Longer prison times for fire bugs
THE non-parole period for convicted arsonists is set to increase from five to nine years.
In 2018, Attorney General Mark Speakman asked the Sentencing Council to review the standard non-parole period.
As a result, the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 will be amended to increase the standard non-parole period for the offence of intentionally causing a fire and being reckless about it spreading on public land or someone else’s property.
Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh has welcomed the move saying with another hot and dry summer around the corner, it’s important there are strong laws in place.
“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.,” Mr Singh 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,” Mr Rogers said.
“The drought means the state is on high fire alert, so it is important people remain vigilant.”
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.