CGDN Policy


Policy No: 2008-04
Publication Date: 12/5/2008

Status: Current

PDF Version


1.1 This document sets out the policy rules and guidelines for the registration of community geographic domain names (CGDNs) within the Australian state and territory second level domains (2LDs):,,,,,,,

1.2 The policy rules and guidelines were initially developed by a National Reference Group (NRG) in 2004 comprising representatives from all levels of Australian government and other community stakeholders. The NRG supervised a 12 month pilot project which trialled the allocation and use of CGDNs with three regional communities. Following the work done by the NRG, auDA has updated the policy and guidelines for implementation purposes.



2.1 auDA has created the CGDNs in order to preserve Australian geographic names for use by the relevant local community. The aim is to provide an intuitive, standardised naming system to enable better access to local community, tourism and business information and to facilitate social and economic benefits to Australian communities.

2.2 CGDNs may only be registered as 3LDs (eg. and their use is restricted to community websites that reflect community interests such as local business, tourism, historical information, culture, sporting groups, local events and news.



3.1 There are no proprietary rights in the domain name system (DNS). A registrant does not “own” a domain name. Instead, the registrant holds a licence to use a domain name, for a specified period of time and under certain terms and conditions.

3.2 The terms and conditions of a CGDN licence are set out in:

a) this document:

b) the registration application and subsequent registration agreement; and

c) any other of auDA’s Published Policies that are applicable.

3.3 The policy rules and guidelines for CGDNs are contained in Schedules A-C of this document. Schedule A explains what type of geographic name may be registered as a CGDN. Schedule B sets out the eligibility criteria for registering a CGDN. Schedule C specifies the CGDN licence conditions.

3.4 It is the responsibility of auDA to preserve the integrity of the .au domain by ensuring that the policy rules and licence conditions are applied correctly and enforced as necessary. auDA reserves the right to revoke any domain name licence that has been granted, or subsequently held, in breach of the relevant policy rules or licence conditions.



[1] The functions performed by auCD under this document were taken over by auDA on 1 July 2010.

4.1 auCD is a not-for-profit company acting as trustee of the .au Community Domains Trust, which was established by auDA in 2006. More information about auCD is available on the auCD website at

4.2 auCD has two roles:
a) to assess CGDN applications for compliance with the policy rules and guidelines; and
b) to provide support services to help local communities register their CGDN and create and maintain their community website.

4.3 All CGDN applications must be lodged with auCD for assessment and approval. auCD does not provide domain registration services. If approved by auCD, the CGDN applicant must register their domain name with an auDA accredited registrar that offers service for CGDNs.

4.4 If auCD rejects an application for a CGDN, auCD must provide the applicant with written reasons why their application was unsuccessful and, where appropriate, information about how to amend their application to comply with the policy rules and guidelines.

4.5 CGDN applicants are encouraged, but not required, to use the support services provided by auCD to help them register their domain name and create and maintain their community website portal.

4.6 auCD does not have authority to set or change policy for CGDNs, or to handle complaints and disputes about CGDNs.

5.1 Where an application for a CGDN is rejected by auCD, the applicant may lodge a complaint with auDA using the contact details on the auDA website at auDA will only review auCD’s decision in circumstances where the applicant can show that auCD made an error of fact, or was manifestly negligent in performing its duties.

5.2 Where a person believes that the registrant of a CGDN is in breach of the CGDN policy rules or licence conditions, that person should lodge a complaint with auDA using the contact details on the auDA website at

5.3 If auDA believes that there are genuine grounds for complaint, auDA will contact the registrant and give them a reasonable opportunity to respond to the complaint. Where appropriate, auDA will also contact auCD.

5.4 If there has been a breach of the policy rules or licence conditions, auDA will allow the registrant to take action to rectify the breach if possible. If the registrant is unable to rectify the breach, auDA will instruct the registrar of record to delete the domain name. The domain name will not be transferred to the complainant. If the complainant wants to license the CGDN, they must lodge an application with auCD.



6.1 auDA will review the policy rules and guidelines for CGDNs in 2014 to ensure that they are workable and meet user needs.

auDA Policy Rules & Guidelines for CGDNs  (PDF, 150KB)


[1] The functions performed by auCD under this document were taken over by auDA on 1 July 2010.