The Queen's Baton Relay for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will arrive at Brisbane Airport on Christmas Eve, just 100 days before the Games begin, it has been announced.
Kate Jones, the Queensland Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Commonwealth Games, and Peter Beattie, the Gold Coast 2018 chairman, joined the Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) to unveil the city's airport as an official supplier with 200 days to go.
“As the first port of call in Australia, Queenslanders will guarantee the Baton a warm welcome before it embarks on the 100-day journey across the country, visiting every state and territory on its way to the Opening Ceremony," said Jones.
“When it arrives into Brisbane, the Baton will have completed a 288-day expedition, sharing the Games dream with thousands of people across the Commonwealth, connecting the Gold Coast, Queensland and Australia with one-third of the world’s population.
“After 188 days of its 288-day international sector, the Baton has made its way across 45 countries, putting Queensland and the Gold Coast on the international map.
“On Christmas Eve, there’s no better place to come home to than Queensland.”
During the Commonwealth Games, Brisbane Airport is expected to handle 20,000 pieces of athletes' luggage, more than 500 bike travel cases, 60 pole vaults and 45 javelins.
Around 300 Para athletes are expected to arrive and depart from Brisbane Airport also.
“We recognise that Brisbane Airport is often the first and last impression of our city and state for international visitors and it will be the main gateway into Australia for the majority of international travellers arriving for the Commonwealth Games," added Stephen Goodwin, the BAC's acting chief executive.
“We anticipate around 70 per cent of the nearly 14,000 visitors and Games associated representatives are expected to fly in for the Commonwealth Games to come through Brisbane’s international terminal and we’re well prepared for their arrival.
“As part of the partnership with Gold Coast 2018 we’re working on detailed logistics for facilitating the smooth arrival and departure of thousands of athletes, team officials, families and spectators making their way to and from the Games venues.
The Baton contains a message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II that calls on the Commonwealth’s athletes to come together in a peaceful and friendly competition.
The message will be taken from the Baton and read at the Opening Ceremony of Gold Coast 2018 on April 4.
Prince Charles will officially open the Games in place of the Queen.