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Bushfire arson is a major threat to the Australian community, with up to half of all bushfires suspected of being deliberately lit or starting in suspicious circumstances. In addition to the massive human toll that fires can take, it is estimated that arson costs the Australian community about $1.6 billion each year. The key to reducing and preventing bushfire arson is maximising cooperation between fire agencies, police, social services, the criminal justice system and all levels of government.

This report, produced as part of the second annual ‘National Forum for the Prevention of Bushfire Arson’ held in May 2010, includes important government initiatives to promote national collaboration in combating bushfire arson such as:

  • establishing a centralised national database of convicted and suspected arsonists
  • investing in the development of a bushfire arson investigation course to build the expertise of arson investigators across the country
  • launching a bushfire arson prevention manual, developed by the Australian Institute of Criminology, to help local communities develop strategies to prevent arson.

The forum demonstrates the ongoing commitment of Australian, state and territory governments to work together to prevent and deter arson through a coordinated national approach.

Date Published: Monday, 3 May 2010