Australia will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games on its Gold Coast on April 4 to 15, 2018 and has been finalising preparations for the international sporting event
Australia will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games on its Gold Coast on April 4 to 15, 2018 and has been finalising preparations for the international sporting event.
So how are the Games impacting the nation’s citizens and what will it mean for the country?
Commonwealth Business Communications has already reported on the impact the Games will have on the tourism sector and the response to the recently published Volunteer Guidebook, `Game Shapers’, but Gold Coast officials have now set up the Get Set for the Games initiative to help locals navigate daily life whilst the sporting event take place in their home city.
The Get Set for the Games team is offering free workshops for businesses, giving advice and support on how to keep business moving during April’s busiest times.
The workshops will be tailored to either the local area or to a specific industry, covering driving schools, the freight industry, gaming clubs and RSLs, home care providers, hotels and accommodation, restaurants and cafes, and utilities providers.
Another planned workshop will encourage cycling to and from work and will cover cyclist safety and bicycle handling techniques, catering for a variety of needs from regular cyclist commuters to absolute beginners.
Additional strain on public transport is another significant impact on the host city, so Get Set for the Games is advocating walking or cycling for shorter distances, whilst additional bus, train and tram services will be added during peak congestion hours.
For security reasons, Games venues will have restricted vehicle access in the lead up and during the event, so local residents are being asked to obtain a free Local Access Permit for Vehicle Check Points, a process affecting 1,400 properties in the area.
Furthermore, Protective Security Zones (PSZ) and access restrictions will apply to some waterways and connected public transport networks, though the Commonwealth Games Corporation, City of Gold Coast, Queensland Police and the Department of Transport have promised to minimise the inconvenience of travel disruption to local residents.
Beaches, parks and recreational areas may see some temporary adjustments to operations, as will other city services such as waste collection.
Further afield, the Commonwealth Games is also impacting Australia’s first-nation people, as the Queen’s Baton was welcomed at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park with traditional singing and dancing.
Members of the Aboriginal community passed the Queen’s Baton between them in the surrounding area of Uluru in a ceremonial reminder of the union of cultures present in the modern Commonwealth.
A message from the Queen is contained within the Baton, written on spinifex paper; spinifex grass has many traditional applications.
A spokeswoman for the Gold Coast Games, Lara McKay, said that the Baton’s visit to the renowned landmark importantly acknowledged the first-nation people in the Relay journey.
McKay said that whilst the Games was a celebration of world-class sport, it was also a celebration of the diverse cultures within the Commonwealth of Nations and its territories.
She said: “In April, when teams from every inhabited continent come to compete at GC2018, we’re going to see a spectacular display of sportsmanship and the meeting of cultures.”
Read More: Team England visited Dreamworld Corroboree on the Gold Coast, Australia and took part in indigenous cultural training as part of their preparation for this year's Commonwealth Games, which will take place April 4-15, 2018