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Western Queenslanders have the opportunity to participate in Australia’s largest event for over a decade it was revealed today, with The Queen’s Baton Relay visiting Ilfracombe and Longreach in the lead up to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The eyes of the Commonwealth will be on Ilfracombe and Longreach as the Queen’s Baton journeys towards its final destination, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Opening Ceremony on 4 April 2018.

Across Australia approximately 3,800 batonbearers are needed to carry the Queen’s Baton in the lead up to ‘the friendly games’.

A community nomination program, which opens today, will offer the people of western Queensland an opportunity to carry the Baton. 

Longreach Regional Council and GC2018 are calling on the region to nominate the local characters in each community that they’d like to see carry the Queen’s Baton.

Setting off in Australia on 25 December 2017, the Baton will travel for 100 days to connect with as many people as possible in every state and territory.

Ilfracombe and District Progress Association President Sandy Williams said the inclusion of Ilfracombe on the route was worthy recognition of the iconic town.

“We’re a very proud and resilient community and it’s great to hear that the baton won’t just pass us by – the relay will actually make a stop here.”

“Now it’s time for our town to come out and nominate our batonbearers.” 

The Queens Baton Relay takes a message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II through the Commonwealth to the opening ceremony of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The GC2018 Relay is the longest and most accessible in history, travelling through the entire Commonwealth for 388 days and 230,000 kilometres. 

Longreach Regional Council Mayor, Councillor Ed Warren, said it was an unprecedented opportunity to showcase the region to a global audience.

“The Queen’s Baton Relay is not only a symbol of the Commonwealth Games, but an event that will connect us with communities across Australia and the entire Commonwealth.

“We’re delighted to be a part of an event that will take Ilfracombe and Longreach to the world and I encourage everyone to get involved and nominate a local you think deserves to be a Batonbearer – whether they’re an aspiring young person or someone who has made a contribution to our community over many years.”

The Queen’s Baton Relay begins next week on Commonwealth Day, Monday 13 March, with a commencement ceremony at Buckingham Palace.