Fed Gov heeds call for No Call register

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Fed Gov heeds call for No Call register

The Federal Government is to set up a national Do Not Call register by the end of 2007 and at a cost of $33 million.

The Federal Government is to set up a national Do Not Call register by the end of 2007 and at a cost of $33 million.

ICT Minister Helen Coonan said in a statement that the government had thus far committed $17.2 million for the project with the balnce to be met by industry via subscription fees to the No Call register.

The register would be open to individuals and small businesses and would enable them to opt out of receiving unsolicited telemarketing calls.

Once a telephone number was registered, it would be prohibited for telemarketers to contact the number.

Legislation to back the establishment of the register, and to set out the minimum standards of behaviour by telemarketers, is also on the cards.

The laws would cover permitted calling hours, minimum information requirements and termination of calls and would apply to national and international telemarketers, including specified public interest bodies exempted from the Not Call register.

Warnings, fines, formal directions and financial penalties would apply to companies violating the laws.

Based on international experience, the government expected some one million registrations would occur in the first week of the Register’s operation and four million after its first year, Coonan said.

“The number of unsolicited calls in Australia has grown significantly in recent years, and has led to rising community concerns about the inconvenience and intrusiveness of telemarketing,” she said.

The proposed laws would however allow for a number of exemptions for charity groups and people undertaking social research. Exemptions would also apply to companies with an existing business relationship with an individual.
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