HELPING HAND: Tony Abbot accepted a donation from Vice President of the Men's Shed Eric Day on behalf of all of the members to go towards the Soldier On fundraising.
HELPING HAND: Tony Abbot accepted a donation from Vice President of the Men's Shed Eric Day on behalf of all of the members to go towards the Soldier On fundraising. Laura Blackmore

GALLERY: Tony Abbott sets pace as Pollie Pedal drops in

FORMER prime minister and Pollie Pedal founder Tony Abbott set the pace amongst a group of riders who cycled from Dalby to Kingaroy on Thursday.

The ride was part of the 2019 Pollie Pedal, which left from Currumbin on July 13 and is rolling throughout regional Queensland and NSW to raise money for veterans support charity Soldier On.

Mr Abbott has taken on the campaign every year since 1998, and more than $6,000,000 dollars has been raised for Australian charities, and more than 22,000km have been logged on the bike as part of the annual tour.

But after ditching the Lycra and freshening up on his arrival to Kingaroy, Mr Abbott met with an eager crowd at the Kingaroy Men's Shed, where he revealed he was handing over the handle bars.

"I've had a wonderful innings in public life and Pollie Pedal was an important part of that,” Mr Abbott said.

"Angus Taylor has agreed to take it over.

"If he wants me I'll keep participating, but I think it's a good that Angus has agreed to take it over because it should keep going.

"Pollies should get out of their comfort zone and should get out into places that don't normally see politicians.”

Kingaroy Men's Shed vice-president Eric Day and members gave Mr Abbott a guided tour of their workshops before gathering in the kitchen for a cuppa.

In the spirit of the ride, Mr Day presented Mr Abbot with a donation from the members of the Kingaroy Men's Shed to help boost the fundraising efforts.

As Mr Abbot visited the Men's Shed, the Honourable Angus Taylor, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, was greeted by South Burnett councillors and locals at the Kingaroy Memorial Park as he rode into town.

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