The self-regulatory body .auDA (.au Domain Administration) which manages web domains in Australia is set to hold a general meeting after a petition from members to vote on a number of motions, including a vote of no-confidence in auDA chief executive Cameron Boardman. The federal government has not given any comment on the issue.

Earlier this year, the .auDA announced an assessment into how Australia uses domain names. The current “.com” in a web address could be removed amongst other changes. Once registered, a web address would be written as abc.au instead of abc.com.au

However, business owners have expressed concern on confusion about the new policy idea and unfair consultation process; where rollouts include having “contested domains”, forcing businesses to claim websites via a lottery system. Besides cost, many have raised worries that a website transition or change would be a challenge from a branding perspective.

“Consultation with these groups continues,” an .auDA spokesperson said.

Josh Rowe, former director of .auDA and one of the members who launched the petition, says he does not want .auDA “to fail”, nor does he oppose the idea of “.au” domain registrations for Australian businesses.

Instead, his priorities remain with the consultation process around these issues. “One way this could be resolved is to restart the consultation panel. Just involve more people. Have more small business representatives, and just increase the number of people around the panel,” he says.

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