Thursday, 18 March 2021
Before moving general business notice of motion No. 1071, I wish to inform the chamber that Senator Ciccone will also sponsor the motion. I, and also on behalf of Senators Lambie, Steele-John, Griff, Wong, Kitching, Hanson and Ciccone, move:
(1) That the Senate—
(a) notes that Australian Defence Force personnel have a suicide rate of less than half that of the wider Australian community while serving but nearly twice the rate of suicide after leaving the Australian Defence Force; and
(b) calls on the Morrison Government to establish a Royal Commission into the rate of suicide among current and former serving Australian Defence Force personnel.
(2) That this resolution be transmitted to the House of Representatives for concurrence.
The National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide bills that are currently before the Senate give effect to the Prime Minister's announcement that the inquiry into Defence and veterans' suicide prevention will have inquiry powers broadly equivalent to a royal commission while also being established as an enduring function. Royal commissions are time limited and do not have an ability to monitor the implementation of the recommendations. In contrast, the national commissioner will be able to monitor the implementation in order to ensure accountability and build on prevention and on Defence and veteran wellbeing strategies into the future. The bills also provide a range of improvements compared to the Royal Commissions Act to ensure the national commissioner has appropriate powers.
Question agreed to.