I welcome the NSW Government’s proposal to introduce tougher sentences for arsonists as the state continues to be gripped by drought.
Under the new law, anyone caught deliberately starting a bush fire will face a maximum sentence of 21 years imprisonment – up from 14 years.
We are putting firebugs on notice, if you do the wrong thing, you will face the consequences.
We must all work together to protect NSW from a bush fire disaster, making sure arsonists are held to account for their reckless and dangerous behaviour.
The increased sentence will apply to the offence, set out in section 203E of the Crimes Act, of intentionally causing a fire and being reckless about it spreading on public land or someone else’s property.
The cost of disaster relief and recovery following NSW bushfires has risen from $11.4 million in 2015-2016 to $23 million in 2016-17.