.au Direct Registration

auDA is pleased to announce the commencement of the formal policy development process associated with direct registration in the .au domain name space.  This follows the extensive member and stakeholder engagement exercise, undertaken and completed at the end of 2016.

What is .au Direct Registration?

Direct registration is one of the most substantial developments for the internet in Australia since the .au domain was created over 30 years ago. For the first time, individuals and businesses will be able to register shorter, simpler and more memorable domains directly before the 'dot' in .au, such as "example.au".

With over 3 million .au domains currently registered, the introduction of direct registration will strengthen the .au domain space as Australia’s home on the internet, while creating exciting new opportunities for all users of the .au domain space. 

To ensure that we engage with as many interested and affected parties as possible, we are undertaking extensive public consultation in the formal policy development process. This gas included commissioning independent market research — both quantitative (using online surveys) and qualitative (using interviews with selected key stakeholders) — and convening a Policy Review Panel to examine and make recommendations on the implementation of the policy.

What are the reasons for the Board's original decision?

The Board's decision was made after careful consideration of the final report of the 2015 Names Policy Panel. Full details of the Panel process is available here.

The final report took into account not only Panel members' input over 10 months of deliberations, but also feedback received during two rounds of public consultation. The public consultation process invited individuals, organisations, businesses and auDA members, across a wide range of stakeholder groups, to submit their comments on the Panel's work. auDA encouraged the broadest level of engagement through the media (including radio and print media interviews), as well as through direct emailing the invitation to thousands of .au domain name registrants.

In addition to the public consultations by the Panel, the Board also commissioned independent market research, which showed that 60% of respondents were likely or highly likely to register "yourname.au" if it was available.

What happens now?

We understand that the introduction of direct registrations represents a major change to the .au domain space, and that it will have an impact on all of our stakeholders. Chief amongst these are existing registrants of domain names in the .au 2LDs - com.au, net.au, gov.au, org.au and so on. As such, full consideration of this impact and other associated economic considerations will be thoroughly referenced and evaluated throughout this policy development process.


Phase one of research commenced on 14 February 2017, comprising qualitative interviews with members and other stakeholders. A summary of the outcomes is available to download here.

Phase two commenced on 26 April 2017 with a quantitative survey distributed to 200,000 .au domain registrants and the general public. Further qualitative interviews with regulators, industry and other stakeholders followed soon after. A summary of results is available to download here.

2017 Policy Review Panel

As the most substantial change to the .au domain name space in over 30 years, auDA has convened a Policy Review Panel to examine and make recommendations on the implementation of this policy. The Panel will soon release a discussion paper and invite public submissions on the issues and options presented for the implementation of Direct Registration.

How do I find out more?

If you want to receive notice of new developments, you can join our Announcements mailing list.

If you would like to become more involved in auDA's work and have your say, you can become a member of auDA.

If you have any specific queries you can email engagement@auda.org.au