VIC – HENDRY building surveyors advise that under the Building Regulations building owners and managers should know that the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010 known as the Premises Standards made under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA), apply under the building regulations. They applied to every new building project for which an application for a building permit approval is lodged under the building regulations with the relevant building surveyor on or after that date. The Premises Standards are available online from the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department website: www.ag.gov.au
Victoria’s Building Authority warns of the need to be aware that there are no transitional provisions that apply to the introduction of the Premises Standards for disability access. The usual transitional provisions as provided in section 10 of the Victorian Building Act 1993 (that would apply for design work substantially completed to the satisfaction of the building surveyor) do not apply to the Premises Standards as they are a separate law made by the Commonwealth.
While compliance with the Premises Standards is not required under the Building Act 1993 or the Disability Discrimination Act prior to 1 May 2011, it may be that in the future, any person may lodge a complaint about lack of access to a building, a building owner should consider a disability access audit.
Building practitioners should consider designing and assessing against the Premises Standards. This will provide more certainty for building owners that their building complies with the Disability Discrimination Act. Developers who seek building permits under the building regulations are advised to prepare building designs now that will comply with the Premises Standards.
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