Skip links and keyboard navigation

Unsolicited advertising material (junk mail)

Unsolicited advertising material (or junk mail) is advertising material, for a commercial purpose, not addressed by name to an owner or occupier of the premises.

Common examples of unsolicited advertising material (UAM) include takeaway food vouchers, shop catalogues, magazines, leaflets from real estate agents, refrigerator magnets or letters advertising the services of a tradesperson, as well as letters addressed ‘to the householder’ or ‘to the occupier’.

There are exceptions that apply to the delivery of community newspapers.

Material that does not contain advertising content for a commercial purpose are not classed as UAM, and can therefore be placed in your letterbox. Common examples are political campaign material, letters from neighbourhood watch groups, correspondence advising of lost animals, local council newsletters and infringement notices (e.g. parking fine attached to a vehicle).

Community newspapers

Community newspapers are not initially classed as UAM, but they can be if you decide you do not wish to receive them and notify the publisher of your decision.

You must first contact the newspaper and say that you do not wish to receive delivery at your premises. Only after you do this (please keep a copy/record of your correspondence) will the newspaper be classed as UAM.

Now you can take further action if you continue to receive the newspaper, as it will then be classed as UAM.

Your rights under the law

You should not be receiving UAM if you have a clear sign on your mailbox, fence or other place for receiving mail that states ‘No Advertising Material’, ‘No Junk Mail’, ‘Australia Post Mail Only’ or words to that effect (Note, there are exceptions for newspapers).

Unsolicited advertising material must be placed securely into a mailbox (or similar receptacle for mail or newspapers) or under a door.

No document can be left on a vehicle, building or associated fixed structure without express permission from the registered owner or operator—unless it is for a reasonable purpose like a parking fine or leaving contact details after an accident.

If you would like to report a matter regarding the placing of a document on or in a vehicle, or on a building or fixed structure please call 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Steps to take to reduce delivery of UAM

  • Ensure your ‘No Junk Mail’ (or similar) sign is clearly visible.
  • Contact the Distribution Standards Board (as part of the Australasian Catalogue Association) and lodge a complaint online or by calling 1800 676 136.
  • Contact the individual business and request to be removed from their distribution list.
  • Register your address as a ‘Do not Mail’ address with Australian Direct Marketers Association.
  • Register your address at Australia Post unaddressed mail service ums@auspost.com.au.

If you have taken these steps and are still receiving items, you can make a report or complaint to the department (see below details).

The following actions can be taken (Queensland only):

 Situation

Action

Unsolicited advertising material (UAM) is being left on the ground

If you haven’t already lodged a complaint with the Distribution Standards Board please contact them first.

If you are still receiving UAM after lodging a complaint with the Distribution Standards Board, you can complete the department’s UAM reporting form*

I have a ‘No Junk Mail’ sign (or similar) but I am still receiving UAM

If you haven’t already lodged a complaint with the Distribution Standards Board please contact them first.

If you are still receiving UAM after lodging a complaint with the Distribution Standards Board, you can complete the department’s UAM reporting form*

Newspapers are being left on the ground

It is not illegal for newspapers to be left on the ground at your premises. You can however, request that it no longer be delivered.

I don’t want to receive newspapers

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 to your mailbox (or similar).

If you have a clearly visible sign saying ‘No Junk Mail’ (or similar) the newspaper now should not be delivered to the premises.

You can now report the newspaper as UAM.

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

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

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
5 July 2018
  1. Is your feedback about:
  2. (If you chose ‘website’ above)

    Page feedback

    1. How satisfied are you with your experience today? *
  3. (If you chose ‘service’ above)

    Feedback on government services, departments and staff

    Please use our complaints and compliments form.