The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has announced that he will extend the registration period on the Do Not Call Register from three years to five years.
Under Conroy’s proposed amendment to the Do Not Call Register Amendment Bill 2009, which is currently before parliament, anyone who registered their phone numbers in 2007 would not need to reregister until 2012.
"Current legislation requires that phone numbers be re-registered every three years," Conroy said. "That means from the end of May, the phone numbers of those who registered in May 2007 will start to become available to telemarketers, unless they are reregistered."
As part of the amended proposal, the Federal Government will scrap its plans to put business numbers onto the register. Senator Conroy said that this change will ensure quick passage of the amendments through parliament.
Labor’s previous plan to include business numbers on the register was criticised by the federal opposition, which said it was potentially harmful to legitimate businesses.
The Do Not Call Register blocks telemarketers from gaining access to landline and mobile phone numbers. You can list your Australian fixed line and mobile numbers on the register, provided the numbers are used primarily for private or domestic purposes.
As it stands, if you registered your phone numbers when the service launched in May 2007, you will need to reregister your phone numbers by the end of May 2010 or risk an influx of telemarketer calls. According to the ACMA, almost 40 per cent of numbers have been reregistered.
ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman said more than 39 per cent of land line phone numbers and almost 43 per cent of mobile phone numbers have been reregistered. “This is a fantastic result. It sends a strong message — Australians want the option to block unwanted telemarketing calls and not be interrupted on the home phone or the mobile,” he said.
Nearly 4.7 million home, mobile and VoIP numbers are currently listed on the Do Not Call Register.