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Australia Post launches into digital age

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Joint media release

Senator the Hon Kim Carr Minister for Human Services

The Hon David Bradbury MP Assistant Treasurer Minister Assisting for Deregulation

Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity

Australia Post launches into digital age

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has today launched the Australia Post Digital Mailbox, saying that it has the potential to revolutionise the mail industry and provide Australians with a way to manage all their information online securely.

“For over 200 years, Australia Post has connected Australians with each other and the rest of the world through letters. They are now embracing the digital world, realising that 21st century technology provides them with exciting opportunities,” Senator Conroy said.

The Australia Post Digital Mailbox allows Australian consumers to:

• Connect securely with service providers, including banks, utilities and government entities. • Receive statements, bills and correspondence, set reminders, and make payments using any computer or mobile device, anywhere, anytime, with only one password. • Use the Digital Mailbox as a personal digital vault to store important documents.

The Mailbox has been designed as a closed and secure communications channel, hosted in an Australian cloud. It will have bank level security, with all communications being encrypted.

Unlike email, only certified providers will be able to connect to the service, meaning customers can control who they receive communications from.

“This is a truly historic development for Australia Post,” Senator Conroy said.

“It is embracing the emerging digital economy and taking advantage of the possibilities offered by the rollout of super-fast broadband through the National Broadband Network.

“For the Government, it means we can continue to put Australians at the heart of our service delivery, making it easier and more convenient for people to access the government services they need.”

The Australia Post Digital Mailbox provides businesses and government agencies with a secure, efficient and cost-effective digital delivery service to customers, accompanied by a range of payment options.

The Department of Human Services and the Australian Taxation Office are taking part in a proof-of-concept trial of the Digital Mailbox to see how it can be used to connect to and communicate with Australians about government services.

“As Minister for Human Services, I want to take advantage of every opportunity to expand and modernise the delivery of government services to Australians,” Senator Kim Carr said.

“More than four million people currently use online services to access Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support services and some 28 million letters will be sent to Centrelink recipients online this year alone,” Senator Kim Carr said.

“The trial means the two agencies can assess the full range of benefits of the mailbox for peoples’ digital transactions with Government. It will help us develop better, and more secure, online services.”

Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury said the Australian Taxation Office has led the transition to online transactions with its Etax program, which was first introduced in 1999.

“Australians are increasingly turning to online resources to interact with Government agencies like the ATO,” said Mr Bradbury.

“Last year 2.6 million Australians lodged their tax returns using Etax and this number will continue to grow.

“The Australia Post Digital Mailbox is an exciting new concept that could see greatly increased electronic interaction with the ATO.”

Date: 30 October 2012 Contact: Adam Sims (Senator Stephen Conroy) 0408 258 457 Gia Metherell (Senator Kim Carr) 02 6277 7200 Justin Koek (David Bradbury MP) 0400 126 939