Lighting Bushfires In NSW Could Soon Result In A 21-Year Jail Sentence

Tough new proposal

Lighting Bushfires In NSW Could Soon Result In A 21-Year Jail Sentence

People caught lighting bushfires in NSW could soon face more than two decades in jail under tough new laws proposed by the state government.

It plans to increase the maximum prison sentence for intentionally causing a fire and being reckless about it from 14 years to 21.

"Deliberately starting a bushfire is a selfish and senseless act that can have catastrophic consequences, potentially wiping out land and homes, and causing injury or death to residents and livestock," Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement on Thursday.

The government is also asking for advice on whether the five-year standard non-parole period for the bushfire offence should be increased and for a review of maximum penalties for a range of other arson offences.

"The reforms will provide a strong deterrent to would-be arsonists while more than 99 per cent of the state is gripped by drought," Emergency Services Minister Troy Grant said.

The changes will be introduced to parliament in mid-November.

 

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