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New ACT fire ban penalties

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May 25, 2016

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The ACT Government is looking to provide a maximum two-year prison sentence for people found guilty of lighting fires during total fire bans. Previously, the offence was a fine-only provision with the maximum penalty capped at $7500. But now, not only will offenders be liable for up to two years’ prison but they can face a fine of up to $30,000 as well. That’s four times the current maximum. The proposed changes, introduced into the Legislative Assembly in late autumn, are expected to come into effect before the next fire season. […]


Bushfires and Criminal Law

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January 25, 2016

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The past few months dry conditions, scorching temperatures and loss of homes to bushfire serve as a timely reminder of the strict penalties that apply for fire-related offences in Victoria. Police interviewed a 47-year-old man in relation to the Scotsburn fire near Ballarat which destroyed 12 homes, although the ABC reports that suspicions the fire was deliberately lit have since been ruled out. In Victoria, it is an offence under the Crimes Act 1958 to intentionally or recklessly cause a bushfire. The maximum penalty is 15 years imprisonment. The section makes […]


Gun Crime in NSW

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May 31, 2013

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It has become increasingly clear that gun crime is a concern in NSW. Indeed, we have previously written about gun crime in Sydney, and posited that the only way to reduce it is by dedicating more of our state resources to investigating and prosecuting the illegal possession and use of firearms. Worryingly, last month in NSW, we experienced what was dubbed one of the “worst crime weeks” by the NSW Police, after 10 people were shot in the space of 5 days. As a result of this trend, a national crackdown […]


Bushfires

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January 18, 2013

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Malicious Bushfires Unfortunately bushfires are a common part of life in Australia. Most fires are contained quickly and only minor damage occurs. However as we have seen time and time again all over the country, these fires can have devastating consequences. 2013 has so far proved to be a difficult year for bushfires, with weather conditions such that there have been a number of total fire bans across NSW. More disturbing than the fires themselves, is the fact that many bushfires are man-made fires, either accidentally or maliciously lit. For example, […]

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