Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Disability standards for access to premises

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Robert McClelland MP, Attorney-General
  • Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
  • The Hon Minister Richard Marles MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry

The Australian Government today launched the Disability Standards for Access to Premises, which for the first time set the minimum access requirements for people with a disability to publicly accessible buildings.

The Standards cover features such as accessible lifts, stairs, ramps, toilets and corridors and include buildings such as office blocks, shops, hotels, motels, and common areas of new apartment buildings.

By requiring better access to buildings, the Standards will ensure that people with a disability can access employment, services and the community on an equal basis with other Australians.

The Standards will also provide greater certainty for business by providing for national consistency and reducing different regulatory arrangements. They will also provide the basis for improved arrangements for disability access in the Building Code of Australia.

The Disability Standards for Access to Premises will commence on 1 May 2011.

The Government will work with industry to ensure it has all necessary information prior to the implementation of the Standards. The Government has also agreed to undertake a review of the Standards within five years of their commencement.

The finalisation of these Standards represents an important part of ensuring an inclusive Australian society that enables people with a disability to fulfil their potential as equal citizens.

The Standards will contribute to the Australian Government’s 10-year National Disability Strategy which is being developed in consultation with the community and disability groups. The strategy will be released later this year and will represent a long-term plan to address the barriers faced by Australians with a disability.

The Disability Standards for Access to Premises and related documentation is available at the Attorney-General’s website