LOCAL Federal MP Luke Hartsuyker has responded to criticism of his annual charity bike ride.
In a letter to the editor printed in Wednesday's edition of the Coffs Coast Advocate, Warren Tindall highlighted that one of the sponsors of the ride is McDonald's.
Mr Tindall wrote that fast food outlets will contribute to "a health system flattened by obesity-related illness" and that Mr Hartsuyker's message on the ride of sport and health "is not without corporate contradiction" thanks to the sponsorship.
The local MP was disappointed with Mr Tindall's letter and asked that he might like to think of the beneficiaries and make a donation instead of of targeting those who are contributing to the ride.
"This year the recipients will be the Mid North Coast Disabled Surfers' Association, the Maclean Hospital Auxiliary and the Macleay Vocational College which educates disadvantaged kids," Mr Hartsuyker said.
The letter to the editor asked for the Federal Government to "tax and regulate junk food now". A policy Mr Hartsuyker doesn't agree with.
"I don't share Mr Tindall's view that we need to live in a nanny state where the Government should tax everything in order to change consumer behaviour," he said.
"Whether the issue is taxing fast food or taxing electricity I believe Governments should not unnecessarily seek to increase the cost of living on struggling Australian families.
"When it comes to having a balanced diet it is important we all accept personal responsibility for what we eat and that we complement that with exercise."
The upcoming charity ride will be the fifth time Mr Hartsuyker will embark on it and he's hoping to raise $15,000 this year.
Most of that money will come from sponsors like McDonald's.
"The tens of thousands of dollars we have raised for charity has primarily come from our sponsors who should be applauded for donating to the community," he said..
"I might add that the charity ride's sponsors collectively employee hundreds of people across the Cowper electorate and thousands of Australians around the nation."
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