.au is Australia’s official second-level, direct domain (<yourdomain>.au) that has opened up for priority allocation to businesses and individuals with existing third-level .au domains (for example, com.au and net.au).
Note: A third-level .au domain is a longer extension of the second-level .au domain that was purchased before the latter was introduced.
The priority allocation process for existing third-level .au domain owners to reserve matching .au direct domains began on March 24, 2022 and ends at 9:59 AM AEST on Sep 21, 2022.
Hence, businesses and individuals with an Australian presence are allowed to reserve a .au direct domain, provided the domain isn't placed on 'priority hold' by an existing third-level .au domain owner.
Starting 8 AM AEDT on Oct 04, 2022, all unallocated (non-applied for) .au direct names will be released to the general public for instant registration. This list does not include .au domain names that are reserved for the government (gov.au), educational institutes (edu.au), state organisations (nsw.au, vic.au, etc.) and charities (org.au).
An example of a .au direct domain:
onlydomains.au (for a business named ‘Only Domains’)
johnsmith.au (for an individual named John Smith)
An example of a third-level .au domain: