Fundraising for Duncan suspended
IT was a simple question: how come the relatively wealthy get a tax-break and I don't? - But had Geelong's Duncan Storrar foreseen the storm his query would raise he may never have asked.
In the four short days since Monday night's Q&A Mr Storrar has watched as a GoFundMe campaign - set up by two men named Nicholas Oliver and Sam Fawcett - raised $60,051 with 2380 Australians reaching into their pockets, ostensibly so he could buy a toaster.
He has also become the subject of close media scrutiny led largely by The Australian newspaper which on Tuesday ran a story pointing out Mr Storrar pays no net tax and receives an Austudy benefit.
This was followed up yesterday when the paper revealed his troubled relationship with his estranged son and his alleged past involving drugs and crime.
Regardless many advocates remained willing to give the truck driver the benefit of the doubt and donations continued to pour in to the GoFundMe campaign.
And in the Twittersphere opinion was divided with many people attacking Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer for her response to his question where she said the government's budget would benefit a small businessman she had met who needed to purchase a $6000 toaster.
Now the man himself has asked the organisers of the fundraising campaign to suspend their efforts.
"It turns out being in the middle of a media storm can be tough. We heard from Duncan today. He has told us that he is struggling with attention and plans to take some time away. His privacy should be respected," they wrote on the page where the donations have been rolling in.
"He also said he is feeling a bit 'freaked out' but wants you all to know he is safe and really appreciates the giving."
The pair also acknowledged there had been queries about how the money would be managed, concerns they described "legitimate."
"We have now been in touch with a couple of community service organisations in Victoria asking for assistance establishing a framework to manage your donations," they said.
"The key thing is that the money gets to Duncan (or the charities/community support groups he chooses to nominate) in the most appropriate way. We can assure you this will be done legally, transparently and in the spirit of why the funds were given.
"As soon as we can provide more detail, we will."