Direct .au Registrations (Public Consultation)

I thought I’d start sharing this around to encourage people to have their say. Mostly because Domainers are going to come out against this heavily.

You can lodge your submission at

Thanks for the link. Just submitted! :+1:

Ok so I remember computing 101… “com” was for company, “org” organisation, “gov” for government and “net” for network… I also know that for instance the company I work for has 8 main domains (1 side of the business), with [businessname].us, .uk, .nz, etc etc - there’s no com involved. So presumably this shortening is already happening?

To me, it makes sense - it tells you what you are dealing with. To most people - I imagine it means nothing… Also however - most people wouldn’t likely type a web address into their browser - they’d just click on google results…

Is it really broken, to need fixing?

Have submitted my feedback.

The case they put forward - it will make it easier for small business to set up a website… is complete rubbish. 50% of my bricks & mortar wholesale customers don’t have a website - because they don’t want to have a website. It’s got nothing to do with their ability to obtain an .au domain.

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Correct and these are called generic top-level domains (gTLDs) we took that concept and added our country code to it.

These are called country code top-level domains (ccTLD’s) each country is assigned one and gets to decide how it’s operated and set up.

Some of them when they were set up always were at second level or direct registrations. Our system was set up as third level registrations and was broken up as the following.

Business Use: and
Organisation Use: and

And I’ll leave the others out. You can see the others which are mostly governmental on Wikipedia.

Some countries that you have mentioned notably the UK and New Zealand were also third level and in the last several years around the same time we started down this process and they have already completed a move to allow direct level registrations.

For example in the UK there’s only a few months left before if you owned one of the other extensions you will lose your reserved rights to the direct registration of .UK if you don’t register it.

In all cases none of the third levels have gone away when second levels registrations have been introduced.

Due to the changing landscape and the fact that “new gTLDs” are not going anywhere and are going to be sticking around for the near future and you can now register domain in hundreds of different extensions.

.Sydney, .Melbourne, .xyz, .club, .vip, .app, .news Just to name a few.

The category breakdown is becoming less relevant. In the .au namespace in my opinion and it’s long-term is going to be a benefit to concentrate on the important part the .au

I see it as a way for the extension to become relevant in the future given the changing landscape and as I have mentioned below relaxed regulation regarding who can register.

Actually, there’s a lot of loosening of restrictions on direct .au getting proposed that could allow certain applicants to hold them that may of had problems in the past.

Regarding what you’re talking about that’s really the business decision not to have a web presence. Which to be honest could be could be a bad mistake. But I guess those businesses will have to live with that decision or if it works out perfectly fine continue or adapt.

My biggest point is I’m never going to want to own my but would happily take and that maybe possible with some of the proposed deregulation and I’ll be able to do that without needing to register a business.

Assuming all the other combinations are still available and other than the extra domain everyone will now need to buy to protect their brand, what are peoples concerns over the change?

Are you looking for product definition by the domain? Where .com actually means something? Or has the web moved to a point where people don’t even notice the differences between .au/.com/ etc?

I do recall going through all the restrictions a number of years ago, which I’ve just looked at and don’t seem to be updated since 2008:

1. To be eligible for a domain name in the 2LD, registrants must be:
a) an Australian registered company; or
b) trading under a registered business name in any Australian State or Territory; or
c) an Australian partnership or sole trader; or
d) a foreign company licensed to trade in Australia; or
e) an owner of an Australian Registered Trade Mark; or
f) an applicant for an Australian Registered Trade Mark; or
g) an association incorporated in any Australian State or Territory; or
h) an Australian commercial statutory body.

2. Domain names in the 2LD must be:
a) an exact match, abbreviation or acronym of the registrant’s name or trademark; or
b) otherwise closely and substantially connected to the registrant.


So what small business doesn’t meet those requirements? Sure individuals don’t, but small business?

I still find it funny that I can register a .com or a .org without any questions being asked, but or come with all these restrictions.

Hell I got into a little bit of a conversation with Auda back when over some domain issues and the system was so flawed it was ridiculous. My registrar (which I am no longer with) charged me for, but failed to actually renew, my domain which led to a squatter nabbing it. All Auda could do was accept a dispute on the squatters eligibility for that particular domain, the rest of the facts weren’t relevant to them (first come first serve and all that). So I had to wait out an investigation after which they removed the squatters registration, then I had to wait for it to be re-released and buy it back myself… and even then it was a game of sniping where the first person in won… Luckily it all worked out for me, but it was a nightmare. I understand their hands are somewhat tied, but there has to be a better way for common sense to be applied. I’m now overly cautious and make sure I check and double check that every renewal has really gone through.

Given the barriers to entry are quite low now, there’s no real reason for a business not to have a basic web presence. A domain costs maybe $10 a year, and a simple one page website can be set up very cheaply.

When I’m trying to find a tradie or engage with a business, I’ll always look at their website first. No website = skip and move on. Same with businesses who use hotmail or gmail addresses.

.au domain names retail for as low as $10.50 a year, No more 2 year registration term requirements. The hosting and webpage for a basic site you could do it for free modify a bootstrap free template found online and deployed to netlify.

I understand technology is scary for many people and the idea of running their own webpage means they want to “do it properly” and pay somone else to do it which significantly raises the cost.

Very often that’s the case for me too. I work in IT procurement/contracting and I’m still so so surprised how many companies working in the IT industry actually still use email from gmail or carrier (telstra/optus etc) or even shudder hotmail. Even addresses leave me cringing… I mean come on guys, you’re supposed to be IT people… even a simple webpage with minimal information (and an email address to match) makes you look so much more professional.

What gets me is the ones who go to the trouble of having a domain and basic website set up and then use a hotmail/gmail/yahoo email address. SET UP A BLOODY EMAIL FORWARD!

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Ha! Seen a few of those too… but all my customers know that address…