The Minister for Communications, Senator Coonan, has introduced the Do Not Call legislation into Commonwealth Parliament.
The Do Not Call Register Bill 2006 and the Do Not Call Register
(Consequential Amendments) Bill 2006 provide a framework to establish a
Register that would allow individuals to opt-out from receiving unsolicited telemarketing calls.
The Bill requires the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to establish and oversee a Do Not Call Register and prohibits telemarketers from calling a number which has been included on the
ACMA will be able to tender out the operation of the Register, and it is expected a tender process will begin following the passage of the legislation.
The Register will be limited to individuals: the Government has decided not to include small businesses on the Register.
Individuals will not be charged to put their number on the Register. The Australian Government will contribute more than $17 million towards the cost of establishing the Register, with the telemarketing industry contributing $15.9 million over four years.
Exemptions will be provided for certain types of telemarketing calls such as calls from charities, registered political parties, independent Members of Parliament and candidates, religious organisations,
educational institutions (where the call is made to a student or alumni) and government bodies.
ACMA will be responsible for the enforcement of the legislation and a range of penalties will be available depending on the nature of the breach. ACMA will be able to issue formal warnings or infringement notices or commence court proceedings. The Courts will be able to impose fines ranging from $1,100 to $1.1 million.
It is intended that ACMA commence with implementation of the Register as early as
possible in 2007.
You can download the Bills and Explanatory Memoranda from the Parliament website.