'Rocky sucks' man defends opinion
DYLAN Thiedeke thinks Rockhampton “sucks” and he isn’t afraid to say it.
The 30-year-old local man is the creator of the Facebook group “Rockhampton Sucks” which has sparked much controversy this week and has now reached 763 members.
Yesterday Mr Thiedeke defended the group, which he originally started as a joke among friends, but has now become a site where people regularly vent their frustrations about the area.
“People can say it’s juvenile, but it’s the first time people have been able to say I don’t like where I live,” he said.
“I never thought it would skyrocket to this as it started with just me and my mates. We did it as a laugh and then more and more people joined.”
The group has been slammed by Member for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten, Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Brad Carter and a local businessman for creating negativity and not helping tourism.
The Morning Bulletin also found another Facebook group yesterday, this one pro-Rockhampton, titled “Oh Rocky We Love Ya” with 1048 members.
Mr Thiedeke has lived in Rockhampton for 15 years and is raising his three children here with wife Yasmin.
He works full time, is a member of local sporting clubs and regularly volunteers his time with community events.
He said his personal dislikes about Rockhampton were in relation to the unpredictable hot weather and the violent crimes committed in the city.
Mr Thiedeke said he wanted the community to know the group was not a “hate” group, nor could he control what others post on the site.
“People can dismiss us as fools or take the opportunity to listen to what we have to say,” he said.
“I’m happy to meet with Mr Schwarten or Mayor Carter and take what people have said on the site to them.
“The main issue is no one feels like we are listened to, we are treated like kids. The site gives us a voice. Everyone’s opinion is valid.”
Mrs Thiedeke yesterday said she felt the issue of the site had been blown out of proportion.
“It is only Facebook. They are calling us juvenile but they are juvenile for caring about it.”
Mr Thiedeke also dismissed comments from community members who say, “If you don’t like it here, don’t live here”.
He said it wasn’t that easy to pack up his entire family and move; and it didn’t necessarily fix the problems here.
The Facebook group gained about 100 new members since The Morning Bulletin’s original article yesterday.
Cr Carter was yesterday interviewed by three south-east radio stations about the issue. The group also prompted him to delete his own Council Facebook profile because of security and safety concerns.
“It’s pretty easy to be mischievous on social networking sites. There is also too much risk and it is not an effective means of communication for council.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Morning Bulletin apologises to readers for publishing an image of the Facebook site yesterday which included offensive language. Due to a technical problem in the sub-editing process the error was not detected. We regret any offence.
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