Three years ago, auDA (the governing body, Australian Domain Administration) approved the use of second level domains in the .au namespace such as

These shortened domains are a great marketing tool because they take up less real estate in print & digital, and roll off the tongue better for spoken word content. An interesting shift for the industry as new domains for Australia are created once in a blue moon, this is definitely something to keep on your radar if you’re in charge of a website or domain.  

How Do I Get One?    

Direct registrations of .au domains were initially planned for Q4 2019, however registrations have now been delayed pending further public consultation and are now slated for the first half of 2020. 

The planned registration method will allow anyone with an existing domain in the .au namespace (,,, or to directly register for the .au domain under a ‘Priority Status’ based on the following categories:

  • Category 1: the registered domain (e.g. was created before the 4th of February 2018.
  • Category 2: The registered domain was created between the 4th of February 2018 and the commencement date (TBA).
  • General Availability: Where a registered domain doesn’t exist before the commencement date, these will be available on a first in best dressed basis. 

If your domain is eligible for ‘Priority Status’, it will be available for direct registration by the registrant of that domain, however you will need to apply for ‘Priority status’ to reserve your domain. 

And while auDA hasn’t yet shared what’s involved in the application process, reservations will only apply to exact matches of current eligible domains (e.g. will be reserved for the registrant of

Competing Eligibility

This opens up a can of worms when it comes to competing applications that both fall under ‘Priority Status’ in Category 1. 

An example of this is, A Humanitarian Aid organisation that fights global poverty, and which is a platform facilitating  childcare, special needs care, aged care and more. Both examples are of great benefit to society and both fall under ‘Category 1’, however there’s only one .au domain to go around - so who gets it?

The currently planned implementation requires both registrants to negotiate amongst themselves to determine which party is able to register the .au domain. If an agreement is not made then neither party will be able to register for the domain. In this instance, both parties are required to pay an annual renewal fee for the domain until one party drops out and only then the remaining party will be able to register for the domain. 

For more info, see the rules on the .au namespace implementation provided by auDA.

What Next? 

While the jury is still out on whether or not .au will be another flash in the pan like .melbourne and .sydney, you should protect your intellectual property and register your domain as soon as possible. 

If you’d like to be notified when registrations become available, contact us and we’ll notify you when registrations open. 

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