My experience suggests that the premise of this question is not correct. In general, US universities do not require that Australians with an honours degree to do a Masters before entering the PhD program. I did an honours degree (in pure Math) in Australia less than a decade ago, and about half of my class went on directly into a PhD program in the US or UK. I have classmates or friends who did PhDs at University of Chicago, Stanford, Northeastern, University of Oregon etc, all with nothing but an Honours Degree. In general, the same is true for the most schools in the UK. For instance, one of my classmates went on to do a PhD degree in Warwick immediately after finishing Honours.
Cambridge is an exception, as all students usually take the Part III first, which is a one year long Master degree. In other places in Europe, such as Germany, you definitely need to do a Master first. The reason for the difference between the US and European systems is that more coursework is typically required in a PhD system in the US. Whilst an American PhD involves several years of coursework, a European PhD often involves no coursework at all (rather, one is expected to do research immediately upon starting the PhD). The coursework is instead done in the required Master program. As a result, a PhD in Europe takes just 3 years in total, whereas one in the US takes around 5 years. Once you add in the required Master program, the time required to get a PhD is roughly the same in either system.
Let me also add that the top schools in the US and UK are very competitive. A first class honours in Australia is by no means enough to guarantee one entry. In some cases a good Master degree may improve one's chances. But it is certainly not a requirement and most top US schools will and do accept exceptional Australian students with only an Honours degree (which is only logical, since domestic US students are only required to have a Bachelor degree).