‘Sh-- Town’ roast: Yeppoon, Rocky’s latest tourism gambit?
The moderators of the contentious social media site, Sh-- Towns of Australia, have responded to the Member for Keppel’s condemnation.
On May 12, on her Facebook page, Ms Lauga said it was “incredibly unfair” of them to label Yeppoon as a “second rate Rockhampton”.
Ironically, just a week before, Rockhampton made the site’s Power Ranking lists, following an alleged attempted robbery with a needle at Victoria Tavern.
The Sh-- Towns site described Yeppoon as “ideal for people who made a sea change so they could enjoy the mind-numbing boredom of living in a comatose coastal carbuncle”.
Nearly 400 locals commented on Ms Lauga’s post, although the split between those defending Yeppoon’s reputation and those treating the ‘title’ as a piece of innocuous satire was split.
“When a joke is at someone else’s expense it is offensive and hurtful,” wrote one commenter.
“Free publicity; I don’t think anyone takes it too seriously,” wrote another.
Ricky Furphy and Geoff Rissole - presumably not their real names - said they started the page as a joke before it spread “like nits in Nimbin” all over social media, earning them 400,000 followers and a book deal.
They said there was “just a bit” of highlighting serious small town problems, but the primary purpose of the page was in the “great Aussie tradition of taking the pi--”.
“It’s not our intention to genuinely upset anyone,” said Mr Furphy.
“Although it is funny to receive a flood of poorly-written hate mail.”
He went on to say the posts were “rigorously researched and fact-checked… aside from the occasional bit we make up”.
“The majority of messages we receive are people asking us to roast their own towns,” he said.
Mr Furphy told The Morning Bulletin there was “definitely” an opportunity for maligned towns to turn the attention to their advantage.
“A lot of people comment on our page saying they want to visit towns because of write-ups, to see if they’re really as sh-- as we made out or to visit attractions they learned about from our posts,” he said.
“You could argue we’re doing a public service.”
This week, Yeppoon and Rockhampton ‘lost out’ to Queensland towns Townsville (#1) - “man injured after youths throw saw at him”, and Logan (#6) - “driver trolls cops with fake body hanging out of boot”.