Unjustifiable hardship under the Premises Standards

BPB practice advice PS 11-004 December 2011

Note to readers: practice advice relates to the legislation in force at the time, which may since have been amended.

This Practice Advice will assist the application of the Commonwealth Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010 (the Premises Standards) within NSW.

Background information on the Standards and guidance on their implementation in NSW can be viewed at www.bpb.nsw.gov.au.

Where compliance with the Standards would impose an unjustifiable hardship on a person, the person does not have to comply with the Standards.

However, the person must comply with the Premises Standards to the maximum extent that does not involve unjustifiable hardship.

The circumstances which may constitute unjustifiable hardship are set out in Part 4.1 of the Premises Standards and include:

  • the financial position of the person required to comply with the requirement
  • any exceptional technical factors (such as the effect of load bearing elements on the structural integrity of the building) or geographic factors (such as gradient or topography)
  • whether the costs of alterations to make a premises accessible is disproportionate to the value of the building
  • the benefits to the building owner or people with a disability to either comply or not comply with the Premises Standards.

Unjustifiable hardship does not apply to non-compliance with the Building Code of Australia, nor to non-compliance with a condition of development consent in relation to access or facilities for people with a disability.