When you’re still being ignored, you once again have to have your say!

My name is Josh Rowe, and on behalf of my two fellow auDA Members (Paul Szyndler and Jim Stewart), we created this website because we really care about what is happening at auDA.

Does this site look and sound familiar to Grumpy.com.au which was used last year for a similar purpose? Absolutely – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! That said, Ned O’Meara, Scott Long and Ian Halson have nothing to do with Grumpier.com.au. We assume total responsibility for it.

This site has been created for auDA Members to legally express their dissatisfaction with the current auDA Board and Management
by using the Corporations Act 2001 to call for a General Meeting under S249D.

  • auDA is a Membership Organisation that is accountable to a range of stakeholders, including both the “Supply” and “Demand” sides of the Australian internet community.
  • Without seeking to interfere with the day to day management of auDA, we (the Members) want to be recognised as an integral part of the organisation; and our membership viewpoints treated with respect.
  • Members of auDA should also have a right to be informed about basic decision-making processes of their Board of Directors, and the CEO / senior management.
  • Members called for a Special General Meeting which was held on 31 July 2017. The auDA Chair, Stuart Benjamin, resigned before a member vote to oust him.
  • auDA’s board and CEO promised to improve, but things have only got worse in the opinion of many.
  • Before, and since the last SGM, direct correspondence, blogs and forums have been full of complaints directed towards auDA, however Members have been (and continue to be) ignored.

If you are a current auDA Member, we ask you to please complete and electronically sign the online petition to hold a general meeting. You are not actually “voting” on any resolution.

It should take you no more than 60 seconds to complete!

Key issues for members include:

Direct Registration

Some people are for direct .au domain name registration, and some are against. Then there are the multitudes of registrants that wouldn’t even know it is on the horizon, because auDA hasn’t directly told them of the possibility; and how and why it would work if it was implemented. 
  • Why have all .au registrants not been contacted – as promised by auDA CEO Cameron Boardman, over something so important?
  • Where is the business case promised by auDA CEO Cameron Boardman to show the quantitative benefits?
  • The independent Policy Review Panel established by auDA now appears fatally flawed. Any previous auDA administration would have made sure there was proper representation from all stakeholders, but now there are only 4 people and a Chair left to decide on such an important issue. The latest casualty is the departure of the ACCC panel representative.
  • The lack of a peak business body representative on the panel is fatal. As are the personal opinions of one particular member of the panel who seems to be allowed to denigrate people with impugnity. Why does auDA and John Swinson (Chair of the PRP) allow that to happen?
  • Why is a “lottery” being proposed to break a conflict? Particularly when 89% of domain holders have com.au?
  • Proposed changes to existing policies seem to be going backwards. Why?
  • auDA Chair, Chris Leptos AM, has stated there will be “winners and losers”. This vernacular wreaks of a bullish ASX listed company, not a self-regulatory body whose role is to properly manage and administer the critical national infrastructure of the .au domain name space for the benefit of the Australian community.  Why should there be losers? Why should auDA be run as an ASX style company?

Communication and Transparency

  • Since the July 2017 SGM, no lessons have been learnt – auDA continues to exhibit poor communication. There is a lack of transparency about what is actually happening, and board minutes for the latter part of 2017 were only posted recently. That is a 5 month delay.
  • The restructuring proposal of auDA put to Government had no member consultation, including auDA’s own Constitutional Reform Committee (CRC) which was set up and then abandoned.
  • Speaking of the CRC, why has this not been re-constituted? The auDA Constitution is old and tired, and needs to reflect current realities.
  • Elected Directors are effectively muzzled from talking effectively and meaningfully to the Members that voted for them.
  • Is there a “whispering campaign” in place to discredit some past staff and management? There are certainly lots of rumours floating around about PPB forensic reports and possible financial irregularities. If these have any substance, these should be disclosed to Members and the parties concerned. If this doesn’t happen soon, that is totally unfair, as it creates undue stress and reputational damage. What other organisation would carry on like this?
  • What is the extent of the legal fees and settlement agreements that auDA has incurred over the past two years? Members have a right to know.

Good Governance

  • Why has the auDA board allowed Demand Class members to be under-represented since November 2017? That’s contrary to the auDA Constitution.
  • Staff and Director attrition has continued to be mind boggling since the previous SGM for such a small organisation. For instance, why did Di Parker leave as auDA Corporate Secretary? Why did Simon Johnson suddenly resign as a Director last November?
  • Have friends or previous colleagues of the CEO been appointed to plum positions within the organisation? If so, were these positions first advertised?
  • The long standing Registry Operator is about to be replaced, but what real benefit will flow to registrars or registrants? By some reports, the wholesale price has decreased by around 60%, but registrars apparently are only going to get around a 10% discount. If true, this seems a pittance – what happens to the balance? Many people think this is no more than a cash grab by auDA. Why did they do it this way? Could it be deemed as a “double cash grab” if direct registrations are approved?
  • New independent director Suzanne Ewart has been made chair of the auDA board Security and Risk sub-committee. What relevant experience does she have in this most important discipline?
  • Sandra Hook is the longest serving Independent, but what has she done about any of the above? What relevant domain industry experience does she have?
  • Does all of this indicate a potentially systemic problem for our Membership organisation? This is all happening on their watch.
  • We believe there needs to be some positive and effective change – which is why we are proposing the following resolutions:

Resolution 1 – Vote of no confidence in Cameron Boardman (CEO)

Resolution 2 – Removal of Chris Leptos as a Director 

Resolution 3 – Removal of Sandra Hook as a Director

Resolution 4 – Removal of Suzanne Ewart as a Director

When the auDA Board calls the General Meeting we are petitioning for, Members can choose whether to vote for all, none or some of the resolutions we propose. That is democracy in action.