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Thursday, 13 May 2010
Page: 2835

Senator FIELDING (Leader of the Family First Party) (1:58 PM) —I have been given perhaps a minute or two to talk about the Do Not Call Register Legislation Amendment Bill 2010. I agreed that this legislation could go into a position of ‘noncontroversial’ as long as I could speak on it. I do not know if this is how this chamber wants to work, but I do not think this is the way it should work. I want to speak on this bill; it is important. There are vulnerable Australians who are hassled and taken advantage of by marketing companies. I think it is pretty ordinary that I am given only a couple of minutes. I am asking the chamber to think about what it wants to do after question time and to perhaps allow another 12 minutes to be given to this particular bill, to at least allow me to raise some of those concerns. The Do Not Call Register is important. The last time this bill came before the Senate we argued the case very strongly that it was crazy that, when you put yourself on the register for not wanting unsolicited calls, your name should just drop off the register at the end of three years. This bill now extends the time to five years.

In other countries you are on the register permanently—you do not have to keep putting yourself back on the register. As I said, there are many vulnerable Australians and they do not want to keep putting themselves on the register. People forget when the time comes up. The government may say that they will let people know that they have to reregister, but that is not the way it should be done. It should never be done in that particular way. Everybody hates getting annoying phone calls.

Debate interrupted.