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Junk mail - what are the laws around Australia?

The no junk mail signs in the flats where I live are just being ignored.

There is one main one for all the letter boxes.

Then individual letter boxes have signs.

I’ve personally even made a sign to say please read the signs.

None of it appears to matter as we still get junk mail.

The renewed trigger for this is the waste and recycling issue here in Victoria. The city of Darebin is currently sending all kerbside recycling to landfill. The issue for me regardless is that we don’t want the junk mail dropped off in the first place.And it’s happening a couple of times a week (today, three junk mail leaflets/bags).

What are the laws around Australia in the various states and territories that relate to junk mail - basically unsolicited, unaddressed material in letter boxes?

This extends to local newspapers (especially now that junk mail is rolled inside the newspaper and makes up more weight/volume that the newspaper itself), charity clothing bags like Kidney Foundation (sorry charities, but it’s still junk and especially bad: it’s plastic).

Once it’s addressed I understand that is going to be harder - like NBN offers in addressed envelopes.

Living in a block of flats, it’s easy to see junk mail accumulate rapidly in a day.

Sorry to those folks who supplement their income by being paid distributors of junk mail. And sorry to all those folks in charities and NGOs who want to share their information.

Question: What are the laws for each state and territory relating to junk mail - in the broadest definition of the term?

Question: Are there any federal laws?

Question: What would it take to get laws with penalties?


Australia Post is a Federal organ. Laws relating to post, including junk mail and spam calls and spam email, are generally going to be Federal - per the Australian Constitution s51(v).

There’s your actual problem right there.

Do you mean that there’s a letter box for the Body Corporate? You are in a strata-titled block?

Speaking as a junk mailer :slight_smile: I generally skip the Body Corporate box. I ignore “no junk mail” signs because what I am delivering is not junk. :slight_smile:



ADMA Nationally

DSB Nationally




" Division 3 – Offences Concerning Material That May Become Litter

SECTION 45K, 45L & 45M

45K. Unsolicited Documents Sections

45K, 45L and 45M are designed to regulate the delivery of advertising material. These sections define unsolicited documents, proscribe the depositing of unsolicited or unwanted documents in certain circumstances and create offences relating to advertising material.

Penalty: 10 penalty units.

> Unsolicited mail is commonly referred to as ‘junk mail’. This category does not include newspapers but if residents have issues with local newspapers they should contact their local Newspaper Editor.

>There are a number of exemptions relating to some types of documents, for example: documents distributed by government agencies, power, gas and water suppliers and the like.

>Residents receiving unwanted junk mail should attach a ‘No Junk Mail’ sign on their mail box. The Distribution Standards Board (DSB) can provide, free of charge, a ‘No Advertising Material’ sticker, on receipt of a stamped addressed envelope to DSB Sticker, Suite 6, 151 Barkly Avenue, Richmond, Victoria 3121. The DSB maintains a database of all known addresses that carry a restrictive sign on the letterbox and if the problem continues, council or the resident should contact the Distribution Standards Board directly.

>Consumers can call the DSB Hotline 1800 676 136 to report illegal or irresponsible distribution practices. If the offence still continues, abatement notices and penalties may be issued to achieve compliance.


45N. Leaflets etc placed on vehicles.

Penalty: 10 penalty units.

It is an offence to deposit documents (advertising flyers/leaflets or similar material) on vehicles without the express consent of the owner.

Note that parking infringement notices placed on vehicles are exempted from this provision.

Note that because there are no circumstances where the placing of advertising materials on vehicles is acceptable without the express consent of the owner, the DSB has no role to play and should not be contacted about this form of littering.

Case Study 3 – Section 45N ‘Monster Truck’ flyers on vehicles in Shepparton In March 2014 promoters for the Monster Truck Spectacular in Shepparton placed flyers advertising the event on vehicles within the municipality without permits or permission. Greater Shepparton City Council was alerted to this by a disgruntled ratepayer who received a flyer on their car. Litter Enforcement Officer, Mark Parker, visited the area where flyers had been distributed, collected some, and contacted the promotion company responsible. The company was instructed to remove them as soon as possible as their placement contravened section 45N of the EP Act. The promotion company arranged to have the people who placed leaflets on vehicles to remove as many as possible as soon as possible. The majority of leaflets were collected and total compliance was achieved. Information is to be supplied for all future promotions. In this case a penalty notice was not issued, however council benefited by making use of its powers under the EP Act to make the persons responsible for the litter clean it up rather than have council staff perform the clean-up at ratepayers’ expense.

SECTIONS 45O, 45P, 45Q & 45R

45O.Bill posting not to occur without consent

45P. Advertiser must disclose name of distributor

45Q.Distributor must disclose name of depositor

45R.Person who commissions document must ensure that it does not become litter

Bill Posting is dealt with in a variety of ways by litter authorities, a number of which have experienced great success and significantly reduced the clean-up costs that they had previously been incurring.Some examples are

:> Utilising 45ZI to determine who was responsible for bill posting on property not under the control of the advertiser with a view to issuing penalties or prosecuting. Note that there is a significant penalty for non-response to a notice issued by Section 45ZI, which is equivalent to the penalty for the offence being investigated.

> Issuing a 45Y direction to the venue/promoter to remove all posters.

> Utilising 45R to prosecute the firm whose products are being promoted (this is particularly effective when the firm is well established and easy to locate).

> Placing stickers with ‘Cancelled’ over posters promoting concerts have also been used by a number of municipalities with success."


" Division 2 - Unsolicited documents and advertising material

10. Meaning of “unsolicited document”

For the purposes of this Division, a document is taken to be unsolicited if it is deposited at any premises without being addressed by name to a person who owns or occupies the premises.

11. Unsolicited documents must be put in mailboxes, &c.

(1) A person delivering an unsolicited document to any premises must not deposit the document in any place on the premises unless the person places the document securely –

(a) in a receptacle, slot or other place that is used for the deposit of mail at the premises; or
(b) in a receptacle or slot that is used for the deposit of newspapers at the premises; or
© under the door of the premises; or
(d) in a place that is in a building and is suitable for the deposit of the document.

Penalty: Fine not exceeding 20 penalty units.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to –

(a) any newspaper, or any material folded or inserted into a newspaper; or
(b) any document issued or distributed under, in accordance with, or for the purposes of, any Act of Tasmania or the Commonwealth; or
© any document that is given personally to a person at the premises; or
(d) any document that is of such a size, shape or volume that it is not possible or appropriate for it to be deposited in accordance with subsection (1) .

12. Leaflets, &c., not to be placed on vehicles or vessels

(1) A person must not deposit any document on a motor vehicle, or trailer, that is –

(a) in any public place; or
(b) in any designated car park.

Penalty: Fine not exceeding 20 penalty units.
(2) A person must not deposit any document on a vessel.

Penalty: Fine not exceeding 20 penalty units.
(3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to a person if the person –

(a) is exercising a power given to the person by or under any law; or
(b) has the consent of the person apparently in charge of the relevant motor vehicle, trailer or vessel; or
© has the consent of the registered owner or, as the case may be, registered operator of the relevant motor vehicle, trailer or vessel.


Thanks for the list, but - does SA not exist??

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Can’t currently locate that but the ADMA and DSB links allow you to opt out of their material. I am continuing to look for SA info as well as NT.

It appears there is no specific Act or policy for SA that can be found on further searching. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist but you might have to contact your local council or the SA State member to find out if anything exists.

The Environmental Act for SA does have a definition of Waste and specially you might be able to argue that unsolicited material might be “unwanted”

“For the purposes of this Act, waste means— (a)any discarded, dumped, rejected, abandoned, unwanted or surplus matter (my highlighting), whether or not intended for sale or for purification or resource recovery by a separate operation from that which produced the matter”