Arsonists Face Up To 20 Years Jail

Arsonists Face Up To 20 Years Jail

Acting Western Australia Premier Kim Hames

State Government Assistance For Lake Clifton Bushfire

Victor P Taffa

The State Government will provide immediate financial help to people affected by the Lake Clifton Bushfire.

Acting Premier Kim Hames said the fire was a heart-breaking start to the year for many people.

“This is a tragic way to begin the year for many families. The State Government is doing what it can to fight the fire and help people who have lost property.” Dr. Hames said.

“The fire is even more devastating when you consider it has been deliberately lit.”

The Acting Premier said 140 volunteer bush firefighters, Bush Fire Service, Volunteer and Career Fire and Rescue Service and Department of Environment and Conservation fire fighters were working hard to manage the fire in very hot conditions.

“The teams have done an excellent job in battling this fire as they continue to work throughout the day and night to make the area safe. We are thankful for their efforts.” Dr. Hames said.

“Search and rescue teams have confirmed that nine houses, one granny flat and numerous sheds and vehicles have been lost.”

“We are grateful that no one has lost a family member or been seriously injured.” Dr. Hames said.

Dr. Hames said on top of assistance provided by the State Government through the Department of Child Protection (DCP), up to $3,000 in extra monetary help would be available for families who lost their principal place of residence with $1,000 available to families for significant damage to their principal place of residence.

The Government is in discussions with the Shire of Waroona on the administration of the payments.

“Some people have been left with only the clothes on their back so this money will help to buy clothes, food and essential items.” the Acting Premier said.

The DCP is providing food, bedding, counselling and medical items for people who have been evacuated to the relocation centre at the Waroona Recreation and Aquatic Centre. Short-term accommodation may also be available for people who have lost their homes and a range of other support services may be provided.

The Liberal-National Government increased penalties for arson in December 2009. Arsonists face up to 20 years in jail for lighting a fire where it is likely damage will be done to persons or property.