In the wake of the Federal Government and Standard Australia’s  announcement that they would jointly fund the expense of standard access, it has been announced that all Australians will be permitted to access the bushfire construction standard at no cost for the next year and a half.

In a combined announcement, the Commonwealth Government and Standards Australia have declared that they will jointly cover the cost of access to Australian Standard AS 3959:2018, as per an arrangement through which users will  access the standard through Standards Australia’s distributors free of charge, from now until June 2021.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews stated that waiving the standard’s access fee was an easy and practical manner in which to help, and just one component of a broad array of measures being supplied through the National Bushfire Recovery Agency. She asserts that Australians rebuilding their homes and lives in the wake of the bushfires should not have to concern themselves with the cost of protecting their families in adherence with the latest bushfire standard.

Andrews says, further, that the government is pleased to collaborate with Standards Australia to guarantee that this essential standard is accesible to all during the present, very crucial planning and rebuilding phase.

In agreement with this sentiment is Standards Australia chief executive officer Adrian O’Connell, who cites this as a challenging time for many people and communities. And he wants Standards Australia to be part of the solution.

He states that, by facilitating access to this standard in partnership with the Commonwealth Government, Standards Australia hopes that regions can rebuild with full access to the Australian construction standard that concerns bushfire prone areas.

Most recently updated in 2018, the Standard supplies technical design guidelines pertaining to the construction of houses in bushfire prone areas, along with the criteria required to ascertain the level of bushfire risk associated with any given property.

This news arrives as State and Federal Governments make a substantial investment towards helping communities damaged by fires.

Last month, the Federal Government stated that it would institute a new agency to organise a national effort to rebuild communities—one known as the National Bushfire Recovery Agency–and would initially invest $2 billion in starting a national bushfire recovery fund to aid bushfire recovery.

Standards Australia said that the bushfires have emphasised the need to guarantee the safety of Australian lives, homes and property; and that designing and building houses to the highest standard is a valuable way to protect Australian interest in the instance of future bushfires.

The AS 3959:2018 standard will be made accessible by Standards Australia until 30 June 2021, by way of its distributor’s websites.