Proposed Changes to the Do Not Call Register Act

The Do Not Call Register Legislation Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament late last year. It proposes to broaden the scope of the Do Not Call Register.

The Senate Environment, Communications and the Arts Legislation Committee is due to report on the Bill on 24 February.

The Do Not Call Register has been in operation since May 2007 and enables Australians to opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial marketing calls by registering fixed line and mobile telephone numbers that are primarily used for private and domestic purposes. The Register currently does not allow people to register phone numbers that are not used primarily for private or domestic purposes and dedicated fax lines.

The Bill proposes to broaden the scope of the Register to:

• allow the registration of all telephone and fax numbers, including numbers used by businesses and government departments;
• prohibit the sending of unsolicited marketing faxes to numbers on the Register; and
• allow new registrants the ability to choose whether they wish to either expressly consent to receiving phone calls or faxes from particular industry classifications or instead to opt out of receiving any marketing calls or faxes.

It will be an exception to an offence of making an unsolicited marketing call or sending an unsolicited marketing fax if the recipient had registered consent to receive marketing calls or faxes about an activity covered by a specific industry.

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