Australia's country-code top-level domains (or ccTLDs) currently include 'com.au', 'net.au', 'org.au', 'id.au', 'gov.au', and 'edu.au'.
As flagged in our news update of 9 September 2021 see here, a new '.au' domain namespace will soon be available.
As of 13:00 AEDT on 24 March 2022, eligible registrants can apply for the new, shorter '.au' direct ccTLD.
Time to get your priority!
Anyone who has an Australian presence, or local connection to Australia, will be eligible to register in the '.au' namespace.
Importantly, registrants of .au domain names in existence as of 24 March 2022, will be eligible to apply for the Priority Allocation Process, which will place the domain names on 'Priority Hold' for a six month Priority Application Period ending on 20 September 2022.
Priority Hold prevents third parties from registering existing .au domain names in '.au' direct form. This aims to provide existing registrants with the opportunity to register the '.au' direct exact match of their existing domain names, subject to priority categories rules.
If you are considering registering in this new .au namespace or bolstering your domain name protection, we recommend you apply for priority from 24 March 2022, or secure a currently available .au domain name before 24 March 2022, in order to meet the Priority Access requirements.
In the meantime, we recommend checking that your current domain name registration details are up to date, especially if you are looking to claim priority on the .au direct namespace. We also recommend you obtain trade mark protection for your brand, as this locks up exclusivity in the name, and is a useful tool in domain name disputes.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.