Contingent helps soldiers prepare for life in North
SOLDIERS from 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment and their families are still in Sydney but the welcoming committee has already been dispatched.
A contingent from Townsville i ncluding Brigadier Stuart Smith, Lavarack Barracks redevelopment officer Lieutenant Colonel John Hathaway, Mayor Les Tyrell, Townsville Enterprise chairman John Bearne, Education Queensland’s Gerard O’Connor, a Defence Housing representative and James Cook University’s Gerard Burn arr i v e d a t Sydney’s Hols - worthy Barracks yesterday to provide the North Queensl anders-t o-be with i nformation about the city.
They were also accompanied by two soldiers and their partners who will give them a ‘‘ warts and all’’ account of life in North Queensland.
This is the second time representatives have visited the 1500 soldiers to present t h e m w i t h i n f o r m a t i o n ahead of their move to the city at the end of the year.
L t - C o l H a t h a w a y s a i d Townsville was one of the country’s most sought after postings with a 95 per cent s a t i s f a c t i o n r a t e s o t h e session was more about providing information on jobs, education and lifestyle.
‘‘ The whole intent is smooth the transition families,’’ he said.
‘‘ Hopefully people will be able to come up here and with a bit of planning their partners can walk straight into a job and the kids can have a school to go to.
‘‘ The defence force enjoy being a great part of the Townsville community and we’re trying to advertise that to the people of Holsworthy.
‘‘ We’re also taking down two soldiers and their wives from 1RAR to add a bit of truth and credibility to what we’re saying.
‘‘ You get the chiefs going down but to bring real families down to answer questions they may have it means when wives from Sydney ask a question they will get real answers, warts and all.’’
Mayor Les Tyrell said he believed the soldiers would enjoy living in Townsville.
‘‘ It gives us the opportunity to sell the city,’’ he said. ‘‘ My role is to outline to the people who are coming here what to expect to find in Townsville in the way of facilities, entertainment, job prospects for spouses and schooling for their children.’’