People caught lighting bushfires in NSW could soon face more than two decades in jail under tough new laws proposed by the state government.
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It plans to increase the maximum prison sentence for intentionally causing a fire and being reckless about it from 14 years to 21.
The planned changes were announced by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Attorney General Mark Speakman, Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant, Minister for Transport Andrew Constance, Kiama MP Gareth Ward and South Coast MP Shelley Hancock at Shoalhaven Emergency Services HQ on Thursday morning.
"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," Ms Berejiklian said.
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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