The Commonwealth-legislated Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010 set out ‘regulation of building design’ references for all professionals concerning safe, convenient access to buildings, infrastructure and precincts.
We have been advocating and contributing to the development of equitable access in national building regulation since the mid 1990s. We made a detailed submission about the inadequacies in the 2009 proposed draft legislation and also gave evidence to the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in Brisbane on 3 April 2009. The final product that emerged in 2010 was welcomed but had plenty of weak spots.
These have been identified in our submission to the Federal Department of Industry and Science’s five-year review of the Premises Standards in June 2015. The review gave us the opportunity to present the increasing statistic of people with diminished functionality against the backdrop of an ageing population that is living longer – and the increased participation in the community of people with a disability as a citizen, customer and employee resulting from the advent of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Essentially, our submission identifies various improvements to help the Parliament understand that an accessible built environment is required to maximise Australia’s social and economic performance.