While absinthe is legal in Australia, several sources like this Sydney Morning Herald article and this article on absinthe.com.au claim that a special permit is required for importing it from overseas. Is this still the case?
As of July 13, 2013, permits are no longer required. Customs has an FAQ for this:
Here's the official announcement.
For several years, importing of Absinthe into Australia without permission was illegal - the product was restricted. The reasons behind this was the ingredients:
"the import and sale of absinthe technically required a special permit, since "oil of wormwood, being an essential oil obtained from plants of the genus Artemisia, and preparations containing oil of wormwood" (wording: Wikipedia) were listed as item 12A, Schedule 8, Regulation 5H Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations of 1956.
However, slowly, over time, laws changed. The Food Standards Code and the 1989 Thereapeutic Goods Act set new terms on importing food, and as of July 2013, these rules have been repealed and now permission to import this item is no longer required (although some conditions exist).
Since the, the Customs and Border Protection Service page now states: