Thursday, 3 September 2020
Bonner Electorate: Legacy Week
During Legacy Week I would like to take this opportunity to commend local organisations in my electorate of Bonner who are supporting our veteran community. In the span of a couple of weeks, we marked the anniversary of the end of World War II, Vietnam Veterans Day and the Malaya and Borneo Veterans Day.
Last month I attended a local service to commemorate Vietnam Veterans Day, hosted by the Manly-Lota RSL. And although it was a small, private affair due to COVID restrictions, it was great to see the local community showing its support to our veterans. Sadly, the Manly-Lota RSL subbranch recently lost one of our World War II veterans, William George Stanley, who passed away on 22 August, aged 94. He is remembered by his wife, Mrs Rose Stanley, and I pass on my deepest condolences.
Only the week prior, on 15 August, we marked 75 years since the end of World War II. In those 75 years we have never forgotten the service and sacrifice of those men and women—
A division having been called in the House of Representatives—
Si tting suspended from 10:57 to 11 : 15
Only the week prior, on 15 August, we marked 75 years since the end of World War II. Throughout those 75 years we've never forgotten the service and sacrifice of those men and women who fought to protect our great nation. This year has been unprecedented in so many ways, and the coronavirus crisis has heightened many of the pressures that our veterans and families are experiencing. That's why it's more important than ever that we all do what we can to help organisations, like Legacy Australia, that support our veterans and families.
I am proud to say that the Morrison government is delivering on its commitment to address the unacceptably high suicide rate amongst Australia's Defence Force members and veterans by establishing the National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention. I commend my colleague the member for Herbert, Phil Thompson, for advocating heavily in this space and working with our Minister for Veterans' Affairs to improve support measures for veterans. I'd like to acknowledge Mr Terry McNally, who is tireless in his support of the veteran community. Well done, Terry. It is critical our government continuously work to better understand all the factors connected to suicide and strive to build a better system of support for our ADF veterans. I thank all our veterans and organisations supporting our veteran community.