The central registry for .au domain names, auDA, has just announced it will be opening the .au domain for direct registrations, so it will soon be possible to register domain names such as name.au rather than (say) name.com.au.
auDA will now implement a policy development and consultation process for implementing direct registrations in .au. auDA has indicated that it intends to take into account the impact on existing .au domain name registrants. However, auDA has previously been of the view that a sunrise period for direct registrations should not be offered, which may be a concern for trade mark owners.
Watch this space for news.
For further information on the previous review process, see http://thedecoder.com.au/au-domain-names-a-step-closer/. For auDA news on the .au domain, see https://www.auda.org.au/news/auda-to-introduce-direct-registrations-in-au/