MEDIA RELEASE - LABOR WELCOMES AUDA REVIEW FINDINGS – BUT KEY QUESTIONS ABOUT DIRECT REGISTRATION REMAIN UNANSWERED - 18 APRIL 2018

With Ed Husic MP, Shadow Minister for Digital Economy.

Labor welcomes the findings outlined in the review of .au Domain Administration (auDA) and will work through the recommendations in consultation with stakeholders.

The review correctly identifies the need to improve the governance of auDA to ensure the organisation can perform effectively, better represent consumers, and meet the needs of the community.

However the review does not address the important issue of direct registration of the .au domains.

In 2016, the auDA Board announced its intention to introduce direct registration of domain names in .au – for example, “yourwebsite.au”.

Over this period the Turnbull Government has been quiet as a mouse.

Labor is yet to be persuaded about what problem direct registration is actually trying to solve – and who is calling for it?

Further, there are concerns that such changes could force small businesses to pay additional fees to buy an extra domain they don’t need, or otherwise risk having their brand undermined.

It is clear the Turnbull Government has been sleeping at the wheel and this risks leaving small businesses exposed.

Labor calls on the government to state its position on the following:

  • Will the government guarantee that small businesses won’t have to incur new costs to register an extra web domain – all in the name of protecting their brand?

It’s clear the last thing small businesses need is another digital headache, particularly given the Turnbull Government’s abysmal track record with digital transformation and its second-rate NBN.