Australia Welcomes Olympic Athletes But Not Their Bouquets
August 17th 2012 04:20
Sally Pearson is all smiles
Premier Newman has announced that the public celebrations will include a parade through the Queen Street Mall starting at midday and finish with a public presentation of athletes on stage at Reddacliff Place.
“This is a great opportunity for Queenslanders to come out and show their sporting heroes how proud we are of them and their achievements,” Mr Newman said.
“Queensland is well known for producing top athletes, and with 90 Queenslanders competing at the Olympic Games we had the highest representation of any State. “
Stephanie Rice signs a flag
Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk congratulated the Olympians on their performances in the London Games and said they deserved the city's highest honour of receiving the Keys to the City.
“This is Brisbane's chance to come out in force to welcome home our world-class athletes and to help us celebrate Australia's achievements,” Cr Quirk said.
There will be some road closures and parking restrictions in the CBD for the Welcome Home Parade.
While our cities mayors may be rolling out the red carpet, the Aussie athletes still had to pass Australia’s stringent biosecurity systems.
Olympic Diver melissa Wu signs autographs
First Assistant Secretary of DAFF Biosecurity Border Compliance, Mr Tim Chapman, said the Australian team had worked with DAFF biosecurity to ensure that Olympic mementos and other important items could be safely brought back into Australia.
“We worked with the Australian Olympic Committee early to make sure athletes’ bouquets were taken in their carry-on baggage and declared for treatment,” Mr Chapman said.
This year, the winners’ bouquets contain lavender, roses, apple mint, rosemary and wheat, which potentially pose a significant biosecurity risk for Australia if imported without treatment. DAFF’s Biosecurity in-flight team, in partnership with Australian Customs and Border Protection Services, flew home with the Olympic team.
Silver Sally is a golden girl now
“The in-flight team inspected all hand luggage onboard, collected the declared bouquets to send for treatment and cleared all athletes and officials for biosecurity risk material prior to their arrival in Australia,” Mr Chapman said.
“We understand the significance of these important keepsakes for the athletes and we will ensure the timely treatment and safe return of these reminders of their medal winning performances.”
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