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WORLD BRIEFING / AUSTRALIA

Navy to take 2-month holiday

November 18, 2008|Times Wire Reports

Australia's navy has been ordered on vacation for two months over Christmas, with military chiefs saying the shutdown is the best way to deal with chronic staff shortages, the government announced today.

Navy commanders had ordered all ships not on overseas operations to return to port over the holiday period, while docked vessels would be manned by only skeleton staff to maintain on-board security.

The navy faces serious staff shortages, with 2,020 skilled vacancies and a 27% yearly recruitment shortfall, exacerbated by 11% of staff quitting the service each year.

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