In the past parents were issued with limited shorter tourist visas. Now the Department of immigration and citizenship have decided to grant these parents on a case-by case basis a longer tourist visa which will allow them to stay with their family who want to visit their children for a longer period in Australia
For those parents who are have applied for a Parent (subclass 103) visa and are waiting in the queue, they will be eligible to apply for a Tourist visa with five years validity and be allowed to stay in Australia up to 12 months in each visit.
Parents, who are not in any Parent visa queues, are eligible to apply for a Tourist visa with three years validity and be allowed to stay in Australia up to 12 months in each of their visits.http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/tourist/whats-new.htm
There is additional criterion that applies for these tourist visas. Contact your Mygration team now for a free eligibility assessment.