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‘Deport them to Alaska!’: Rita Panahi’s punishment for serial arsonists

NATALIE PETERS & ERIN MOLAN
Article image for ‘Deport them to Alaska!’: Rita Panahi’s punishment for serial arsonists

Investigators are close to charging more than a dozen suspected arsonists believed to have deliberately lit bushfires, but Rita Panahi says too many firebugs are getting off lightly.

Rita says all the talk of climate change, fuel reduction, and resource management has consumed too much of the news agenda.

“The fact that 87% of fires are lit by people is not something you can ignore.”

Fire Forensics director BJ Jones says it’s difficult to prevent arsonists from lighting fires because they don’t fear being caught. She also says it’s equally challenging to predict who will commit the act.

“It’s a very wide and broad category.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Rita argues the judiciary is out of touch with community standards, allowing firebugs to evade the maximum jail terms and fines through legal loopholes.

“What do we do, if the courts aren’t going to hand out lengthy sentences and these people have this compulsion to light fires, and there’s nothing you can really do to stop them?

“We’ve either got to monitor them 24 hours a day, or deport them to Alaska or somewhere where they can’t do any harm!”

Click PLAY below to hear Rita’s comments in full

Image: Getty/TheCrimsonMonkey

NATALIE PETERS & ERIN MOLAN
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