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Labor backs royal commission into military veteran deaths

Labor backs royal commission into military veteran deaths as shocking data reveals some are twice as likely to take their own lives

  • Federal opposition leader Anthony Albanese says his party will back the inquiry
  • He said suicide rates among ex-servicemen and women was ‘tragic’ 
  • Female veterans are twice as likely to end their lives than those who do not serve

Anthony Albanese has backed calls for a royal commission into veterans taking their own lives.

The federal opposition leader spoke after meeting with the mother of a former soldier.

‘We can do better. We must do better. We need a royal commission into veteran suicides,’ he said on Tuesday.

Mr Albanese described suicide rates among ex-servicemen and women as tragic.

‘If you’re a young female veteran, you’re twice as likely to be a suicide victim (than) if you have not served in the defence force,’ he said.

Federal opposition leader Anthony Albanese has backed a royal commission into military suicide rates

‘This is something that has been debated in the community, it has been debated by veteran communities, it is now time to have a proper inquiry through a royal commission.’

Mr Albanese wants the commission to examine what happens when people leave Defence and their transition into civil society.

‘One death is one too many,’ he said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has not ruled holding a royal commission into veteran suicides.

‘Labor is calling upon the government to act,’ Mr Albanese said.

Australian Army medic Dani Martin last year revealed how she attempted suicide while serving in Afghanistan after continuous bullying.

Ms Martin said while she was an experienced medic and had served in the Army for seven years, she was the only junior female in her team at the time ‘and I was the one who was picked to be the victim of bullying’. 

‘After that, I could see no option other than ending my life. Now, of course, I see so many other options,’ she said.

Ms Martin was accused of sleeping with one of her colleagues  while on deployment and after three months into a six month posting ‘I just couldn’t take it anymore’ and decided to end her life.

She had posted a suicide note on Facebook, before taking an overdose, with medical staff who found her evacuating her to Germany. 

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