Industry groups across Australia are supporting a petition to make Australian standards more accessible.
the electronic petitionwhich is open until April 26 on the Australian Parliament’s Petitions Register, calls for Australian standards to be readily available free of charge or at reasonable cost to anyone who requires them to perform their duties.
Currently, purchasing the entire set of standards for dangerous goods tanks (6 parts) costs $660 (pdf or hard copy). For the 20 standards listed in the “normative references” section of part 2 of the DG section, you will pay around $4,400, a cost that smaller operators are finding it increasingly difficult to meet.
Big Rigs also understands that Standards Australia has also terminated its agreement with all public libraries, where you 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’s our members who have volunteered their time to develop the industry credentials, but as soon as that’s done Standards Australia puts them behind a paywall at an extravagant price,” Hacking said.
“Australia’s heavy-duty vehicle industry comprises thousands of people who safeguard our country’s ability to produce cutting-edge, innovative vehicles, yet their viability is constantly hampered and called into question by layers of bureaucracy and profiteering.
“Our members are committed to these standards and the regulatory framework, but in 2022 there has 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 imposed by legislation.
“A trailer manufacturer gave me a typical example where a single piece of equipment included reference to twenty different standards, none of which are free,” Hacking said.
“No one questions the benchmark-setting results in design, safety and engineering – we’re all proud of that – but don’t 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 laudable goal as it creates barriers for industry to comply.”
Big Rigs has contacted Standards Australia for comment. According to its website, Standards Australia is the country’s leading independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit standards body.
To sign the petition, click here.