Warrnambool City Council clarifies laws on disability access renovations

STATE laws requiring sometimes expensive alterations to shops for disability access have been clarified by Warrnambool City Council in response to criticism over costs hindering CBD trade.

According to city growth director Bill Millard the disability requirements were triggered where building alteration works required a council permit.

In those cases all areas used by visitors, employees, employers and owners would need to have approved access for people with physical disabilities.

“If no works are being carried out and the use remains the same then the building and access can remain the way it is,”  he said.

Mr Millard said the council had a duty to enforce state legislation in building codes.

Property consultant David Turner told The Standard last month the laws were an obstacle facing prospective business operators thinking of changing the use of a vacant building.

He said a suitable ground floor toilet, wide door access  and compliant floor coverings could cost at least  $20,000, while  a second-floor business would need a lift costing up to $200,000.

pcollins@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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