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Home Fake-News Bogus Facebook Message Falsely Claims Drought Relief Funds Stolen by Government

Bogus Facebook Message Falsely Claims Drought Relief Funds Stolen by Government

by Brett M. Christensen

According to a message going viral on Facebook, the Australian government has stolen all of the money from recent TV channel fundraising campaigns designed to help drought-stricken farmers. 

The message alleges that the government has taken charge of the funds and farmers who have not completed tax returns or owe tax money will not receive any of the money raised.

However, the claims in the message are utter nonsense.  The Australian Government does not control the distribution of funds raised during non-government fundraising campaigns.

Channel 9 has dismissed the claims via a post on the Today Facebook page. The post notes that all funds raised will go directly to farmers:

Channel 7 show Sunrise has also denied the claims via comments on its Facebook Page. It notes that funds raised for farmers via Sunrise go to the charity Rural Aid.

Moreover, there are no credible news or farm organization reports that support the claims in the circulating message.  Of course, if the government was actually taking money raised via charitable campaigns and withholding it from farmers, then the issue would be extensively covered by the mainstream news media. 
To reiterate, the Australian Government is not commandeering funds raised for drought relief by television stations or other organizations.

The Australian Government does provide various assistance measures for farmers, some of which are administered via Centrelink.  Farmers who apply for Centrelink or other government assistance will be assessed for eligibility on an individual basis.

The Australian Federal Government and various state governments have received criticism for their response to the devastating drought that is currently impacting Australian farmers. However, farm organizations have welcomed recent new government initiatives that may help assist drought-stricken farmers.

A problem with this type of nonsensical post is that it may stop people from donating money to help farmers when they desperately need it.  If this false message comes your way, please let the person who posted it know the information it contains is untrue.

An example of the message:

Fake "Government stole drought relief funds message


Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,