The Disability (Access to Premises - Building) Standards 2010 (the Premises Standards) help people with disability have dignified access to buildings. Improved access to buildings can also benefit older people, people with injuries or illness, and parents and carers with young children.
The Premises Standards also help building developers, certifiers and managers ensure that buildings comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.
The Premises Standards are reviewed at least once every 5 years. Senator the Hon Jonathon Duniam, Assistant Minister for Industry Development, is responsible for reviewing the Premises Standards in consultation with Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, Attorney-General. The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources supports the Minister in conducting the review.
The purpose of the review is to:
- ensure the Premises Standards are achieving their objectives
- help building industry stakeholders fulfil their responsibilities to people with disability
- identify ways to improve the Premises Standards.
This report discusses:
- the context in which the 2021 review was undertaken
- the methodology we used
- themes identified through stakeholder engagement
- the review’s findings and recommendations.
It also examines practices in other countries to see if any lessons learnt overseas can be applied in Australia.
The review had 3 phases: discovery, consultation and engagement. We engaged a total of 579 participants, including:
- stakeholders across the disability sector
- building professionals
- people in all levels of government.
Participants shared their views through:
- written submissions
- a webinar
- discussion boards
- focus groups.
What we heard
People living with disability told us they find it easier to access premises that were built after the Premises Standards were introduced. This indicates that the Premises Standards are achieving their objectives.
However, people living with disability also identified emerging issues and areas for improvement. These included:
- inconsistent requirements for signage and luminance contrast
- a lack of information on emerging wayfinding solutions
- a lack of accessible carparks and automatic doors
- a need to increase the size of openings and thoroughfares for easier access.
These issues need to be addressed to ensure the Premises Standards continue achieving their objectives.
Building professionals told us they needed better guidance to help them comply with the Premises Standards. They were particularly concerned about how to apply the Premises Standards to significant works on older and heritage-listed buildings.
Building professionals were also concerned about the inconsistencies among disability standards, state and territory requirements and the National Construction Code (NCC).
Many businesses emphasised a need for practical guidance, such as check lists, to help them improve access for employees when negotiating commercial leases.
Unfortunately this review could not address every issue raised by stakeholders. We will continue engaging with stakeholders to address other issues.
Opportunities for action
We have grouped stakeholder feedback into 3 areas:
- regulatory reform
- information sharing
The opportunities for action align with these areas. If agreed by the government, these actions will ensure the Premises Standards continue meeting their objectives.
People living with disability frequently raised 3 issues that had a large impact on their daily lives:
- insufficient accessible car parking
- the placement of automatic doors, as well as their lack of use in accessible toilet facilities
- openings and thoroughfares that are too narrow.
These issues are addressed by Action 1.