The Prime Minister has pledged his government's commitment to addressing the issue of suicide among Defence Force members and veterans.
Today Scott Morrison formally announced a royal commission into the issue, to be led by former NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas.
Mr Morrison said it would investigate issues including separation, transition, and post-service.
"The death of any veteran is a great tragedy, and we remain committed to addressing that," Mr Morrison said. "$11.7 billion in federal funding supports more than 325,000 veterans and their families each year."
Retired Queensland judge James Douglas and psychiatrist Peggy Brown will also serve on the commission.
"The royal commission will be able to inquire into any previous death by suicide, including suspected suicide," Mr Morrison said. "The Australian government is committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of those who have served our nation in our Defence Forces."
At least 500 Australian veterans and active service members have committed suicide since 2001.
Hearings will be conducted in a manner sensitive to those with mental health issues, and counselling and support services will be available. A legal financial assistance scheme will be available to people called as witnesses to the Royal Commission.
The Royal Commission is due to provide an interim report on August 11, 2022, and a final report on June 15, 2023.
Speaking earlier today, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said it was important the royal commission "be got right".
"I think it's unfortunate that the Government hasn't consulted the Opposition about the terms of reference or about the appointment of Commissioners," he said. "It is important going forward that this now be a bipartisan issue now that the Government has adopted Labor's position."
One of the main campaigners for the royal commission, Julie-Ann Finney, was unhappy with the choice of Mr Kaldas to lead the commission. "More jobs for the boys," she tweeted. "Once an almost preferred Liberal Candidate (2019), an almost Police Commissioner and now an almost Royal Commissioner. RC's are headed up by High Court judges and/or QC's. The Morrison government does not want veterans to survive."
Ms Finney's son, a former member of the Royal Australian Navy, committed suicide in 2019.