Paedophile forced to flee Australian town

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Ipswich, Queensland — Dennis Ferguson, a convicted paedophile has become the center of a row between Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisale, and Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie. Mr Ferguson moved to Ipswich, north of Brisbane, Australia after being forced out of his previous home by picketers in Murgon in the South Burnett region of Queensland yesterday.

A group of protesters have now gathered outside Mr Ferguson's new home in Ipswich, who at one stage threw rocks at the house. The Mayor has defended the actions of the protesters saying "All the residents are doing is showing their democratic right - what they feel - and I think that in this country, they have a right to do that," he said.

"I think the only thing left is institutionalise. I think that's the only thing left in this community because you just can't keep shifting the problem all over the state and all over the country until people start showing signs of remorse and show signs of whether they've been rehabilitated."

However the Premier of Queensland, Peter Beattie, reponded by asking Mayor Paul Pisale what he meant by "institutionalised". "To do what?" he said."Okay, so you actually believe that somebody should be locked up forever? We have laws in this state now, and I will talk to Paul about this, which basically say that a paedophile will not be released if they're a danger to the community."

But the Deputy Opposition Leader Jeff Seeney says that in Mr Ferguson's case "Those laws have failed," he said. "He needs to go into an institution and Peter Beattie has a responsibility to ensure that people such as that are kept in an institution."