I’ve heard the arguments that we have already had endless reviews into finding out how to improve things. Those reviews sit on shelves. The best they achieve is a polite response from government, a promise to do better, and bit of change around the edges. What’s needed is a stiff broom. What’s needed is a total rewrite of how we take care of veterans.
And to do that sort of rewrite, we need the sort of resources of a Royal Commission.
I’m not going to stand around and let the ADF or the DVA do another review into itself. The 2019 Productivity Commission report on veterans found that veterans do not trust the ADF to act with integrity and transparency towards its own people. I’m ex-Army. I’ve seen it. And I’ll tell you, I get it.
What’s been announced shows the Government is under pressure. They want to do something but they’ve decided against doing what is needed. If the Prime Minister is fair dinkum in saying he wants something better than a Royal Commission, I say good on him. But let’s start with the Royal Commission rather than skipping right over it.
More Australian veterans have lost their life by suicide than have been killed in active duty since Vietnam. I’ve had it with the delaying tactics. It’s time for a Royal Commission into veteran suicide.