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Fire prevention penalties increase
With severe fire danger forecast tomorrow in west and northern parts of the state, CFA is warning anyone breaching key fire prevention rules now faces increased deterrents as the Victorian Government increases penalties for not complying with the rules.
CFA’s CEO Mick Bourke said that the increases - which have come into effect - reflect both the seriousness of breaching the rules and increased community expectations.
“People need to be aware of the new rules set earlier in the year and make sure they don’t breach them and risk starting a dangerous fire and incurring strong penalties,” he said.
“We want the increased penalties to act as a strong incentive for compliant behaviours and avoiding unnecessary fires”.
The offence for non-compliance with a Fire Prevention Notice, which is often issued by local government Councils for fuel reduction, has increased to 120 penalty units ($16900), 12 months’ imprisonment or both, as determined by the courts.
“The ideal situation would be that there is no increase in revenue from these penalties as it would mean people are doing the right thing for themselves and their neighbours.”
Increased infringement ‘penalty’ provisions under the CFA Act include lighting a fire during the Fire Danger Period, breaching a condition on a Permit to Burn, causing an offence on a Total Fire Ban day and failing to comply with a Fire Prevention Notice.
Lighting fires in the open air during a Fire Danger Period now has penalties ranging up to and including 120 penalty units ($16900), 12 months’ imprisonment or both, as determined by the courts.
The offence of failing to comply with conditions and restrictions in a Permit to Light a Fire issued during the Fire Danger Period is 120 penalty units ($16900) or imprisonment for 12 months or both, as determined by the courts
The offence of lighting a fire on a day of Total Fire Ban is 240 penalty units ($33801) or imprisonment for two years or both, as determined by the courts.
The current value of a penalty unit is $140.84.
Mick Bourke said increasing penalties was part of Government’s package of measures to help keep Victoria fire safe this summer.
“Helping prevent fires in the first place and educating people to leave an area early on bad fire days are the best ways we ensure people remain safe this summer,” he said.
For information on a Fire Prevention Notice, Permit to Light a Fire, Fire Danger Period or a Total Fire Ban visit: cfa.vic.gov.au .