Public buildings are central to the lives of Australians. They are where we work, shop, build community relationships and engage in Australian society. As an integral part of our society, it is important that people with disability have equal access to public buildings.
I am pleased to present the outcomes of the 2021 Premises Standards Review. The Premises Standards support dignified access to public buildings for the 1 in 6 Australians living with disability.
The outcomes of the review align with the work of the Australian Government under Australia's Disability Strategy to ensure people living with disability can fulfil their potential as equal members of the community. This is a vision adopted by all governments, who have committed to a national, unified approach to improving the lives of people with disability, their families and carers, and to providing leadership for a community-wide shift in attitudes.
The introduction of the Premises Standards in 2010 has improved access to public buildings and opportunities for people with disability. Safe and appropriate access to public buildings enhances the independence, health and economic security of people with disability. It improves employment opportunities and contributes to more inclusive communities. An accessible built environment also benefits other Australians, such as older Australians and those with temporary injuries.
The 2021 Premises Standards Review aims to ensure that our Premises Standards are achieving their objectives, and to identify opportunities for improvement or areas where barriers exist. It has been undertaken during a tumultuous time, forcing us to be innovative in our approach to stakeholder consultation. While this could have been seen as a barrier, I am proud to say that it has ultimately resulted in broader participation and input than the traditional review process.
I would like to thank everyone who came together to overcome the obstacles posed by COVID-19, in particular the disability sector, and contributed their valuable insights and lived experience to the review. Your input will help to ensure the Premises Standards continue to deliver the right outcomes for people with disability. I would also like to thank the Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Ben Gauntlett, for his vital input to the review and chairing of the virtual town hall meeting.
Improvements to the Premises Standards will help to ensure people with disability can achieve their potential through both increased employment and social opportunities. I look forward to working with my state and territory colleagues to progress the appropriate regulatory reforms based on the review findings.
Senator the Hon Jonno Duniam
Assistant Minister for Industry Development