The Victorian Government is seeking feedback on the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide – but is calling on the Commonwealth to give Veterans and their families more time to have their say.
Minister for Veterans Affairs Shaun Leane today opened consultation on Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission, which will provide a vital and long-overdue opportunity to hear from the Veteran community and to reflect on their wishes in fixing a broken system.
The Victorian Government will consult the Victorian Veterans Council and other key stakeholders, and relevant departments such as Department of Justice and Community Safety and the Department of Health will be involved.
While encouraging to have their say, the Victorian Government is also calling on the Morrison Government to provide more time for people to contribute through the consultation process.
The Federal Government is seeking to finalise consultation on the Terms of Reference by 21 May, and is asking states and territories to consult with the Veterans sector and provide input before then.
Given the breadth of consultation required and how central these terms of reference will be to guiding the work of the royal commission and ultimately, saving lives – Minister Leane has written to the Federal Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester calling for this consultation time to be extended to 18 June 2021.
This will allow the Veteran community to properly consider what it believes needs to be in the Terms of Reference, and put those views and expectations into writing.
The Victorian Government is also seeking clarification from the Commonwealth on the role of the states and territories in the royal commission.
The Victorian Government is continuing to support Veteran’s mental health and wellbeing through its response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Veterans Shaun Leane
“The Terms of Reference will be vital to shaping this Royal Commission and I encourage Veterans, their families and anyone interested in the wellbeing of our returned service men and women to have their say.”
“We have been calling for a royal commission into this crucial issue for a long time, and welcomed the decision to establish one – but to give people less than a month to have their say isn’t good enough.”
“We will only get one chance to get this right. Veterans and their families have waited a long time for this and deserve a proper chance to shape the terms of reference for the Royal Commission.”