A screen shot from the Facebook group, “Rockhampton Sucks”.
A screen shot from the Facebook group, “Rockhampton Sucks”.

'Rockhampton Sucks' says group

AN online anti-Rockhampton protest group, which labels the city as a “joke”, has been branded a joke itself by several high-profile members of the community.

Member for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten was one of many to offer comment yesterday about the Facebook group, stating the site was “childish beyond belief”.

“I’m astonished anyone could be bothered to start something like that; I could think of better things to do with my time,” he said.

Yesterday it also prompted Rockhampton Mayor Brad Carter to deactivate his Facebook profile because he said it was being misused.

The Facebook group, titled “Rockhampton Sucks”, now has 611 members, who mostly comment on the negative aspects of Rockhampton.

When The Morning Bulletin approached the group’s creator yesterday via electronic media, he did not reply.

However, he did post the privately sent message publicly on the group’s page asking whether he should respond. This only began a massive influx of negativity towards The Bully from other members.

One user commented: “If this town is pathetic enough to care about a Facebook group then give it to them.”

Another said: “The Morning Bulletin should have better things to do.”

While another simply defended the group, saying, “It’s true, Rocky does suck, not 2 the point of hating it though. The traffic lights suck, the police suck, Shopping Fair car park sucks, night life sucks”.

CQUniversity senior psychology lecturer Alan Keen said any form of “hate” group that generated negativity was never a good idea.

“Even if someone had a bad experience about Rockhampton and hated the city, dwelling on that is negative and reporting it to others isn’t helping with a healthy lifestyle,” Dr Keen said.

“People are entitled to comment and it is not illegal, but to start a site like that is not healthy. It will generally have a negative effect on their psyche. I wouldn’t encourage a child to go to that site.”

Mr Schwarten said that anyone with common sense would not take the group seriously and it simply proved how wrong 600 people could be.

A Rockhampton businessman, who asked not to be named, said the city had a hard enough time being a regional community trying to promote its positives without a minority group ruining the image.

“I believe in freedom of speech, but it should be a privilege, not a right,” the man said.

“It is not acceptable for people to say things like ‘the city of Rockhampton is a joke’. Sadly, this Facebook group is irresponsible and inappropriate. People use Facebook and other social networking mediums for things like tourism where before they visit a city they search about it. It’s not good for our tourism industry.”

Cr Carter yesterday said he did not support the social website being used for negative purposes or any of the issues raised on the “Rockhampton Sucks” group.

He said it was part of the reason he chose to close his Facebook account yesterday.

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