Deputy Prime Minister and member for Riverina Michael McCormack has said the rate of suicide of Defence members and veterans is "unacceptably high".
Mr McCormack's comments come as he encourages Wagga residents to contribute to the draft terms of reference for the upcoming royal commission into veteran and serving Defence personnel suicides.
He has asked interested members of the community to help shape the terms of reference, which will inform the scope of the powerful inquiry over the next 18 months to two years.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the royal commission with Minister for Veterans' Affairs Darren Chester on April 19, after months of campaigning by bereaved families and pressure from across the political spectrum.
"In recognising the sacrifices made by our serving and former members and their families on behalf of the nation, we owe it to members, veterans and their families to continue to take action," Mr Morrison said.
The draft terms of reference are open for public consultation until May 21.
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"It is important we get this Royal Commission right, starting with the terms of reference," Mr McCormack said.
"The Riverina and Central West has a strong connection with the Australian Defence Force, with thousands of current serving men and women living and working in the region as well as many more former ADF personnel who have made it their home."
Wagga is home to two significant ADF bases in the army recruit training centre at Kapooka and the Royal Australian Air Force base at Forest Hill, which are responsible for more than 5000 trainees each year and which employ more than 1000 uniformed staff.
Wagga Defence Shed president Jason Frost hopes said it was "crucially important" to get the royal commission's terms of reference right.
"The main thing at the moment is that the public is consulted, as long as we're getting voices from the actual veterans that are in the thick of it," he said.
"At the moment the decision makers have only got information surrounding them. Us being able to provide input from the communities on the frontline, so to speak, is very important."
Mr Frost coordinates the Pro Patria Centre for veterans, which will hold community consultation sessions on the terms of reference for men, women, partners and carers on May 12, May 13 and May 14.
Free support for veterans and their families is available free of charge through the Open Arms counselling service on 1800 011 046.
If you are experiencing mental distress please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Murrumbidgee AccessLine on 1800 800 994.