Government website registration and formatting procedures are to be standardised throughout the nation, under new guidelines set out by government and IT industry group the Online Council.
According to a statement released by the council, which is chaired by Federal IT minister Richard Alston, the purpose of the guidelines is to unify on a state-by-state basis the selection process for companies that seek to attain a ".gov.au" domain name.
According to the guidelines, only Australian government departments, agencies or statutory bodies defined by an Act of Parliament or government regulation are now eligible to apply for .gov.au domain names.
The council is currently investigating the possibility of creating a nationwide database of all eligible .gov.au site owners.
The Online Council also stipulated that all .gov.au websites be equipped with "text only" options to ensure that the availability of government information posted online is not prejudiced against visually impaired or ill-equipped internet users.