‘ Bomber Bea­z­ley’ gets call

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

enced it and we know how to con­front it and per­form.”

Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing the US Ma­rine Corps 3/ 4 In­fantry Bat­tal­ion’s Com­pany L Cap­tain Tom Schue­man said he be­gan prepa­ra­tions in Fe­bru- ary. He said his troops had been look­ing for­ward to the ex­er­cise and re­unit­ing with US col­leagues tem­po­rar­ily based in Dar­win.

“The grand scale of it is go­ing to be pretty in­cred­i­ble to THEY’RE from the other side of the world but their pas­sion for en­rich­ing the lives of fam­i­lies with loved ones in hos­pi­tal knows no bounds. US Marines with Com­pany L, 3rd Bat­tal­ion, 4th Ma­rine Reg­i­ment, 1st Ma­rine Di­vi­sion yes­ter­day de­liv­ered toys to chil­dren at Townsville Hos­pi­tal and then vis­ited fam­i­lies at Ron­ald McDon­ald House for a bar­be­cue and work­ing bee. Sergeant Kyle Reid, 21, said his cousin was aged just four when di­ag­nosed with leukaemia and a Ron­ald McDon­ald House in Hous­ton, Texas helped keepp his fam­i­lyy close. “Get­ting to give back and see the strug­gles of these lit­tle kids go­ing be a part of,” he said. “It’s def­i­nitely the largest ex­er­cise I’ve ever been part of.”

Capt Schue­man said he would get a sneak peek of the ter­rain through the eyes of a RAAF sim­u­la­tor, with condi- through what my lit­tle cousin when through and putting a smile on their face means the world to me,” he said.

Ron­ald McDon­ald House North Queens­land CEO Amy Cooper said the fa­cil­ity was packed with fam­i­lies due to the school hol­i­days.

“The Marines have been play­ing with the kids but they have also been plant­ing the veg­gie patch, clean­ing the kitchens, gar­den­ing and weed­ing,” she said.

Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing 3/ 4 In­fantry Bat­tal­ion’s Com­pany L Cap­tain Tom Schue­man said the visit was re­ward­ing. “Townsville has been a very good host to us so we are try­ingy g to be goodg g guests and d … I think it’s our duty to give back to the com­mu­nity,” he said. tions in the Cen­tral Queens­land re­gion known to be no­to­ri­ously cold and dif­fi­cult.

“I al­ways like a chal­lenge, so I’m not too wor­ried about ( the con­di­tions),” he said.

“We’re Marines so we’re adapt­able so in any cli­mate or place we can fight. We’re from the desert and we’ve done a bunch of moun­tain train­ing so we’re adap­tive to aus­tere en­vi­ron­ments and we thrive, we don’t just sur­vive.” PREMIER An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk has brought in the big guns in the Land 400 fight, seek­ing ad­vice from for­mer de­fence min­is­ter Kim Bea­z­ley.

Queens­land is fight­ing Vic­to­ria to win a multi- bil­lion- dol­lar war ma­chine con­tract.

Vic­to­ria has called on its own for­mer La­bor min­is­ter, Greg Com­bet, to help its bid, so Ms Palaszczuk has sought help from Mr Bea­z­ley – known as “Bomber Bea­z­ley” in his days in govern­ment.

“Kim Bea­z­ley is one of Aus­tralia’s great­est de­fence min­is­ters,” she said. “He knows the im­por­tance of this con­tract to the ADF and to Queens­land.”

Land 400 is ex­pected to be one of the De­fence Depart­ment’s big­gest projects.

Un­der phase two, about 225 state- of- the- art com­bat re­con­nais­sance ve­hi­cles will be built, cost­ing tax­pay­ers up to $ 5 bil­lion but pro­vid­ing lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers with sup­ply chain and main­te­nance work for about 30 years. About 150 ve­hi­cles will be based in Queens­land to sup­port brigades in Townsville and Enog­gera.

If Queens­land wins phase two, it will prob­a­bly also win the next phase – build­ing 450 in­fantry fight­ing ve­hi­cles and 17 ma­noeu­vre sup­port ve­hi­cles, worth up to $ 15 bil­lion.

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