AL­LIES GAME FOR Joint forces on move for mas­sive ex­er­cise

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RACHEL RI­LEY rachel. ri­ley@ news. com. au

MORE than 32,000 Queens­land jobs dis­ap­peared last year and com­pe­ti­tion for roles was the high­est in the coun­try.

The Depart­ment of Em­ploy­ment’s Aus­tralian Jobs 2017 re­port re­vealed the num­ber of jobs fell 1.3 per cent be­tween Novem­ber 2015 and Novem­ber 2016, with a drop of 65,900 full- time roles far out­weigh­ing the in­crease in 33,700 part- time roles.

The na­tional av­er­age was 0.7 per cent job growth.

“( In Queens­land) the largest num­bers of new jobs were cre­ated in pro­fes­sional, sci­en­tific and tech­ni­cal ser­vices ( up by 24,200 or 16.3 per cent), health­care and so­cial as­sis­tance ( 22,800 or 8.3 per cent) and ac­com­mo­da­tion and food ser­vices ( 22,100 or 14.1 per cent),” the re­port said.

Com­pe­ti­tion for jobs in­creased last year, with 19 ap­pli­cants on av­er­age for each Queens­land va­cancy – up from 16 ap­pli­cants the year be­fore.

Hays Queens­land man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Darren Buchanan said while com­pe­ti­tion was high in Queens­land, ap­pli­cants were not nec­es­sar­ily all un­em­ployed. Ap­pli­cants could be un­em­ployed, from in­ter­state or cur­rently in jobs, he said.

The re­port found that in Novem­ber 2016, 4 per cent of Queens­land jobs were based in Townsville ( 97,900 work­ers). TOWNSVILLE- based troops are un­der­tak­ing their fi­nal prepa­ra­tions be­fore they em­bark on the more than 700km jour­ney to Ex­er­cise Tal­is­man Sabre early next week.

Con­voys of ve­hi­cles from Lavarack Bar­racks will be­gin hit­ting the Bruce High­way from Mon­day to travel to Shoal­wa­ter Bay, north of Rock­hamp­ton, with more to fol­low later in the week by air.

The Tal­is­man Sabre se­ries of ex­er­cises is a ma­jor Aus­tralian and United States mil­i­tary train­ing ex­er­cise fo­cused on the plan­ning and con­duct of mid- in­ten­sity “high end” war.

This will be the sev­enth time the ex­er­cise has been con­ducted and will in­volve more than 30,000 Aus­tralian and US de­fence per­son­nel.

The first of the Townsville troops left the city yes­ter­day aboard HMAS Can­berra and on Wed­nes­day aboard HMNZS Can­ter­bury of the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Com­mand­ing Of­fi­cer 1RAR Lieu­tenant Colonel Ben McLen­nan said it took up to two years of plan­ning and count­less re­hearsals to en­sure per­son­nel were moved to Cen­tral Queens­land safely.

“It’s a great re­hearsal for hav­ing to de­ploy a large coali­tion force some­where in the world,” he said. “It’s a very aus­tere ex­er­cise. “Sol­diers and of­fi­cers will be liv­ing in the field in spar­tan con­di­tions, ex­posed to the el­e­ments for an ex­tended pe­riod and that is the type of train­ing we want to do so if we have to do it real- time we’ve ex­peri-

Pic­ture: EVAN MOR­GAN

LOCKED AND LOADED: Lieu­tenant Colonel Ben McLen­nan with Cap­tain Tom Schue­man and ( right) Sergeant Kyle Reid with Malakai Smith, 1. CAP­TAIN TOM SCHUE­MAN

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