Inquiries and consultations



Page last updated April 2015


Index of current inquiries and consultations

This page is the main entry point for information about and participation in current public inquiry and consultation processes by the Commission in the disability rights area. It provides links to discussion papers and other information documents from the Commission, and public submissions from interested individuals and organisations, in public inquiry processes.

Recently concluded inquiries and consultations

Please see the exemptions page for decisions on exemption applications

Previous inquiries

Papers from previous inquiries by the Commission in the disability rights area are posted on different areas of this site according to the nature of the inquiry and the issue concerned. For example, a number of inquiries conducted on public transport issues can be found through our transport page.

Details of exemption applications previously considered by the Commission can be found in the exemptions section.

Decisions by the Commission as a tribunal on complaints referred to it by the Commissioner, and summaries of other decisions on complaints, are kept separately: see the Complaint Decisions page.

For other inquiries check our A-Z index. Let us know if you have any trouble finding documents from an inquiry you are interested in: this will help us with the design of our site as it develops.

Reports and documents from inquiries conducted by the Commission prior to establishment of our website in 1996 are generally not available in electronic form. However, some materials from the National Inquiry into the Human Rights of People with a Mental Illness have now been placed on this site in view of the continuing importance of the findings and recommendations of this inquiry.

About public inquiry processes

Public inquiries can be conducted by the Commission or the Commissioner for a number of purposes under the DDA and under the Australian Human Rights Commission Act in relation to disability rights issues. Inquiries can be inquiries under a reference given by the Attorney-General or can be initiated by the Commission. This has included:

  • inquiries to determine whether and on what terms an application for temporary exemption should be granted under DDA section 55 (See the Commission s Exemptions Policy)
  • inquiries into complaints in a small number of matters (See notice of inquiry issued, for example in the captioned TV inquiry)
  • inquiries for the purpose of reviewing an enactment for consistency with the objects of the DDA
  • inquiries to determine whether the Commission ought to adopt or vary guidelines for prevention of discrimination in a particular area
  • inquiries for the purpose of promoting awareness of and compliance with the objects of the DDA regarding a particular issue.

We believe that the purposes of the DDA are best served by conducting the Commission s processes as openly as possible (except where privacy considerations require confidentiality of personal information) and in a way that permits effective input and debate from all interested parties. Conducting public inquiry processes on line is a major part of the Commission s strategy in this area.

Submissions to any of our current inquiry processes are very welcome. If possible we prefer submissions by email, to

Except where privacy requirements or other confidentiality concerns mean that a submission or part of a submission needs to be kept private, we will post submissions on this site to give interested parties access to a broader range of views and information rather than just the Commission s own views and interpretation.

Submissions to inquiries by other bodies