Con­tin­gent helps sol­diers pre­pare for life in North

Townsville Bulletin - - Text The Editor -

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.’’

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