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Australian Domain Chief Resigns

The chief executive officer of au Domain Administration (auDA), the not-for-profit industry body which has been delegated control over Internet domain names under the .au domain, has resigned after less than six months in the job.

Joseph O'Reilly resigned over the weekend, having been appointed early this year after a long search by the industry body over a period of many months.

Tony Hill, executive director of the Internet Society of Australia (ISOC-AU), said the lack of support for auDA from the Australian Government raised the questions of whether it was serious about development of e-commerce. Hill also called on the government to contribute AUS$5 million (US$3.1 million) in seed funding for auDA.

"The resignation of Joseph O'Reilly as CEO of auDA is a severe setback for development of the Internet in Australia, but understandable in the context of such a shortage of resources," he said.

"A consequence of this setback will be that Australia misses key e-commerce opportunities and is left at the mercy of large overseas Internet companies."

Hill said the Federal Government's attitude towards auDA was in contrast to its energy in the related areas telecommunications and content regulation.

"In the Internet area there seems to be a DIY approach," he said. "The government has failed to provide funding for domain name administration or auDA, despite being able to produce $5 million in funding to establish Internet censorship and the body NetWatch."