A decision by the federal government to create a permanent national commissioner to investigate suicides among Defence Force personnel and veterans has been welcomed at a local level.
Although it is not a royal commission, prime minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday, February 5, the new role will have similar powers and will investigate individual cases alongside state and territory coroners.
Mr Morrison said the new national commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention will lead an independent and permanent office tasked with looking at ways to curb the suicide rate among the Defence Force community.
President of the Port Macquarie RSL sub branch Greg Laird OAM described the move as a "long time coming".
"There has been far too many of these young fellows committing suicide," he said.
Mr Laird said he hoped the commissioner would be "ex defence and have some working knowledge of the department of veteran affairs".
He said veteran suicide has always been an issue.
"They have to find a way that we can get to these people before they get to the point where they feel that is what they have to do," he said.
"Suicide is a long-term solution to what is probably a short-term problem."
What else is making news?
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.