Niall de Niall, 37, Queensland, was in Bendigo to celebrate 1044 days since the first Mosque Rally in Bendigo.
“So many memories,” said Mr de Niall. “It was the first time I got to ride a tram.”
The influx of Queenslanders angry about a Mosque potentially being built 2,504 kms away brought many pluses to the region.
“Say what you want, it was good for business,” said Gary Farr, 48, pastry chef.
His business had to create a new style of meat pie catered to the Queensland taste bud.
“We put cane toads in it,” he said.
There were other benefits to the many new arrivals, with hotels booking out despite minor difficulties.
“They took two bed rooms, and then snuck fourteen into them, sleeping eight on the floor, four in the bed, and two standing with their head against a wall like a tilting giraffe,” said a spokesperson from the Oval Motel.
Of course it was not all extra food sales and accommodation boom.
“They were so rough and rude,” said a bar staff representative.
“All they wanted was XXXX this and XXXX that, and to know where all our cane toads were.
“They talked so much about being attacked by cane toads, I’m worried they’re going to move here.”
Mr de Niall is indeed considering a move to Bendigo.
“That new Japanese restaurant is great, and the redesigned Turkish Kitchen, plus a new curry house near Piyawat.”
It’s not just the food that is luring de Niall from his Queensland home.
“With that Buddhist Temple being built I might get some work protesting that.
“Off the top of my head we don’t want them Buddhists coming here and burning themselves alive in the street, as they passively aggressive seek a better life for their children here in Bandigo.” (sic)