The concept of being able to buy domain names isn't technically correct - nobody can buy a .com.au domain name permanently or even a purchase a .com (or any other web address), whether you get a new name or acquire an existing website URL.
A domain purchaser in reality is a registrant; renting the license from the Australian registry to use the website name for a set period, with an option to renew the lease.
In the case of getting a new website address, while you cannot buy domain names outright or permanently, what you can do is to register a name. This is like purchasing a lease from the organisation that runs whatever registry the extension is associated with and shouldn't be confused with third party name leasing.
For example, any website name with .au as an extension is regulated by auDA, the Australian Domain Name Administrator. Our company is an auDA accredited domain registrar; which is very different to a website address reseller.
Registration lease times can vary depending on the extension - some domain names you can register for up to 10 years at a time. The standard period you can register .com.au, net.au, .org.au, .asn.au or .id.au names is 2 years. That is another myth we can bust - you cannot buy a domain name forever; however, you can continually renew registration to maintain control over it.
While the term "buying a domain name" is also commonly used in relation to purchasing an existing name registered to someone else; again, the purchaser isn't buying the domain name as such, just acquiring the rights to maintain a lease on that name and continue to re-register it as each period ends - this is called renewal.
However, this situation certainly doesn't discourage the practice and the domain name buying and selling industry (more accurately known as trading) is a booming multi-billion dollar business, with some existing website names being purchased and sold for millions of dollars each.
While you can't buy a domain name, you can rest assured that as long as you're not contravening any policies associated with the registry or infringing on someone's trademarks, you will be able to keep using the web name for as long as you like, assuming of course you stay up to date with your registration fees.
Now that we've cleared up the "buy domain names" myth; you can now start your search and register a .com.au or get another extension with full knowledge of what you're actually purchasing for your money - to buy with confidence (so to speak).
How to register a name: Enter your choice in the search tool and click 'GO'. If after the check the domain names search results show your choice is available, you will then have the option to proceed to purchase registration; which is a very quick and easy process - start a search and find your ideal website address now.