Yes currently the helmet laws in Australia are fluctuating. It was true last year all helmets had to have Australian Standards compliance.
Some changes are starting to happen and laws are being modified from state to state to try and make our helmet laws more consumer friendly. Please see the below link for info: https://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2015L01845
The “explanatory statement” tab is still full of jargon and a bit confusing. However here are the important points that stand out:
Until November 2015 Australian consumer law required helmets sold in Australia to meet the standard AS1698-1988.
States and Territories were in charge of dictating what helmets riders were legally allowed to wear on the road.
When the Australian standard was updated in 2006 helmets supplied nationally complied with the new standard.
The 2006 standard is different to the standard that suppliers are required to comply with under Australian Consumer Law (AS1698-1988).
Due to this inconsistency suppliers have not been able to supply helmets which complied with the Australian Consumer Law (but have done anyway).
This consumer law has been revoked, which now allows suppliers to sell any standard helmet in Australia.
However there are still consumer laws in place which state “goods should be fit for all the purposes for which goods of that kind are commonly supplied”.
So any helmets sold to be used on the road must comply with the local helmet laws. This is the Australian standard or the ECE22.05 standard so both standards can now legally be sold. Whereas between 2006 and 2015 technically neither were legal to sell.
Here is quite a good summary at the end of the “explanatory statement” tab:
“In the absence of an Australian Consumer Law safety standard, suppliers will be required to supply motor cycle helmets that enable motor cyclists to comply with the Road Rules and other relevant laws, in accordance with the consumer guarantee provided for in section 54 of the Australian Consumer Law that goods supplied are of acceptable quality, which includes that they are both safe and fit for purpose. The Road Rules require motor cyclists to wear an approved helmet. The Australian Consumer Law also includes general consumer protection provisions, which can assist in protecting consumers from unsafe motor cycle helmets.”
Hopefully that is correct and makes sense to you. Finally looks like we are heading in the right direction with our lid laws. We are not there yet, but it is getting closer.