The federal government was forced to formally deny rumours that Australia Post was set to charge a five cent fee for every delivered e-mail.
IT Minister Richard Alston said the rumour wass a hoax, admitting he had personally received e-mails claiming the Australian government was introducing legislation to charge for e-mails.
Alston said the hoax e-mail, which refers to the legislation, is Bill 602P, began in the US and Canada in 1999 and has made its way to Australia.
"The government recognises the importance of new communications technologies and will not be introducing a tax based on the amount of information transmitted across the Internet," Senator Alston said.
"This e-mail story is not as big a hoax as the Australian Labor Party but it should be similarly disregarded."
The following site in the US make it clear that this is a hoax: http://hoaxbusters.ciac.org/