.au direct - Australia's newest domain
March 2022 marks an important milestone in the history of the Australian Domain Name space.
Currently only 3rd level domains (such as example.com.au, example.net.au) are available for registration.
On March 24th 2022, auDA (the Governing Body of Australian domains) will allow direct AU registrations on the 2nd level.
This means a domain such as example.au can be registered.
On the launch date, .au applications will be grouped into 2 categories;
.au will be restricted to Australian's only - providing confidence that it's an Australian website
.au is a convenient way to shorten your existing URLs, allowing businesses and individuals to create a more memorable address.
.au is open to all businesses, organizations or individuals that are connected to Australia.
A 6 month priority window will open on the 24th March 2022, providing owners of existing 3rd level domains (eg. example.com.au) the chance to secure the corresponding .au domain (example.au)
Once the priority window closes, any .au domains that have not been secured will be made available to the general public.
Priority Applications will be split into 2 groups;
This is where the .au domain matches 1 existing domain (e.g. the .com.au)
Only the owner of the existing domain can apply for the new .au domain
After applying, the new .au domain will be registered within 24 hours.
This is where the .au domain matches multiple existing domains (eg. the .com.au, .net.au & .org.au)
Only owners of the existing domains can apply for the new .au domain.
The new .au domain will be allocated in line with a Priority Category system, which has been devised by auDA.
First, the existing (3rd level) domains are classified as either;
These categories are used to rank & prioritise the existing (3rd level) domains during & at the end of the 6 Month Priority Window.
If an agreement cannot be reached, the active applications for the .au domain will need to be renewed on an annual basis (in Sept each year). The .au domain will only be allocated when 1 active application remains.