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New neighbourhood wants Ferguson out -

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New neighbourhood wants Ferguson out

Broadcast: 15/09/2009

Reporter: John Stewart

Convicted paedophile Dennis Ferguson, who was run out of Queensland, is now under pressure from
residents in his new neighbourhood who want him to leave.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: A convicted paedophile who was run out of Queensland is now under pressure
to move out of his home in New South Wales.

Sixty-two-year-old Dennis Ferguson moved into a Sydney apartment two weeks ago, but local residents
are vowing to force him out of their street.

John Stewart reports.

JOHN STEWART, REPORTER: Prisoner activist Brett Collins arrived at Dennis Ferguson's apartment
today with some new plants for his garden. But local residents weren't impressed by the gesture and
let fly.

SEAN KILLGALLON, RESIDENT: I can tell you that this push to get rid of him is just going to grow
and grow and grow, like these lovely little bullshit flowers.

RESIDENT: I don't care what age he is; a five-year-old child can't defend himself against the
frailest, oldest man on the Earth. You don't even live here. Why don't you put yourself forward and
say, "Hey, buddy, come live at my place"?

JOHN STEWART: Dennis Ferguson moved into the Sydney apartment two weeks ago. The 62-year-old served
14 years in a Queensland jail for kidnapping and molesting three children in the 1980's.

Last year, he was driven out of several Queensland towns by angry mobs.

MOB: Ferguson must go! Ferguson must go!

QUEENSLAND RESIDENT: We will run him out of here. I don't care where he goes; he's not going to be
here.

JOHN STEWART: Yesterday, the State Government promised to move Mr Ferguson, but today the Housing
Minister admitted the Government had no legal grounds to relocate him.

DAVID BORGER, NSW HOUSING MINISTER: I said we'd do everything we possibly could do, and we are
doing everything that we can do.

JOHN STEWART: The Opposition says the convicted paedophile should not have been allowed to move
into NSW.

ANTHONY ROBERTS, LOCAL MP: And to have this heinous criminal in my electorate, close to my schools,
within walking distance of my schools, I just find just personally reprehensible.

JOHN STEWART: But the prisoner advocate Brett Collins says he'll continue to support Dennis
Ferguson, regardless of pressure from politicians.

BRETT COLLINS, JUSTICE ACTION: We lay it on the - at the feet of the politicians for having been
gutless in their principles and supporting the right - entitlement to privacy. And to - and also,
the police themselves should not have confirmed that he was actually in the area, because he's
entitled to privacy, as is the remainder of the community here.

JOHN STEWART: Forensic psychologist Dr Christopher Lennings says pushing sex offenders out of their
homes is not a solution.

CHRISTOPHER LENNINGS, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: The more you marginalise and the more that you make it
difficult for offenders to regain a normal lifestyle and to be able to engage properly with
institutions in society, the more difficult it is going to be for them and the more likely they
will re-offend.

JOHN STEWART: The State Government says it's seeking legal advice about the situation. But for now,
Dennis Ferguson can stay.

DAVID BORGER: There's no easy, simplistic options, but obviously, further and further away from
families is better.

JOHN STEWART: Some local residents are vowing to keep up their campaign, but say they're not a
vigilante group and won't resort to violence.

John Stewart, Lateline.