10 reasons why Mackay is NOT better than Toowoomba
MACKAY'S Daily Mercury has escalated the ongoing meme war between itself and The Chronicle.
Yesterday the masthead posted a list of 10 reasons it thought Mackay was better than Toowoomba.
A fact check by The Chronicle team reveals that list to be full of inaccuracies and falsehoods about the Garden City.
While some of the points made by the Mackay team were correct, we couldn't help but think some of them were more positive than they were making out:
1. It's not Toowoomba - CORRECT
Mackay is not Toowoomba, that is a pretty obvious point. Their article also referred to the Garden City as the 'Woombie'. When asked, no one in the newsroom had ever heard of Toowoomba referred to as that.
2. The weather - PARTIALLY CORRECT
The Daily Mercury then made the point that Toowoomba winters are cooler than Mackay's. That is correct, Mackay is in the tropics so naturally, it is going to be warmer all year round. Because they are in the tropics they are more prone to cyclones (whereas we aren't in Toowoomba). We'd rather sit around the fireplace on a chilly winter evening reading a good book than have to deal with a cyclone.
3. Recycled Water - SO WHAT!?
The paper said Toowoomba was 'loopy' for even considering drinking recycled water. By making that point they are discrediting years of scientific research that states the water is safe to drink. Discrediting science is not surprising given the region is home to one of Australia's most prominent climate change deniers.
4. The hustle and bustle - FIGURES CORRECT BUT CONCLUSION WRONG
The Daily Mercury points out Toowoomba is Australia's 16th largest city and has doubled in size in the past 50 years. This is correct, but is that a bad thing? There is plenty to do in Toowoomba on days off, from exploring our beautiful and immaculately maintained parks and gardens to trying out many of the new cafes and exploring our laneways filled with street art. The hustle and bustle of Toowoomba make it a great place to live.
5. There is nowhere to fish - WRONG
From Lake Cooby to Lake Cressbrook, Lake Perseverance and a number of dams and weirs, there are plenty of places to take the boat and go fishing. We also have some beautiful swimming holes at places like Crows Nest National Park where you can take a dip without the fear of being eaten by a crocodile, shark or stung by a box jellyfish.
6. Toowoomba is the racism capital of Australia - WRONG
Yes, Toowoomba is home to some people that are racist, but so is every town in Australia. Mackay has hosted a number of rallies by far-right racist group Reclaim Australia and their local politicians have also been known to make controversial statements about people of the Islamic faith.
"The larger numbers we are now settling here in Toowoomba has given you a national profile in how welcoming you are," Ms Benson said last month.
7. Drugs and Crime - WRONG
The Mackay masthead pointed out there were 15,000 criminal offenses in Mackay in the past year and 20,000 in Toowoomba. These statistics don't take into account the population of each city, with Toowoomba's population double that of Mackay's.
In the Sugar City there were 0.2 criminal offenses per person in the past year, while in Toowoomba that figure was only 0.12. The crime rate is worse in Mackay.
8. It's a bit close to Brisbane - CORRECT
Yes we are close to Brisbane, but we're also close to the beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast, to the Stanthorpe wine region and so much more. What's Mackay close to? Nothing.
9. Toowoomba doesn't have footy - WRONG
We have heaps of footy. We might not have a team in the Intrust Super Cup, but we have hosted a full NRL game between the St George Illawarra Dragons and Gold Coast Titans, which attracted a crowd into the tens of thousands. We also have a strong local league competition, with footy alive and strong in the Darling Downs. We also host the Toowoomba International Tennis Tournament, the Queensland PGA championship and a number of other large sporting events.
10. There's no one famous from Toowoomba - WRONG
Toowoomba is only the place where one of Australia's most famous actors hails from. Geoffrey Rush was born in the Garden City and spent his formative years here and has come back dozens of times since.
We are also home to the man who just won the most prestigious racing event in the world. Last month Will Power won the Indy500 and Toowoomba turned out to celebrate his win.
Other notable people that hail from Toowoomba include Sonia Kruger, Tim Horan, Shane Webcke, Nikkie Hudson, Steve Price, Meshel Laurie and north Queensland icon Johnathan Thurston himself.
VERDICT: Mackay's Daily Mercury was wrong about Toowoomba. It is a great place to live for many reasons, but simply because it isn't Mackay.
"I know (Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson) and respect him highly," Mr Antonio said.
"But on this particular subject... I really think that when you look at things, have a look at Toowoomba, then have a look at Mackay.
"I'll rest my case there."
If the project were to approved for Mackay, it would probably have to go through a lengthy legal process anyway, as greenies would likely launch action against any project that was approved