Visitability in Queensland Australia

Press release from Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe, 01/11/2010


Infrastructure and Planning Minister Stirling Hinchliffe today announced the State Government would appoint an advisory group to monitor progress on the National Dialogue on Universal Housing Design

Mr Hinchliffe said the group would provide regular reports to the State Government throughout these discussions, as the construction industry works towards the Federal Government's target of incorporating universal design features in all new homes by 2020.

"We are inviting the relevant stakeholders, organisations and agencies to participate in this new advisory group," he said.

"I look forward to receiving the feedback of the advisory group as we work on the development of universal housing design plans and features in buildings, without the need for specialised, costly design."

A universal design feature is a component of a house or property that can be used by everyone, regardless of a person's level of ability or disability.

"The concept simply means easy living features that make homes more accessible and safer for everyone to use, including seniors, people living with a disability, people with temporary injuries or even families with young children," Mr Hinchliffe said.

"The intent behind it is to make new housing more usable, by more people and comes at little or no extra costif incorporated at the initial design and construction stage."

A new home with universal design features should:

    • be easy to enter;
    • be easy to move in and around;
    • be capable of easy and cost-effective adaptation; and
    • be designed to anticipate and respond to the changing needs of home occupants.

Practical examples include a continuous path of travel from the street entrance and/or parking area to a dwelling entrance that is level, at least one level entrance into the dwelling, a toilet on the entry level that provides easy access and shower and bath grabrails.

"The Federal Government has committed to adopting voluntary guidelines to promote universal housing design principles, with the headline goal being for all new homes to incorporate these design features by 2020," Mr Hinchliffe said.

"The new taskforce I have established today will report to the existing Building Industry Consultative Group on industry's progress on meeting its voluntary goals."

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