THE parents of children attending a Caloundra gymnastics school have been warned to be on the lookout for notorious pedophile Dennis Ferguson.
Kartwheel Kids Gymnastics Academy operator Rhonda Pacholke said yesterday that she had forwarded an email to dozens of parents warning that Ferguson was living at Caloundra.
She said she had asked them to do the same but made it clear she had not started the emails which she said had also been forwarded on by schools.
However police hosed down the widespread rumour, insisting the serial child sex offender was not living on the Sunshine Coast.
Speculation that Ferguson now calls Caloundra home has been rife for several months.
However, in recent days there has been a marked escalation in community angst due to the new email going viral.
The email says that Ferguson drives a dark blue sedan and is living in or near a well-known Caloundra motel.
Ms Pacholke said parents had the right to know if Ferguson was in the area.
She said he should be made to leave if that were the case. "I just thought it was worth putting it (the email) out there," she said. "If it was true, it doesn't hurt to be more vigilant.
"I'd hate to get the email, find out something has happened, and I didn't say anything," Ms Pacholke said.
Another Caloundra business owner specialising in children's entertainment, who received and forwarded the same email, said it was inconsequential whether the convicted pedophile was in the area or not.
"It raises people's awareness … take a little bit of a closer eye on your kids and just keep an eye out for what may or may not be around," he said.
The manager of the Caloundra motel named in the email said Ferguson was not a tenant.
"He's not on the lease, not a tenant," he said.
"I'm not aware he's been a visitor or anything else.
"I haven't received any information from other tenants."
Last week, the Daily investigated a report that Ferguson was living at a Caloundra apartment complex, but was unable to substantiate it.
In February, police dismissed reports that Ferguson was living at Caloundra - and yesterday did the same.
"Police can confirm that Dennis Ferguson is not living in the Sunshine Coast area," a police spokesman said.
"Mr Ferguson's reporting obligations are that he reports to the police in the state in which he resides.
"He has told police where he is living, and if he moves addresses he is obliged to let the police know his new address."
Since being released from jail in 2004, Ferguson has been forced out of a number of Queensland towns and cities due to public pressure and media attention.
They include Bundaberg, Toowoomba, Murgon and Ipswich.
Ferguson once claimed that a man broke into his house and assaulted him, and he was awarded more than $2000 in victim's compensation after an Ipswich man threatened to kill him.
A Centrelink program that reunited missing persons was suspended indefinitely in 2009 after Ferguson used it to hook up with a former criminal accomplice.
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