$1000 per minute: New Israel Folau fund eclipses $1 million

A fresh fundraising effort for Israel Folau has already amassed more than his controversial GoFundMe plea, just hours after its launch by the Australian Christian Lobby.

The organisation relaunched a campaign for the former Wallabies star on their website late on Monday night after Folau's successful GoFundMe page was shut down.

Just after 5pm on Tuesday, the new fund hit $1 million in donations via the link on the ACL site, the same amount his GoFundMe page had garnered before it was removed.

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Donations rolled in at a rate of more than $1000 per minute in the hour before midday, with no signs of slowing down.

The ACL has also promised to tip in an additional $100,000 of their own money.

The new Israel Folau fund. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)
The new Israel Folau fund. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Folau has been trying to build up a $3 million war chest from public donations to fund his legal battle against Rugby Australia, which terminated his $4 million contract in May.

The decision by RA came after Folau posted a biblical passage on social media saying "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters" would go to Hell unless they repented.

Folau claimed he had been the victim of discrimination on religious grounds and set up the GoFundMe page, which raised more than $750,000 in about four days.

On Monday, GoFundMe took the page down, citing a breach of its terms of service and announcing it would issue refunds to the more than 7000 donors.

"While we welcome GoFundMe's engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion," GoFundMe Australia's regional manager Nicola Britton said.

‘Buckled to demands’

A spokesman for Folau denied his campaign was not compatible with GoFundMe's terms of service.

"Unfortunately, GoFundMe has buckled to demands against the freedom of Australians to donate to his cause," the spokesman said.

"There appears to be a continuing campaign of discrimination against Israel and his supporters."

ACL confirmed on Tuesday Folau had accepted its offer to host a new online appeal for funds, which will be transferred to a trust account to pay for his legal bills.

"So, please give generously today to help Folau stand for your religious freedoms," ACL managing director Martyn Iles wrote on the site.

Folau has launched legal proceedings with the Fair Work Commission against RA and is seeking up to $10 million in damages.

More than 95,000 people had signed an online petition calling on GoFundMe to take down Folau's page.

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