Despite still being restrained by a lack of official authority in the .au namespace, industry self-regulatory body, the Australian Domain Authority (auDA) has released news on plans for the near future. Among recent reports are suggestions that changes, including new .au domains to join .com.au, .net.au and others, would be seriously considered as early as next year.
Australian internet pioneer, Robert Elz maintains authority over the namespace, and has declined to ask IANA for a delegation of authority to auDA. Regardless, auDA is powered by representatives of corporate internet in Australia, and other bodies such as the respected Internet Society of Australia and Electronic Frontiers Australia. The non-profit company auDA is pushing forward based on discussion within its working groups.
Recent developments include the approval, by auDA, of the Dispute Resolution Policy proposed by its Dispute Resolution Working Group. The policy is based closely on the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy used in the global namespace since 1999.
auDA has carefully considered lobbying by groups for the permission of geographical domains which are currently not permitted for registration. It is likely that geographical domains in the future will be held by local authorities such as a council.
Additionally, the opening of the .id.au namespace for individuals, and rejection of current bans on generic terms are likely, with the much awaited domains in the latter group to be auctioned.
More information is available at the auDA site (Media Release 20 August 2001), and AustralianIT.