A substantial proportion of complaints under the DDA are resolved by the parties deciding to settle the matter by conciliation, with the assistance of the Commission but without the Commission or the courts having to formally decide that unlawful discrimination has occurred or what the remedy should be. Thousands of complaints have been conciliated under the DDA.
In many cases these outcomes are significant for people beyond the parties immediately involved, in particular where the outcome concerns access to services or premises available to the public or involves major public policy issues. Some outcomes involve more individual situations but may also be relevant to other people in similar situations who are seeking to avoid or resolve discrimination.
In most cases conciliation agreements are not published fully or directly (except where the parties have arranged for this as part of the settlement of the complaint). These summaries avoid identifying private persons and organisations as parties to complaints or inappropriately disclosing details of information provided in the conciliation process, while making outcome information available as far as possible.
These summaries do not cover all complaints conciliated under the DDA. Electronic publication means, however, that it is possible to provide many more such summaries than has previously been possible. Further summaries are added regularly.
Important note: In many cases conciliation agreements are made on condition that liability for unlawful discrimination is not admitted. A respondent may have had a possible defence on unjustifiable hardship or other grounds but decided to settle the matter. Conciliation outcomes do not necessarily provide firm precedents for what outcomes would be in other cases.
From 2010 on the Commission's conciliation register rather than this page will provide updates of conciliated outcomes under the DDA as well as other legislation.
Conciliation outcome summaries are available in the following areas:
- Access to premises
- Administration of Commonwealth laws and programs
- Clubs and associations
- Goods, services and facilities
See the Commission's page on lodging a complaint for links to the Commission's online complaint form, email address for complaints, downloadable complaint form or mailing address. You may also wish to refer to our complaint information pages more generally. Note that there are additional requirements for making representative complaints on behalf of other persons or a class of persons.
Some disability organisations have prepared their own complaint forms for their constituencies to use on particular issues. For example, Blind Citizens Australia's web site includes their own form complaint regarding inaccessible web sites while the Physical Disability Council of NSW has a form complaint on access to premises.