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Is access required to temporary structures? (Victoria only)

  • April 23, 2014
  • Bruce Bromley

What is a prescribed temporary structure?

A prescribed temporary structure is defined by  the Building Regulations 2006.

Regulation 1104 defines ‘prescribed temporary structures’ if those structures do not form part of any other building other than a temporary structure or temporary building as:

  • Tents, marquees or booths with a floor area greater than 100m2;
  • Seating stands for more than 20 persons;
  • Stages or platforms (including sky borders and stage wings) exceeding 150m2 in floor area; or
  • Prefabricated buildings exceeding 100m2 other than ones placed directly on the ground surface.

Spiegeltents-circus-tents-temporary-structureExamples of these structures include circus tents, Spiegeltent, marquees, stages for concerts and temprary pop-up buildings raised off the ground and all for or at public events.

If the building is a prescribed temporary structure, as defined by the Building Regulations 2006, a building permit for its construction is not required, however an Occupancy Permit from the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) and a siting approval from the relevant Municipal Building Surveyor will be required.

concert-stages-prescribed-temporary-structuresAn Occupancy Permit issued by the VBA considers the structural stability, occupant safety and a level of amenity of the structure. Furthermore, if the building is located in a place of public entertainment, then the Municipal Building Surveyor is required to consider this structure as part of the Place of Public Entertainment Occupancy Permit under Division 2 of Part 5 of the Building Act 1993.

Section 23 of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) prohibits disability discrimination in relation to the access to premises that can be accessed by a section of the public, irrespective to whether a building permit is required for the structure. However, the disability access to premises standards made under Section 31 of the DDA  state that compliance with the standards ensures access is provided for people with disabilities to buildings and where compliance is achieved, discrimination does not occur.

seating-stands-prescribed-temporary-structures

The VBA is not required to address access for people with disabilities as the temporary structure does not require an approval for its construction, which is a trigger under the disability access to premises standards . However, the VBA has in the past and still may require a level of access to prescribed temporary structures it approved for occupancy, with the view of mitigating any possible discrimination to a certain section of the community as part of its duty of care. Questions relating to conditions on Occupancy Permits for prescribed temporary structures may be directed to the Team Leader in the Technical and Regulation Department of the VBA.