Letter from Senator Richard Alston to Stuart Lynn
(16 August 2001)


Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate

16 AUG 2001

Dr M. Stuart Lynn
President and CEO
4676 Admiralty Way Suite 330
Marina del Rey

Dear Dr Lynn

I refer to your letter of 8 August 2001 concerning the redelegation of the .au ccTLD.

I can confirm that the Australian Government is committed to an industry self-regulatory regime being responsible for the management of the .au domain space, rather than a Government authority. auDA was established as a result of work undertaken by a representative committee, which was facilitated by NOIE, to progress the creation of an industry self-regulatory regime. The Government's subsequent endorsement of auDA as the appropriate entity to administer .au (which is reaffirmed) was contingent upon auDA demonstrating to Government its ability to meet a number of criteria, namely:

  • operate as a fully self-funding and not-for-profit organization;
  • be inclusive of, and accountable to, members of the Internet community including both the supply and demand sides;
  • adopt open, transparent and consultative processes;
  • aim to enhance benefits to Internet users through the promotion of competition, fair trading and provisions for consumer protection and support;
  • establish appropriate dispute resolution mechanisms; and
  • represent the Australian Internet industry interests in the Internet domain name system at national and international fora.

The Government's ongoing endorsement is subject to auDA continuing to meet these criteria as well as operating within the provisions of its company constitution and recognising that the management and administration of the au ccTLD is subject to the ultimate authority of the Commonwealth of Australia. Should the situation arise whereby auDA was no longer administering the .au ccTLD for the benefit of the Australian community, the Government would take the appropriate action to remedy this situation, and has the legislative authority to do so.

This approach is consistent with clause 9 of the GAC Principles for the Delegation and Administration of Country Code Top Level Domains. The GAC Principles has been the primary source document used by the Australian Government in this redelegation process.

The Australian Government is committed to ICANN and considers it to be the appropriate international entity to oversee the technical coordination of the Internet in a manner that will preserve it as an effective and convenient mechanism for global communication and commerce. To this end, the Government is also strongly committed to GAC and the role it plays in the ICANN process which is evidenced by the resources the Australian Government has made available to support the operation of GAC.

Thank you for writing me on this matter.

Your sincerely

Minister for Communications,
Information Technology and the Arts

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