It has been more than 30 years since the first .au web address was born. 

And in March 2022, we will see an exciting new change in the Australian namespace landscape with the introduction of the .au Direct domain extension. 

In true Australian Aussie form, we do love to shorten things:
Service station Servo
Afternoon Arvo
Sandwich Sanga 

So, it was only a matter of time before we were able to shorten our domain names too! You will soon have the opportunity to turn your.com.au into simply your.au 

The introduction will bring Australia in-line with many other country code Top Level Domains, including United Kingdom (.uk), Canada (.ca), the USA (.us) and New Zealand (.nz). 

As with all current .au domains, eligibility is open for anyone with a local connection to Australia (including business, associations, and individuals). However, unlike the current .com.au and .org.au that have specific allocation criteria, there is no allocation criteria that determines which names and eligible person can register in the .au Direct namespace. 

This being said, to ensure fairness entering this new space, all holders of existing *.au domains will have the opportunity to apply for Priority Status to register the exact match of their existing .au domain at the .au Direct level. 

Under the Priority Allocation Process, exact matches of all domains in the Australian registry prior to the launch will be reserved for the Priority Allocation Process period for six months. 

During this time, if you are a holder of an existing .au you can apply for priority status of the matching .au Direct. 

This Priority Allocation period starts on March 24th, 2022. 

As there are currently multiple .au Domain Extensions, there may be a small number of cases where more than one entity applies for the Priority Status of a given .au Direct 

For more information on what happens in those cases, you can view the audit fact sheet on the Priority Allocation Process here. 

The introduction of this new Domain Extension solidifies the many benefits of having a .au domain. 

Having a .au Domain will land you at the top of search engine results locally and will increase your visibility and search engine ranking. 

9 out of 10 Australians prefer to do business with fellow Aussies, and having a .au Direct domain will ensure people immediately know they are transacting with an Australian Business. 

A shorter domain name is more memorable and easier to remember, which means users are more likely to recall the name of a brand. 

We are excited for this new namespace and will be posting more about the process in the coming months! 

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the .au direct namespace, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team by using the contact form available on our website, or get in touch via our Facebook & Twitter pages.