Public consultation has opened for the National Construction Code (NCC) 2025. This includes an option for all-gender bathrooms as a deemed-to-satisfy solution. We ask the Parlour community to support these changes via the public consultation process.

We have heard overwhelmingly that the Parlour community supports the inclusion of all-gender bathrooms in the NCC. Now we need your help to support the proposal through the next stages.

A draft technical language change has been approved by the Building Ministers for consultation. Please take the time to provide a positive submission to show your support for this proposal.

How you can help

Public consultation opened on 8 May and will remain open until 8 July. The submission form is here. Suggestions for your submission include:

  • Say “Yes AND” – Support the recommended changes and request that the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) implements mandatory all-gender bathrooms in future editions.
  • Technical reasons – Identify any technical reasons for your support of the proposal. For example: it removes the need for additional consultants and reduces project costs, or will reduce project delivery time through streamlined approvals

What’s happened so far?

In July 2023, we wrote to ask you for support for a proposal for change to the NCC. We received over 50 positive submissions from architects, industry bodies and government agencies. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this proposal or submitted their own.

Since January 2024, the ABCB has reviewed the proposed technical language changes with contributions from D4TGD – Design for Trans & Gender Diverse, Dr Simona Castricum; Transgender Victoria, Son Vivienne; the Australian Institute of Architects, Architecture with Pride, Rob Henry; Gray Puksand, Savita Gaonkar; and TAFE NSW, Alison Cox.

Proposed changes

The proposed changes to the code allow all-gender amenities as an optional provision and bring the language of the code in line with other legislation. This includes:

  • Optional provision – The option to convert up to 50% of the total amenity count to all-gender amenities
  • Single access – All-gender amenities to be constructed as single occupant facilities containing a WC, handbasin and means of sanitary disposal, accessed from a non-gendered circulation space
  • Updated language – The removal of the word “sex”, to be replaced with “gender”
  • Improved inclusion – The removal of the word “unisex”, to be replaced with “accessible bathroom” or “accessible shower”

The ABCB is also proposing other amendments, which Parlour supports. These include:

  • Number of toilets – The increase in the number of female toilets in class 9b single-theatre auditoriums
  • Sanitary dispensing – Provision of sanitary product dispensing in addition tosanitary product disposal.

Noting that these changes were drafted prior to the all-gender bathroom submission and we recommend the language is amended to include in all bathrooms regardless of gender.

Why this is important

Please take the opportunity to provide the ABCB with your feedback on the proposed changes. The changes are not guaranteed and it is important to demonstrate the strength of support in the community.Key reasons why it is important are:

  • It’s only the first step – The proposed changes are voluntary and will not mandate the provision of all-gender bathrooms. The current proposal is a first step and will remove barriers for people who want to implement this solution. The ABCB has indicated they can review the provisions for a future edition.
  • It will support trans and gender-diverse people – The proposal will allow the provision of safe and dignified access to toilets for trans and gender diverse people. It will further support people who wish to use a gendered toilet for cultural or safety reasons. The proposed changes do not support the removal of gendered toilets with the exception of facilities that only require two toilets.
  • It will simplify project delivery – The proposed changes will allow projects to implement all-gender bathrooms without needing performance solutions or to build additional toilets. As the proposed changes are optional – there will be no mandated requirements that impact costs

Please share this through your networks so that the proposal receives as many positive submissions as possible. If you have further questions, please contact Alison Cox.

Thanks again for your support!