Economy

Budget 2009: Do Not Call register expanded

Patrick Stafford /

The controversial Do Not Call register will be extended to include businesses and fax numbers under an initiative announced in the federal budget.

The register will expanded at a cost of $4.7 million over four years, with $3.5 million of the new funds to be recouped through fees charged to telemarketers and fax marketers so they may access the register.

Currently the Do Not Call list, which is operated and enforced by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, does not contain phone numbers used by businesses, emergency services and fax numbers.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said that the changes to the register will require legislative approval, and should occur later this year after the Government consults with industry bodies.

“Community consultation indicated that these telephone and fax users want protection from unsolicited commercial telemarketing and fax marketing representations,” he said in a statement.

“I have also received a number of requests directly from the public on this matter,” he said. “It was particularly concerning to me that these unwanted calls and faxes are wasting businesses’ resources and adversely affecting the operation of emergency services.”

The Do Not Call register has been a point of tension between SmartCompany readers, many of whom believe the list hinders a business’s ability to effectively market and advertise.

Others have said that telemarketing is an annoyance that should be controlled.

 

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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