JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

No arson rethink planned for ACT

Date

Christopher Knaus

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell.

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell. Photo: James Brickwood

The ACT government says it has no plans to change arson laws, after the NSW Premier threw his support behind a tough new proposal to punish the state's fire bugs.

Arsonists in the ACT potentially face a raft of charges under current laws, including indictable and summary offences. The most severe attract a 15-year sentence and 1500 penalty points, or both.

In NSW, the maximum penalty is 25 years, and in Queensland, the Northern Territory and South Australia, arsonists can be handed a life sentence.

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell voiced support for a tough new plan to make arsonists put down animals injured in bushfires, as a way of forcing them to confront the consequences of their actions.

He said new laws were needed to stop arsonists.

Two young boys were caught in the ACT earlier this week, after they lit a grassfire while playing with sparklers in Lawson. The boys, who are not thought to have started the fire maliciously, are likely to be put through a restorative justice program to educate them about the dangers of their behaviour.

Attorney-General Simon Corbell said on Sunday he was comfortable with restorative justice and it should not be seen as a ''soft option''.

He said there were no plans to review the ACT's arson laws.

''I'm not aware of any proposed changes in NSW, we're not proposing any changes at this point in time,'' Mr Corbell said. ''The existing offences are strong, there are strong penalties in place, and in relation to juveniles, the use of restorative justice can be an appropriate response, depending on the circumstances involved.''

ACT Rural Fire Service Chief Officer Andrew Stark said he was comfortable with arson laws and programs to target arsonists when serious offenders were identified.

He said arson was not a major problem in the ACT, as it was in some areas of NSW.

2 comments

  • I reckon if you were to bring back the stocks for arsonists and cigarette butt flickers the problem would be solved in a news flash.
    The public spectacle of an arsonist locked head & hands in wooden block on a post on the main street while a 5 mile long line of citzens threw rotten fruit at them for half a day would be a very effective deterent to others.
    I'm sure some 'touchy feely' types would be shocked by this approach at punishment, deterent and rehabilitation & prefer to stand in front of the arsonist to 'take a tomato' and continue to use the slap on the wrist and stern talking to approach that doesn't work & never will.

    Commenter
    dusty
    Location
    green tomato's
    Date and time
    January 14, 2013, 1:53PM
    • Why would this government support anything that might result in harsher penalties, after all our "first in the nation human rights jail" policy gives no thought to the victim's humans rights of any other crime committed in the Territory.

      Commenter
      tara
      Date and time
      January 14, 2013, 1:59PM
      Comments are now closed
      Featured advertisers

      Special offers

      Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo