Technology

Ed Husic demands government sorts out concerns over “.au” domain introduction “quick smart”

Emma Koehn /

Shadow Minister for the Digital Economy Ed Husic has demanded the federal government sort out concerns over the possible introduction of “.au” web domains “quick smart”, as the ongoing uncertainty is driving small businesses “nuts”.

In a speech in the House of Representatives on Monday, Husic drew the government’s attention to the unrest in the small business community around the possible introduction of the new domain structure.

He said the government should take note of these concerns and act to resolve these concerns as soon as possible.

“Not content that they’re stuffing up digital transformation in their own backyard, the government now want to affect the way in which some of their decisions impact on small businesses in this country,” Husic said.

Drawing on comments from SmartCompany readers, he highlighted concerns that if Australia was to introduce “.au” web domains, small businesses could face both disruption of their brands and potentially having to “fight it out” to claim the “.au” equivalents of their original “.com.au” addresses.

He said the possible introduction of the domains is an issue “looming on the horizon that is going to drive small business nuts”.

“SMEs do not have to have visited upon them the kind of calamity that we’ve seen in the federal Public Service when it comes to digital transformation and the way that tech issues are being managed,” he said.

The government-endorsed, self-regulatory body that oversees web domains, auDA, has been holding consultation over the past year about how the process would run if Australia rolled out a new structure of web domains.

AuDA has told SmartCompany it is continuing to welcome submissions from concerned parties about the issue.

But small businesses say their voices haven’t been heard in this consultation process, while SEO expert Jim Stewart has warned that there could be fairness issues with who gets to claim the new domain addresses if a pool of “contested” web addresses emerged as a result of the rollout.

The government is currently undertaking an inquiry into the management of “.au” domains and has taken submissions on issues including the introduction of the new addresses.

Public submissions on the issue closed on January 12 and the Department of Communications and the Arts says it will now consider the written submissions to create a report for Minister for Communications and the Arts, Mitch Fifield, in the first part of this year.

SmartCompany has contacted Ed Husic for further comment, but did not receive a response prior to publication.

NOW READ: “A load of bollocks”: SMEs demand answers from auDA over introduction of new “.au” domain names

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Emma Koehn

Emma Koehn is SmartCompany's senior journalist.

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FROM AROUND THE WEB

  • About time

    Bravo Mr Husic for raising this in parliament. And bravo Emma for participating in awareness-raising. It will be interesting to hear Minister Fifield’s position when he presents the outcomes of his Department’s recent review in to the operation and management of .au.

  • Snoopy

    auDA could not care less about small business, this is all about increasing revenue. The launch of .au will cause damage to brand owners who have to pay for an unnecessary extra domain virtually identical to their existing domain. Many will also miss out completely and their brand will be diluted by the potential for another company to do business on a confusingly similar web address.

    Since auDA is making the money out of this scheme they should also be paying out for all the disputes it creates down the track.

  • Chief Whip

    Minister Fifield helped get the auDA CEO ex Liberal Party MP Cameron Boardman the job.

    Most of the people over the years have been linked to the Liberal Party.. both ex auDA Chairs, directors, suppliers etc.

    Mitch Fifield MP will not nothing. He has known about this mess for years. Maybe he needs to go when it actually falls under his portfolio.

    https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/au_domain_administration_ltd_aud#outgoing-4446

    It raises further auDA.org.au and DoCA oversight questions?

    ….If the .au wholesale registry contract was worth $118 million why did the Government not retain ownership or sell the rights and make money for Australian taxpayers?

    https://www.crn.com.au/news/118m-payday-for-melbourne-domain-name-firm-407350

    This stinks.. something very rotten has been going on.

  • Snoopy

    Get on the phone oe email to Mr Husic’s office to state your views on auDA proposed .AU, let’s send a clear message to Canberra that Australian business does not want to be subjected to this money grab!

    Canberra (02) 6277 4488
    http://www.edhusic.com/contact-us/

  • Robert Kaay

    Well done Emma and Mr Husic. This can all be made very simple. auDA can now clearly see their appointed PRP has completely “bumbled” this up. They need to demand the PRP present their final proposal in writing so they can deny it. What is taking them so long? This will quickly stop further damage to the .COM.AU brand THAT IS GETTING WORSE EVERY DAY AT THE MOMENT. Then, if they can prove there is a NEED for .AU – the implementation process should and could be very very very very simple… Give Direct .AU to existing .COM.AU holders FOR FREE. Then, there’s no need for any sort of CUT OFF DATE for registering domains (more info on that at NameBid.com.au) and it also proves this whole thing isn’t just a “money grab” by the registrars, or by auDA themselves. Very very simple.

  • Robert Kaay

    Well done Emma and Mr Husic. This can all be made very simple. auDA can now clearly see their appointed PRP has completely “bumbled” this up. They need to demand the PRP present their final proposal in writing so they can deny it. What is taking them so long? This will quickly stop further damage to the .COM.AU brand THAT IS GETTING WORSE EVERY DAY AT THE MOMENT. Then, if they can prove there is a NEED for .AU – the implementation process should and could be very very very very simple… Give Direct .AU to existing .COM.AU holders FOR FREE. Then, there’s no need for any sort of CUT OFF DATE for registering domains (more info on that at NameBid.com.au) and it also proves this whole thing isn’t just a “money grab” by the registrars, or by auDA themselves. Very very simple.

  • We are watching you auDA

    About bloody time.
    We urge all media outlets to follow this very closely.
    If it is found that any of the auDA Board have acted improperly with regards to affecting outcomes and there are conflicts of interests at play here, we urge the Government to make examples of those parties and STOP them from doing more harm to our .au space.
    The CEO of auDA and other involved parties – WE ARE WATCHING YOU!

  • No Minister

    Times up auDA.org.au and audafoundation.org.au

    Start packing before the investigating raids start!

    Better do another bug sweep..Please leave the Government ones untouched.

  • Jessica

    Good luck Ed. Finally someone confronts the biggest secret tax millions of Australians have been paying to auda and their friends..

    Expose this scam hurting 3 million Australians!

    Time to wind up auDA.org.au and have Government do it.

    Senate inquiry or Royal Commission needed!

    …auda has been threatening people to stay quiet… what have they been hiding and taking in secret fees and taxes for 18 years? $Hundreds of millions.

  • Jim Stewart

    Thank you Mr Husic. So many people businesses do not know what is going on as it would seem they have been kept deliberately in the dark. As you can see from other stories Emma has done on this, even though Policy Review Panel members may comment they will not answer question. If you were selling a business today it is now worth slightly less because of AUDA.

  • Jim Stewart

    Here’s why you should stop registering .com.au domain names today. https://www.smartcompany.com.au/technology/reconsider-buying-a-com-au-domain/