Thursday, 19 June 2008

Suicide soldier's dad compensation wait

Australian soldier Private Jeremy Williams killed himself after being bullied

The father of an Australian soldier who committed suicide says he is tired of waiting for the Federal Government to decide if it will compensate him for his loss.

Private Jeremy Williams took his own life in 2003 after being bullied at the Singleton Army Base.

His family and the families of three other soldiers have spent years seeking an ex gratia payment over the deaths of their children.

Charles Williams says he just wants an answer.

"It is pointed out with respect that this is now the Government of the day's problem and we ... feel that it's a perfectly reasonable request to ask for some form of timeline so that we may have some expectation on when we can obtain some closure on this," he said.

Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon says he is familiar with Private Williams's case and sympathises with his family.

"The incident did occur in my own electorate and I feel deeply for the family," he said.

"It's quite clear that the hearings have demonstrated that Defence had a case to answer and if Jeremy Williams did have a wife and or kids, the compensation would have been paid long ago.

"He doesn't, he doesn't have any dependants and I'm disappointed that the former Government took more than five years to do nothing."

No comments: