Greens aim to make Do Not Call registration permanent

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Greens aim to make Do Not Call registration permanent

Do Not Call -- ever.

Newly proposed amendments to the Do Not Call Register Act could make registered phone numbers off-limits to telemarketers permanently.

The Do Not Call Register (Removal of Renewal Requirements) Amendment Bill 2010 was to be introduced to parliament today by the Greens.

It proposed changes to Section 17 of the Act so that entered numbers would remain permanently on the Do Not Call Register, without having to be renewed every three years.

The Do Not Call Register came into effect on 31 May 2007 and currently listed more than 4.3 million home, mobile and VoIP numbers.

As its three-year anniversary approached, ACMA planned to embark on a marketing campaign to lessen the risk of Australians inadvertently receiving unwanted telemarketing calls.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam warned that around one million numbers were due to come off the register in May.

"The Government is about to embark on an expensive process of advertising to get Australians to put themselves back on the register when they lapse," he said in a statement.

"There is no reason why people should have to register their number every three years. I think it is unlikely they have changed their views on intrusive telemarketing during the three year period, and in any case a person can remove their number from the Register at any time."

A spokesperson for ACMA said the three-year registration period was designed to facilitate "practical things" like people moving house and changing numbers.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government was still seeking to make its mark on the Act with the Do Not Call Register Legislation Amendment Bill 2009, which aimed expand the register to include business and emergency services numbers.

The 2009 Bill was introduced in November by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, which expected futher debate to occur during the winter sittings of parliament.

A spokesperson for the DBCDE told iTnews: "The Government remains committed to legislation to extend the Do Not Call register and has an open mind to amendments which it believes can improve the bill."

The Coalition announced last week that it would oppose the Federal Government's Bill because it could impact legitimate business-to-business activities.

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