Publication of the 32nd edition of The Lysaght Referee, due for release in March, continues a tradition that has been part of the Australian building industry since 1897.

First published in Melbourne as “The Metal Trades Referee and Storekeepers Guide”, the much sought after industry handbook became The Lysaght Referee in 1920.

This coincided with publication of the 11th edition and marked the opening of BlueScope Lysaght ’s first Australian factory at Newcastle in New South Wales, and first Australian production of the ORB brand galvanised corrugated steel sheet.

The first edition consisted of just 32 pages and this latest publication has expanded to more than 400 pages, reflecting the growth of the Australian steel industry and diversification of the BlueScope Lysaght business and products.

The Lysaght Referee was designed to serve a wider role than simply being a pocket product manual, and the factual, relevant and practical information is a resource utilised by architects, specifiers, builders, engineers, farmers and students.

Information within the “useful” and “general” sections covers subjects such as stock breeding tables and haystack volume calculations. These are now regarded as part of company heritage, which are retained for historical reasons.

Early editions included information on animal husbandry and basic construction tasks to assist rural users for whom such advice was otherwise not readily available. Feedback indicates some primary producers still make use of the information today.

Apart from its main role as a practical and valuable guide to the company’s product range, complete sets of The Lysaght Referee are highly prized and sought after by collectors.

Editions of the handbook regularly appear for sale in second-hand bookstores and online auction sites and can also be found in the National Library of Australia.

Scanning through successive editions and exploring buildings and architectural history of those periods demonstrates the way BlueScope Lysaght and LYSAGHT products have contributed and helped to shape the Australian building landscape over the past 150 years.

The new publication harnesses the power of the internet for users seeking more extensive information. It includes a handy guide to relevant online reference resources.

BlueScope Lysaght is also launching an upgraded website to complement the release of the latest edition of The Lysaght Referee. The new site is expected to be complete and online by the end of March.

The website incorporates a number of new user friendly functions and has been formatted around the needs of the users. This includes an easily searchable "Where to Buy" section with the company’s LYSAGHT product distributor listings, plus a searchable download centre with product brochures that contain more comprehensive information.

The main objective of the new website is to enable the customers to find the exact information they need about the company’s extensive and expanding product portfolio as quickly as possible. The new “Product Finder” allows users to get to the product they want in just one click.

The new site includes updated case studies and feature articles on projects from all across Australia. There are regular industry news updates, new product release information and an easy to navigate FAQ section as well as an expanded section on BlueScope Lysaght solutions businesses.
Information on using LYSAGHT building products and dealing with BlueScope Lysaght is also available in an account customer resources section.

A detailed history of The Lysaght Referee and the contribution BlueScope Lysaght has made to the Australian building industry since its inception in the mid 1800s has also been included and makes for an interesting read. The current and first editions can also be downloaded from the website. The new Lysaght Referee is only available through BlueScope Lysaght.