Man charged for 2010 razing of Syd council

Gus McCubbing

A man is facing arson charges nearly 10 years after a fire destroyed Liverpool Council Chambers in western Sydney, causing more than $27 million worth of damage.

Milan Berber, 29, was arrested at Liverpool on Wednesday afternoon and charged over the August 2010 blaze.

He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Police suspect up to seven people were involved.

NSW Police Detective Chief Inspector Richard Puffett said Wednesday's arrest was the result of a decade-long investigation.

The breakthrough was made possible by new enhanced examination techniques.

"The fact that we've pursued this for 10 years reflects our commitment to solving it," Mr Puffett told reporters on Thursday.

"It points clearly to the fact (the arson unit) doesn't forget and doesn't give up."

Mr Puffett said Berber's alleged motives remained unclear but the fire appeared to be planned as a jerry can was taken to the premises.

"The building was the target. I have no doubt it was planned," he said.

"I have no doubt that the intent was to burn the council chambers down. As to why, that is still under investigation."

Detectives have released a computerised image of another man seen in the area at the time of the fire and urged anyone who may recognise him to come forward.

But Mr Puffett said as many as five other people, all believed to be in their late teens or early twenties at the time, could also have been involved.

"They should be very concerned. We have other items and other results that we believe will be linked in the fullness of time to additional offenders," he said.

Police said it took more than 80 firefighters to control the blaze.

The council building's alarm went off just after midnight on August 15, 2010 and emergency workers were called at 12.35am but the chambers could not be saved.

Berber was charged with arson and refused bail when his matter came before Liverpool Local Court on Thursday.

The matter is next due before the same court in August.

Liverpool mayor Wendy Waller thanked police for their work and said plans were advanced for a new council premises.

"Council has cooperated with police when requested over many years and I am encouraged their work has led to an arrest," Ms Waller said in a statement on Thursday.

"We have gone from strength to strength as an organisation since the fire but this remains a point of sensitivity for past and current staff members."