I looked at the Australian Government Documentation on their website Importing Vehicles to Australia - Page 10
, and read the following:
OVERSEAS VISITORS TO AUSTRALIA
In accordance with the provisions of certain international conventions on road traffic,
Australia recognises the temporary import of vehicles for a period of less than 12
months by visiting foreign nationals of signatory countries who hold a visitors visa
In this category vehicles may be allowed entry in one of two ways:
(a) By presenting a valid Carnet de Passage en Duane at port of entry to
Australia, in which case no Vehicle Import Approval is required.
(b) By submitting an application to import a vehicle accompanied by a copy of
current overseas registration document valid for the period of the visit and
passport pages showing nationality, personal details and valid Australian
The way I read this (just my interpretation, YMMV), you can do it the 'hard' way, with the old fashioned carnet, or you can do it 'their' way, by filling out a form and asking for permission in advance. My guess
is that if you and the bike appear to them (on paper) to be bona fide
visitors who are just passing through, they will grant you a permission in advance, without requiring you to get a carnet. If they think you plan to import something that is not available or allowed in Australia (Hayabusa, 400hp street racer, exotic crotch rocket tax unpaid, etc.) and then sell it, they'll probably ask you to post a bond or get a carnet.
Let us know what you find out.
[This message has been edited by PanEuropean (edited 25 March 2002).]