The Federal Government and Standards Australia have partnered to waive the fee for access to the bushfire construction standard, to support the recovery and rebuilding of communities affected by the devastating ‘Black Summer’ bushfires.

This jointly funded partnership will provide all Australians with access to AS 3959:2018 – Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas – a key standard referenced in the National Construction Code (NCC) through Standards Australia’s distributors – at no cost.

This initiative became possible due to Standards Australia putting in place a new distribution and licensing framework late last year to provide more options for delivering access to Australian Standards.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, said that waiving this access fee was a simple and practical way to assist, and formed part of the range of measures being provided through the National Bushfire Recovery Agency.

“Australians who are rebuilding their lives or planning new construction following the devastating bushfires should not have to worry about the cost of ensuring that their families are protected under the latest bushfire standard,” Minister Andrews said.

“We are pleased to be able to work with Standards Australia to ensure that this key standard is made available to everyone during the critical planning and rebuilding phase.”

A committee that represents regulators, emergency services, and some of the leading experts in the area, developed the standard.

The standard specifies requirements for the construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas in order to improve their resistance to bushfire attack from burning embers, radiant heat, flame contact and combinations of all three.

CEO of Standards Australia, Adrian O’Connell, commented that this is a difficult time for many individuals and communities.

“When the scale of the disaster became apparent, I wanted to make sure that Standards Australia was directly contributing to the broader Australian response,” he said.

“I am very proud that we have been able to announce this.”

The recent bushfires have highlighted the need to ensure the safety of Australian lives, homes and property. Designing and constructing homes to the highest standard is an important means of protecting the interests of Australians during future bushfire events.

The AS 3959:2018 standard will be made available by Standards Australia until 30 June 2021 through its distributors SAI Global and Techstreet until June 2021. Please note, to access the standard at no cost you must select the PDF option.