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Help unlock free access to Australian Standards by signing petition

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Industry groups from across Australia are getting behind a petition to make Australian Standards more accessible.

The e-petition, which is open until April 26 on the Australian Parliament House petition register, calls for Australian Standards to be readily available for free, or at a reasonable cost, for anyone requiring them to perform their duties.

At present, to buy the set of Dangerous Goods Tanker standards (6 Parts) is $660 (pdf or hard copy). For all 20 standards listed in the ‘normative references’ section in Part 2 of the DG section, you’ll be up for about $4400, a cost smaller operators are finding increasingly difficult to meet.

Big Rigs also understands that Standards Australia has also discontinued its agreement with all public libraries, where one could once go and read the standards for free.

Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia chief executive Todd Hacking said access to all Australian Standards should be free.

“It is our members who have volunteered their time to develop the industry benchmarks, yet as soon as that is done Standards Australia is putting them behind an extravagantly priced paywall,” Hacking said.

“The Australian heavy vehicle industry comprises thousands of people who are preserving our nation’s ability to produce world leading innovative vehicles, and yet their viability is constantly being hampered and challenged by layers of red tape and profiteering.

“Our members are committed to adhering to these Standards and the regulatory framework, however in 2022 there has got to be a better model.

Australian Standards are essential to ensure the safety and operability of infrastructure, equipment and services.

For a single task or service, a number of standards may be required, often mandated by legislation.

“A trailer manufacturer gave me one typical example where a single piece of equipment included reference to twenty different standards, none of which are free,” Hacking said.

“Nobody is questioning the outcomes of setting design, safety and engineering benchmarks – we are all proud of that – but let’s not allow Australian innovation and hard work to be exploited.

“We agree with the petition that the existing model is unsustainable and cannot hope to achieve its very worthy purpose while it is creating barriers for industry to comply.”

Big Rigs has approached Standards Australia for comment. According to its website, Standards Australia is the country’s leading independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit standards organisation.

To sign the petition, click here.

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