The prime minister with pedal power

HEADING WEST: Prime Minister Tony Abbott will launch his annual Pollie Pedal fundraiser in Moree on Sunday before setting off with the peloton. Photo: Kate Geraghty

HEADING WEST: Prime Minister Tony Abbott will launch his annual Pollie Pedal fundraiser in Moree on Sunday before setting off with the peloton. Photo: Kate Geraghty

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott will be in Moree this weekend to launch the annual Pollie Pedal fundraiser.

The charity event, which cycling fan Mr Abbott founded in 1998, sees politicians embark on a ride to raise money for a worthy cause.

Participants in this year’s instalment will ride more than 1000km from Moree to Penrith in western Sydney over the course of a week.

Pollie Pedal has raised more than $3 million for various charities since its inception and this year the chosen charity is Carers Australia.

Before the 2013 election, Mr Abbott told media that even if he became prime minister he intended to take part in this year’s event.

And despite his busy schedule, Mr Abbott’s office confirmed he will be travelling to Moree and riding for part of the opening day.

Parkes MP Mark Coulton has committed to spending five days riding with the peloton, while final   arrangements for Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce are yet to be finalised.

The peloton will travel through the New England electorate, with Barraba, Manilla, Tamworth, Werris Creek and Gunnedah on the itinerary.

“The support provided by Pollie Pedal will enable Carers Australia to not only raise awareness of Australia’s 2.7 million carers, but also promote their new ‘Work and Care’ initiative, which aims to improve the capacity of carers to combine employment with their caring responsibilities,” Mr Joyce said.

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