New building standards to improve accessibility for Australians with disabilities
Asia-Pacific, May 4 2011
The Federal Government has announced the start of new building accessibility standards, which will ensure all new and upgraded public buildings in Australia will be accessible to people with a disabilities.
The Disability (Access to Buildings – Premises) Standards 2010 (Premises Standards), which commenced May 1, is an important milestone in the Government’s National Disability Strategy.
“The start of the national Premises Standards marks a huge improvement for access to buildings for people with disabilities,” Attorney-General Robert McClelland said.
“From today, the new Premises Standards will apply to any application for a building approval for a new public building or upgrade of an existing public building.
“Providing better access to public buildings will remove a significant barrier for people with a disability accessing services, employment and taking part in the community.
“The access requirements in the Premises Standards operate throughout Australia and are complemented by building regulations in each state and territory.”
Minister for Innovation Senator Kim Carr said the changes were good for both the building industry and people with disabilities.
“The Australian Government will work with industry to improve access to buildings in Australia for people with disabilities,” Senator Carr said.
“The new building codes give everybody involved the certainty they need for future investments.”
Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Jan McLucas, welcomed the commencement of the Standards.
“Ensuring our communities are accessible and well designed for people with disability is an important part of the National Disability Strategy.”
The National Disability Strategy sets a ten year reform plan that will help to ensure that people with disability have the same opportunities as other Australians.
“The Standards demonstrate Australia’s commitment to effective implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”
The Premises Standards have been under development since 2001. The Standards were developed in consultation with representatives of the disability sector and industry, as well as the Australian Building Codes Board and the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Copies of the Premises Standards and associated documents are available at www.ag.gov.au and further information on the Standards is available at www.hreoc.gov.au.