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Housing : June 2009
Bushfire Recovery that the building will survive a fire. However the newAS3959-2009 provides a significant improvement on the 1999 version. ‘The current standard is a product of six years work and will be subject to ongoing review,’Mike says. ‘There are still some unresolved matters that require further research or consideration. Some of those matters include fire retardant test methods, refuges or protection zones within the building, and testing requirements for all roofing materials, external doors and draught excluders and the like. ‘TheVictorian Royal Commission may also provide a host of recommendations that could result in further changes to building standards and other areas affecting building in bushfire prone areas.’ Tools for Tradies appeal HIA’s Robert Harding says the number of members that have contacted HIA to assist in the bushfire recovery process has been overwhelming. ‘We have received more than 500 calls from members offering support ranging from labour, temporary accommodation and tools and equipment,’ Robert says. ‘We are extremely grateful for these generous offers, and hope it will help the unfortunate victims of the bushfire tragedy get back on their feet as soon as possible.’ HIA has been assisting in getting trailers and tools to a number of individuals who were affected by the bushfires. In conjunction with the Lions Club, HIA is involved in a Tools for Tradies appeal to help tradespeople who lost tools and equipment in the fires. Any tradespeople affected by the bushfires and seeking replacement tools are encouraged to contact Rob Tunney on 0419 894 013 or email email@example.com Likewise, anyone who would like to donate new, good quality hand and power tools is encouraged to contact Sarah Moate on 03 9280 8275. 12 For instance one of the concerns which the Royal Commission may address is bunkers,Mike adds. There are a number of safety issues involved in the use of bunkers that have to be considered before they are mandated. These include: • structural adequacy • access and egress – you might be able to get into the bunker, but after the fire takes hold can you get out? • fire-resistant levels for doors, draught excluders (and windows if used) • ventilation requirements and prevention means for smoke inhalation or suffocation. TheVictorian Bushfires Royal Commission will deliver an interim report by 17August this year and a final report by 31 July 2010. The Commission is currently consulting with individuals in local communities affected by the fires to provide them with an avenue to air their concerns and get valuable feedback about the causes and responses to our nation’s worst-ever fires. It is hoped that the recommendations will not only provide clarity about building in bushfire-prone areas, but also a set of clear and comprehensive policies to ensure the tragic events of 7 February are never repeated. There are a number of safety issues involved in the use of bunkers that have to be considered before they are mandated For more information visit: • HIA: hia.com.au/hia/channel/Builder/ region/National/classification/Building %20and%20Planning%20Services/ Regulation%20and%20Legislation.aspx • 2009Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission: www.royalcommission.vic.gov.au • Building Commission: www.buildingcommission.com.au H HOUSING JUNE 2009 Photo courtesy CFA Public Affairs