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Direct marketers call for uniform national privacy law



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A u s t r a l i a n D i r e c t M a r k e t i n g A s s o c i a t i o n

ACN Oiyj 90!) Kill)

FOR MEDIA Tuesday, 13 A ugust 1996

DIRECT MARKETERS CALL FOR UNIFORM NATIONAL PRIVACY LAW

The Chief Executive of the Australian Direct Marketing Association (ADMA) today called for uniform national privacy laws to apply to both the public and private sectors.

Mr Edwards was speaking at a conference in Sydney on Fair and Ethical Marketing Practices. This is the first time that the main trade association involved with privacy has called on the Federal Government to introduce privacy laws for the private sector.

Mr Edwards said, "At this stage industry's greatest fear is not privacy regulation per se, but unco-ordinated privacy laws. Provisions which vary from State to State will be a legislative and regulatory nightmare.

"We already have the most populous State threatening to act unilaterally filling the vacuum left by lack of Commonwealth action, and now Victoria is heading in the same direction.

"ADMA has already made its views known to the NSW Government and will be doing so to the Victorian Government. We fear that piecemeal privacy legislation will create a compliance nightmare for national traders.

"It will be as disruptive to national business trade and commerce as the lack of a standard guage railway track a hundred years ago. Surely we are not going to continue to make the same mistakes in Commonwealth-State relations for over a century.

"I believe however that NSW, Victoria and the other States and Territories would be influenced by a clear statement of intention and a timetable of action from the Commonwealth that will ensure privacy protection for all Australians.

"I urge the Commonwealth Attorney-General to make a firm statement of intent in relation to privacy as soon as possible.

SUITF. 1 LEVEL 5 100 WILLIAM STREET WOOLLOOMOOLOO NSW 2011 AUSTRALIA PO BOX 404 KINGS CROSS NSW 2011 I’ll 02 368 0366 FAX 02 368 0866

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"His announcement should state that the Commonwealth will draft legislation to be introduced into Parliament at the beginning of next year, that is early in 1997.

"That legislation will then be subject to the scrutiny of a Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry over the middle part of the year, then debated in Parliament and passed towards the end 1997."

Mr Edwards said this would enable the legislation to come into effect on 1 January 1998 after which there would be a set period for the private sector to comply.

For further information: Rob Edwards, Chief Executive, ADMA - (02) 9368 0366 Peter Sekuless, Canberra Liaison - (06) 295 3522