“Trust me, I’m the Prime Minister. I want what you want”
Feb 13, 2020 —
That’s what Prime Minister Scott Morrison told us yesterday in his office. To trust that this rolling commissioner role will be just as good as a Royal Commission into Veterans Suicide. Friends, I want to believe him, but we need the details in writing.
Yesterday was a big day. Senator Jacqui Lambie invited myself, Nikki, and Colleen to Parliament House to deliver my petition and tell our stories to a huge gathering of journalists.
Then the three of us, mothers who have lost their sons to Veterans suicide, were kindly welcomed into the Prime Minister’s office where he heard our concerns. I want to thank Prime Minister Morrison for making time in his busy day to meet with us.
The Prime Minister once again tried to reassure us that this rolling commissioner would have the powers of a royal commission to investigate past and future suicides. But that’s not quite the case.
The commissioner will NOT investigate the 500+ past suicides. That work is to be done BEFORE they start work, in what amounts to an internal government investigation. The commissioner has no power to investigate the hundreds of tragic suicides caused by a broken system. They will simply be handed a report to refer to.
This is not the “power of a royal commission”.
This is not proper investigation.
This not justice for so many broken men and women.
I told Mr Morrison that because of this, the commissioner role is not the outcome we’ve been calling for. I told him it was not a bad idea - far from it - but that for the commissioner to do their job, we needed a proper Royal Commission first.
How else could they possibly be able to fully investigate future, individual cases of veteran suicide if they don’t properly investigate the hundreds of veterans suicides in recent years?
The Prime Minster told me to trust him, that it would be “better than a royal commission.”
I asked him to put his promise in writing. Then he ended the meeting.
Friends, what is at stake here matters more than politics, point scoring, or press coverage. This is the lives of veterans, and justice for those we lost.
Can you help me send a message to the PM? Let him know you still want this Royal Commission. Thank him for his commitment to Veteran wellbeing.
Julie-Ann Finney, proud mother of Dave Stafford Finney.
If you or someone you know needs help, please phone Lifeline on 131 114, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.
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