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Unsolicited advertising material (UAM)

The Queensland Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 (the WRR Act) defines unsolicited advertising material as advertising material for a commercial purpose not addressed by name to an owner or occupier of the premises. This includes material addressed ‘to the householder’ or ‘to the occupier’ and material distributed without charge to the intended recipients. There are exceptions that apply to the delivery of community newspapers.

Common examples of advertising material include takeaway food vouchers, shop catalogues, magazines or newspapers, leaflets from real estate agents, refrigerator magnets or letters advertising the services of a tradesperson.

Materials that do not contain advertising content for a commercial purpose are not classed as advertising materials. Common examples are letters from neighbourhood watch groups, correspondence advising of lost animals, political campaign material, local council newsletters and infringement notices (e.g. parking fine attached to a vehicle).

Delivery of UAM

The Act requires that a person does not deliver any unsolicited advertising material to premises if, clearly seen on the mailbox, fence or other place for receiving mail, a sign that states; ‘No Advertising Material’, ‘No Junk Mail’, ‘Australia Post Mail Only’ or words to that effect. (Note, there are exceptions for newspapers.)

The Act also requires that a person who delivers unsolicited advertising material must ensure that the material is placed securely into a receptacle for mail or newspapers, or under a door of the premises.

Motor vehicles or buildings

The Act requires a person to get the express consent of the registered owner or operator of a vehicle or building before leaving, placing or attaching any document including unsolicited advertising material on or in the motor vehicle, building or associated fixed structure.

However, a document can be placed during the performance of a legal function (such as police or council officers) or if the action is reasonable in the circumstances. For example, leaving a note on a vehicle providing contact details after causing an accident or damage to an unattended vehicle.

Reducing delivery of Unsolicited Advertising Material (UAM)

There is no centralised “Do Not Deliver” register in relation to UAM. You can help to reduce the potential or ongoing delivery of this material by ensuring your address is listed with as many operators as possible as a “Do Not Deliver” address.

  • If you receive an item of UAM, contact the individual business and request to be removed from their distribution list so that they do not deliver to your address in future.
  • The Distribution Standards Board (as part of the Australasian Catalogue Association), will pass on complaints to their member organisations. You can contact lodge a complaint online or by calling 1800 676 136.
  • Australian Direct Marketers Association—allows you to register your address as a “Do Not Mail” address. Members of this association will not mail marketing material to addresses on the register.
  • Register your address at Australia Post unaddressed mail service .

Steps to take

Both the local council and the department have the authority to ensure the obligations relating to delivery of advertising material and UAM have been followed. This means that a member of the public can make a report or complaint to either the local council or the department if they reasonably believe the responsible delivery obligations have not been followed.

The relevant government agency will determine what type of action should be taken.

 Situation

Action

Unsolicited advertising material (UAM) on the ground
(Queensland premises only)

Contact your Local Council or alternatively contact the department on  or 13 QGOV (13 74 68). You must provide the following information to ensure action can be taken:

  • the name of each item of UAM received
  • the date you received the UAM
  • the address of your premises.

The address of the premises will be disclosed to the distributor and deliverer for the purpose of rectifying delivery of advertising material and UAM only, and is not used or disclosed for any other purpose.

I don’t want UAM
(Queensland premises only)

Place a clearly visible sign saying ‘No Advertising Material’, ‘No Junk Mail’, ‘Australia Post Mail Only’ or words to that effect on or adjacent to your letterbox, so that it is clear to the deliverers that you do not want the material.

I have a ‘No Advertising Material’ sign or similar but I am still receiving UAM
(Queensland premises only)

Contact your Local Council or alternatively contact the department on or 13 QGOV (13 74 68). You must provide the following information to ensure action can be taken:

  • the name of each item of UAM received
  • the date you received the UAM
  • the address of your premises
  • a photo of the sign you have requesting no UAM (e.g. No advertising material, no junk mail) and a photo of your letterbox.

The address of the premises will be disclosed to the distributor and deliverer for the purpose of rectifying delivery of advertising material and UAM only, and is not used or disclosed for any other purpose.

Newspapers on the ground
(Queensland premises only)

Contact the newspaper and request that the paper no longer be delivered to the premises.

The newspaper is now UAM and can only be delivered in accordance with the secure delivery provision (i.e. in a receptacle or slot for the delivery of mail).

I don’t want newspapers
(Queensland only)

Contact the newspaper in writing and request that the paper no longer be delivered to the premises. Retain a copy of your request.

The newspaper is now UAM and can only be delivered in accordance with the UAM provisions of the WRR Act (PDF).

If you have a clearly visible sign saying ‘No Advertising Material’, ‘No Junk Mail’, ‘Australia Post Mail Only’ , ‘No Junk Mail’ or words to that effect, the newspaper now should not be delivered to the premises.

What if I continue to receive UAM?
(Queensland premises only)

Re-contact your respective local council or the department on or 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Ensure that you supply all information of action taken including dates, names and responses received.

You must also provide the name of the new UAM catalogue or leaflet received, the date you received the UAM and the address of your premises.

Further information relating to the provisions can be obtained through the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011.

Last updated
11 January 2017