New building accessibility standards, which will ensure that public buildings in Australia are accessible to people with disabilities have now come into force.
Attorney-General, Robert McClelland said the Disability (Access to Buildings – Premises) Standards 2010 (Premises Standards) was an important milestone in the National Disability Strategy.
“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,” Mr McClelland said.
“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.”
He said the access requirements in the Premises Standards operated throughout Australia and were 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 disability.
“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, Senator Jan McLucas also welcomed the Standards.
“Ensuring our communities are accessible and well designed for people with disability is an important part of the National Disability Strategy,” Senator McLucas said.
She said the National Disability Strategy set a 10-year reform plan that would help to ensure that people with disability had the same opportunities as other Australians.
Senator McLucas said the Premises Standards had been under development since 2001 and 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.