The Federal Government will release a draft terms of reference today, recommending the royal commission to Governor-General David Hurley.
The royal commission will have a mandate to examine systemic issues, any common themes and past deaths by suicide of Australian Defence Force members and veterans, Mr Morrison said.
“We want this to be comprehensive,” Mr Morrison said.
“And I have no doubt that that will get supported.”
It will examine all aspects of service in the Australian Defence Force and the experience of those transitioning from active service.
Mr Morrison said the inquiry would not be about making findings of civil or criminal wrongdoing, nor on the manner or causes of death in relation to particular cases of suicide.
The commission will have the full range of compulsory powers including being able to summon witnesses, hold public hearings, take evidence on oath or affirmation and compel the production of documents and witness statements.
“This will be an important process for the families,” Mr Morrison said.
“I think and I hope it will be a healing process.”
Veterans Affairs’ Minister Darren Chester will lead the consultation process.
Mr Chester said the royal commission would “help restore hope” for suffering veterans and their families.
“We do understand that some people in our veteran community and their families will not heal until we have this royal commission,” he said.
Returning home from war was a “very difficult, sensitive and incredibly complex issue” for veterans and their families, Mr Chester said.
The prime minister estimated the royal commission could take between 18 months and two years to complete.
Mr Morrison hopes the commission can begin its work by July after the terms of reference are established.
Veterans who return from Iraq and Afghanistan were dealing with a very different set of challenges to previous generations of diggers, Mr Morrison said.
“We need to take action to support them,” he said.
“We see the number of presentations increasing, the demand for veteran support increasing, of course, it is a function of the deployments over the last 20 years.”
Her petition for a royal commission has been signed by more than 409,000 people.
Ms Finney welcomed the announcement by the prime minister today in a poignant statement, but added it was long overdue.
“Finally, the voices of veterans will be heard. Finally, families can stand up and share their stories,” she said.
She urged the government to ensure the voices of veterans were “front and centre” in the royal commission.
“Today is about veterans. The veterans fighting every day to make it through to the next. The veterans who we have lost too soon, who live on in too many broken hearts,” she said.
“I am so thankful to all the veterans who have stood brave and tall in the face of so much opposition over the years, and kept fighting for this royal commission. Today, this victory belongs to them.
“My fight over these last two painful years has all been to honour my son, and to ensure that in the future, that no other mum feels this pain.
“Today is for my son, Dave Stafford Finney. “
Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling is Australia’s leading national provider of high-quality mental health assessment, clinical counselling and support services for veterans and their families. Support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.