Walker Wayland - Perth Accountants

Mar 2022 3 Minutes

The ‘.au’ Domain Name Launching on 24 March 2022

Article provided by Matthew Lenhoff, Special Counsel at Zafra Legal.

What is changing?

From 24 March 2022, the ‘.au’ domain names will become available as a new category of Australian domain name. The change follows similar moves for .uk and .nz domains. The development will mean that users will be able to register a second level domain name directly followed by .au, such as zafralegal.au.

Registrants with an existing third level Australian domain name such as ‘.com.au’, ‘.org.au’, ‘.asn.au’ or ‘.net.au’ will be given priority to apply for the corresponding second level ‘.au’ domain name until 24 September 2022. If no priority applications for a particular domain are received by 24 September 2022, the domain will be available for purchase by the public, although, the registrant must have a verifiable connection with Australia.


How to register for .au domain names:

From 24 March 2022 to 24 September 2022 (the Priority Allocation Period), existing holders of an Australian domain name will have priority to register for the corresponding .au name through an accredited auDA registrar. Once the Priority Allocation Period ends, all .au names will be registered on a first come, first served basis. It is important to note that you will need to register for the relevant .au domain name to obtain ownership even if there are no other parties eligible to register for that domain during the Priority Allocation Period.

After the Priority Allocation Period ends on 24 September 2022, a person or organisation with a verifiable connection to Australia (a resident or corporation registered in Australia) will be able to register any .au domain name provided it:

  • is available for registration (it is not already registered to someone else);
  • satisfies auDA’s syntax requirements; and
  • is not reserved.

Where more than one registrant may be eligible to apply for priority status for the same ‘.au’ domain name, a dispute resolution mechanism has been established to determine priority status.

Once the .au domain is secured, your IT provider should be able to advise on redirecting traffic from your .au domain to an established website, or vice versa.


Potential benefits to registering .au domain names:

The benefits for existing registrants applying for .au domain will be depend on the individual/business, however, some benefits might include that the .au domain uses less space than other Australian domains such as .com.au (which may have appeal for advertising purposes), it shows up better visually on print and display formats and the shorter name is easier to type and display on mobile devices.

Further, securing the .au domain will prevent a third party from registering names similar to yours on the .au domain (cybersquatting).


Suggested next steps:

If you hold an existing domain name you may wish to register the corresponding ‘.au’ domain name. If so, we suggest contacting your IT provider to determine the right course of action to register your corresponding .au name through an accredited auDA registrar.

If you have any queries, please contact our office and we can put you in touch with Matthew Lenhoff at Zafra Legal.