Friends of former National Party leader Barnaby Joyce are planning a massive fundraising push in the wake of his public statements about the state of his personal finances.
A close associate of Mr Joyce who asked not to be identified said friends and colleagues had gathered to support Mr Joyce by establishing a new fundraising model they have named a “polithon”.
“Everyone is familiar with the old-style telethons that TV stations run usually once a year for a specific charity or cause,” the associate said.
“We have adopted and tweaked that model to come up with a ‘polithon’ which allows members of the public to give money to support needy politicians.
“We must address this problem of having many of our current and former politicians unable to make ends meet on their $200,000-plus salaries or taxpayer-funded pensions
“It’s no wonder that after years of being paid from the public purse, so many of our ex-politicians need to be found further jobs on the government payroll — such as an ambassadorship or chair of a statutory authority — when they retire or are defeated at an election.
“Then there are the tragic cases of people like Christopher Pyne and Julie Bishop who need to take up highly paid posts in the private sector because they simply can’t live off their six-figure pensions or superannuation.
“It’s a hidden tragedy that must be tackled as soon as possible.”
The associate of Mr Joyce said a group of supporters had already started a social media campaign to raise funds for him and had set up a phone bank (pictured) allowing members of the public to phone in donations.
“While we haven’t so far received any monetary donations, we have been flooded with calls offering free advice for Mr Joyce,” he said.
“Most of the callers have been telling him he should have kept his dick in his pants if he wanted to avoid the cost of a divorce… or possibly even two.
“Even though they aren’t giving money, it’s nice to know they are thinking of Barnaby at this challenging time.”