Spam Act 2003
The Spam Act 2003 came into force on 10 April 2004 and imposes obligations on businesses for the responsible sending of electronic messages.

Broadly, the Spam Act says that unsolicited commercial electronic messages must not be sent. "Commercial" messages are ones that offer a commercial transaction or direct the recipient to a location where a commercial transaction can take place.

Messages should only be sent to an address when it is known that the person responsible for that address has consented to receive it.

There are two forms of consent set out in the Act:

  • Express consent from the person you wish to contact; a direct indication that it is okay to send the message, or messages of that nature;
  • Inferred consent based on a business or other relationship with the person, and their conduct. 

What is the impact of the Spam Act 2003 on Australian Bookkeepers Network?

Australian Bookkeepers Network is impacted by the Spam Act 2003 because:

  1. Staff members have, at their disposal, e-mail facilities which they can use to email the outside world;
  2. We produce e-mail newsletters called Bookies Bulletin and Bookkeepers Knowledge Base which we send to paying members;
  3. We produce, from time to time, special promotional material, which we send to the broader bookkeeping community.

How are we complying with the Spam Act 2003?

Staff Emails Generally
We have provided written notice to all staff members that they are not permitted to originate or forward unsolicited electronic messages that have a commercial content. We have embodied this requirement into an email policy, which staff have agreed to.

Email Newsletters to Members
We hold express consent from our members by virtue of the fact that they have paid for a membership, which includes these communications.

Promotional Material for Members & Non-Members
Firstly,  we hold express consent or inferred consent from all recipients on our mailing list. Some of our members have given us express consent to receive such communications as they have advised us verbally that they wish to receive such promotional material. Some of our members have given us inferred consent on the strength of their existing membership status with us and the fact that they have previously provided their email address to us as a result of that relationship. 

Non-members that we communicate with will either be former members, prospective members that we have already had dialogue with, or members of the broader bookkeeping community that have conspicuously published their email address and whom we feel might benefit from our range of products and services. 
We recognise that non-members may not want electronic communications from us and therefore provide a mechanism for these communications to be stopped. Our email messages contain a footer whereby recipients can "Unsubscribe". We undertake to remove the recipient from our address list within five working days of having received an unsubscribe request from them.
In all cases, our email messages contain clear and accurate identification of who we are and how we can be contacted.

Further Information
Further information on the Spam Act 2003 can be obtained from the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts at

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