.

Lived experience witnesses will also share their stories with the Commission to help shed light on some of the systemic risk factors that may lead to suicide and suicidality among current and former Defence members.

Commission Chair Nick Kaldas is strongly urging people to engage with the Royal Commission by making a submission.

"Every death by suicide is a tragedy, and sadly too many serving and ex-serving Defence members still feel that there is no alternative pathway."

"Support is available to help you contribute to our important work, and to help save the lives of others."

The Commission has now received more than 1900 submissions and held 162 private sessions.

The Hobart hearing will be the last public hearing before the Commission's interim report is handed to the Governor General on August 11.

The interim report will focus on issues requiring urgent or immediate action, and include some preliminary observations about key areas of focus to date. Final recommendations will be delivered in June 2024.

Anyone affected by Defence and veteran suicide, or by the challenges of Defence life is encouraged to make a submission.

The hearing is open to the general public and anyone wishing to attend is required to register.

The proceedings will be live streamed on the Royal Commission website.