Under current policy there is a restriction on the use of geographic names as domain names in com.au and net.au. Following a public review in 2004, the auDA Board resolved in that geographic domain names are useful and desirable for Australian businesses and that the restriction should be lifted.
auDA has determined that the fairest and most effective way of releasing the geographic names for use as domain names will be by way of individual ballots. Some geographic names are available as domain names in both com.au and net.au, while some geographic names are only available in either com.au or net.au. (See Note below.)
Eligible applicants will be able to apply for a geographic domain name or names through a Participating Registrar. Applicants will need to satisfy the normal com.au and net.au eligibility and allocation criteria in the Domain Name Eligibility and Allocation Rules for the Open 2LDs (2005-01).
Where only one application is received for a domain name, that applicant will be the ballot winner. Where more than one application is received for a domain name, the ballot winner will be drawn at random using an automated computer program. Where no applications are received for a domain name, that name will be withdrawn from the ballot process and released by auDA at a later date.
Ballot winners will be required to pay a Release Fee of $825 (inc. GST) to auDA in order to register their geographic domain name. Ballot proceeds will be used by auDA to support the implementation of the new community geographic name space.
auDA intends to launch the ballot process in June 2005. People who are interested in registering a geographic name should join the auDA Announcements List to receive further information as it becomes available.
NOTE: Under auDA policy a "geographic name" is defined as any location with an Australian postcode, as listed on the Australia Post postcode database. This includes all suburb and town names, plus a number of other names such as airports and universities. The following names will not be included in the ballot process: airport names; hospital names; university names; defence force names; government names; postal names or names with Australia Post designators (eg. BC, MC, PO). The name "Australia" and state/territory names and abbreviations will also not be included in the ballot process.