Tough new penalty for bush fire arsonists

Published: 21 Aug 2019

The non-parole period for convicted arsonists will increase from five years to nine years to help protect lives and property.

The NSW Government will increase the standard non-parole periods for arsonists.

The introduction of the longer non-parole period is on top of tougher maximum sentences, increased from 14 to 21 years in November 2018.

In 2018, Attorney General Mark Speakman asked the Sentencing Council to review the standard non-parole period.

As a result of the review, the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 will be amended to increase the standard non-parole period for the bush fire offence under section 203E of the Crimes Act 1900.

The offence will apply to the charge of intentionally causing a fire and being reckless about it spreading on public land or someone else’s property.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said one act of stupidity could bring a community to its knees.

“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 properties and farms from scratch,” Mr Elliott said.

Report suspicious behaviour and prevent arson

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