Monday, 22 March 2021
Resolutions of the Senate
Consideration of Senate Message
I don't intend to detain the House for too long, I just want to add my voice to this very important motion that I support a royal commission into veteran suicides. I want to be able to look the veterans in my community in the eye and say that when the opportunity arose I spoke on behalf of this motion. I'm pleased the minister's here now. Minister, the voice of the parliament is speaking to you and through you to the Prime Minister, the Senate—I see Senator Lambie is here. Given the work that she's done it's good to see her in the gallery again. It's good to see the two gentlemen up there, both veterans take it, who have been here for most of the afternoon listening to this debate. The parliament is speaking to the government. It is saying with one voice: we need a royal commission into this issue. It's not enough, Minister, that you say that you'll carefully consider the vote of the parliament, the vote of the House and the vote of the Senate. It's not enough. What we would like you to do, Minister, when you get to that despatch box, is announce a royal commission into veteran suicides. It's what all those veterans who came here this morning are asking. It's what the many thousands of Australians who have signed petitions are asking. We've all had our inboxes flooded from people. We need to be able to look the people—the veterans, their families, their loved ones—who have been left behind from far too many suicides in the eye and be able to say, 'Yes, we have heard you. We have listened. There will be a royal commission into veteran suicide.'