SAS Group > Case Studies

Master Electricians Australia – Standards Australia


Master Electricians Australia was gravely concerned by a series of proposed reforms to the operation of Australian Standards which will have far-reaching implications for the safety of the Australian public and the viability of many small businesses. Standards Australia was seeking a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Government to extend its monopoly over developing and selling the Standards that underpin many industries, including construction health and manufacturing activities, most particularly electrical contracting.

As part of its proposed MOU, Standards Australia was proposing a radical overhaul of the national system for developing and supplying Australian Standards. This is a system that has served Australia well for decades, and which has ensured high quality mandatory Standards for all contractors, and which in turn has helped to ensure high levels of safety and compliance in electrical installations in homes and commercial buildings. 

SAS Group Involvement

The SAS Group helped MEA advocate to the Federal Government not to renew the MOU with Standards Australia until these matters were resolved with industry. Signing the MOU without having addressed these grave industry concerns would have effectively given the green light to the proposed radical redesign of the system that has kept Australia at the leading edge of electrical industry safety for decades.

This involved:

  • Face-to-face meetings with most state and Federal Ministers responsible for electrical safety and licensing
  • More than 150 Zoom meetings to lobby various stakeholders to support our campaign
  • Direct correspondence to the 83 members of Standards Australia, airing our concerns with their proposed changes
  • Thousands of emails stating our case and seeking support for our position
  • Direct representation from the Master Electricians Australia President to the Chair of Standards Australia to end the impasse
  • Meetings with Small Business Commissioners from across Australia
  • A media and public relations campaign to raise awareness of the issue and gather support for a fairer solution.


Standards Australia to agreed to a modest and workable solution for electrical industry access to Standards.  Importantly, this was set to include access on mobile devices for the first time. The 12-month campaign secures this very important outcome. Together with unions and peak bodies from related construction industries, the SAS Group lobbied at every level of government to reverse what was going to be a very significant cost increase.  We believe that the price increases would have cost MEA members $7.7 million collectively every year.

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