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‘Potatoes For Dutton’ Campaign Aims to Raise $5,000 for Refugees


24 August 2018 at 5:09 pm
Maggie Coggan
A group encouraging Australians to buy a potato to send to Liberal MP Peter Dutton’s office says they will soon “wrap up the campaign”, while aiming to raise $5,000 for refugees on Nauru.


Maggie Coggan | 24 August 2018 at 5:09 pm


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‘Potatoes For Dutton’ Campaign Aims to Raise $5,000 for Refugees
24 August 2018 at 5:09 pm

A group encouraging Australians to buy a potato to send to Liberal MP Peter Dutton’s office says they will soon “wrap up the campaign”, while aiming to raise $5,000 for refugees on Nauru.

All donations from the campaign will go to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), which has vocally campaigned against the hardline stance Dutton took on boat turnbacks and offshore detention centres as the former immigration and border protection minister.

ASRC were part of the launch of the #KidsOffNauru campaign, a coalition of over 30 not for profits and humanitarian groups working together to get all children off Nauru within three months.

The Parliament of Potato website said they would send potatoes purchased from independent farmers to Dutton on behalf of the buyer, with the potatoes selling for $1 each, or $39 for a crate.

The director of the campaign, who wished to remain anonymous, told Pro Bono News the idea started out of “jest”, but seized the opportunity of “free media” because the Liberal Party leadership spill was an issue everyone was paying attention to.

“I thought it would be a tongue-in-cheek thing to politely refocus some of the media attention onto an outcome supporting what I’d assume most of Australia believes in,” the director said.

The group said now the political spill had come to a close, they were trying to “wrap it up as soon as possible”.

“The last thing we want is for it to get out of hand… especially because we are giving funds to a charity and there’s politics around that in itself,” they said.

“We’ll leave it running until the end of [Friday], and aim to get to $5,000 in gross sales and then deliver on our customer promise of getting the potatoes to Mr Dutton.”  

Marcella Brassett, campaign manager of the ASRC, told Pro Bono News they could not provide comment on the campaign as they had not “formally endorsed” it.  

“This campaign is not operated by the ASRC and the ASRC does not manage third party community activities,” Brassett said.

“The ASRC relies on many supporters and groups in our community to help fund our critical services… for people seeking asylum.”

The director said they would ensure there was “no food wastage”, and added if the potatoes were rejected by Dutton, they would be “passed on to a food donation centre”.

“We’ve got to work out the logistics of getting so many potatoes there in an ethical way I guess,” they said.  

They said the site would “remain live” after Friday, but any traffic would be directed to the ASRC to donate directly to the organisation. 


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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