National Commissioner for Defence and Suicide

RSL Queensland welcomes action on veteran suicide

RSL Queensland 05 February 2020

RSL Queensland has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement that he will appoint a National Commissioner for Defence and Suicide Prevention.

RSL Queensland President Tony Ferris said the move was a welcome development that would allow a flexible response to the serious issue of veteran suicide.

“Those of us who have served feel it deeply when a fellow veteran takes their own life,” said Mr Ferris.

“The Government’s appointment of a permanent independent commissioner will shine a light on this serious issue.”

He said the ongoing remit of the new office showed that the Government was prepared to act quickly to remedy issues.

“The static nature and lengthy duration of a Royal Commission – which examines historical issues and is limited in scope by its Terms of Reference – was a concern. We have always believed that urgent action was needed.

“The new office will be more nimble and able to evolve in response to changes in the situation, policy and approach from DVA. The appointment of a veteran family advocate is also a positive development, as it will give veterans the opportunity to provide input into policy development.”

He said supporting veterans who were struggling with mental health issues remained RSL Queensland’s highest priority.

“While the Government gets on with the business of setting up this new office, RSL Queensland will be doing what we do best – providing practical support and assistance to veterans and their families in need.”

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