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In this Edition

CEO Report: Recognising our Contributors

As another productive year comes to a close, I would like to thank you, our contributors. Without your time, your effort and your insights, 2018 would never have been such a successful and transformational year.

Whether you participated on a committee, submitted feedback on a draft open for public comment, attended a stakeholder forum, shared an idea at an Incubator session or helped design your contributor portal (Connect), you have shaped standards, the process behind their development, and the future of how they are delivered to the community.

Together we have developed standards covering a wide spread of the Australian economy. We’ve completed publications for road signs, cold-formed steel structures, wayfinding for the vision impaired, residential air conditioning, trampoline parks and a revised Plumbing Code and Wiring Rules—and these only represent a small handful of the hundreds of updates and additions to our catalogue throughout the year.

Through events and projects like our Technical Governance Review, Incubator, Nominating Organisation Forums, NEXTgen Program and Council Meetings, you have continued to share valuable insight on how we can improve our internal tools and processes as well as the content output of those processes. This continuous transformation process will certainly keep us busy throughout 2019.

Thank you for all that you have contributed in 2018. I’m looking forward to our continued success together next year.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season.

—Dr Bronwyn Evans, CEO

Holiday Season Office Closure

The Standards Australia offices will be closed from 3pm on Friday 21 December 2018, reopening at 9am on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

Public comment pilot

A new platform is being piloted in an effort to improve the public comment phase of developing a standard. Some of the intended improvements include:

  • The draft standard will be viewed directly on the system meaning you don’t have to download a PDF version.
  • Each draft is set up to enable commenting on specific sections.
  • As we improve transparency, published comments will be visible to other users. This also means inappropriate comments can be reported much sooner.

Although the pilot is only available for the standard AS 4632, Over-pressure and under-pressure shut-off devices, we encourage all interested stakeholders to test the platform and submit feedback by 12 March 2019. For detailed information on how to submit comments on a draft standard please view the help page.

We are very interested in your feedback to help us improve the platform for future versions. Let us know how public comment worked for you by emailing or by taking this quick survey.

The Applications - Conditions of Use have been updated to reflect this new platform.

Changes to proposals effective January 2019

Starting next month Standards Australia will accept proposals at any time, as opposed to the current 6 monthly intake for new or revised standards.

Proposals that meet all key quality criteria will be assessed and resourced on a monthly basis.

If you have any questions, please email the Stakeholder Engagement Team at

In Conversation with Stuart Henry

Stuart Henry is the Executive Director of Plumbing Products Industry (PPI) Group. From an early career in farming, Stuart has worked for over 40 years building a strong track record in business. His areas of interest and expertise include vocational education and training, employment, industrial relations, environmental sustainability, education and public health. Stuart has served in the Australian Parliament, and been actively involved in Parliamentary committees and working groups.

Standards Australia: As the newest member of the Standards Australia Council, what prompted PPI Group to join?
Stuart Henry: PPI Group is a leading advocate of standards and participates extensively on a number of committees. We have formal status with Standards Australia as a nominating organisation and it was only logical to extend that relationship to Council membership. Collaboration that benefits the community and industry is a key objective of ours, and Standards Australia is an obvious fit.

SA: What benefits do standards bring to your industry?
SH: Plumbing product certification through the WaterMark Scheme and the WELS Schemes are critical issues for our members. Both of these schemes are underpinned by Australian Standards, which bring integrity and efficacy to the schemes. Together with standards, the schemes ensure products are fit for purpose, address water efficiency challenges and public health, and overall benefit the built environment and the broader community.

SA: What were some of the big wins for the plumbing sector this year?
SH: A big focus for the year was drinking water quality, with the revision of AS/NZS 4020:2018, Testing of products for use in contact with drinking water. The PPI Group has also formed a Lead in Drinking Water Working Group to identify critical issues and lead levels in existing standards, which has led to the development of a detailed PPI Group position paper.

Another win was the addition of vacuum drainage to AS/NZS 3500.2, Sanitary Plumbing and Drainage, Part 2: Sanitary plumbing and drainage. This aligns with the innovative work being carried out by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on waterless toilets to accelerate the commercialisation and adoption of ‘disruptive sanitation technologies’. This is the most significant change in the toilet since the introduction of the flushing mechanism in the late 19th century. They have already proceeded to work with ISO to develop appropriate standards which in time will need to be considered for Australian requirements.

SA: What do you think is in the future of standardisation?
SH: With the increasing impact of technology we will have a much greater need for effective and responsive standards. For example, take the toilet: a system that has remained relatively static for more than 100 years. In relatively recent times we have seen the introduction of vacuum systems, using less water and introducing efficiencies in removing human waste. As technology evolves and we see developments like the waterless toilet, it will be critical that appropriate standards are developed to measure performance and ensure community health and safety, and that the built environment meets the public’s expectations.

Expressions of interest for independent chairs

Standards Australia is seeking a pool of independent facilitators to lead committees with complex work programs. This is an initiative outlined in our Technical Governance Review Implementation Plan (PDF) for more proactive quality assurance.

Anyone interested in becoming an independent chair should send an expression of interest, outlining their availability and skills to

Aged Standards open for consultation

We are seeking feedback on a number of Aged Standards (documents over ten years old) to keep our catalogue contemporary and relevant. Let us know if these standards are still used by your industry or community by Monday 21 January 2019.

Clarification on Withdrawn Standards
When a standard is withdrawn, it indicates that the document is no longer relevant or may no longer be deemed fit for purpose.

However, a withdrawn standard can still be:

  • Accessed and used by the public.
  • Purchased from SAI Global.
  • Used by an industry or referenced by government (for example, if there are no replacement technical documents readily available).

A withdrawn standard may be revised in the future if a proposal is submitted following the usual process.

Learn more on our Aged Standards Review page.

Hydrogen standards for the evolution of energy

Standards Australia has been working closely with CSIRO Futures and Hydrogen Mobility Australia (HMA) to understand how standards could assist the development of the hydrogen industry in Australia. As a result the Hydrogen Standards Forum Outcomes Report (PDF) was recently published.

Learn more on our website.

Easier to be energy efficient

The installation and design of energy efficient residential air conditioning has been given a helping hand with the publication of a new standard: AS/NZS 5141:2018, Residential heating and cooling systems – Minimum applications and requirements for energy efficiency, performance and comfort criteria.

Read more on our website.

Fresh guidance to help the vision impaired

The ‘wayfinding’ standard, AS 1428.4.2:2018, Design for access and mobility, Part 4.2 – Means to assist the orientation of people with vision impairment – Wayfinding signs, has been published to guide the provision of signage within the built environment for people who are who are blind or vision impaired.

Read more on our website.

Australian led win for international consumers

The recently published International Standard, ISO 21041:2018, Guidance on unit pricing, provides a number of requirements to enable consumers to compare prices on similar items more accurately.

Read more on our website.

A step up for safety at amusement parks

AS 3533.4.1:2018, Amusement rides and devices, Part 4.1: Specific requirements—Land-borne inflatable devices, was recently revised. The standard looks specifically at inflatable devices including bounce houses, giant slides and obstacle courses.

Read more on our website.

NEXTgen Year in Review

As 2018 draws to a close, we reach the halfway point of our revamped NEXTgen Contributors program for 2018/19. This program provides 20 young professionals the opportunity to get involved in standards development.

Highlights of the program so far have included:

  • Tailored development on ‘Building Your Personal Brand’, including a session from LinkedIn
  • Networking opportunities, including Nominating Organisation Forums, our NEXTgen Leaders event on international participation, and other stakeholder forums
  • Contributing to exciting new crowd-sourced approaches to developing content

We'd like to thank all of our contributors and supporters for your input and ongoing engagement with the program. The next round of applications will open in April 2019.

International Update

Standards Australia represents Australia on the two major international standards development bodies, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Our activities are reported on our International Updates page.

Highlights from December (PDF):

  • New WTO publication analyses potential impact of Blockchain on international trade
  • Making our world accessible with ISO standards
  • Can AI programmes think like humans?

Sector Update

Access the latest standards development news in your industry sector via our Sectors page.

Drafts Open for Comment

The public comment process provides an opportunity for stakeholders and members of the public to make valuable contributions. View draft standards currently open for comment.