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Families of lost soldiers bitterly disappointed by government’s veteran suicide compromise

Article image for Families of lost soldiers bitterly disappointed by government’s veteran suicide compromise

The campaign for a Royal Commission into veteran suicides continues, with advocates and Labor MPs dissatisfied by the government’s compromise.

Julie-Ann Finney has been at the forefront of the push for a Royal Commission ever since she lost her son David, a former Royal Australian Navy sailor who suffered from PTSD.

She told Jim Wilson she initially welcomed the Morrison government’s appointment of a National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention.

Now she finds herself “fighting for something that I shouldn’t have to fight for”, concerned that the Commissioner’s office will be impotent and biased.

“Prime Minister Morrison is really good at spin.”

Ms Finney recounted a horrifying event in which her son was marched out of hospital sobbing, in front of fellow soldiers, following a suicide attempt.

“We’re not talking about the career; we’re talking about the institution, the hierarchy, the culture, the systemic failures in defence.

“I am not going to bury my son and walk away.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Deputy Opposition leader and shadow defence minister Richard Marles told Jim Wilson the National Commissioner’s appointment “just doesn’t stack up, in terms of what powers are given … and what resources were allocated.”

“We get what the government has tried to do here; we looked at it and wanted to give it a chance.

“We need to get to the bottom of this.

“We owe [veterans and their families] the very best.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14, BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636 or Open Arms (veterans’ counselling) on 1800 011 046.

To sign Julie-Ann’s petition, click HERE.

 

Image: Supplied

Jim Wilson
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