Don’t like it? Then speak up!

As many  people know, the .au domain space is potentially in for a bit of a shake-up.

The auDA 2015 Names Policy Panel has now released its draft recommendations about the use and allocation of .au domain names, the most notable of which is a proposal that Australians should be allowed to register domain names directly under .au (such as or This has not been possible in Australia before.

Important Disclaimer

  • I am a member of the Names Policy Panel, and I’ve attended every panel meeting this year – except for the last meeting on 6th August when these draft recommendations were formulated (I was in India).
  • I am also a domainer / domain investor with a substantial portfolio of domain names.

So what’s going to happen?

Yesterday I received many worried phone calls and emails from fellow domainers / domain investors. They had read the draft recommendations, and most were perturbed by what they deemed to be perceived threats to the future of their domain holdings.

Obviously I am not at liberty at this stage to discuss the workings of the Names Panel.

Suffice to say that the Panel comprises 23 members representing key stakeholders in the Australian domain name system, including auDA Board members, auDA members, auDA accredited registrars, domain name resellers, domain name holders (registrants), domainers, business, consumers, government, law enforcement, legal sector, IT industry and Internet users.

Given the diversity of the Panel, discussions and opinions can be robust at times. 😉

Nothing is set in stone

  • The most important thing to remember is that your opinion counts. That’s why this has gone out for public consultation.
  • If you agree or disagree on aspects of the draft recommendations, then you need to speak up now; or “forever hold your peace”.
  • If the overwhelming opinions received (either by survey or written submission) are for or against certain aspects of the recommendations, then quite clearly they will be taken into account at the next Panel meeting in October.
  • Both the NZ and UK name spaces had similar public consultation processes in the last couple of years, and ultimately it was the “public” who helped determine their final direction. In the UK case, there was a huge public backlash as to the initial recommendations of Nominet – so much so that the process was re-started and ultimately revised to take into account the rights of existing registrants.


  • The Names Panel were not empowered in the terms of reference to suggest how implementation of any possible future changes would be determined and managed. This will be up to the auDA Board. (Many of us including myself have strong opinions though!).
  • It is not the Names Panel who will make the ultimate decision as to the future of the .au space. A final set of recommendations will be given to the auDA Board – they will determine the final outcome.

Comments can be submitted in one of two ways – and must be received no later than 30th September 2015.

1. Send a written submission to:

Jo Lim, Chief Operations and Policy Officer, auDA
email: [email protected]
fax: 03 8341 4112

All submissions will be posted on the auDA website unless clearly marked confidential.


2. Complete the online survey at

Closing date for submissions is Wednesday 30 September 2015

9 thoughts on “Don’t like it? Then speak up!

  • August 21, 2015 at 11:01 am

    I was happy to await the findings before getting my whinge on. Now I’m pissed off. I’d like to see auda email every current owner of a and ask if this is a good idea.

    The current panel is stacked with people who will benefit in one way or another if the recommendations proceed. It is seriously under represented by owners.

    Most owners of domains wouldn’t even know this is happening.

  • August 21, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    I agree with David. At first I thought the new shortened .au 2LD may be a good thing. Now I am sure it is not.

    I don’t think the new .au should be introduced at all now.

    If it somehow weasels its way into existence, I truly believe only auDA and registrars will benefit. It will just create confusion for Australian businesses and the general public and water down the

    I have said more over at my website –

    It should be stated that this post by Ned is the most down-to-earth, level-headed, factual post I have read in regards to this new .au domain space topic. Thanks Ned!

  • August 22, 2015 at 3:21 am

    1H: Direct registrations under .au
    Current policy:
    1.51 It has never been possible for people to register a domain name directly under .au ( Instead, the .au domain is structured into a number of 2LDs and people must register their domain name as a 3LD (eg., The .au 2LD hierarchy was created by the first administrator of the .au domain, Robert Elz.
    1.52 The issue of direct registrations under .au was last considered by the 2007 Names Policy Panel, which recommended that .au not be opened up to direct registrations at that time. The 2007 Panel found that there was no groundswell of support for direct registrations, and even among those who supported it, there was no agreement on a method of implementation.
    Public consultation outcomes:
    1.53 The Panel notes that the majority of public comments were against allowing direct registrations under .au. People thought that the current 2LD hierarchy is well-known andunderstood, and introducing direct registrations would cause unnecessary confusion for little public benefit.
    Views of the Panel:
    1.54 The Panel notes that there does not seem to have been any shift in public opinion since the issue of direct registrations under .au was last considered in 2007.
    1.55 Members of the current Panel acknowledge arguments that direct registrations have been successfully introduced in other ccTLDs. However, the Panel agrees that such a major change to the Australian DNS would require a much stronger level of support from the community than has been demonstrated through this consultation process.
    The Panel recommends that direct registrations under .au not be allowed at this time.

  • August 22, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Trying to raise funds without assurance of naming rights is a serious conerns for us.

  • August 24, 2015 at 9:05 am

    As a holder of many premium domains this really does concern me.

    The fact of the matter is domains are still quite often readily available to hand register today, or for sale on the secondry market for very reasonable prices.

    Creating .au will only hurt the current holders of the in their hip pocket to protect their interests.


Comments are closed.