OPINION: Israel Folau fundraiser makes more in two days than Rural Aid drought charity does in a year

CONTROVERY: Former Wallaby Israel Folau has received millions in donations to fund his legal battle.
CONTROVERY: Former Wallaby Israel Folau has received millions in donations to fund his legal battle.

MONEY talks.

And when a sacked rugby player can raise more cash in two days than a drought-aid campaign can in an entire year, it speaks volumes about us.

Israel Folau shot to notoriety when he was dropped from the Wallabies for his Instagram announcement that hell awaits drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators unless they turn to Jesus.

A GoFundMe to bankroll Folau's legal battle over religious freedoms made $1,981,715 in just two days.

His new campaign, headed by the Australian Christian Lobby, made close to $60,000 an hour in its first 14 hours.

If you live in the free world you already know all of that, because if you have even a smattering of celebrity and controversy you will dominate Australian headlines for days. And weeks. And months.

Meanwhile in Easily Forgotten [regional Australia] the drought drags on, cattle die, whole families lose their income and towns of 60,000 people face the very real prospect of running out of water.

In an entire financial year, Rural Aid's Buy A Bale campaign was still 71,000 bucks away from matching multi-millionaire Israel Folau's spoils.

Sure, drought is not a hugely sexy sell for politicians or the media.

It's not at the top of Penny Wong's list, Alan Jones isn't going to start raving about it and it's probably not the perfect opportunity for Bill Shorten to try to back Scott Morrison into a corner.

Read also:

The issues don't fit perfectly into 140 characters but they are real and they are happening in Australia's backyard.

Regional Australia is in dire need of water infrastructure that shores us up against the slowly worsening effects of climate change that our government still doesn't really acknowledge exists.

The relentless drought and rural stoicism of our farmers warrants media attention, and not just when John Farnham comes to town. People need to start caring about it enough to open up their wallets.

That's just my two cents.

- Madeline Link is an ACM journalist.