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Bushfire recovery response

February 17, 2020

Cutting the red tape for bushfire standards  

It has been announced that builders and homeowners will have easier access to the bushfire construction standard with the Commonwealth Government and Standards Australia waiving the fee for access to the standard. This will help thousands of people impacted by the recent bushfires move through the rebuilding process a little more smoothly.  

“This is an important joint initiative between the Commonwealth Government and Standards Australia. Along with many other initiatives announced by the Commonwealth and state governments, we hope this one will reduce the red tape involved in designing and building a new home which needs to meet these requirements" said Kristin Brookfield, HIA Chief Executive Industry Policy. 

Australian Standard 3959:2018, Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas provides the technical design requirements for building homes in bushfire areas, along with the criteria to assess the bushfire risk of a property. 

“The residential building industry relies heavily on these technical standards and contributes significant time and resources to support their development. As a member of the Standards Council and a member of the AS 3959 Committee that develops this particular standard, HIA is pleased to see open access being provided." 

The AS 3959:2018 standard will be made available by Standards Australia until 30 June 2021 through its distributor’s websites.


January 14, 2020

HIA would like to thank all those members who have made generous offers of support to assist other members and the communities impacted by bushfires. We know many of you have made financial donations over the last week as suggested in our earlier member alert which will add to the donation made by HIA last Monday.

Thankfully the contact we have received from members living in the affected areas suggests only a very small number of HIA members have lost homes or business resources. HIA has been in touch with these members and we will continue to offer support over coming months.

All of the affected areas have been declared natural disaster zones, which allows a wide range of Commonwealth and State financial assistance to flow. The Insurance Council of Australia has also declared these areas as catastrophe areas, which will allow the insurance industry to take the necessary steps to respond.

For those members making offers to help with clean up and rebuilding activities, the Insurance Council of Australia has now opened a registration hotline where you can provide your details and await further information.

Many of the other questions fielded in the last seven days relate to the more detailed aspects of the rebuilding process and state governments are yet to announce all of the information we need to understand how members can best help. HIA will continue to keep members updated as information comes to hand in each state.

Members with other questions in relation to the bushfire recovery can contact HIA on 1300 650 620 or



January 08, 2020

Our thoughts go to all those affected communities!

The bush fires that are still underway in many parts of the country have caused unprecedented levels of destruction and loss of life.

As has occurred in other natural disasters HIA members may be wondering what they can do to assist. For its part HIA is making a donation to the bush fire relief efforts and will be offering whatever assistance is possible to members impacted by the fires.

HIA is in the process of contacting all of our members in the fire affected areas to see if there is any support that we may be able to provide. We will work to link affected members with other agencies and other members who may be able to provide practical assistance. For example, in past disasters some members have helped affected members with new tools and product to help offset the losses they have experienced and to get their businesses up and running again.

HIA will also be working with government agencies that are coordinating the enormous recovery effort that will be needed across several states over the coming weeks and months. HIA will seek to provide members with information on the rebuilding process as they become available.

For those members making offers to help with clean up and rebuilding activities, the Insurance Council of Australia has now opened a registration hotline where you can provide your details and await further information. 

If you would prefer to make a cash donation there are many services that are available that are well placed to directly support affected communities.

Find out how where and how your cash donations can help those that need it most.

Members are reminded to continue to monitor the local weather conditions and to be aware of total fire ban declarations in your area which limit the use of power tools and other activities that can be undertaken outside. Please check with your local fire authorities about what power tools can and cannot be used outdoors during a period of a total fire ban.

HIA also recognises that these events can create stress and anxiety for many people whether directly impacted or not. If you, your employees or your families, are in need of support, please contact Beyond Blue or Lifeline.

If you are in need of assistance, see Bushfire recovery resources for further information on agencies and organisations who can help with everything you need to get back up on your feet. 

Our offices across Australia are all open and members wanting any help, information or advice can make contact with their local office on 1300 650 620 or by emailing