Guidelines on application of the Premises Standards

The Disability (Access to Premises - buildings) Standards 2010 (the Premises Standards) commence on 1 May 2011. Any application for a building approval for a new building or upgrade of an existing building on or after that date will trigger the application of the Premises Standards.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has issued Guidelines on the application of the Premises Standards to assist in their implementation.

The purpose of the Premises Standards (and corresponding changes to the Building Code of Australia and state and territory building law) is:

  • to ensure that dignified, equitable, cost-effective and reasonably achievable access to buildings, and facilities and services within buildings, is provided for people with disability, and
  • to give certainty to building certifiers, developers and managers that if the Standards are complied with they cannot be subject to a successful complaint under the DDA in relation to those maters covered by the Premises Standards.

The introduction of the Premises Standards will lead to widespread and important improvements in the accessibility and safety of all new and upgraded public buildings in Australia.

These changes will improve the opportunities for people with disability to participate in and contribute to the economic, cultural, social and political life of our community as equal citizens.

They will also help in creating a more sustainable built environment capable of responding to our changing circumstances and family and community needs.

All of us will benefit from these changes as our individual needs change over time.

The changes will also require the development of new skills, knowledge and approaches from those in the building industry including developers, designers and architects, builders, project managers, certifiers and building operators.