#Law Reform
People in Bushfire areas

This petition will be presented to the Hon Jane Garrett M.P. Minister for Emergency Services to ask that the Country Fire Authority Act of 1958 be amended.

The amendment is required to further insure the safety of Victorians living in Bushfire Prone areas from the negligence of people who cause fires. Fighting fires is a high cost exercise that the public pays for and the burden should be partially paid by those that start fires. Not only do we pay with our taxes but if you build in a bushfire area you wear the cost of building construction relative to the level of risk (BAL).

A person that starts a fire by negligence is not charged, fined or pays any costs unless it damages buildings or causes death, why? The law needs to be amended to provide a deterrent against negligence activity that causes fire.

For example, people that start a fire during a fire danger period (without a permit) that requires the emergency services to attend should bear part of the burden of cost as well as penalty points.

People that light camp fires in regional parks during a total fire ban that cause the loss of many hundreds of hectares or bush which can have devastating consequences to biodiversity should also be charged.

Fire is our responsibility and we need not only to increase resilience in buildings or communities but amend laws to cover those that ignore the law and light fires.

We the undersigned acknowledge that there is a need to review the Country Fire Authority Act 1958 so that all people who cause fires, regardless of whether it causes a loss of houses or death, should be made responsible for their actions.

We ask that the minister undertake a review of the costs of firefighting in relation to fires caused by the ignorant or negligent. This review should lead to changes in legislation to implement penalty points for said offences and that there should be a co-payment, paid by firebugs, for the cost of firefighting.

The penalty point system should come into effect immediately. The co-payment should be paid by the person who caused the fire through ignorance or negligence.

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The Make Victoria Safer during the Bushfire Danger Period petition to People in Bushfire areas was written by Natural Resouce Link and is in the category Law Reform at GoPetition.