auDA is the Australian domain name administrator


The Australian domain name system will be opened up and direct .au registrations allowed if a names policy panel has its way.

Tasked by the .au Domain Administration Ltd (auDA) with the review of Australian domain name policies, the panel‘s main draft recommendation is Australian entities and individuals should be able to register addresses such as

It also suggests the existing second level domain (2LD) extensions, namely and, should remain options.

The paper of draft recommendations released today, which follows an issues paper published earlier this year, states the change would allow the creation of shorter and more memorable names. It would also provide registrants with a wide range of new choices.

On the other hand, the introduction of direct .au registrations could result in additional versions of the same name “for defensive reasons,” with the extra revenue benefiting the domain name industry. The panel also notes that the change might confuse users.

Keen to “maintain a standard that reflects the trust and security synonymous with the .au domain space,” the panel wants 2LD rules to be applied to direct registrations – “the name must be an exact match, abbreviation or acronym of the registrant’s name or trade mark, or there must be a close and substantial connection between the registrant and the domain name.”

Other changes proposed by the panel include:

– An extension of the Australian domain name licence period from two years to 1-5 years

– Changes to the national business names registration system in 2012 be carried across

– Misspellings remain prohibited but enforcement should be more flexible

The draft recommendations will undergo a round of public consultation before the panel makes a submission to the auDA Board, which will decide whether to adopt the changes.

If direct .au registration is introduced, Australia will go down the same path as many other countries, including the United Kingdom (.uk) and New Zealand (.nz).

The public has until Wednesday, September 30 to have their say.