home Domains, Governance, ICANN Australian Government orders review of the .au Domain Administration

Australian Government orders review of the .au Domain Administration


The Australian Government has ordered a review into the operations of the .au policy and regulatory body, auDA. The order to could coming after 2 years or turmoil and mismanagement and that the government has had enough of the unending organization disputes.

The Minister’s statement says that since auDA was established in 2000

“the digital landscape has changed significantly as the economy increasingly revolves around the internet.”

In a statement from auDA, they say the “Board and Executive of auDA today welcomed the announcement of a Federal Government review into the .au domain.”

“The .au domain is one of the most trusted domain zones in the world and we look forward to working with the government and Australian internet community to maintain and enhance that position,” said auDA Interim Board Chair Erhan Karabardak.

“auDA’s multi-stakeholder work on the Registry Transformation Project and Policy Review Panel will continue throughout the review.

“It is critical that we have the best possible model for managing the domain, and that our risk and mitigation strategies are among the best in the world.”

The review will be undertaken by the Department of Communications and the Arts and will examine the most appropriate framework for the domain and will also identify risk and mitigation strategies for the security and stability of the .au domain.

Terms of Reference for a review of the .au Domain Administration


The terms of the Australian Government’s endorsement of the .au Domain Administration (auDA) as the appropriate entity to administer Australia’s top-level domain (.au) on behalf of Australian internet users were established in 2000. The Department of Communications and the Arts will undertake a full review of the governance arrangements for .au.

The review will examine whether Australia’s top-level domain, .au, is being managed consistent with Government and community expectations. It is anticipated that the review would be finalised in early 2018.


In keeping with the Australian Government’s commitment to the multi-stakeholder approach to internet governance, the review will involve public consultation to seek industry and community views on best practice approaches and processes for the management of .au to ensure that the governance structure is fit for purpose.

The review will examine and make recommendations on:

  • the most appropriate framework for the management of the .au top level domain
  • how to ensure that Government and community expectations inform auDA’s operation and decision-making, and
  • mitigation strategies to address future risks to the security and stability of .au.


auDA is the independent not-for-profit organisation responsible for the policy and technical administration of Australia’s country code top-level domain, .au. The Government’s expectations for the management of .au were set out by the Minister of the day in a letter of endorsement in 2000. They include:

  • recognising that the Internet naming system is a public resource
  • operating as a fully self-funding and not-for-profit organisation
  • being inclusive of and accountable to all members of the Australian internet community
  • adopting open, transparent and consultative processes
  • promoting competition, fair trading and provisions for consumer protection and support
  • establishing appropriate dispute resolution mechanisms, and
  • representing Australian internet industry interests in the internet domain name system at national and international fora.

There are reserve legislative powers under the Telecommunications Act 1997 and the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005.


James Barnley

I’m the editor of the DomainingAfrica. I write about internet and social media, focusing mainly on Domains. As a subscriber to my newsletter, you’ll get a lot of information on Domain Issues, ICANN, new gtld’s, Mobile technology and social media.

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