July 19, 2019
Where would you prefer to be on a below-zero Kingaroy morning? If you’re the ex-PM, it’s in Memorial Park, wearing lycra and munching on an egg and bacon burger!
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott was one of the founders of the fundraising charity ride, Pollie Pedal, which rolled into Kingaroy on Thursday afternoon.
He’s taken part in it 22 times so it’s fair to say he must really enjoy cycling …
By comparison, fellow rider, Energy Minister Angus Taylor, is a relative newbie – he’s only pedalled the 1000km or so seven times.
This year’s ride was due to take place in April, but the Federal Election got in the way.
When the dust settled, Tony was no longer a “pollie” but that didn’t stop him from taking part in the re-scheduled event which he hopes will raise close to $500,000.
But it also meant the official “ride leader” this time around was Minister Taylor.
The other politicians taking part were David Gillespie, the Federal Member for the NSW seat of Lyne; and Ben Morton, the Federal Member for the WA seat of Tangney.
All up, there were 34 riders enjoying breakfast at dawn on Friday in Kingaroy’s Memorial Park.
Some of them were from sponsor companies, nine were either current or former Defence Force personnel, and two were Goomeri police officers who joined the ride for the Kingaroy to Goomeri leg.
The 2019 Pollie Pedal is raising funds for Soldier On, a support service for men and women who have served Australia at any time since 1990.
Ride Director Graeme Northey told southburnett.com.au the cyclists had been on the road since Sunday, accompanied by a support team from Adelaide.
They started in Currumbin and will finish up in Brisbane on Sunday, covering almost 1000km in eight days.
He said conditions had been good so far; the days had been great although the ride from Kyogle to Warwick had been a long day with head winds all the way.
Graeme said Pollie Pedal had raised more than $6 million for different charities since it began; this is the third year Soldier On has been supported.
The brekkie was served up by a team of volunteers from Gympie.
The Rapid Relief Team volunteers were from the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church and have have been supporting Pollie Pedal since 2015.
Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington took the opportunity of catching up with Energy Minister Angus Taylor during his Pollie Pedal stopover in Kingaroy.
“It was a great opportunity for me to discuss the many energy issues across the entire Nanango Electorate,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“I particularly wanted to talk to him about regional electricity prices. We caught up at the Kingaroy RSL.
“This was a great opportunity for the South Burnett and I’d like to thank the Pollie Pedal team for bringing their event to our region and highlighting the important work of Soldier On.”