Today, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, the Hon. Matt Keogh MP, tabled in Parliament the Australian Government response to the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide’s Interim Report, which is available here: Australian Government Response to the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide – September 2022 (dva.gov.au). Minister Keogh also delivered a Ministerial Statement about the response and stated the Government’s commitment to supporting the Defence and veteran community and families, which you can read here, as well as his media release: https://minister.dva.gov.au/minister-veterans-affairs
The 13 recommendations made in the Interim Report were issues that the Commissioners believed required urgent and immediate action. The Government has tabled a formal response to each of these recommendations. The Government has implemented one of the recommendations already (recommendation 5), agreed to nine, agreed in principle to one, and noted two others.
Work is already underway to employ an additional 500 staff at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. These staff are already being recruited and, along with other process changes, will go a long way to eliminating the current backlog of claims at the department and see veterans and families receiving the services and support they need.
In its response, the Government acknowledges and notes two recommendations and will work with the Royal Commission to ensure issues around access to information are addressed where possible within existing legislative frameworks.
DVA is committed to implementing the recommendations in line with the Government’s response and will continue supporting the work of the Royal Commission. .
We will continue to update you on our progress in implementing the Government’s response to the Interim Report.