The Australian .au Domain Administrator (auDA) has confirmed 01 October as the date to submit requests if organisations wish to register a new Level 2 domain name.
The draft rules for the priority registration process are available here. The cut-off date for priority registration is 04 February.
The cut-off date determines which priority category an existing third level .au domain name is assigned to.
Names registered on or before 04 February 2018 are assigned to priority category 1. Names registered after 04 February 2018 are assigned to priority category 2.
The priority category is relevant to the priority application process for registrants of existing third level .au domain names (e.g. @xxx.edu.au) and can help determine who gets to register the exact match at the second level where there are competing applications for a given name.
Please refer to section 1.3 of the Implementation Rules (https://www.auda.org.au/assets/Uploads/auDA-namespace-implementation-rules-15-April-2020.pdf).