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Millions of Australian households will remain protected from unwanted telemarketing calls, thanks to a proposed last minute change to the Do Not Call Register, ACCAN Australia’s peak communications consumer organisation said today.

“This is a victory for common sense and it could be the reprieve needed for consumers who had no idea the telemarketing flood gates were about to be reopened”, said Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) CEO Allan Asher.

Unfortunately, Senator Conroy’s announcement that he will introduce legislative amendments to extend the registration period initially for 5 years, may come too late for numbers being removed from the register at the end of May.

The government is still encouraging people currently on the Do Not Call Register to re-register their numbers as soon as they can to stop the telemarketing onslaught.

Consumers can Re-register by calling 1300 792 758 or going to www.donotcall.gov.au

“We are glad to see the government has responded to ACCAN’s request,” Allan Asher said. “Forcing the 4.7 million consumers on the Register to re-register their number was nonsensical.”

The renewal requirement was never a well-thought out strategy in the first place and put Australia behind international best practice. Mr Asher said the requirement to re-register a telephone number placed an unnecessary burden on consumers. We also welcome the government’s investigation into making the registration of numbers on the Do Not Call Register permanent.

ACCAN campaigned strongly for the Federal Parliament to remove re-registration requirements in the Do Not Call Register Act amendment proposed earlier this year. The legislation also sought to expand the register to include coverage of faxes and small business, but was not passed.

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