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‘You’ve been a roadblock!’: Ben Fordham grills minister over veteran suicides

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Ben Fordham has grilled the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs over his refusal to commit to a royal commission into veteran suicides.

Australian veterans are six times more likely to be killed by suicide than in active duty.

Amid growing public concern over the government’s treatment of our veterans, Labor has backed the idea of conducting a royal commission into the issue.

But Veterans’ Affairs Minister Darren Chester is under fire for still refusing to support the idea.

Ben Fordham gave the minister an opportunity to explain himself, but he wasn’t about to let him get away without explaining why he won’t back the royal commission.

Ben Fordham: “I don’t think you’re answering the questions. I want you to focus on the questions I’m asking and give me answers to those questions. Do you agree that the royal commissions into banks, child abuse and aged care have been worthwhile?”

Darren Chester: “I agree entirely with you Ben that royal commissions do have their place… but what I’m trying to say to you is I need to make sure, and the Prime Minister has made it clear to me that he wants to consider all the options that are available…”

Ben Fordham: “But you’ve been a roadblock on this! Scott Morrison hasn’t ruled it out.”

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One Nation NSW leader Mark Latham tells Ben a royal commission is not the answer.

“It’s so important I think we need answers quickly.

“I’d much prefer the government get a senior respected figure like say Tony Abbott… get him involved with a few other experts and sort out recommendations quickly.

“Because the problem with royal commissions is they do end up being a lawyer’s picnic and they’re very expensive, and it can take three of four years.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview