Accessibility Tools

3 identical house roofs with a blue sky background

Despite a need for mandatory accesibility standards not only in New South Wales but around the Country, the NSW state government has recently announced they will not be joining the likes of ACT, Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory who are adopting these changing on the 1st September 2022.

Over the course of the last 10 years there has been efforts made to ensure that mandatory accesibility standards across residential builds exist. This was done after the Council of Australian Governments did agree to encourage accesible design within this sector.

Over the last 10 years there has been no changes or success in succesfully promoting or achieving accesibility in the residential market for some states. Purchasers of home and land packages have not been made aware of the accessible design options that exist in the space. This has left some home-owners paying extra money for costly upgrade, renovations and retrofits. 

The Physical Disability Council of New South Wales has been lobbying for improve regulation of this industry within the state, and options to be made clear for those who need it. The campaign was directed towards the NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation and aims to alter his stance on the issues. PDCN have also contacted others such as Communities and Disability Services, Minister for Sport, Seniors and Veterans, Minister for Families and Minister for Multiculturalism in hopes to receive support, allowing the state to move on the issue.

The New South Wales Minister states that he is fulfilling his obligations towards people with disability and the elderly via other avenues such as social housing, quotas and volunteers in the private sector. Without mandatory accesibility standards in New South Wales there may be a loss of benefit for many groups, including those with disabilities. The last review of Australia by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of People with Disability for 2021-2031 called for universal design across all housing. 

Some who live with disability within the State have to fund very pricey modifications to their homes just to ensure they do not end up in nursing homes. Examples of areas that usually need redoing with entire revision of their accessibility are entrances to kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. So how can we ensure that our states are behind this minimum code. New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia are the three states that have not included mandatory minimum accessibility standards into their National Construction Code. The decision was made by all states on 30 April 2021 on whether or not they would agree to include the Livable Housing Design Guidelines Silver Standard in the new NCC. 


Want your voice to be heard about this issue?

The below contacts are available for each state that is yet to implement this code. 

New South Wales

Name: The Hon Kevin Anderson MP
Title: NSW Building Minister
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

South Australia

Name: The Hon Vickie Chapman MP
Title: Minister for Planning and Local Government
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Western Australia

Name: The Hon John R Quigley LLB JP MLA
Title: Attorney General; Minister for Commerce
 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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