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The Federal Government is reviewing the impact of unsolicited faxes on Australian businesses to see whether it is necessary to ban them in the same way that unsolicited email (spam) has been banned since 2003.

The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan, has invited community and business comment on the impact of fax spam. The consultation forms part of the Australian Government’s response to the review of the Spam Act 2003. A key recommendation of the review was that consultation on unsolicited commercial faxes be undertaken to determine whether action is required.

Senator Coonan said, “The review was an opportunity to examine whether the Spam Act was operating successfully and the review found that Australia’s anti-spam strategy has been very effective in reducing Australian-generated spam.”

The Australian Government says it will also act on the review’s recommendation to build on Australia’s international collaborative efforts to prevent spam.

“An important step in reducing international levels of spam is to reduce the potential for the establishment of spam ‘havens’ in the region that undermine global efforts to minimize spam. The Australian Government, in addition to its important existing work on a number of international anti-spam agreements, will work with a number of Pacific Island countries to develop anti-spam policy and legislation and build local enforcement capacity in projects funded in part by AusAID’s Pacific Governance Support Program,” Senator Coonan added.

The Australian Government’s full response to the Spam Act Review and copies of the Departmental fax spam discussion paper are available at www.dcita.gov.au. The closing date for comments and submissions in response to the discussion paper is on the 17th of September, 2007.

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