Conroy moves to avert Do Not Call rego troubles

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Conroy moves to avert Do Not Call rego troubles

Backflips on business number inclusion.

The Federal Government has moved to scrap the requirement to re-register for the Do Not Call register every three years and to abandon the register's expansion to business numbers.

In a statement, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) Stephen Conroy said he would seek amendments to "replace the current registration period with an arrangement that enables the Minister to determine the appropriate registration period."

"Initially, I propose this be set at five years," Senator Conroy said.

"As soon as these amendments come into effect, the numbers of those who registered later in 2007 will not need to be re-registered until 2012."

The news came just one week after iTnews reported that only about 39 per cent of landline phone numbers and 43 percent of mobile phone numbers had been re-registered.

Conroy said the decision was made after "constructive" talks with the Greens. He called on the Opposition to support the amendments.

To facilitate quick passage of the amendments, he said "the Government will not proceed with the proposal to extend the Register to include business numbers in the current legislation."

The Opposition had already stated in March that it would block the planned extension to business numbers.

Shadow Communications Minister Tony Smith branded Conroy's announcement "another Friday afternoon backflip" from the Rudd Government.

"We warned Senator Conroy that his now dumped legislation did not and could not distinguish between telemarketing calls and normal commercial day-to-day business calls," he said in a statement.

He said the Coalition would support extending the registration period, in recognition of "the utter incompetence of the Minister to adequately inform the public about the looming re-registration for home phone numbers."

"Given Senator Conroy seriously sought to legislate such a ridiculous plan one can only imagine the chaos that he is cooking up with his reckless $43 billion National Broadband Network," he said.

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