Road bicycle used by Tony Abbott #2015-0335
Ten speed carbon fibre road bicycle custom made for and used by Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Bicycle is black and white.
This bicycle was custom made for Tony Abbott in 2009 by Australian company Hillbrick Bicycles. In 2009 Tony Abbott was Opposition Shadow Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. He took part in Pollie Pedal that year, a journey from Brisbane to Sydney which raised over $100,000 for charity. Tony Abbott was one of the founding organisers of Pollie Pedal in 1998 and has taken part ever since. He undertook the 2009 ride on this Hillbrick bike and Abbott said, ‘This year’s Pollie Pedal from Brisbane to Sydney was the longest and it was the hardest, but I would like to think that it was the best ride. It did not raise the most money of all of the Pollie Pedals but it did raise more than $100,000 for a particularly good cause. I think that under the current economic circumstances that is not bad going’ (House of Representatives Hansard, 23 June 2009).
Anthony John ’Tony’ Abbott was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1994 after a career as a journalist and political staffer. He served as a junior minister in a variety of roles before being appointed to Cabinet as Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations in 2001. In this role he oversaw the creation of the Job Network employment scheme. Appointed Health minister in 2003, Abbott became known for his rough, robust parliamentary style. In 2009, in opposition, he replaced Malcolm Turnbull as Liberal leader and led the Coalition to the 2010 election, which resulted in a hung parliament, with Labor and the Coalition tied at 72 seats each. On 7 September 2013, Abbott was elected Prime Minister after the Coalition won 90 seats in the House of Representatives.
Of the reason for his cycling habit Abbott has said ‘Well it was the Pollie Pedal my annual charity bike ride which initially got me onto the bike and into lycra but after a few years it became a key part of my fitness regime. It also doubles as a good way of staying in touch with people given that some of my very best friends from uni days have all become quite keen cyclists. So it’s the companionship as much as the fitness’ (Chris Pash, ‘THE NEW GOLF: Tony Abbott And 8 CEOs Tell Us Why They Love Cycling’, in Business Insider Australia, 3 April 2014). Tony Abbott used the Hillbrick bike on the morning after he was elected Prime Minister in 2013 to go for an early morning ride from his Sydney home.This ride was reported nationally and internationally with Abbott quoted as saying It was great to start the day with a ride with the people I’ve been riding with for years’ before being driven to his office (BBC news online, ‘New Australia PM Tony Abbott gets to grips with his new job’, 8 September 2013).