An online fundraiser launched by Defence Minister Peter Dutton for his electorate in flood-affected Queensland has been trolled mercilessly by people using their donations to protest the federal government’s own spending.
The GoFundMe was launched on Sunday afternoon, and saw Dutton ask for donations to help support people in the Pine Rivers community in the aftermath of the devastating floods. A federal minister, who probably could have a chat with the Prime Minister himself and demand emergency government funding for his electorate and the region, turned to the general public to ask them for money.
The fundraiser — while gathering important funds to help a community in a crisis — has been widely panned online and become a place where people are donating just to protest against Dutton and the Liberal Party.
At the time of writing, Dutton’s fundraising campaign is nearing $22k of its $25,000 goal, off the back of 106 donations. Alongside a $15 donation from AFR Rich Lister Robert Whyte (a property investor reportedly worth around $700m) and $2500 from the Defence Minister himself, dozens of people are chipping in cash for the opportunity to sign the donations list with a serve to the minister.
The signatories list features several “names” asking about the government’s spending, demanding refugees like Mehdi Ali be freed from detention, asking about the tanks the federal government simply had to buy and plainly stating that the “government prints money”.
A lot of the $5 donations sledging Dutton and the federal government have been converted into “anonymous” donations. It’s unclear whether there were changed by the organiser or the platform, but thankfully the internet never ever forgets (and loves a cheeky screengrab or two).
Unfortunately they have now hidden the excellent trolling in the donor names such as this one pic.twitter.com/5QOIJp7cOq
— Serena Joyner (@SerenasSoapbox) February 27, 2022
— Andy Craig (@Ancray) February 27, 2022
Per The Guardian, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it sounded like Dutton was doing his job to work with his community in the Pine Rivers electorate when he was asked about the minister’s online fundraiser on Sunday evening.
“That sounds to me like someone doing their job,” he said.
“As a local member of parliament, you always look to try and harness community support for responding to major disasters, that’s what our job is – to work with our communities when they’re in times of stress and times of need.”
In this time of severe stress and emergency for south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales, you’d think the federal government’s own $4.8billion Emergency Response Fund would be a better option than asking the community to chip in. Just a thought for you there, Peter.