Reflections On A Sunday – 27 March

Alice SpringsPlease forgive me for the lack of posts over the past 10 days. Thanks to everyone that messaged me asking if I was dead! I did appreciate your concern. 🙂

Had some recent health issues, and was a bit stressed generally, so I decided to head off to one of my most favourite places – outback Australia. What a beautiful country we live in.

The beauty of my trip away was that it was basically free. Apollo Campers needed a vehicle driven from Cairns to Alice Springs, so they paid me to relocate it. And then flew me home. How good is that!

I had with me my trusted Telstra 4g Wi-Fi Pro device, so had internet connectivity in a lot of places. Thus I was able to keep up with my addiction for purchasing domains on the drops! Plus, once again I sold a number of domains. 😉

Alice Springs 2

Reflection 1

On Thursday, I received an email announcement from auDA that the current CEO Chris Disspain was leaving the organisation with immediate effect.

“The Board of auDA (.au Domain Administration Ltd) announced today that it was ending the contract of CEO, Chris Disspain. Mr Disspain’s contract was due for renewal later this year, but the Board agreed new leadership was required to take the organisation forward.”

Whilst I don’t particularly celebrate in anyone’s misfortune, I am encouraged by this move of the auDA Board. The organisation leadership needed renewal, and it’s good that the Board recognised this. In my opinion, there needs to be more recognition of (and engagement with) individual registrants. Better communication is an absolute must.

I’m sure Mr Disspain got a nice “handshake” for his early departure. I wish him well in the future.


Reflection 2

I’ve been noticing over the last few months that there are a number of new “players” participating in the drop auctions.

A couple of fellow domainers that I spoke with are a bit discouraged by this. They believe prices are going up as a consequence.

I take the opposite view – I’ve always believed that a “rising tide lifts all boats”. Provided these are all legitimate purchasers, then I think it is a great thing.

Certainly the wholesale values of 3 letter domains have been going through the roof. I will be writing about this later in the week.


Reflection 3

A good friend of mine (and well respected domain investor) has let me know that he recently received notification from auDA that he has fallen foul of current eligibility policy.

Why? Because based on advice from his accountant, he has a number of his high value domains (a lot of which have websites) registered by his superannuation fund. This super fund is a long established entity with its own ABN.

Yet auDA does not currently recognise a Superannuation Fund as an entity under the “Domain Name Eligibility and Allocation Policy Rules for the Open 2LDs (2012-04)” .

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.

I had never really thought about this in the past. I just assumed that given that registered superannuation funds are part and parcel of Australian life (regulated by ASIC and the ATO), they would be an acceptable entity for domain names as well. But currently they are not.

We’ve all seen some dodgy registrations of domain names using the old State based Business Names (which you didn’t need an ABN for) – so to me a super fund is “rolled gold” by comparison.

I just wish I’d known about this during the Names Panel process last year, because this is the sort of thing that the panel could have made a recommendation on. To my mind, this is a simple oversight. I’m going to write to auDA and respectfully ask that they consider making an amendment to this policy.

Just like a Business Name, if required, the registrant could be something like:

“Joe Blogs as Trustee for The Joe Blogs Superanuation Fund – ABN 123456789”

What do you think?


If you have any comments on any of the above, as always I’d love to hear them.

And please feel free to hit the buttons below and share with your friends and colleagues!


11 thoughts on “Reflections On A Sunday – 27 March

  • March 27, 2016 at 12:43 pm


    The stance taken by auDA is flawed

    The ATO choices to identify and characterise different business relationships for its own purpose

    The definitions used by auDA should either be defined seperately or adopted from common law

    A superannuation fund (like a trust or joint venture) is not a legal entity and the fact that the ATO attribute an entity type to them has nothing to do with common law

    The trustees are either individual(s) or companies conducting business and would be eligible for registration under the current Policy Rules

    The fact that those businesses are governed by legal agreements (e.g. superannuation deeds, trust deeds or JV agreements) does not change the status of those operations nor the legal status of the trustee(s) under common law

    The ATO attribution of these agreements as entity types is merely an administrative decision made by them for the purpose of administering the Taxation legislation

    In my view auDA does not have to change anything as these registrants need to be a qualifying entity (as a matter of fact) in order to obtain an ABN

    Excuse my lack of technical knowledge and the quotation of case law (I am sure that readers with even basic legal prowess can articulate the arguments far better)

    • March 27, 2016 at 3:47 pm

      @Greg – I understand what you’re getting at.

      To me, the most simple solution is for auDA to add one extra method of eligibility. And that is the one most people use – an A.B.N.


  • March 27, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Fingers crossed it turns out well.

  • March 27, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I think a please explain is needed from auDA regarding the dumping of Mr Dispain.


    If this were a listed company there would be.


    Opposition to .au?

    • March 27, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      @David – don’t hold your breath. Still waiting for December Board Minutes. 😉

      Have to say though that I’m really pleased that Jo Lim is “acting” CEO. Hope she applies for the top job, as she is a very competent and experienced person. She is also a “listener”.

  • March 27, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Hey Ned

    Glad you are not Dead Ned! (hey that rhymes!) 🙂

    I missed your daily wisdom.

    The trip to Alice Springs sounds great!



  • March 27, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    The board minutes from December? It’s a few days from April!

    Sounds like a cover up.

Comments are closed.