DERWENT VALLEY COUNCIL
Tougher Penalties Called for Fire Bugs
31st January 2014
Mayor of the Derwent Valley, Martyn Evans, has reignited the discussion around tougher penalties for people caught deliberately lighting fires on Total Fire Ban Days, and days of extreme fire danger.
“Earlier this week the Derwent Valley had ideal conditions for fires to start and become uncontrollable. That same day, a fire was deliberately lit in a residential area of New Norfolk. It was only due to the quick action of the local fire brigade that the fire was under control very quickly.
“The extreme heat of the day and strong winds could have caused a catastrophic outcome. Yet we still see firebugs being let off with a slap on the wrist,” Mayor Martyn Evans said.
Very hot conditions and strong winds caused concern for residents in the Derwent Valley earlier this week. Smoke from fires elsewhere blanketed the valley bringing back strong memories of events just over a year ago. Residents of Lachlan were concerned due to a fire in the Lachlan area, and the Tasmania Fire Service and volunteers were kept busy with several reports of small fires.
“Our community, and others across the state deserves to know that if a fire is deliberately lit, and the perpetrator convicted they will get more than the current slap on the wrist. Over the years and more recently we have seen many people convicted of deliberately lighting fires, which put property and life at risk, be given community service orders and similar.
"These crimes must be taken more seriously, and in the case of young offenders, there should be a mechanisim by which parents accept some responsibility for the actions of their children,” Mayor Evans said.