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Forum Index : Other Stuff : Viewing Australian Standards - Gone

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Regular Member

Joined: 08/10/2018
Location: Australia
Posts: 47
Posted: 12:40am 05 Jul 2019
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Until very recently throughout Australia you could wander into you local public library and view any Australian Standard on-line. This came about, at least in NSW, because the State Library subscribed to a service provided by SAI-Global who until recently held an exclusive right to distribute Australian Standards. I believe there is a similar arrangement in the UK through BSOL. Perhaps our friends in other European countries and the US could enlighten us here.

In NSW the State Library is trying to negotiate with SAI-Global for a reasonable fee to continue this service, but it seems that SAI-Global are asking for a radical increase in cost (maybe 6 fold). In the meantime all access has been suspended.

Back in December Standards Australia managed to get back some control of the distribution rights from SAI-Global and are in the process of developing a policy for standards distribution and licensing. Unfortunatly the indications are they are not looking favourably at a free viewing service at public libraries. This is a big issue, particularly in rural areas.

It is my opinion that the ability to view an Australian Standard should be a citizen’s right. You can still buy a bunch of Australian Standards that might cover an area of interest related to a new project you have become involved in but this will set you back many hundreds of dollars. Larger companies, manufacturers, consultants etc will do this but how many shedders will have a budget to cover buying Australian Standards for all the areas they become involved in.

If you feel strongly about this turn of events you can make a submission to the Standards Australia Discussion Paper before 29 July 2019.




Joined: 09/12/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 1331
Posted: 12:13am 06 Jul 2019
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It's hard to understand how this can't be a monopoly, why the ACCC doesn't get involved has got me stuffed.

When I was doing my cable runs and breaker/fuse points etc I couldn't look anything up.
I didn't want to do anything I wasn't licensed for, all my wiring is ELV, ie under 120v DC.
But still couldn't access anything, so ended up ringing energysafe Vic and he gave me the relevant info.

All I wanted to bloody do is a safe compliant job FFS, but it was made very hard for me.

I don't think they are compelled to give it out, it seemed like a bit of a chore for him.
If they were busy, I probably would have been told to buzz off and buy the code.

Seems wrong.
Cheers Caveman Mark
Off grid eastern Melb

Joined: 08/11/2016
Location: Australia
Posts: 771
Posted: 03:45am 06 Jul 2019
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Crazy right
You have to comply with the code, if you happen to know when/where it is applicable- but you can't tell, because you can't look at it to see if it applies or not...

IMHO, anything that is 'mandatory' legislation SHOULD be viewable by anyone for free- any legislation that applies to a person (and it all applies to everyone) should be be accessible to that person...

Or the law should stop using the 'ignorance is not a defence' claim...

(It's a bit like saying you have to follow the road rules- then not making them readily available to drivers...)


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