A lift should be installed at the north-east entrance of the Parliament Square development despite there being two other accessible entrances to the plaza, the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal has heard.
Paraplegic and former chairman of ParaQuad Tasmania David Cawthorn filed a complaint against Parliament Square developer Citta Hobart and the landowner over the developer's plans in December 2016, however, the developer said the proposal complies with the Disability Discrimination Act.
The current plan includes two wheelchair accessible entrances located at 12 Murray Street and on Salamanca Place, however, able-bodied people will also have access to the square through a staircase located behind Parliament House.
Mr Cawthorn, 52, said he shouldn't have to do anything different than anybody else.
"These are the same things people with disability were fighting 20 years ago," Mr Cawthorn said.
At a hearing on Wednesday, lawyer for the complainant Simeon Beckett told the tribunal it was remarkable 27 years after the Anti-Discrimination Act was introduced they were even having this argument.
Mr Beckett said the complainant was not seeking any damages in the case, just the installation of a lift at the north-east entrance which would cost the developer between $125,000 to $435,000.
"We say the costs pale in comparison to the cost of the project at $180 million," Mr Beckett said.
Mr Cawthorn said some developers would spend more money fighting a case than putting access in.
"For a $180 million development to put in $125,000 up to $435,000 is a drop in the ocean," he said.
Mr Cawthorn said the alternative for those in wheelchairs to push up either Murray Street or Salamanca Place to gain access to the square was not an easy task.
"Our shoulders are our legs, and overworking them puts stress on them. We rely on them. If they break down that's us out of action," he said.
ParaQuad Tasmania treasurer Jim Busby, 60, said going up and down hills in a wheelchair could be dangerous, particularly in the rain as water acted like grease on the wheels.
"You have no control," Mr Busby said.
Mr Busby said to have disability access to a public building should be par for the course.
"In today's age of inclusiveness, it's silly to have a public building being built that is not readily accessible for people with disability," he said.
Citta construction manager Barney Phillips said the Parliament Square project complies with the National Construction Code and Access to Premises Code.
"It is our position that we comply with the Disability Discrimination Act and therefore there is no discrimination," Mr Phillips said.
"We respectfully await the tribunal's determination in these matters."
Lawyer for the respondents Catherine Scott said the complaint should be dismissed from the tribunal for jurisdictional reasons, arguing because it was a federal matter it needed to be heard in a different court.
Ms Scott said the provision of the two other accessible entrances was enough to fulfill the requirements for access standards and that the proposed north-east staircase was not a principal entrance.
"The plaza is an access way between buildings covered by the [access] standard," Ms Scott said.
Tribunal members Kate Cuthbertson and Robert Winter adjourned the hearing in order to determine the matter of jurisdiction before hearing evidence.
If the tribunal decides it does not have jurisdiction over the matter, both the complainant and the respondent are able to refer the matter to the Supreme or Federal Court.