exemption decision: gladstone touch associationExemption decision under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 re: Gladstone Touch Association

Application pursuant to section 55 for exemption from a provision or provisions of Part 2, Divisions 1 and 2

Notice of decision

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission gives notice of a decision made on 28 September 1999 under section 57 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 ("DDA") concerning lack of ramp access to upper level additions to the premises of the Gladstone Touch Association.

Application

This application was submitted by the Gladstone Touch Association Inc. on 6 August 1999.

Decision of the Commission

The Commission grants an exemption for a period of five years from the date of this decision from section 23 of the Act (regarding access to premises), and also from sections 24 (provision of goods, services and facilities) and 27 (clubs and associations) to the extent that they relate to lack of ramp access to upper level additions to the premises concerned, on condition that the Association report to the Commission within three years from the date of this decision on progress towards provision of access to its premises.

Finding and reasons

The Commission accepts that granting an exemption in this case would promote the object of the DDA to eliminate discrimination as far as possible, taking into account

  • the recognition by section 55 of the Act that achievement of non-discriminatory access may need to occur over a period of some years
  • the submission by the Gladstone Touch Association that it lacks sufficient financial means to construct an accessible clubhouse at present but is committed to and confident of raising funds for provision of ramp access to the proposed facility by 2004, and that local government approval to permit the development to proceed will not be forthcoming without some form of certification that requirements under disability discrimination legislation have been addressed
  • the lack of any contrary views received in response to the release by the Acting Discrimination Commissioner on 13 August of a proposal to grant this exemption.

Review of decision

Subject to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975, application may be made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of the decision to which this notice relates by or on behalf of any person or persons whose interests are affected by the decision.

Alice Tay
President

on behalf of the Commission
28 September 1999