Pollies pedal for our returned servicemen and women
IT'S A very small way to pay tribute to the countless servicemen and women who sacrificed so much in their time fighting the world's battles, but former Prime Minister Tony Abbott hopes Pollie Pedal will be able to express some of the government's gratitude to our defence forces.
"All Australians but particularly members in parliament have got to have the utmost respect for our men and women in uniform,” Mr Abbott said.
"From time to time, we politicians put them in harms way.
"When that happens they come back with, in some cases, seen or unseen scars, and it's important that those issues are addressed as they transition from military to civilian life.”
Mr Abbott and his team are cycling from Brisbane to the Gold Coast via the south-west for the 22nd annual Pollie Pedal.
The team's quest is to raise much-needed funds for 'Soldier On' - a charity that invests in the mental health and rehabilitation of returned servicemen and women.
The crew has made stops in Warwick and Toowoomba, and will continue on through to Kingaroy this week.
The last time Mr Abbott visited Dalby was in 2011when the town had been ravaged by floods.
"There's a lot of new housing on the outskirts of Dalby which is pretty impressive,” he said.
"I don't have a recollection of as many traffic lights. I know that the drought is suppressing the rural sector, and Dalby is still largely rural in its economy.
"But nevertheless, it's a sparkling town and that's a credit to everyone living and working in Dalby.”
Member for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor appreciates just how beneficial ventures like the Pollie Pedal are in allowing the riders to see what the south-west has to offer.
"It's just a fantastic way to do two things: one is to raise money for a great cause... and the second great thing about it is getting out to parts of Australia that we otherwise don't get to see.”