The Department of Industry and Science is reviewing the effectiveness of the Disability Standards 2010 (Access to Premises – Buildings) in providing access to buildings for people with a disability.
The standards came into effect on 1 May 2011 and aim to give people dignified and equitable access to buildings, as well as ensure industry professionals comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. The standards apply to all buildings constructed after 1 May 2011, or buildings that were built prior to this date but have had extensions or modifications which require building approvals.
Every five years, the Minister for Industry and Science and the Attorney-General must review the effectiveness of these standards in achieving their objectives and identify any necessary amendments. The next review must conclude by 1 May 2016.
Interested individuals or organisations have submitted feedback on the discussion paper created as part of the review process, which closed 15 June 2015. Submissions were accepted on issues including:
- requirements for building features, including accommodation buildings, accessible sanitary facilities, 80th and 90th percentile wheelchair dimensions, locking off lifts,
- swimming pools, accessible carparking, public transport buildings, wayfinding and emergency egress
- concessions, exemptions and exceptions, including small building exemption, lessee concession and unjustifiable hardship
- interaction of the standards with state and territory regulation
- inconsistencies in the interpretation and application of the standards.
Feedback on these issues will help the Department assess the effectiveness of the standards and implement any changes that will affect new developments over the next five years. This long-awaited review is sure to be aggressive, with industry experts indicating that significant changes are likely.
For more information on the standards and the review, visit the Department of Industry and Science.