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A solution for nuisance calls: Options for an Australian Do Not Call register [and] \nDiscussion Paper.



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Senator the Hon Helen Coonan Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

Media Release

Media Contact: Jane McMillan 0438 690 305

www.minister.dcita.gov.au

123/05 30 October 2005

A solution for nuisance calls: Options for an Australian Do Not Call register

A discussion paper canvassing options for a national, legislated Do Not Call register was released today by the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan.

“Australian consumers are increasingly frustrated by interruptions from telemarketers, particularly unsolicited calls that come from call centres overseas,” the Minister said.

“But in formulating a way to cut down on unsolicited calls there are a number of important issues to consider including how bodies such as charities and legitimate market researchers can continue to operate.

“The discussion paper I am releasing today is a vital step in formulating how a national, legislated Do Not Call register would work in Australia.”

A Do Not Call register would give consumers the right to ‘opt-out’ of telemarketing approaches at any time.

For instance, people could put their number on a register, and telemarketers, including telemarketers from overseas, would face penalties if they phoned a number on the register.

“The Australian Direct Marketing Association has been very supportive of a regulated solution and I welcome its cooperation,” Senator Coonan said.

“Both the UK and US have experience in setting up registers, so we have the opportunity to learn from international experience and canvass the issues with industry, stakeholders and the community more broadly.”

Recent reports by the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner and the Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee recommended the Government consider models to address such telemarketing issues in Australia.

“I strongly encourage everyone with an interest in this issue to look at the discussion paper and make a submission on any issues of concern,” Senator Coonan said.

Submissions are due by close of business Wednesday 30 November 2005.

Copies of the discussion paper are available online at www.dcita.gov.au.