Arson deserves a tougher sentence

OF ALL the cynical, stupid and deadly acts the crown must go to any arsonist who lights a fire on a day of total fire ban.

The three youths arrested on Tuesday for allegedly starting a fire in the suburb of Shalvey, near Mount Druitt are right up there to take the prize.

With every right to be furious, the NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell said people who light fires should have to clean up the damage.

We're agreeing with you there Mr Premier.

He makes a good point, after all graffiti offenders can be penalised by forcibly having to remove their vandalism.

If an arsonist saw the devastation of their acts, the loss of livestock, buildings and natural flora they might come close to understanding the recklessness of their actions.

Dubbo-based Rural Fire Service Superintendent, Lyndon Whelan told the Daily Liberal yesterday people found responsible for lighting fires could face up to five years in jail.

We would ask, is that enough?

The Premier also voiced another community frustration; the three youths alleged to have committed arson were given bail and immediately released.

"I still think that keeping them in overnight, for two nights, might have helped sink the message in," he said at a press conference at Wagga Wagga yesterday afternoon.

"We need to ensure the judicial system supports the community and supports the system," he said.

He will find overwhelming community agreement on that point.

Now he needs to follow through by liaising with the NSW Attorney General to change the bail laws.

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