This change is no doubt a relief for many pet owners as quarantine can cost upwards of $29 (per cat) and $39 (per dog). For example, if your cat was in quarantine for the original 30 days you'd have to pay $870! With these beneficial changes, you may only have to pay $290. However, you must still pay all quarantine costs up front and if there any additional charges (i.e. if your pet has to stay longer than the minimum requirement duration) you would need to pay a second installment.
There is also a noticeable modification to regulations for pets originating from non DAFF approved countries. Under the old policy, pets were required to stay in a DAFF approved country for at least six months before they can be brought to Australia. The new rules allow pets to enter Australia from a DAFF approved country as long as they meet the requirements to enter that particular country. Meaning that as soon as your pet is granted eligibility to enter a DAFF approved country, you can immediately apply for your pet to be granted permission to come to Australia from that particular country. No more will your beloved pet be forced to spend 6 months in a foreign country before you can apply for permission to bring them into Australia!
Some rules have remained such as the requirement of an Import Permit, 15 digit microchip for your pet and veterinary health certificates. Vaccinations (i.e. rabies) and various blood tests are still mandatory.
Pet owners can apply for the new Import Permit from December 2, 2013, but the updated Import Policy will only take effect from February 3, 2014. If you intend to bring in your pet to Australia before this date, then you would need to apply for an Import Permit under the old conditions.