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'Incredibly stupid' NSW firebugs to face longer minimum jail time

August 21, 2019. Attorney-General Mark Speakman, Police Minister David Elliott and NSW Rural Fire Service Acting Commissioner Rob Rogers speak to media in Sydney about proposed legislation to almost double the minimum jail term for people who start bushfires in NSW from five years to nine years. The state government on Wednesday announced it would amend laws to increase punishment for those convicted of intentionally causing a fire with recklessness to its spread on public land or private property. The maximum penalty for the bushfire offence was lifted to 21 years' imprisonment last November. Mr Elliott says NSW's drought conditions have established a "tinderbox" environment ahead of this bushfire season, while Commissioner Rogers notes that 73 fires are already burning across the state. "So having the right laws in place to deter people from doing stupid acts like lighting fires is really important," Mr Rogers tells reporters. (AAP VIDEO/Callum Godde)
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