Tony Abbott and the Pollie Pedal team pass through Busselton

Oliver Lane and Rachel Green Busselton Dunsborough Times
Libby Mettam MLA and Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Camera IconLibby Mettam MLA and Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Credit: Rachel Green

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and several other Coalition politicians suited up in lycra for the 2023 Pollie Pedal, which was held in WA for the first time.

The cycling group arrived in Bunbury on Sunday evening and took off again on Monday morning as part of the 1000km round trip from Perth raising funds for the veteran support not-for-profit Walking Wanderers.

The cyclists stopped off at the Busselton Jetty, for a quick pit stop at The Shelter Brewing Co., before making the journey to Margaret River.

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam greeted the cyclists as they made their way to Busselton.

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“It’s fantastic to have the Pollie Pedal team here in the electorate of Busselton,” Ms Mettam said.

“Its so great to have the team here, as they raise valuable funds for the Wandering Warriors.”

Beginning on Saturday, the riders faced the scorching sun, with the temperature pushing into the high 30s.

Now in its 25th year, the event was started in 1998 by Mr Abbott and has since covered more than 23,000km.

“I started it back in 1998 and it’s become an important part of my life,” he said.

“I’m very pleased that after I was evicted from the parliament Angus Taylor agreed to take it on as a bit of a personal mission of his, so I’m now here, not as the convener, but as the patron.

“It means a chance to raise money for a good cause and an opportunity to meet people who have in the case of the Wandering Warriors on this ride, or Soldier On on previous rides, who have done very difficult things for our country and need our encouragement and support.”

So far this year, Pollie Pedal has raised more than $24,000 with hopes that number could pass six figures.

Wandering Warriors began in 2013 and supports special forces veterans through programs focusing on education, employment, mentoring and respite.

Wandering Warriors chief executive officer Quentin Masson said the ride was a great opportunity for the charity.

“It’s a great opportunity to raise funds to help veterans get some education to transition into civilian life,” he said.

“It’ll help achieve some much-needed funds, but also some national recognition around some of the services we provide.

“With that exposure will come more funding and as almost a completely volunteer organisation, almost every cent of every dollar goes straight through to veterans.”

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