Peter Dutton Is Crowdfunding For Disaster Relief As If That’s Not What Taxes Are For

The $4.7 billion Emergency Response Fund, designed to offer disaster relief, remains untouched.

peter dutton gofundme

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Defence Minister Peter Dutton has been slammed for organising a GoFundMe to support his electorate after floods tore through the community over the weekend.

Dutton — the member for Dickson — took to Twitter on Sunday afternoon to share a GoFundMe page he created to “help local residents and businesses who have been affected.”

If the idea of crowdfunding for disaster relief sounds familiar, it’s because a portion of our tax dollars already go towards a number of disaster relief funds — including the Coalition’s $4.7 billion Emergency Response Fund.

The Emergency Response Fund — set up back in 2019 in response to the devastating bushfires — has accrued $700 million in interest since its establishment, but not a single cent has been used to actually respond to emergencies.

According to the government, the fund is to be used as a last resort, but it seems like we should be dipping into this literal fortune, rather than having MPs crowdfund for disaster relief on social media. It is unclear what exactly constitutes a last resort in the eyes of the Coalition, but it’s worth noting that the current situation in Queensland and northern NSW has already claimed the lives of seven people, with thousands being evacuated.

In less than 24 hours, the GoFundMe has already raised more than $20,000, thanks — in part — to donations from generous individuals like Howmuchdid Theyspendontanks and Thegovernment Printsmoney.

In addition to the Emergency Response Fund, the Coalition also announced the Prepare Australia Fund in the last federal budget — which included $600 million worth of funding over the next six years to invest in disaster resilience infrastructure. It is unclear how much of this funding was allocated to the affected area.

Many — including Labor frontbencher Josh Wilson — have criticised the move and pointed out the fact that a competent government would be able to provide disaster relief without crowdfunding for it.

However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison went so far as to assert that Dutton’s antics “sounds to be like someone doing their job.”

“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,” Morrison said in a press conference announcing disaster payments for affected communities.

Morrison — obviously not the most competent leader when it comes to leading the nation through disaster — told reporters that “I don’t understand the criticism”, again proving just how out of touch he really is.

“He is working with his community to add to the significant contributions that have been made by the commonwealth and the state and the local governments. He’s looking after his community. That’s what a good member for Dickson does,” Morrison — who was once Federal Treasurer but clearly has no idea that taxes are meant to cover this stuff — said.

You can find more information on disaster recovery payments for people impacted by the Queensland 2022 floods on the government website here.

Junkee has reached out to Peter Dutton’s office for comment.

Photo Credit: Gympie Region/Twitter