Baton on way north
By PETER CATON
THE 2006 Commonwealth Games baton is on its way to Tweed.
The high-tech relay baton which contains a message from Queen Elizabeth for the Opening Ceremony of the games in Melbourne on March 15 is due to pass through the Tweed on Tuesday.
Locals will get their chance to watch sections of the relay through Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads, with a host of locals chosen for the honour to carry it.
The gold and magnesium baton, which began its epic 366-day journey to the Games from Buckingham Palace in London on March 14 last year, was welcomed to Australia at Sydney International Airport by Prime Minister John Howard on Wednesday.
Mr Howard plunged the high- tech device into a special stand, making the 71 lights which represent the Commonwealth's member countries pulse with iridescent green.
The futuristic-looking baton was built in Melbourne and contains a GPS tracking device.
Yesterday it headed through Sydney before making its way north for the remaining 25,000km of its journey which will take it through every State and Territory of Australia.
It is due to arrive in Murwillumbah just after 10am on Tuesday.
From Murwillumbah, members of the community will carry the baton along the Tweed Valley Way from Holland St, left into Alma St over the Murwillumbah Bridge and down Wollumbin St.
Baton carriers will then turn right into Nullum St and right again into Murwillumbah St where the relay will travel down the main street to take a right turn into Commercial Rd.
It will then turn left back over the Murwillumbah Bridge to the Tweed Valley Way.
Once the baton has completed the relay in Murwillumbah, it will travel by vehicle to Tweed Heads South where it will start its journey again outside Tweed City on Minjungbal Dr just after 11am.
The relay will proceed along Minjungbal Dr, over Boyds Bay Bridge then along Wharf St.
The baton will then detour right into Brett St, left into Powell St, left again into Florence St then make a right turn back into Wharf St where it will travel to the NSW/QLD border.