.au registrars, requirements and history
.au is the top level domain for Australia. This top level domain was first allocated in 1986, when it was used by Kevin Robert Elz from Melbourne University. As the internet began to be used more widely, the administration of this TLD was transferred to the .au Domain Administration. Since June 1st 2002, registrations can be obtained from a number of third party registrars.
All .au domains are now overseen by the .au Domain Administration or auDA. This organization consists of various industry members and operates the .au domain registry. The Australian registry does not sell domains anymore, therefore those interested in purchasing one must do so through an independent registrar. One interesting fact about .au domains is that transfers of ownership were not allowed until 2008. Currently, owners of .au domains can sell them, which has resulted in the growth of a secondary domain marketplace.
Registrations directly at the second level of the TLD are no longer permitted. Therefore, those interested in a .au domain will now need to register it under one of the second level domain categories, such as .com.au and .net.au for businesses, .org.au and .asn.au for associations and non-profit organizations and .id.au for individuals. Community geographic second level domains are also available for registration, however these are restricted to legally registered entities that represent the local community, such as websites of sporting groups, tourism information sites, etc. Currently, only individuals, businesses and organizations that have a location in Australia are allowed to register a .au domain.