Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced new penalties for food contamination following the fruit sabotage crisis that has gripped the nation.
Speaking this afternoon, the PM said that the penalties for those who are found guilty under current provisions will face 10 to 15 years in prison.
"It is important to send a very clear message to ensure that we have the right penalties and the right offences to ensure that we protect against these sorts of things in the future," Mr Morrison said.
"So yesterday I spoke to the Attorney-General about the issue and what we will be doing is two things.
"The first one will be to boost offences for those who would be found guilty under existing provisions from 10 years to 15 years in prison.
"So that takes you from the sort of offence where you get 10 years for forging or theft of Commonwealth property.
"What you get 15 years for are things like possessing child pornography or funding terrorism. That is how seriously I take this, and how seriously our government takes this."
The PM has also announced that the new hardline approach will crack down on those who cause more anxiety through posting false reports of food contamination online - as seen yesterday when fake reports spread of a student in Brisbane being injured by a needle in a strawberry at school.
"The other thing we're doing is creating a new offence which deals with the issue of recklessness. Any issue who things he can go out into a shopping centre and start sticking pins in fruit, and thinks this is some sort of prank, or puts something on Facebook which is a hoax - that sort of behaviour is reckless," he said.
"Under a penalty that we are seeking to introduce swiftly, that sort of behaviour would attract a penalty of 10 years in prison.
"You're putting the livelihoods of hardworking Australians at risk and you're scaring children. You're a coward and you're a grub. If you do that sort of thing in this country, we will come after you."