Tougher Penalties for Bushfire Arsonists
In a further crackdown on dangerous bushfire bugs, the standard non-parole period for convicted arsonists is set to increase from five years to nine years to help protect lives and property across the Monaro.
Member for Monaro John Barilaro said the Government had introduced an amendment to implement the recommendation of the Sentencing Council to help ensure those who commit bushfire offences spend more time behind bars.
“With another hot and dry summer around the corner, it is important there are strong laws in place to protect farmers and communities who are already doing it tough,” Mr Barilaro said.
“My message to would-be firebugs is to stop and think about the children and families who could be killed or injured and the huge economic and emotional toll of being homeless and having to rebuild homes and farms from scratch,” he said.
As a result of the review, the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 will be amended to increase the standard non-parole period for the bushfire offence under section 203E of the Crimes Act 1900.
The offence applies to the charge of intentionally causing a fire and being reckless about it spreading on public land or someone else’s property.
“The tougher standard non-parole period builds on the Government’s introduction of a tougher penalty for the bushfire offence, which increased the maximum penalty from 14 to 21 years in November last year,” Mr Speakman said.
Acting NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Rob Rogers welcomed the latest reforms that will make firebugs more accountable.
“Our firefighters already have a difficult and dangerous job responding to fires and keeping people safe, let alone having to risk their lives because of reckless behaviour,” he said.
“The drought means the state is on high fire alert, so it is important people remain vigilant.”