20 May 2010

Concern over pedophile housing at Wacol

UP TO 30 convicted pedophiles could be housed close to Ipswich in a  complex inside gaol grounds.

Amanda Glennie (left) and Carlie Brown (right) with
Carlie's children, Mackenzie, 6 and Beeanka, 17 months,
outside the Camira State School.

UP TO 30 convicted pedophiles could be housed close to Ipswich in a complex inside gaol grounds.

The housing has been on fenced-off Correctional Service land at Wacol since 2006 to house convicted child sex offenders on supervision orders who have not found suitable housing.

The move is in a response to the community protests that drove pedophiles like Robert John Fardon and Dennis Ferguson from Ipswich and other cities in Queensland.

News that the housing for convicted pedophiles was on the doorstep of a number of Ipswich suburbs came as a surprise to Goodna mother Carlie Brown.

Mrs Brown, who has three children at Camira State School about 5km away from the site, said she was shocked the sex offenders could be kept together close to schools and sports grounds.

"Even though it's in prison grounds, as a mother you still worry – you never feel 100 per cent safe," she said.

"If they have finished their sentences but are on supervision orders, we don't know if that means they're locked up all the time or if they have supervised trips out."

Camira mother Amanda Glennie, who also has children at the same school, said parents should be told if sex offenders were living nearby – even if they were on prison land.

Ipswich City Councillor Paul Tully, whose division neighbours the suburb of Wacol, said he thought it would be a good idea if the offenders were supervised.

"Having them in a secure prison-like facility is better than living next door to families in Ipswich, Brisbane, Gold Coast or suburbs in any other city."

Corrective Services Minister Neil Roberts said security at the precinct included fences, closed circuit television, regular dog squad patrols and electronic monitoring.

"Offenders living in the transitional housing must comply with strict conditions which may include curfews and restrictions," he said.

Each home will cater for three sex offenders, who will face a range of security measures. The tenants pay 25 per cent of their Centrelink payment in rent.

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