First sex offender moves in

THE first convicted sex offender is due to move into a purpose-built house north of Rockhampton today.

Queensland Corrective Services has confirmed that a man who was serving seven years for a number of crimes including sexual offences will be the first resident of the “contingency accommodation” in the grounds of the city’s prison at Etna Creek.

The controversial pre-fabricated house has been built for prisoners convicted of serious sex crimes, released under supervision orders.

The department says the man, who was sentenced in 2003, is under a supervision order for 10 years with a total of 45 conditions restricting his movements and activities.

Opponents have argued for months that security and monitoring at the controversial accommodation is inadequate for the dangerous sexual predators who will call it home.

Cr Glenda Mather, who campaigned tirelessly against the State Government decision to locate the home so close to a residential area, described it as a dark day for the Rockhampton region.

“From today, parents will have to constantly look over their shoulders at who might be lurking in the shadows,” she said.

“Women will feel less safe, children will be at greater risk from predators, and all because the Government chose Rockhampton as a dumping ground for some of the worst pedophiles and serial sex offenders.”

Cr Mather said understanding was that the property had been designed for up to three occupants.She continued: “I think today hammers another nail in the coffin of this Government.

“People have lost confidence, not only in the decisions it makes, but also because of its failure to communicate with communities and listen to what ordinary people say they want.”

Early in September, Member for Mirani Ted Malone presented a petition signed by 1450 to the Queensland Parliament.

The petition, raised by father of five Danny Quinn, called for MPs to overturn their decision to place the house at Etna Creek because of fears that children would be placed at risk.

But the department told The Morning Bulletin the offender would have restricted access to children and potential victims and would be closely monitored by prison staff.

He will have to provide schedules of his proposed movements, must engage in treatment to address his behaviour and will be tested regularly for substances.

He will also be subject to electronic monitoring, dog squad patrols and CCTV.

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