Telemarketers will have to abide by a
national Do Not Call register in 2007, after the federal
government announced it would soon introduce legislation to
The register would establish national minimum contact
standards for telemarketers, on matters such as permitted calling
hours, minimum information requirements and termination of
The standards would apply to all telemarketers in Australia
and overseas telemarketers representing Australian companies.
"A Do Not Call register, open to individuals and small
businesses, will enable people to opt out from receiving
unsolicited telemarketing calls," said the minister for the
Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts
(DCITA), senator Helen Coonan.
"Once a telephone number is registered, it will be prohibited
for telemarketers to contact that number.
"However, in recognition of the need for some organisations
with underlying public interest objectives to make unsolicited
calls, a limited range of exemptions will apply, for example, to
charity groups and people undertaking social research.
"Exemptions will also apply to companies with an existing
business relationship with an individual, for example with
existing accounts or contracts."
The register would cost over AU$33 million to establish,
according to the government. Of this, the government would
contribute AU$17.2 million, with the remainder to be met by
Individuals and small businesses would not have to pay to
register their telephone numbers, the government said.
However, telemarketers would contribute to the costs by the
payment of subscription fees to access the register.
The government expects one million registrations in the first
week of the register's operation and four million after its first