Return to home Australia
Custom Tours Australia is about the same
size as the 48 adjoining US states.
(SSFC, 10/9/05, Par p.27)
The states of Australia included Queensland (Brisbane); the island
state of Tasmania (about the size of West Virginia).
3.6Bil BC Fossils of bacteria from Western
Australia and south Africa date to about this time.
(SFC, 8/23/96, p.A21)(NH, 7/98, p.22) 3.6Bil BC Fossils of bacteria
from Western Australia and south Africa date to about this time.
(SFC, 8/23/96, p.A21)(NH, 7/98, p.22)
3.5Bil BC The Apex Chert of Australia indicate
that by this time at least 11 kinds of bacteria existed.
(PacDis, Winter ’97, p.34)
3.465 In 1993 paleobiologist
J.W. Schopf reported the discovery of microfossils dating to this
time in the Apex chert of the Warrawoona group in Western Australia.
In 2002 Martin Brasier of the Univ. Of Oxford said the fossils were
just mineral artifacts.
(SFC, 8/22/11, p.A2)
3.4Bil BC Scientists in 2006 reported that
stromatolites in western Australia, created about this time, were
likely formed when dirt sediments mixed with carbon dioxide,
expelled from bacteria, along with water and minerals trapped in the
microbe’s sticky mucilage.
(SFC, 6/8/06, p.A6)
3.4Bil BC A team of scientists in 2011, led by
David Wacey and Martin Brasier, reported the discovery of
fossilized, single-celled organisms dating to this time in sandstone
of the Strelley Pool rock formation in Western Australia.
(SFC, 8/22/11, p.A2)
2.7Bil BC In 1999 Australian geologists under
Jochen J. Brocks reported fossil "biomolecules" from this time.
Traces of steranes produced by eukaryotes, and methylhopanes from
cyanobacteria were reported.
(SFC, 8/13/99, p.A1,21)
2Mil BC - 50,000BC In Australia a herbivorous
diprotodon, the largest marsupial to ever roam the earth, lived
about this time. A fossil of the car sized mega-wombat was unearthed
in northern Australia in 2011.
1.2Bil BC Scientists reported in 2002 that
sandstone rocks from the Sterling Range of Australia showed evidence
of wormlike creatures from about this time.
(SFC, 5/10/02, p.A2)
500Mil BC A huge shellfish-type creature called
anomalocaris lived about this time. In 2011 Australian scientists
hailed the discovery of a pair of insect-like eyes belonging to a
freakish prehistoric super-predator. The fossilized eyes measuring
three cm (1.2 inches) across and with a whopping 16,000 individual
170Mil BC The semi-aquatic platypus is thought to
have split off from a common ancestor shared with humans
approximately about this time. In 2008 scientists laid bare the
platypus genome of 2.2 billion base pairs spread across 18,500
125Mil BC Meat-eating dinosaurs, known as
ceratosaurs, lived in Australia about this time. They represented
globe-trotting groups which spread out across the world before the
continents began to separate. In 2006 a ceratosaur ankle bone was
found near the coastal town of San Remo by an amateur
115Mil BC In 2007 scientists reported that large,
carnivorous dinosaurs roamed southern Australia about this time,
when the continent was joined to the Antarctica. The 12-foot
dinosaurs were padded with body fat to survive temperatures as low
as minus 30 degrees Celsius. Their findings were based on fossil
115Mil BC - 105Mil BC Dinosaur tracks were made in
Australia during this period when it was connected to Antarctica and
was located much closer to the South Pole, as a part of the
paleogeographic continent of Gondwana. The average temperature of
the area was around 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). In
2011 printed slabs of sandstone were found along the rocky and
remote Milanesia Beach in Otways National Park, west of Melbourne.
100Mil BC Australia split from Gondwana about this
time and began drifting north away from what is now Antarctica,
pushed by the expansion of a rift valley into the eastern Indian
100Mil BC A snake, later named Wonambi, emerged in
Australia about this time. It was believed to have gone extinct
about 50,000 BC.
(SFC, 2/16/06, p.A4)
650Mil BC In 2008 Australian scientists said they
had discovered in an outback mountain range a reef that was under
water at this time.
630Mil BC-542 Mil BC This is known as the
Ediacaran Period, during which animals began to appear according to
the fossil record. It is named after the locality in Australia where
they were first discovered.
560Mil BC In 2003 a fossil of a 2.56-inch fishlike
animal from the Flinders Ranges of southern Australia was believed
to be at least 560 million years old, 30 million years older than
the previous record.
380Mil BC In 2009 Scientists from Australia and
Britain studying 380 million-year-old fossils of the armored
placoderm fish, or Incisoscutum richiei, said embryos in the fish
indicated that sex as we know it, fertilization of eggs while they
are still inside a female, took place as much as 30 million years
earlier than previously thought. They originally thought the fish
laid their eggs before fertilization.
250Mil BC The worst mass extinction in Earth’s
history occurred about this time. 90% of life in the oceans and 70%
of land animals disappeared within a million years due to a
suspected asteroid impact. This was later called the
"Permian-Triassic Extinction" and "The Great Dying." Scientists
later suspected that an eruption of flood basalt in Russia, the
Siberian Traps, caused the massive extinction. In 2004 scientists
suggested that the extinction was caused by a meteorite that hit the
north coast of Pangea, forming a crater known as the Bedout High,
later a part of the Australian continent. [see 225 and 200
(SFC, 2/23/01, p.A1)(SFC, 6/10/02, p.A6)(Econ,
11/8/03, p.78)(SFC, 5/14/04, p.A1)
130Mil BC Stegosaurus dinosaurs left footprints
(SFC, 10/16/96, p.A10)
115Mil BC In 2006 scientists identified two
ancient reptiles that swam in icy waters off Australia about this
time. The discoveries, dubbed Umoonasaurus and Opallionectes,
belonged to a group of animals called plesiosaurs, long-necked
marine reptiles that lived during the time of the dinosaurs. Both
creatures lived in a freezing polar sea that covered what is now
Australia, when the continent was located much closer to Antarctica.
110Mil BC The Daintree rain forest of North
Queensland dated to this time.
(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.C7)
25Mil BC In 1997 a teenage surfer named Staumn
Hunter found a whale fossil in a limestone rock at Jan Juc Beach,
Australia. Researchers named it Janjucetus hunderi in his honor. In
2006 researchers said it was an ancestor of modern baleen whales.
The fossil suggests a creature that grew to a little more than 11
feet with teeth about an inch-and-a-half long.
25Mil BC In 2007 Scientists reported that a fossil
from this time, found in Queensland, Australia, in the 1990s, has
revealed that a predecessor of the hopping kangaroo once galloped on
all fours, had dog-like fangs and possibly climbed trees.
20Mil BC-10Mil BC A team of Australian
paleontologists in 2006 said they had found the fossilized remains
of a fanged killer kangaroo and what they describe as a "demon duck
of doom" that lived during this period in Queensland state.
15Mil BC In Australia sheep-sized relatives of
modern-day wombats lived treetops about this time. The wombat-like
marsupial was later named Nimbadon lavarackorum. The world's largest
tree-climbing marsupial were among fossils found at the Riversleigh
World Heritage Site in Queensland state. The Nimbadon fossil
material was found in 2010.
(SFC, 7/17/10, p.A2)(AFP, 5/3/12)
150000BC In 1980 evidence of Aboriginal habitation
were discovered in charcoal remains deep in the bed of the Great
Barrier Reef and dated to about this time.
(SFEC, 2/28/99, p.T4)
114000BC Controversial data from the Jinmium
rock-shelter in northern Australia suggests humans may have reached
the continent at this time.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.21)
100000BC-50000BC The 200-pound Genyornis newtoni,
an ostrich-like bird, and the 25-foot Megalonia lizard were among
the megafauna that flourished in Australia during this period.
(SFC, 1/8/99, p.A2)
53000BC-50000BC During this period the first
humans migrated to Australia from the islands of Indonesia. It is
believed that they came in bamboo rafts from Indonesia and also from
(SFC, 1/8/99, p.A2)(NG, Oct. 1988, p.467)
53000BC-45000BC Australia’s early human population
wiped out the continent’s megafauna over this period.
(SFC, 6/8/01, p.A8)
51000BC The fossil of a Diprotodon, a giant
marsupial from this time, was excavated in 2001 from Cox’s Creek in
New South Wales.
(SFC, 6/8/01, p.A8)
50000BC Research on hair DNA in 2011 indicated
that the first humans arrived in Australia about this time.
(SFC, 9/23/11, p.A10)
48000BC-44000BC In Australia about 85% of the
land-dwelling megafauna weighing over 100 pounds went extinct about
this time. It was later suspected that systematic burning of the
forests by humans contributed to the extinction. Some 55 species
died off including the 230-pound flightless "thunder bird" called
(SFC, 1/8/99, p.A2)(SFC, 6/8/01, p.A8)
45000BC The extinction of most of Australia’s
large animals occurred about this time, shortly after the arrival of
(SFC, 7/8/05, p.A2)
41000BC The skull of a giant kangaroo dating to
this time was found in a cave in the thick rainforest of the rugged
northwest of Tasmania in 2000. Scientists used the skull to argue
that that man likely hunted to death the giant kangaroo and other
very large animals on the southern island of Tasmania.
400000BC - 48000BC A human group, later called
the Denisovans, lived in Asia during this period. They then
interbred with humans expanding from Africa along the coast of South
Asia. In 2010 fossil evidence from a Siberian cave in 2008 revealed
that their DNA was related to the DNA of people from New Guinea,
which contained 4.8% Denisovan DNA. 3-5% of the DNA from native
people of Papua New Guinea, Australia, the Philippines and other
nearby islands came from Denisovans, who left Africa as far back as
(SFC, 12/23/10, p.A4)(SSFC, 9/16/12, p.C11)
38000BCE-1996 Scientists in Australia said that
they found a shrub in Tasmania that began growing 40,000 years ago.
Dubbed "King’s Holly," the plant clones itself and now covers 2
secluded river gullies in the remote southwest.
(SFC, 10/26/96, p.A17)
35000BC In 2008 archeologists unearthed tools
dating back at least 35,000 years in a rock shelter in Australia's
remote northwest, making it one of the oldest archaeological finds
in that part of the country.
35000BC A piece of a stone axe dating to this time
was discovered in 2010 on sacred Aboriginal land in Australia, the
oldest object of its type ever found. Archeologists said the
discovery is evidence that Aboriginal Jawoyn people from Arnhem Land
could have been the first to grind axes to sharpen their edges.
35000BC-25000BC Aboriginal rock paintings in
Australia were made as far back as this time.
(SFEC, 2/28/99, p.T4)
28000BC In 2012 archaeologist Bryce Barker dated
the oldest piece of rock art in Australia and one of the oldest in
the world: an Aboriginal work created about this time in the
Northern Territory rock shelter known as Nawarla Gabarnmang.
20000BC In Australia scientists in 2005 said
hundreds of human footprints dating back 20,000 years were
discovered in a dry lake bed near Willandra Lakes, southwest of
1500BC Domesticated dogs companied people to
Timor, New Guinea and Australia by about this time. The dogs
reverted to a feral existence and in Australia became dingoes.
(NH, 11/1/04, p.14)
1522 In 2007 The book "Beyond
Capricorn" said a 16th century maritime map in a Los Angeles library
vault, which accurately marks geographical sites along Australia's
east coast in Portuguese, proves that Portuguese seafarer
Christopher de Mendonca lead a fleet of four ships into Botany Bay
in this year.
1642 Nov 24, Abel Janszoon
Tasman (d.1659) discovered Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania).
1643 Dec 25, Captain William
Mynors of the Royal Mary, a British East India Company vessel, named
Christmas Island when he sailed past it on Christmas Day.
Sovereignty of the island was transferred to Australia in 1957.
1659 Oct 10, Able Janszoon
Tasman, navigator, died at about 56. He discovered Tasmania.
(WUD, 1994 p.1455)(MC, 10/10/01)
1757 Jun 1, Ignaz J. Pleyel,
Austrian composer, piano builder (Piano method), was born. (MC,
1768 Aug 26, Capt James Cook
departed from Plymouth with Endeavour to the Pacific Ocean. Daniel
Solander and Joseph Banks accompanied Cook to catalog plants and
animals of Australia and New Zealand on the 3-year journey.
4/19/09, Books p.J7)
1768-1771 Capt. James Cook charted the coasts of
both the north and south islands of New Zealand and Australia. Cook
made his historic voyages in colliers, slow but strong ships
designed primarily for carrying coal. His ship was named the
Endeavour. Cook's voyage to Australia kept a botanical record called
the Banks Florilegium. The 738 original plates commissioned by Sir
Joseph Banks was not printed until a 100 set limited edition in
(SFC, 6/18/96, p.D1)(WSJ, 10/5/99, p.A24)
1770 Apr 9, Captain James Cook
discovered Botany Bay on the Australian continent.
1770 Apr 19, Capt. James Cook
first saw Australia. [see Apr 9]
1770 Apr 20, Captain Cook
arrived in New South Wales, Australia.
1770 Jun 11, Capt. James Cook,
commander of the British ship Endeavour, discovered the Great
Barrier Reef off Australia by running onto it.
(AP, 6/11/97)(HN, 6/11/98)
1774 Capt. Cook discovered the
13-square-mile Norfolk Island 1,000 miles east of Sidney. It was
later turned into a penal settlement from which the last prisoner
left in 1855.
1787 May 13, Arthur Phillip set
sail from Portsmouth, Great Britain, with 11 ships of criminals to
Australia. By year’s end some 50,000 British convict servants were
transported to the American colonies in commutation of death
sentences. After the American Revolution, Britain continued dumping
convicts in the US illegally into 1787. Australia eventually
replaced America for this purpose. Penal transports continued until
1853, which left a remarkable legacy: an almost totally unexplored
continent settled largely by convicted felons.
1788 Jan 18, The first English
settlers arrived in Australia's Botany Bay to establish a penal
colony. They found the location unsuitable and Capt. Arthur Philip
moved on to Sydney Cove. England sent the first sheep along with
convicts to Australia.
(NG, 5.1988, pp. 575)(SFEC, 1/4/98, p.T4)(AP,
1/18/98)(Econ, 5/7/05, Survey p.14)
1788 Jan 26, The 1st fleet of
ships carrying 736 convicts from England landed at Sydney Cove, New
South Wales, Australia. The first European settlers in Australia,
led by Capt. Arthur Phillip, landed in present-day Sydney. The day
is since known as Australia’s national day. In 2006 Thomas Keneally
authored “The Commonwealth of Thieves: The Story of the Founding of
(AP, 1/26/98)(HN, 1/26/99)(WSJ, 9/19/00,
p.A1)(Econ, 7/15/06, p.83)
1788 As British settlers
arrived in Australia the native Aborigines are believed to have
numbered about 750,000, and to have inhabited Australia for up to
1789 The prison ship Lady
Julian delivered over 200 women to the penal colony at Sydney
harbor. In 2002 Sian Rees authored "The Floating Brothel: The
Extraordinary True Story of an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo
of Female Convicts."
(SSFC, 3/3/02, p.M3)
1789 Smallpox was introduced to
Australia and caused devastation among the aborigines.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
1790 Pemulway, an Aboriginal
warrior, speared and killed the governor’s gamekeeper at Botany Bay
and waged war against the British for 12 years. His head was later
sent to England. Eric Willmot later authored "Pemulway, the Rainbow
(SFEC, 9/10/00, p.T4)
1791 In Australia officials
granted parcels of land around Sydney to convicts who have served
their time, beginning years of dispossession of Aborigines that
continued as white settlers dispersed throughout Australia. Clashes
between Aborigines and settlers led to tens of thousands of deaths
among Aborigines and hundreds of settler deaths.
1792 Arthur Phillip, the 1st
governor of New South Wales, Australia, returned to England
accompanied by Bennelong, an Aboriginal who had earlier attacked and
wounded him. Philip later gave Bennelong a house on a point in
Sydney Cove. In 1973 it became the site of the Sydney Opera House.
(Econ, 7/15/06, p.83)
1795 Apr 28, Charles Sturt
(d.1869), explorer of Australia, was born in India. British explorer
Charles Sturt is known as the "father of Australian exploration." He
was the first to penetrate deep into Australia's interior from 1828
to 1845 during three hazardous expeditions. In 1828 he discovered
the Darling River and in January 1830 the Murray River, which he
followed until he reached present day Goolwa. His last expedition
came to an end when his eyesight was impaired by exposure and
illness. Scotsman John McDouall Stuart was part of Stuart's final
expedition and went on to become a major explorer, crossing the
continent from Adelaide to Port Darwin in 1862.
1797 Australia’s first coal
mining began at Newcastle.
(Econ, 6/6/09, p.39)
1802 A British exploring party
led by Matthew Flinders landed on a 96-mile-long island southwest of
Adelaide and slaughtered 31 kangaroos for a feast. This 3rd largest
island off Australia was thus named Kangaroo Island. Flinders named
the Great Barrier Reef and found a passage to the Corral Sea.
(SFEC,12/21/97, p.T6)(SSFC, 3/24/02, p.C22)(WSJ,
1802 In Australia the
Aboriginal warrior Pemulwuy (b.~1750) was shot dead. His head was
cut off and believed to have been placed in a jar and sent to
England. He opposed British settlement and was described by Sydney's
then governor Philip King as "a terrible pest to the colony" but
also "a brave and independent character."
1803 Mar 5, Australia's first
newspaper, "The Sydney Gazette & New South Wales Advertiser" was
1804 Oct 9, Hobart, Tasmania,
1804 Soldiers fired on an
aboriginal hunting party on Tasmania and killed some 50 people. Some
were salted down and sent to Sydney as anthropological curiosities.
(WSJ, 8/2100, p.A1)
1813 Explorers Gregory
Blaxland, William Wentworth and William Lawson blazed the first
trail from Sydney across the Blue Mountains to the fertile western
(Hem., 1/97, p.53)
1813 Bennelong (49), an
Australian Aborigine, died. He was one of the first Aborigines to
live among white settlers after the landing of the First Fleet in
1788, when he was kidnapped and employed as a cultural interlocutor
by the British. Bennelong had adapted to the European way of life,
teaching the colonizers about Aboriginal customs and language and
learning to speak English, but ultimately became an alcoholic.
1819 In Sydney convict labor
built the Hyde Park Barracks and the state Parliament.
(SFEC, 1/4/98, p.T4)
1829 In Western Australia the
Nyoongar people were largely dispossessed by white settlement. In
2006 they proved native title to over more than 6,000 square
kilometers (2,300 square miles) covering Perth and its surrounds by
continuing to observe traditional customs.
c1830-1840 Wine production began in Hunter Valley,
north of Sydney
(SFEC, 9/10/00, p.T6)
1831 The Sydney Morning Herald
printed its premier issue at the Keep Within Compass pub.
(SFEC, 9/10/00, p.T10)
1831 James Busby, Scottish-born
father of Australian viticulture, collected 680 different vines from
botanical gardens in Montpellier, Paris and London and brought them
to Australia. These included the syrah grape, called shiraz in
(SFC, 5/5/05, p.F10)
1833 Jul, In Australia the
native warrior Yagan was shot dead by teenage bounty hunters. He had
been a go-between for his people and European settlers in Western
Australia and later an implacable foe. His head and the tribal
tattoo on his back were hacked off and taken to Britain for study
and display. The body parts were returned in Sep 1997. A statue was
erected in his honor on an island park in Perth in 1983. It was
repeatedly vandalized and its head was sawed off in 1997 shortly
after the homecoming of Yagan’s real head. In 2010 his remains were
laid to rest in a traditional ceremony after his skull was recovered
(SFEC, 10/5/97, p.A20)(AFP, 7/10/10)
1833 Oct 19, Adam Lindsay
Gordon, Australian poet, was born.
1834 Aug, The barque Charles
Eaton was wrecked on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. 2 years later
the schooner Isabella arrived in Sydney with the cabin boy of the
lost ship, a 5-year old child and 17 skulls of passengers murdered
on Boydang Island. This event prompted an expedition to survey the
reef, the Torres Strait and the southern coast of new Guinea. In
2005 Jordan Goodman authored “The Rattlesnake: A Voyage of Discovery
to the Coral Sea,” an account of the survey expedition.
(Econ, 3/19/05, p.88)
1835 Dec 30, HMS Beagle and
Charles Darwin sailed from NZ to Sydney.
1836 Feb 17, HMS Beagle and
Charles Darwin left Tasmania.
1836 Mar 6, HMS Beagle and
Darwin reached King George's Sound, Australia.
1837 Nov 21, Thomas Morris of
Australia skipped rope 22,806 times.
1840 Polish explorer Paul
Strzelecki named Australia’s highest peak in honor of the Polish
national hero Tadeusz Kosciuszko. Early surveyors messed up the
transcription and the peak was named Mt. Kosciusko. Decades later it
was discovered that the mountain was a few feet lower than a
neighboring peak. The New South Wales Lands Dept. swapped their
names to resolve the issue. In 1996 there was a move to restore the
missing z to the name.
(SFEC, 11/24/96, T7)(SSFC, 12/25/11, p.N6)
1844 Wine production began at
the Penfold Magill Estate in Adelaide.
(SFEC, 9/10/00, p.T6)
1845 Cooper’s Creek, 800 miles
north of Melbourne, was discovered by non-Aborigines.
(ON, 12/01, p.)
1847 Johann Gramp, founder of
Orlando Wines, planted the first vineyard in the Barossa Valley on
the banks of Jacob’s Creek.
(Label, JC Merlot-1999, 8/8/00)
1850 Jul 14, The 1st public
demonstration of ice made by refrigeration took place. James
Harrison of Australia designed an ice-making machine. It was an
improvement on one invented by Jacob Perkins in 1834.
(MC, 7/14/02)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R14)
1850 Rabbits were introduced to
Australia about this time and soon became pests.
(Nat. Hist., 4/96, p.16)
1850 The Granny Smith apple
originated about this time in Australia. According to Morgan and
Richards The Book of Apples: A Mrs. Smith, born in England in 1800,
emigrated to Australia in 1838. In 1860s she found some seedlings
growing in a creek where she had tipped out some apples brought back
from Sydney. Tree was propagated and later family increased their
orchards and marketed fruit in Sydney.
1851 Australia’s first gold
rush began and raised boomtowns like Ballarat.
(SFEC, 9/10/00, p.T9)
1854 Nov, A wooden boat called
Mystery set sail from Cornwall, bound for Australia with seven
Cornishmen hoping to escape their lives of poverty and dig for gold
Down Under, a trip that eventually took 116 days.
1854 In Australia Chartist
ideas influenced the miners of Eureka Stockade in 1854 in Victoria
where they adopted all of Chartism's six points including the secret
ballot. Chartism was a movement for political and social reform in
the United Kingdom during the mid-19th century, between 1838 and
1850. It takes its name from the People's Charter of 1838.
1855-1880 Edward "Ned" Kelly was an outlaw folk
hero who was hung for his crimes. Inspired by tales of the American
ironclad, the Monitor, Kelly wore an 80-pound suit of armor during
his final crimes. In 2000 Peter Carey authored the novel "True
History of the Kelly Gang."
(SFC, 5/3/97, p.E4)(WSJ, 1/05/00, p.W8)(SSFC,
1/14/01, BR p.1)
1856 The state of Victoria
first adopted paper ballots for voting.
(WSJ, 11/9/00, p.A1)
1856 Australia's Van Dieman's
Island was renamed Tasmania.
(Econ, 1/17/04, p.37)
1856 Rabbits were let loose in
Australia about this time.
(WSJ, 4/5/96, p.B-6)
1856 Descendants of the Bounty
mutineers moved from Pitcairn to Norfolk Island, 1,000 miles from
the Australia mainland.
(Econ, 7/10/04, p.38)
1857 Nov 26, First Australian
Parliament opened in Melbourne.
1857 The Botanical Garden in
Adelaide was founded.
(SFEC, 10/25/98, p.T5)
1857 Robert O’Hara Burke (36),
a police superintendent, was hired by a committee in Melbourne to
cross the continent.
(ON, 12/01, p.1)
1859 The Yalumba Winery in the
Barossa Valley, South Australia, was begun by the Sam Smith family.
(SFEC, 10/25/98, p.T5)
1860 Aug 20, Robert O’Hara
Burke led a group of 15 men, 27 camels and 23 horses out of
Melbourne on an expedition to cross Australia.
(ON, 12/01, p.1)
1860 Nov 11, Robert O’Hara
Burke arrived at Cooper’s Creek with his advanced party of 8 men, 15
horses and 16 camels.
(ON, 12/01, p.1)
1860 Dec 16, Robert O’Hara
Burke set out from Cooper’s Creek toward the gulf of Carpentaria
with 3 men, William Wills (26), John King (21) and Charles Gray, 6
camels and 1 horse.
(ON, 12/01, p.2)
1861 Feb 11, Australian
explorers Burke and Wills approached the coast of Carpetaria but
were forced to turn back when no path through the coastal marsh was
(ON, 12/01, p.2,3)
1861 Feb 13, In Australia the
4-man Burke party began their 700-mile return to Cooper’s Creek
under constant rain.
(ON, 12/01, p.2)
1861 Apr 17, In Australia
Charles Gray, the ex-sailor in the Burke party, was found dead in
his bed roll.
(ON, 12/01, p.2)
1861 Apr 21, In Australia the
Burke party of 3 reached Cooper’s Creek and found a message that the
4-man depot party under William Brahe had left earlier the same day
for Darling with 6 camels and 12 horses. The Burke party departed
Cooper’s Creek for the police station at Mount Hopeless, 150 miles
(ON, 12/01, p.3)
1861 Apr 29, In Australia the
Burke party shot one of their last 2 camels after it got stuck in
mud. Supplies were divided between the 3 men and one camel.
(ON, 12/01, p.4)
1861 May 7, In Australia the
lost Burke party encountered some Aborigines and partook of some
nardoo cakes that provided a euphoric effect.
(ON, 12/01, p.4)
1861 May 30, In Australia
William Wills returned to the Cooper’s Creek depot and left an
updated message as to the Burke party’s plight.
(ON, 12/01, p.5)
1861 Jun 29, Australian
explorers Robert O’Hara Burke and John King left William Wills in
search of Aborigines.
(ON, 12/01, p.5)
1861 Jul 2, Australian explorer
Robert O’Hara Burke died near Cooper’s Creek and John King pressed
on to look for native Aborigines. King later returned to William
Wills but found him dead. King continued to survive with the local
Aborigines until he was rescued. In 1991 Tom Bonyhady authored
"Burke and Wills: From Melbourne to Myth."
(ON, 12/01, p.5)
1861 Sep 18, Australian
explorer John King (d.1872) was found by a rescue party. A land
prospector or "squatter" touring the area in 1875 met an Aboriginal
woman who claimed to have witnessed Robert O’Hara Burke being shot
by John King, and he detailed her story in his journal. Historian
Darrell Lewis unearthed the story around 1990.
(ON, 12/01, p.5)(AFP, 7/23/11)
1862 Scotsman explorer John
McDouall Stuart crossed the continent from Adelaide to Port Darwin.
1864 Feb 17, Andrew Barton
"Banjo" Paterson (d.1941), Australian poet and journalist, was born.
He is best known for his song “Waltzing Matilda.”
(HN, 2/17/01)(NG, 8/04, p.29)
1866 Jan 2, Gilbert Murray,
Australian born scholar who became the chairman of the League of
Nations, 1923 through 1928, was born.
1867 Mar 5, An abortive Fenian
uprising against English rule took place in Ireland. The
unsuccessful rebellion by the Irish Republican Brotherhood, known as
the Fenians, gave Australia it final generation of convicts. The
1999 book "The Great Shame and the Triumph of the Irish in the
English-Speaking World" by Thomas Keneally tells the story of the
Irish shipped to Australia.
(AP, 3/5/98)(SFEC, 9/26/99, BR p.1,6)
1869 In Australia Mother
Mary MacKillop (1842-1909), founder of the Sisters of St Joseph, was
excommunicated for inciting her followers to disobedience. The
bishop who punished her recanted three years later and she was
exonerated by a church commission.
1870 Henry Redford rustled a
thousand head of cattle from near Fairfield and drove them over a
thousand miles across uncharted desert to market in South Australia.
(NG, 12/97, p.56)
1871 In Australia Sister Mary
MacKillop (1842-1909) was briefly dismissed from the Roman Catholic
Church after her order of nuns exposed a pedophile priest. She and
47 other nuns were thrown onto the streets of Adelaide, relying on
the charity of friends to survive. In 2010 MacKillop was canonized
as Australia's first saint.
1872 Oct 19, World's largest
gold nugget (215 kg) was found in New South Wales, Australia.
1874 Sep 1, In Australia Sydney
General Post Office opened.
1877 In Australia Hermannsburg
was founded as a Lutheran mission in the Northern Territory.
(Econ, 6/19/10, p.45)
1878 Jan 19, The narrow-gauge
Ghan rail line was begun to serve cattle and sheep ranchers in the
outback. It reached Alice Springs in 1929. Camels from Afghanistan,
India and Pakistan were imported to help work on the line.
(SFEC, 10/10/99, p.T9)
1879 The Royal National Park,
Australia’s first national park, was officially gazetted.
(Hem., 1/97, p.56)
1880 Nov 11, In Australia Ned
Kelly (b.1855), outlaw, was hanged. The day before he died Kelly
wrote to the governor of the jail asking "permission for my friends
to have my body that they might bury it in consecrated ground."
Kelly was hanged at the Old Melbourne Gaol but documents show his
remains and those of 32 other executed prisoners were exhumed and
reburied at Pentridge Prison in 1929. In 2011 his headless remains
were identified using a DNA sample taken from Melbourne teacher
Leigh Olver, Kelly's sister Ellen's great-grandson. In 2011
Victorian state attorney general Robert Clark decided to return his
bullet-ridden bones to his descendants so they could meet his last
(WSJ, 9/21/00, p.A8)(SSFC, 1/14/01, BR p.6)(AP,
3/9/08)(AFP, 9/1/11)(AFP, 11/9/11)
1880 Sydney journalists J.F.
Archibald and John Haynes founded “The Bulletin” with an editorial
focus on political and business commentary, with some literary
content. The magazine shut down in 2008 due to falling circulation
blamed in part on the Internet.
1880 Melbourne, Australia, held
an Int’l. Exposition.
(Hem, 8/02, p.46)
1882 Jul 8, Percy Grainger,
composer, pianist, conductor (Hill Songs), was born in Melbourne.
1882 Aug 29, Australia defeated
England in cricket for the first time. The following day a obituary
appeared in the Sporting Times addressed to the British team.
1883 Davenport Bromfield
(1862-1954), a surveyor, ran away with Mary Ware (1851-1935), a
married mother of 3. They escaped to New Zealand and then to San
Francisco, where Bromfield became an established surveyor in San
(Ind, 1/5/02, 5A)
1883 An itinerant boundary
rider discovered a silver lode at Broken Hill in New South Wales.
(Hem., 2/97, p.91)
1884 The Ghan rail line reached
(SFEC, 10/10/99, p.T9)
1884 The Six Foot Track, a
26-mile bridle trail joining Katoomba and Jenolan Caves, was first
mentioned in newsprint.
(Hem., 1/97, p.54)
1886 Peter "Black Prince"
Jackson (1861-1901), St. Croix-born boxer, won the Australian
heavyweight championship. In 1892 he won the British Empire title.
1886 The Clunies-Ross family
was granted the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean, about 2,700
kilometers (1,680 miles) northwest of Perth, by Queen Victoria.
Captain John Clunies-Ross, a Scottish trader, had landed there in
1887 A cyclone killed some 140
oyster crewmen in Broome, Australia.
(NG, 11/04, p.98)
1886-1952 Sister Elizabeth Kenny, Australian
nurse: "Some minds remain open long enough for the truth not only to
enter but to pass on through by way of a ready exit without pausing
anywhere along the route."
1888 The Queen Victoria
Building was built in Sydney, Australia.
(Hem, 6/96, p.64)
1888 George Chaffey, a
Canadian-born, irrigation expert, selected a site for an irrigation
colony near Mildurain Victoria. This led to the establishment of the
Chateau Mildura Winery. The name was changed to Mildara in 1937.
(SSFC, 4/29/01, p.E7)
1889 Jan 16, An Australian
record temperature of 128F, or 53C, was recorded in Cloncurry,
1889 Dec, The poem Clancy of
the Overflow by Banjo Paterson 1st appeared in the Christmas edition
of Australia’s Bulletin magazine.
(NG, 8/04, p.10)
1889 The Sydney Town Hall was
built and in the Italian Renaissance style. It was later restored.
(SFEC, 1/4/98, p.T4)
1890-1900 A gold mining boom led to the growth of
Kalgoorlie, 300 miles inland from Perth in Western Australia.
(SFEC, 9/10/00, p.T10)
1890-1900 Australia experienced a big drought that
caused a major retreat and reassessment by farmers.
1892 The Sydney Victorian style
Strand Arcade on George Street was built.
(SFEC, 1/4/98, p.T4)
1893 The Daly Waters Hotel and
Pub opened in the Northern Territory town of Daly Waters.
(SFEC, 9/10/00, p.T10)
1895 A.A.B. Peterson, aka Banjo
Paterson, (1864-1941) wrote his poem Waltzing Matilda while on
holiday in Queensland, Australia. The name referred to a slang term
for drifting around the outback with a bedroll (your matilda) slung
over the shoulder. Christina Macpherson adopted the poem to the
Scottish tune “Thou Bonnie Wood o’ Craigielea.” He later had his
image pictured on Australia's $10 bill.
(SFEC, 5/30/99, Z1 p.8)(NG, 8/04, p.24)
1895-1902 In Australia a drought over this period
was so severe that it helped nudge Australia’s 6 states into
uniting. It thus came to be called the federation drought.
1898 Sep 24, Howard W Florey,
pathologist, was born in Australia. He purified penicillin and won a
Nobel Prize 1945.
1900 Jan 19, In Australia
Arthur Paine (33), a delivery man whose daily work brought him into
contact with Central Wharf, died of Bubonic plague. A population of
black rats had been likely introduced to Australia on the first
fleet of ships carrying white settlers.
1900 Jul 9, Queen Victoria
signed The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, uniting 6
separate colonies under a federal government, effective Jan 1, 1901.
1900 In Australia Helena
Rubinstein (b.1871 in Cracow) opened a beauty shop and sold a cold
cream developed by a Hungarian chemist and relative, Jacob Lykusky.
(SFEM, 8/23/98, p.29)
1900 In Australia residents of
Roma, Queensland, struck natural gas while drilling deep for water.
(Econ, 6/2/12, p.50)
1901 Jan 1, The Commonwealth of
Australia became official as established in the July 9, 1900,
Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act. 6 colonies became an
independent federation with Edmund Barton as the 1st prime minister.
Although independent it still recognized Britain’s royalty as
Australia’s head of state. The governor-general, a representative of
the queen nominated by the prime minister, was appointed by the
(AP, 1/1/98)(SFC, 2/3/98, p.A7)(SFC, 12/31/00,
1901 Jul 28, Alfred Renton
Bryant Bridges (d.1990), aka Harry Bridges, American labor leader
who headed the West Coast Longshoremen’s Union, was born in
(SFC, 7/27/01, p.A21)(HN, 7/28/98)
1901 An immigration act was
introduced that became known as the "White Australia Policy." It
allowed custom’s agents to require that an immigrant write a passage
of 50 words in a European language directed by the officer. The
dictation requirement was ended in 1958 and the whole policy was
ended in 1973. The term "wog" (Westernized Oriental Gentleman)
referred to non European immigrants while "skippies" described
(SFC, 5/9/00, p.A14)
1902 Feb 27, Harry 'Breaker'
Morant (1864-1902) and Peter Handcock were executed for the murder
of 12 prisoners of war in the dying days of the Boer war. George
Witton had his death sentence commuted because it contained serious
errors. Morant, who volunteered to fight with the British in South
Africa, was born in England but became well known in Australia as a
poet and a horsebreaker. In 1980 the film ‘Breaker’ Morant was
produced in Australia. In 2010 Australia sent Britain a petition
calling for posthumous pardons for Morant and Handcock. The petition
argued the accused were denied the right to communicate with the
Australian government or relatives after their arrest and during
their trials and were refused an opportunity to prepare their cases.
1902 In Australia various
governments met at Corowa on the Murray River, to try to secure
their water supply.
(Econ, 2/23/08, p.60)
1904 The first regional art
gallery in New South Wales was built at Broken Hill.
(Hem., 2/97, p.94)
1906 Sep 1, Papua New Guinea
was placed under Australian administration, which continued to 1973.
5/28/11, SR p.17)
1908 Aug 20, The American Great
White Fleet arrived in Sydney, Australia, to a warm welcome.
1908 Dec 26, Jack Johnson
(1878-1946) of Texas knocked out Tommy Burns in Australia to become
the 1st black world heavyweight boxing champion. He was not
officially given the title until 1910 when he beat Jim Jeffries in
Las Vegas. In 1913 Johnson fled the US because of trumped up charges
of violating the Mann Act's stipulations against transporting white
women across state lines for prostitution. Johnson held the title
until 1915. In 1920 he returned to the US, was arrested and served a
one year sentence in Leavenworth in Kansas, where he was appointed
athletic director of the prison.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Johnson_(boxer))(ON, 4/09, p.7)
1909 Feb 17, Marjorie Lawrence,
soprano (Venus-Tannhauser), was born in Australia.
1909 Jul 26, The SS Waratah
left Durban, South Africa, with 211 passengers and crew. The
steamship, enroute from Melbourne to London, was due in Cape Town 3
days later, but never arrived.
(Econ, 9/19/09, p.94)
1909 Aug 8, In Australia Sister
Mary MacKillop (b.1842) died. She had founded the Sisters of St
Joseph at age 24 and spent her life educating the poor and taking
learning to the harsh Outback. In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI recognized
a miracle in which she apparently cured a woman of cancer, paving
the way to making her Australia’s first saint.
1909 Dec 5, George Taylor made
the first manned glider flight in Australia in a glider that he
1910 Australia’s government
began removing Aboriginal children from their families, in what was
considered to be best for the children. The race was later estimated
to number about 60,000 nationally at this time, and was said to be
doomed to extinction. The policy continued into the 1970s. As many
as 100,000 children were seized from their parents creating what was
later called the "stolen generation."
(SFC, 5/29/97, p.A10)(SFC, 5/26/00, p.A20)(AP,
1911 The Australian federal
government took control of the Northern Territory as part of a deal
to build a railway linking Adelaide to Darwin.
(Econ, 8/9/03, p.36)
1912 May 28, Patrick White,
Australian writer (The Tree of Man, The Eye of the Storm), was born.
1912 In Australia the Vlaming
Head Lighthouse was built on the North West Cape.
(SFEC, 11/14/99, p.T4)
1912 Australian pioneers
diverted the waters of the Murrumbidgee River to create one of the
biggest irrigation projects in the country.
(Econ, 12/11/10, p.54)
1912 The Australian Antarctic
Expedition of 1911-1914 began using an airplane to tow gear onto the
ice in preparation for their sledging journeys. The plane, the first
from France's Vickers factory, had not been seen since the
mid-1970s, when researchers photographed the steel fuselage nearly
encompassed in ice. Australian researchers stumbled on remains of
the plane on Jan 1, 2010.
1914 Nov 9, The Australian
light cruiser HMAS Sydney wrecked the German cruiser Emden, forcing
her to beach on a reef on North Keeling Island in the Indian Ocean.
1915 Apr 25, Australian and New
Zealand troops landed at Gallipoli in Turkey in hopes of attacking
the Central Powers from below. Allied soldiers, ANZAC, invaded the
Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey in an unsuccessful attempt to take the
Ottoman Turkish Empire out of the war. The allies were defeated in
one of the deadliest battles of the war.
(AP, 4/25/97)(SFC, 2/18/98, p.A18)(HN, 4/25/99)
1915 Aug 7, In the assault up
Russell's Top at Gallipoli 232 Australians died.
1915 Dec 18, In a single night,
about 20,000 Australian and New Zealand troops slipped away from
Gallipoli, undetected by the Turks defending the peninsula.
1916 Apr 26, Morris L. West,
novelist (Shoes of the Fisherman), was born in Australia.
1916 Jul 19, In the WWI Battle
at Fromelles, France, German machine guns and artillery left over
5,500 Australians and over 1,500 British killed, wounded or missing
in less than 24 hours.
(SFC, 7/20/10, p.A2)
1918 Mar 23, Alick Wickham dove
200' into Australia's Yarra River.
1918 Australia established its
alternative vote for elections. This ranked candidates on the ballot
in order of preference.
(Econ, 4/30/11, p.13)
1918 The last quartz mines
closed in Ballarat.
(SFEC, 9/10/00, p.T9)
1919 Dec 10, Captain Ross Smith
became the first person to fly 11,500 miles from England to
1920 Mar 16, Leo McKern, actor
(Blue Lagoon, Help, Mouse that Roared, Rumpole of the Bailey), was
born in Sydney, Australia.
1920 Nov 3, Oodgeroo Noonuccal
[Kath Walker], Australian Aboriginal poet, was born.
1920 Australia-based Qantas
Airlines was founded as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial
Services Ltd. Regular passenger service began in 1922.
1921 Big Flat, Australia, near
Coober Pedy. Opals were discovered. Today 70% of the local people
(3,500) live underground in former mines and specially dug caves
since it gets so hot in the summer (130 degrees). Coober Pedy
is derived from the aboriginal term "kupa piti," which means
white man’s hole.
(WSJ, 6/12/95, p.A-12)
1922 Nov 2, Australian Qantas
airways began service.
1922 Vegemite, a salty,
slightly bitter spread made from brewer's yeast, was introduced by
Australian chemist Cyril Callister for the Fred Walker Cheese
Company in Melbourne. The company wanted a Vitamin B-rich spread
that could compete with Britain's popular Marmite. The name came in
a 1923 national poll. In 2009 Kraft Foods Australia announced that a
creamier variation of Vegemite would be on store shelves July 5
alongside the original.
1922 Reginald Arthur Borstel
(b.1875), Australian artist, died. He was known for his ship
(SSFC, 3/27/05, p.B5)
1922 Henry Lawson (b.1867),
Australian poet, died.
(NG, 8/04, p.1)
1922 In Australia Colin
Campbell Ross was hanged for raping and murdering Alma Tirtschke
(12) and dumping her body in an alley in 1921. In 2008 the city of
Melbourne posthumously pardoned him for the crime after new tests
found crucial evidence against him was flawed.
1926 Nov 7, Joan Sutherland,
operatic singer, was born in Sydney, Australia. She retired in 1990
and in 1998 published her autobiography.
(WSJ, 3/25/98, p.A20)(HN, 11/7/98)(MC, 11/7/01)
1927 A new law prohibited
hunters from killing koalas for their pelts.
(SFC, 7/29/00, p.E3)
1928 Feb 7, Australian Bert
Hinkler took off from London in a two-seat Avro 581E Avian biplane
on the first leg of his solo flight from England to Australia.
1928 Feb 22, Australian Bert
Hinkler ended his 11,250-mile adventure in Darwin, Australia, after
flying 128 hours in less than 16 days. The unassuming Hinkler's
grueling flight was little noted by the press until he reached
India, then the world press got caught up in the drama of another
"Lone Eagle" performance so soon after Charles A. Lindbergh's
transatlantic flight. As he plotted a course across Asia and the
Timor Sea using a London Times atlas as his navigational chart, a
newspaper editor dubbed him "Hustling Hinkler," a nickname later
immortalized by the American Tin Pan Alley hit song, "Hustling
Hinkler Up in the Sky."
1928 Jun 9, Charles
Kingsford-Smith & Charles Ulm were the 1st to fly across the
Pacific when they ended their flight from California to Brisbane,
(NPub, 2002, p.11)
1928 Capt. Harry Lyon navigated
the southern Cross on its epic flight from San Francisco Bay to
(SFC, 8/15/03, p.E9)
1928 The Bathers Pavilion
Restaurant opened on Sydney’s Balmoral Beach.
(SFEC, 1/4/98, p.T5)
1929 Aug 6, The 1,360 km. Ghan
rail line reached Alice Springs. It was named after Afghan camel
drivers who predated the railway. In 2004 service was extended to
(SFEC, 10/10/99, p.T9)(SSFC, 10/26/03, p.C2)
1930 Apr 29, Telephone
connection England-Australia went into service.
1930 May 24, Amy Johnson became
the first woman to fly from England to Australia.
1930 Oct 8, Paul Hogan,
Australian actor (Crocodile Dundee, Lightning Jack), was born.
1931 Feb 23, Nellie Melba
(Helen Mitchell), Australian soprano, died.
1931 Mar 11, Rupert Murdoch,
media baron, was born in Melbourne, Australia.
1931 Jul 28, Hubert Wilkins,
Australian explorer, set out from England for Norway aboard the
submarine Nautilus. The ship was the former US WW I vessel O-12.
Wilkins planned to reach the North Pole but failed. [see Aug 28]
(ON, 1/02, p.8)
1931 Arnhem Land in northern
Australia was made an Aboriginal reserve.
(SFEC, 2/28/99, p.T1)
1931 The last lesser bilby
(Macrotis leucura), a small marsupial with rabbit-like ears, was
collected. It had been widespread in Australia’s sand dune deserts
and Aborigines reported that a few survived into the 1960’s.
(Nat. Hist., 4/96, p.17)
1932 Mar 19, Sydney Harbor
Bridge, Australia, officially opened.
1932 Dec 19, The British
Broadcasting Corp. began transmitting overseas with its "Empire
Service" to Australia.
1932 Sydney’s Harbor Bridge
between north and south Sydney was completed after 10 years. It was
supposed to be the world's longest single-span bridge on completion,
but New York’s Bayonne Bridge beat it by 25 inches.
(SFEC, 1/4/98, p.T1)(USAT, 9/17/99, p.1D)(SFEC,
1932 Phar Lap, an Australian
race horse, took ill and died after being taken to the United
States. The giant New Zealand-born chestnut became an icon in
Australia during the Great Depression, winning 37 of his 51 races,
including one Melbourne Cup in 1930 and two Cox Plates in 1930 and
1931. In 2008 tests proved that Phar Lap was poisoned by arsenic.
1933 Sep 14, Zoe Caldwell,
actress (Prime of Miss Jean Brodie), was born in Australia. In 2001
Caldwell authored “I Will Be Cleopatra: An Actress’s Journey.”
(www.infoplease.com)(SSFC, 12/16/01, p.M4)
1934 The Australian song
"Kookaburra" was penned by teacher Marion Sinclair for a Girl Guides
Jamboree. In 1990 music company Larrikin acquired the rights to
"Kookaburra." In 2010 the Australian band Men at Work were found
guilty of plagiarizing the children's ditty in their 1980s hit "Down
Under" after a court battle involving two of the nation's most
1935 In Australia cane toads
(Bufo marinus) from Hawaii were introduced to wipe out beetles that
were devastating Queensland's sugar cane industry. The beetles
survived and the toads became a pest and a threat to the native
quolls, small spotted marsupials. On March 28, 2009, a festive mass
killing of the creatures began as “Toad Day Out.” The corpses were
turned into fertilizer for the very farmers who've battled the pests
for years. In 2010 scientists reported that cat food attracts
carnivorous meat ants, which swarm over and munch on baby toads
killing 70 percent of them.
(Econ, 7/12/03, p.38)(SFC, 6/10/06, p.B8)(AP,
1935 A 2nd cyclone again killed
some 140 oyster crewmen in Broome, Australia. [see 1887]
(NG, 11/04, p.98)
1937 In Australia the
assimilation of mixed-blood Aborigines, by force if necessary, was
adopted as official policy at a meeting of federal and state
officials, while Aborigines living a "tribal life" are to stay on
1938 Jul 28, Robert Hughes
[Studley Forrest], writer, critic, was born in Australia.
1938 Xavier Herbert authored
“Capricornia,” a sweeping novel of social relations between
Australia’s white majority and indigenous aboriginals in the far
north. The novel became a classic example of well-intentioned social
(Econ, 3/3/07, p.89)
1939 Jan 29, Germaine Greer,
feminist, author (Female Eunuch), was born in Melbourne, Australia.
1939 Apr 26, Following a period
during which the Country Party leader, Sir Earle Page, was caretaker
Prime Minister, Robert Gordon Menzies (1894-1978) was elected Leader
of the UAP and was sworn in as PM.
1939 Sep 3, Britain and France
declared war on Germany, two days after the Nazi invasion of Poland.
After Germany ignored Great Britain's ultimatum to stop the invasion
of Poland, Great Britain declares war on Germany, marking the
beginning of World War II in Europe. France follows 6 hours later
quickly joined by Australia, NZ, South Africa & Canada.
(AP, 9/3/97)(HN, 9/3/98)(MC, 9/3/01)
1939 Australia set up a wheat
board for growers to market their crops collectively and get better
prices. The AWB was privatized in 1999 and later quoted on the stock
(Econ, 7/30/05, p.59)
1940 Jul 1, Australia refused
entry to Dutch Jewish refugees.
1940 Aug 16, Bruce Beresford,
Australian film director, was born. His films include "Breaker
Morant" and "Driving Miss Daisy."
1940 Aug 31, Jack Thompson of
Australia, actor (Breaker Morant), was born.
1940 Nov 8, The MV City of
Rayville, an American freighter carrying a cargo of lead, wool and
copper from Australia to New York, sank in the Bass Strait after
striking a German mine, a year before the United States entered the
war. One seaman drowned while trying to recover personal items from
the sinking vessel but 37 other crew survived. In 2009 the wreck was
found off of Australia’s southeastern coast.
1940 Australia found itself
with a hung parliament. Robert Menzies (1894-1978) relied on 2
independent parties to stay in power, but the arrangement collapsed
a year later.
1941 Jan 21, Australia &
Britain attacked Tobruk, Libya.
1941 Jan 22, British and
Australian troops captured Tobruk from Italians.
1941 Feb 5, Andrew Barton
"Banjo" Paterson (b.1864), Australian poet and journalist, died. He
is best known for his song “Waltzing Matilda.”
1941 Nov 19, The ship HMAS
Sydney was sunk off the west coast of Australia in a battle with the
German raider Kormoran, with the loss of all 645 on board. The
Kormoran also sank, but 318 of the German vessel's crew of 397 were
rescued. The 9,500 ton Kormoran had been disguised as a Dutch
merchant ship when it opened fire on the Sydney. The government
banned all media from reporting the news for 12 days as it scrambled
to explain what happened. In March, 2008, the wrecks of the Kormoran
and the Sydney were found. In 2009 a military inquiry said Navy
Capt. Joseph Burnett made "errors of judgment" in the tragedy.
(AFP, 8/10/07)(AP, 3/16/08)(Reuters, 4/8/08)(AP,
1941 Dec 7, Australian bombers
landed on Timor and Ambon.
1942 Feb 19, Port Darwin, on
the northern coast of Australia, was bombed by about 150 Japanese
warplanes; at least 243 people were killed. General George C.
Kenney, who pioneered aerial warfare strategy and tactics in the
Pacific theater, ordered 3,000 parafrag bombs to be sent to
Australia, where he thought they might come in handy against the
Japanese. Darwin was virtually leveled by 64 bombing raids over 21
(HN, 2/19/98)(SFEC, 9/10/00, p.T10)(AP, 2/19/08)
1942 May 31, In Australia 3
midget submarines slipped into the Sidney Harbor after being
launched from a fleet of five larger Japanese submarines offshore.
Two were spotted and attacked, leading the two-man crews to commit
suicide. A 3rd midget submarine managed to fire two torpedoes at the
US heavy cruiser USS Chicago, one of which exploded beneath an
Australian depot ship HMAS Kuttabul, killing 21 sailors. In 2006 the
M24 midget submarine was found by scuba divers in deep waters off
the coast. In 2007 the Australian government decided to leave the
M24 and its 2 Japanese sailors undisturbed on the seabed.
(AFP, 11/24/06)(AFP, 5/23/07)
1942 Oct 26, In the 4th day of
the battle at El Alamein (Egypt) the Australians made a
1942 Oct 30, On the 8th day of
battle at El Alamein a new Australian assault began.
1943 Mar 2, The battle of the
Bismarck Sea began. US and Australian warplanes were able to inflict
heavy damage on a Japanese convoy.
1943 Mar 3, US defeated Japan
in the Battle of Bismarck Sea.
1943 May 7, Peter Carey,
Australian writer (Illywhacker, Oscar and Lucinda), was born.
1943 May 14, Australia’s AHS
Centaur was sunk without warning after it was torpedoed by a
Japanese submarine. Of the 332 people on board, only 64 survived. In
2009 deep-sea searchers found the wreck of the hospital ship off the
city of Brisbane.
1943 May 19, Billy Sing
(b.1886), credited with being the most successful and feared sniper
in the Gallipoli campaign, died in Australia. The Australian-Chinese
war hero was credited with having killed more than 200 enemy
soldiers. In 2010 a television film, "The Legend of Billy Sing,"
raised the ire of the Australian-Chinese community because it
featured a white actor as Billy Sing.
1943 Jun 14, A US Army B-17
took off from Mackay, Australia, and crashed in fog at nearby Bakers
Creek, killing 40 of the 41 servicemen crammed into the bomb bay and
crannies of the aircraft. Wartime censorship restrictions suppressed
news of the crash.
1943 A draught occurred in the
outback of Western Australia.
(NH, 2/97, p.12)
1944 Jan 18, Paul Keating was
born in Sydney, Australia. He later became the 24th Prime Minister
of Australia, serving from 1991 to 1996.
1944 Apr, Nancy Wake
(1912-2011), a New Zealand-born Australian, parachuted back into
France before D-Day, tasked with helping distribute weapons to
Resistance fighters. She became known as the "The White Mouse" for
her ability to evade the Germans. She and her husband had helped
Allied servicemen and Jewish refugees escape into Spain before she
took her partner's advice and fled to England in 1943.
1944 Sep 12, A US submarine
patrol that included the USS Pampanito, the Growler and the Sealion
II, came upon a Japanese convoy carrying war material. The Japanese
transport Kachidoki Maru, carrying over 900 British soldier, was
sunk by the Pampanito. Much of the convoy was sunk including most of
some 2,000 Allied prisoners of war. The subs after chasing
stragglers of the convoy returned to find 159 British and Australian
survivors clinging to wreckage [see Sep 14]. Some 1000 POWs from
Australia were on the Japanese freighter Enoura Maru sunk by the USS
Sealion. Alistair Urquhart of Scotland, a prisoner on the Kachidoki
Maru, was picked up 5 days later by a Japanese whaling ship and
taken to Japan, where he was forced to work in a coal mine.
Kachidoki Maru had been captured earlier in the war as the President
Harrison home ported in SF. The Pampanito was later berthed as a
visitor attraction in SF. In 2008 Urquhart (89) visited the
(SFC, 5/27/97, p.A17)(SFC,12/5/97, p.C3)(SFC,
1944 Sep 14, The submarine USS
Pampanito picked up 73 allied prisoners left adrift following the
Sep 12 submarine attack on a Japanese convoy that included the
transport ship Rakuyo Maru.
(SFC, 3/18/09, p.B2)
1944 Nov 8, In Hungary Peter
Balazs (18) was fatally beaten to death for failing to wear a yellow
star marking him as a Jew. In 2009 Australia agreed to extradite
Charles Zentai (87) to face charges regarding the fatal beating of
Balazs. In 2012 Australia said Mr Zentai cannot be surrendered for
extradition because the offence of 'war crime' did not exist under
Hungarian law at the time of his alleged criminal conduct.
1945 Australian soldier Edward
Kenna (d.2009 at 90) single-handedly stormed a Japanese machine-gun
nest at Wewak, New Guinea, firing a Bren gun from his hip with enemy
bullets passing under his arms as he advanced. Kenna was awarded a
Victoria Cross for his valor.
1947 Joan Sutherland made her
operatic debut in Sydney.
(WSJ, 3/25/98, p.A20)
1951 Jul 31, Evonne Goolagong,
Australian tennis player and first aborigine in an international
sport, was born.
1952 Oct 3, The British
detonated their 1st atomic bomb, a 25-kiloton device, in the Monte
Bello Islands off Australia. In 1998 a visit to the islands was
limited to one hour due to lingering radiation.
(SFC, 1/2/99, p.A14)(SFC, 3/13/02, p.A26)(AP,
1952 In Australia Rupert
Murdoch (21) inherited 2 fledgling newspapers in Adelaide. By 2003
his empire generated $17 billion a year in revenues.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R42)(Econ, 8/30/03, p.61)
1953 May 25, Jane Priest,
Prince Charles' lover, was born in Perth, Australia.
1954 Feb 3, Millions greeted
Queen Elizabeth in Sydney on her first royal trip to Australia.
1954 Sep 8, SEATO (Southeast
Asia Treaty Organization), a sister organization to NATO, was
created under the Manila Pact by the Southeast Asia Collective
Defense Treaty, to stop communist spread in Southeast Asia (Vietnam,
Cambodia and Laos). The United States, Australia, France, Great
Britain, New Zealand, the Philippines, Pakistan, and Thailand signed
the mutual defense treaty. SEATO dissolved in 1977.
1954 In Australia Evdokia
Petrov (d.2002), Soviet Union spy, was abducted by Soviet agents
after she and her husband Vladimir Petrov (d.1991), the third
secretary at the Soviet embassy in Australia, defected. Australian
police snatched her back as her plane stopped for fuel in
1956 Nov 22, Melbourne opened
the 16th Olympiad. 65 countries and 4,276 athletes competed. Closing
ceremonies were held on Dec 8. The Netherlands and Spain withdrew
from the summer Olympics in support of Hungary following Russia’s
invasion. 45 athletes from Hungary defected during the games. Egypt,
Lebanon and Iraq boycotted the games in protest over British and
French actions over the Suez Canal. China boycotted protesting the
inclusion of athletes from Taiwan.
(SFEC, 9/10/00, p.T8)(WSJ, 9/15/00, p.A1)(WSJ,
1956 In Australia Joaquin
Capilla (27) of Mexico won a bronze medal for springboard diving and
a gold for platform diving.
1956 In Australia Murray Rose
(1939-2012) became an Olympic champion winning the first of his
three gold medals at the Melbourne Games in the 4 x 200m freestyle
1958 Jun 19, Entrepreneurs
Richard Knerr and Arthur Melin sought a trademark for a plastic
cylinder based on a similar toy in Australia. Wham-O began selling
the Hula Hoop following a demonstration of a rattan hoop imported
from Australia. After one year teenagers in the US purchased some
100 million hoops at a suggested retail price of $1.98.
(SFC, 7/1/02, p.B5)(SFC, 6/19/08, p.C3)
1958 Oct 1, Britain transferred
Christmas Island (south of Java) to Australia.
1958 Nov 30, Australian
explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins (70) died. In 1959 the USS Skate became
the 1st submarine to surface at the North Pole and the ship’s crew
held a funeral service and scattered the ashes of Wilkins (d.1958),
who had attempted the feat in 1931.
(ON, 1/02, p.9)
1958 Slim Dusty (1927-2003),
Australian country music singer, made a hit with the song "A Pub
With No Beer."
(SFC, 9/20/03, p.A21)
1959 Aug 31, Australia defeated
the US for tennis' Davis Cup.
1961 In Australia the Packer
family bought The Bulletin magazine (1880-2008), scrapped its racist
masthead ("Australia for the White Man"), and entered a period of
strong growth, high circulation and influence.
1962 Australia granted
Aborigines the right to vote.
(Econ, 5/7/05, Survey p.14)
1963 Sep 18, The USSR ordered
58.5 million barrels of cereal from Australia.
1964 Nov 10, Australia began a
draft to fulfill its commitment in Vietnam.
1965 Apr 29, Australian
government announced it would send troops to Vietnam.
1966 Mar 8, Australia announced
that it would triple the number of troops in Vietnam.
1966 Mar 27, Anti-Vietnam war
demonstrations took place in US, Europe and Australia.
1966 Aug 18, Australians
bloodily repulsed a Viet Cong attack at Long Tan, South Vietnam.
1967 Feb 3, Ronald Ryan
(b.1925) was the last person executed in Australia.
1967 May 27, Australians
approved a referendum to amend the constitution to allow the federal
government to make laws for indigenous Australians and to include
them in the national census. The referendum became law on August 10.
1967 Dec 17, Australia’s PM
Harold Holt (59) plunged into the surf at Victoria during a stroll
on the beach and vanished. In 2005 a coroner officially confirmed
that Holt had drowned.
(SFEM, 10/11/98, p.26)(AP, 9/2/05)
1967 Exmouth was founded near
the tip of the North West Cape in western Australia as a support
base for a US Naval Communications Station.
(SFEC, 11/14/99, p.T1)
1967 Australia pressured
mining-company officials to develop the Panguna mine on
Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, in the face of local opposition.
Cabinet minutes of this were not declassified until 1998.
(WSJ, 3/18/98, p.A14)
1968 Feb 26, Lionel Rose
(1949-2011) outpointed Fighting Harada in Tokyo and became a
national sports hero and an icon for Australia's indigenous
community. Hundreds of thousands lined Melbourne's streets to
welcome him home after his title triumph. He lost the world
bantamweight title to Mexican Ruben Olivares in a fifth-round
knockout in August 1969.
1969 Jun 2, Australian aircraft
carrier Melbourne sliced the destroyer USS Frank E. Evans in half
during NATO maneuvers off the shore of South Vietnam. 74 US sailors
(HN, 6/2/98)(SFC, 6/19/08, p.B5)
1969 The Indian Pacific Railway
was completed with a new standard gauge from Sydney to Perth, 2,720
miles. Until this time different rail lines employed different
(SFEM, 10/11/98, p.29)
1969 At their peak in 1969,
68,889 combat troops from Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of
Korea, Thailand and the Philippines were deployed in Vietnam.
1969 Filippo Casella began
making wine in Australia after having moved from Italy. Casella
Wines introduced their Yellow Tail brand in 2001.
(SFC, 1/5/06, p.F2)
1970 Apr 29, In Australia a
large wooden log was placed on the winding track in front of a royal
train carrying Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip to the
town of Orange. The train did not derail as it was traveling too
slowly. The incident was only revealed in 2009 by a retired
1970 Jul 2, Jessie Street
(b.1889), Australian civil rights activist, died.
1970 Nov 3, An Australian
bomber crashed in Vietnam near the Laos border. The bodies of Flying
Officer Michael Herbert (24) and navigator, Pilot Officer Robert
Carver (24), were listed as missing until their remains were
discovered in 2009. They were the last of Australia’s Vietnam era
1970 Germaine Greer (b.1939),
Australian academic writer, published "The Female Eunuch." The work
insisted on women's right to free sexuality and vaginal pleasure. In
1999 Christine Wallace published the biography: "Germaine Greer:
(SFEC, 7/4/99, BR
1970 The film "Walkabout" by
Nicolas Roeg was produced. It was about the Australian aborigines.
(SFC, 12/29/96, DB p.8)
1970 In Australia the last laws
granting authorities wide powers to take Aboriginal children away
from their families were abolished. Many Aborigines said statistics
show the government is still far more likely to take Aboriginal
children into foster care for reasons such as abuse than white
children. Estimates put the number of children taken since 1910 at
(AP, 1/30/08)(Econ, 2/2/08, p.50)
1970 Leonard Casley, a wheat
farmer in Western Australia, declared his property independent and
styled himself as Prince Leonard I.
(Econ, 12/24/05, p.85)
1970-1979 In the 1970s the Australian government
took over the Ghan rail line, running from Adelaide to Alice
Springs, and upgraded the tracks to standard gauge. The last Ghan
steam engine was replaced in 1982.
(SFEC, 10/10/99, p.T9)
1971 Jun 13, The Broderick
nonuplets were born in Sydney, Australia. None of the five boys (two
stillborn) and four girls live for more than six days.
1971 Jul 18, New Zealand and
Australia announced they would pull their troops out of Vietnam.
1971 Nov 1, The Five Power
Defense Arrangements were concluded by the defense ministers of
Australia, Britain, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore.
(Econ, 11/5/11, p.54)
1971 Sidney Nolan (1917-1992),
Australia’s best known modernist, created a piece called “Snake.” It
was composed of 1,620 individual panels.
1971 Australia joined with New
Zealand and 14 independent of self-governing island nations to form
the South Pacific Forum. The name was changed in 2000 to Pacific
Islands Forum. Member states include: Australia, the Cook Islands,
the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall
Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa,
the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. Since 2006,
associate members territories are New Caledonia and French
1971 Hunting crocodiles, aka
"salties," was banned in the Northern Territory.
(WSJ, 1/24/00, p.A1)
1971-1972 In Australia William McMahon (1908-1988)
served as the country’s 20th prime minister. He retained his seat in
parliament until his retirement in 1982. He was later remembered as
one of the country's least popular leaders.
1972 Dec 2, In Australia
Neville Bonner (1922-1999) became the first Aborigine to be elected
to the federal Parliament. In 1971 he became the first Aboriginal
person to sit in the Commonwealth parliament when he was chosen to
fill a vacancy in the Senate caused by the resignation of a Liberal
senator for Queensland.
1972 Dec 5, Gough Whitlam,
labor leader, became prime minister of Australia. He served to Nov
1972 Dec 15, The Commonwealth
of Australia ordered equal pay for women.
1973 May 12, In Australia the
northeast town of Nimbin was on the verge of closing when a group of
university students held the Aquarius hippy festival in a nearby
paddock. Many hippies put down roots and build an alternate culture.
By 2007 Nimbin's marijuana smoking reputation had become global with
busloads of young foreign tourists.
1973 Sep 18, Australia
abolished the death penalty.
(SFC, 1/9/02, p.A8)(http://tinyurl.com/6bbah5)
1973 Sep 21, The painting "Blue
Poles" by Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) sold for $2,000,000 to the
Australian National Gallery.
1973 Oct 20, Queen Elizabeth II
opened the Sydney Opera House built on Bennelong Point. It was
designed by Danish architect Joern Utzon and cost 102 million
Australian dollars, 14 times the original estimate. Utzon left the
project in 1966. In 2000 Utzon was named consulting architect and in
2003 was called back to redo the interiors.
(SFEC, 1/4/98, p.T4)(SFEC, 9/10/00, p.T12)(WSJ,
10/2/03, p.D10)(Econ, 7/15/06, p.83)
1973 Oct, Tony and Maureen
Wheeler produced the first Lonely Planet travel book, "Across Asia
on the Cheep," from a kitchen table in Australia. By 2002 it had 600
titles in print.
(SFEC, 8/29/99, p.T2)(SSFC, 1/18/04, p.C3)
1973 Patrick White (1912-1990),
British-born Australian, won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
1973 In Australia the
government eliminated its White Australia Policy, an immigration
policy which favored applicants from certain countries.
1974 May 20, Ian Fairweather
(b.1891), Scotland-born Australian artist, died. He lived for much
of his life as a recluse on Bribie Island, north of Brisbane. In
Murray Bail authored “Fairweather,” a biography with color
reproductions. The book was expanded in 2009.
1974 Dec 25, The category 4
Cyclone Tracy reduced 90% of Darwin, Australia, to rubble. 65 people
died including 49 in the city and 16 at sea.
1974 In Australia the flooding
of Brisbane led authorities to build the Wivenhoe dam west of the
city in the hope of deterring another flood.
(Econ, 1/15/11, p.45)
1975 Jun 11, Australia’s Racial
Discrimination Act became law under Australia's multicultural policy
to protect minorities against intolerance. It is not enforced by
prison sentences or fines, but enables judges to make orders to
1975 Jun 21, The West Indies,
captained by Clive Lloyd won the first World Cup Cricket series,
beating Australia by 17 runs at Lords.
1975 Oct 16, In East Timor five
Australian journalists were killed when Indonesian troops overran
the border town of Balibo. A 6th died weeks later when Jakarta
launched a full-scale assault on Dili. In 2009 the film “Balibo,” by
Australian director Rob Connolly, depicted the killings.
1975 Nov 11, Sir John Kerr,
Australia’s governor-general, fired PM Edward Gough Whitlam. He was
the 1st elected PM removed in 200 years.
1975 The mystery film "Picnic
at Hanging Rock" starred Rachel Roberts and Dominic Guard and was
directed by Peter Weir. It was set in 1900 in Australia.
(SFC, 7/1/98, p.E4)
1976 May 4, Australian PM
Malcolm Fraser announced that "Waltzing Matilda" would serve as his
country's national anthem at the upcoming Olympic Games.
1976 Malcolm Douglas
(1941-2010), Australia's original TV crocodile hunter, shot to fame
with the production of his first documentary, "Across The Top." He
had trekked across Australia's harsh hinterland filming his
encounters with poisonous snakes and ferocious reptiles.
1976 Australia’s federal
government passed legislation granting Aboriginal ownership to large
parts of the Northern Territory, kicking off a new movement to
reclaim traditional lands.
1976 Australian athletes won 5
medals, none of them gold, in the Montreal Olympics.
(WSJ, 9/21/00, p.A8)
1976 Dorothy Schiff (1903-1989)
sold the New York Post, founded in 1801, to Rupert Murdoch,
Australian media tycoon, for $30 million.
(WSJ, 4/7/07, p.P10)(www.ketupa.net/murdoch2.htm)
1977 Dec 18, Cyril Ritchard
(b.1897), Australia-born actor, died. He was awarded a Tony in 1955
for Supporting Actor in the musical “Peter Pan.”
1977 The rock band INXS was
formed in Perth. Lead singer Michael Hutchence committed suicide in
1997 at a Sydney hotel.
1978 Australia granted
self-government to its Northwest Territory, an area that covers
almost a fifth of the country.
(Economist, 9/29/12, p.46)
1978 Control of the Cocos
Islands was ceded to Australia by a descendent of the Clunies-Ross
family, which settled the Indian Ocean coral atolls in 1827.
(Econ, 12/24/05, p.84)
1979 Jul 11, The abandoned
78-ton US space station Skylab made a spectacular return to Earth,
burning up in the atmosphere and showering debris over the Indian
Ocean and Western Australia. Solar storms were blamed for Skylab’s
premature fall back.
(AP, 7/11/97)(SFC, 6/3/00, p.A6)(SFC, 3/7/06,
1979 The Australian film
"Breaker Morant" was directed by Bruce Beresford.
(SFEC,12/21/97, DB p.51)
1979 The Australian film "Mad
Max" starred Mel Gibson and was directed by George Miller. It was
filmed near Broken Hill in New South Wales.
(Hem., 2/97, p.91)(SFEC, 9/24/00, DBp.59)
1979 The Australian film "My
Brilliant Career" starred Judy Davis and Sam Neill. It was directed
by Gillian Armstrong.
(SFEC, 5/10/98, Par p.18)(SFEC, 9/24/00, DBp.59)
1979 Dr. J. Robert Warren first
observed an apparent bacterium in the lower part of stomach
biopsies. In 1982 Dr. Barry Marshall managed to grow the
slow-growing Helicobacter pylori bacterium in a culture. In 2005 the
Australian researchers won a Nobel Prize for their work.
(SFC, 8/7/97, p.A11)
1980 Aug 17, In Australia Lindy
Chamberlain’s 9-week baby, Azaria, was allegedly dragged away from a
family campsite at Uluru, or Ayers Rock, by a dingo. The body was
never found and Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton and ex-husband Michael
Chamberlain were both convicted for the death but later exonerated
in a case which made global headlines. She was released after 4
years and the Meryl Streep film "A Cry in the Dark" was based on her
story. In 2012 a 4th coroner inquest ruled that a dingo was
responsible for the infant’s death.
(SFC, 4/10/98, p.A14)(AFP, 10/6/04)(AFP,
10/11/10)(SFC, 6/12/12, p.A2)
1981 Apr 29, In Sydney,
Australia, 16 patients died in a nursing home fire in suburban
1981 The Australian film
"Gallipoli" was directed by Peter Weir (b.1944).
(SFEC,12/21/97, DB p.51)
1981 The film "Mad Max II" with
Mel Gibson was filmed near Broken Hill in New South Wales,
(Hem., 2/97, p.91)
1982 Australian Thomas Keneally
authored "Schindler's List." He received his information from
Leopold Page (d.2001 at 87), No. 173 on Schindler’s list.
"Schindler's List," Steven Spielberg's drama about the Holocaust,
won Golden Globes for best dramatic picture and best director in
(AP, 1/22/99)(SFC, 3/14/01, p.C2)
c1982 Two Australian doctors,
Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, discovered Helicobacter pylori, a
bacterium that was later shone to cause stomach ulcers.
(SFC, 8/7/97, p.A11)
1983 Mar 5, The Australian
Labor Party won the federal election. The new prime minister, former
trade unionist Bob Hawke, had vowed to stop the Franklin River dam
from being constructed, and the anti-dam vote increased Hawke's
1983 Jul 1, In Australia the
High Court on circuit in Brisbane ruled by a vote of 4 to 3 in the
federal government's favor and prohibited Franklin River dam-related
clearing, excavation and building activities that had been
authorized by Tasmanian state legislation.
1983 Jul, The Tuna Task Force
(TTF) issued a draft plan of management. It contained 14
recommendations, the most important of which include the use of
catch-quotas, minimum limits on fish-size, limited-entry and further
limits on purse-seine operations. It was proposed that the plan
should come into effect at the beginning of the 1983-84 fishing
season (on 1 October 1993). Because of difficulties in reaching
agreement on all aspects, this target was not achieved. Australia,
New Zealand and Iceland pioneered Individual Transferable Quotas
(ITQs) for commercial fisheries.
1983 Oct, In Australia Edwina
Boyle disappeared from her Melbourne suburb home. Her husband
Frederick William Boyle (35) of Carrum Downs, dismembered her, and
hid her body in a 44-gallon drum. In 2006 his son-in-law opened the
drum a found her remains. A post-mortem showed she died of a bullet
wound to the head. In 2008 Boyle was convicted of murder.
(AFP, 1/31/08)(Reuters, 2/9/08)
1983 Dec 12, Australia’s labor
government under Bob Hawke allowed its dollar to float.
5/28/11, SR p.3)
1983 The Liberty lost the
America Cup to the Australia II. In 1851 the Schooner America
outraced the Aurora off the English coast to win a trophy that
became known as the America’s Cup. For 132 years the New York Yacht
Club had defeated all challengers to retain the prestigious
America’s Cup, the record for the longest winning streak in sports
(AP, 8/22/97)(SFEC, 10/1/00, p.T4)(HNQ, 1/1/03)
1983 Dame Roma Mitchell,
retired from the South Australia state Supreme Court after serving
(SFC, 3/6/00, p.A23)
1983 Pastor Brian Houston
founded his Hillsong congregation in Sidney, Australia. The
45-member congregation grew to 15,000 in 2005. Houston was the
author of the book “You Need More Money.”
(Econ, 5/7/05, Survey p.11)
1984 Mar 28, Zoe, the 1st
frozen-embryo child, was born in Melbourne, Australia. Scientists
reported the birth 2 weeks later.
1984 Jul, In Australia Margaret
Tapp was strangled and her daughter Seana raped and later killed. In
2008 Melbourne police withdrew charges against Russell John Gesah,
accused in the murders, after DNA evidence used against him was
found to have been taken elsewhere and mistakenly tested with
samples from the Tapp murder scene.
1985 Apr 12, In Australia the
charred remains of Sandra White (34) were found in rural Victoria.
In 2009 Steven Hutton (54) was later accused of strangling her and
setting her on fire. He is alleged to have confessed to the killing
after being detained in a London psychiatric hospital following a
road accident in 1990. In 2009 he was set to be extradited from
1985 Oct 15, Shelley Taylor of
Australia made the fastest swim ever around Manhattan Island, doing
it in 6 hours 12 minutes 29 seconds.
1986 In Australia the
left-of-center Labor government began to implement an innovative
retirement system. It was based primarily on mandatory private
savings in plans called "superannuation funds."
1987 Jul 11, Australian Prime
Minister Bob Hawke won a third consecutive term, becoming the first
Labor Party leader in the country's history to be elected to three
straight terms in office.
1987 Nov 11, Vincent Van Gogh’s
painting "Irises" was bought from the estate of Joan Whitney Payson
by Alan Bond, an Australian businessman, for $53.9 million at
Sotheby’s in New York.
(HN, 11/11/98)(Econ, 11/18/06, p.79)
1987 Queensland, Australia,
began using a random placement system of cameras to help control
(Econ, 6/2/07, p.62)
1988 Jan 26, Australians
celebrated the 200th anniversary of their country as a grand parade
of tall ships sailed in Sydney Harbor, re-enacting the voyage of the
first European settlers.
1988 Apr 30, World Exposition,
Expo 88 opened in Brisbane, Australia.
1988 The Australian film “The
Dunera Boys” was based on the story of 2,000 Jews who fled to
England from Austria Germany in 1940 and were put on the passenger
ship Dunera bound for Australia, where they were interned in camps
(SFC, 10/8/05, p.B5)
1988 The film "Outback Bound"
was made near Broken Hill in New South Wales, Australia.
(Hem., 2/97, p.92)
1988 The Australian Capital
Territory (ACT), a region comprising Canberra, gained
(Econ, 6/17/06, p.50)
1988 Australia pioneered the
use of plastic money.
(Econ, 2/5/05, p.71)
1988 In Australia the
Murray-Darling Basin Commission was established to regulate water
use in the river system. In 2003 the mouth at Adelaide dried up for
a 2nd time since European settlement. 4 states shared the
Murray-Darling river system, which fed two-thirds of the country’s
(Econ, 7/12/03, p.38)(Econ, 4/24/10, p.41)
1989 Aug 13, In Australia 2
hot-air balloons crashed at Alice Springs. 13 people were killed.
1989 Nov 6, The Asia Pacific
Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, initiated by Australia, began as
an informal Ministerial-level dialogue group with 12 members:
Australia, Brunei, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand,
Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, United States.
1989 The Australian film "Dead
Calm" was directed by Philip Noyce.
(SFEC,12/21/97, DB p.51)
1989 In Australia ATSIC was
established by Bob Hawke's Labor government through the Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander Commission Act 1989 (the ATSIC Act). It
took effect on 5 March 1990. It provided a means of
self-determination for indigenous people.
1989 Pernod Ricard SA acquired
the Australian wine brand Jacob’s Creek.
(WSJ, 9/7/05, p.B2)
1990 The Australian firm Thomas
Hardy & Sons, a family firm that had made wine for 160 years,
entered the market in Europe with an investment in Domaine de la
Baume in Languedoc, France.
(WSJ, 5/30/03, p.A3)
1990-1999 In the 1990s a movement began to
establish the Australian bilby, an long-eared, endangered marsupial
of the bandicoot family, as a symbol for an Australian Easter.
(WSJ, 3/25/05, p.A1)
1991 May 29, Coral Browne (77)
Australian actress, (Dreamchild, Ruling Class), died of cancer.
1991 Jul 4, Victor Chang, who
had earned an international reputation for his pioneering work on
heart transplant methods, was shot dead near his home as he made his
way to work. Phillip Choon Tee Lim and co-offender Chew Seng Liew
were imprisoned over the killing of Chang in the exclusive Sydney
suburb of Mosman, following a failed extortion attempt. In 2010 Lim
(50) was extradited to Malaysia after serving 18 years in prison.
1991 Aug 19, Yankel Rosenbaum
(29), an Australian Hasidic scholar, was killed in rioting that
erupted in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn following the
traffic death of a black child. Earlier in the day Gavin Cato (7)
had been hit and killed by a car in a Rabbi’s motorcade. On Oct 29,
1992, a New York City jury acquitted 17-year-old Lemrick Nelson of
Rosenbaum’s murder. In February 1997, a jury convicted Nelson and
Charles Price of violating Rosenbaum's civil rights. In 1998 Lemrick
Nelson Jr. was sentenced to 19 and 1/2 years in prison. In 1998 the
city settled a suit for $1.35 million brought by Jews who accused
City Hall of insufficient protection during the riots. In 2002
Lemrick Nelson and Charles Price had their verdicts thrown out and a
new trial scheduled. In 2005 NYC agreed to pay $1.25 million to
settle a suit brought by the Rosenbaum family.
(SFC, 4/1/98, p.A2)(SFC, 4/3/98, p.A2)(SFC,
1/8/02, p.A3)(SSFC, 6/19/05, p.A3)
1991 Dec 20, In Australia Paul
Keating took over as the country’s 24th prime minister. He continued
(Econ, 5/28/11, SR
1991 Dec 31, President Bush
arrived in Australia as part of a 12-day Pacific trip.
1991 In Australia a simple
formula of catchy children's tunes with sing-along lyrics and
entertaining dances was born when Anthony Field, Murray Cook and
Greg Page were studying to become pre-school teachers. They formed a
children's band called The Wiggles went on to become a global
cultural force. They planned to be the subject of an exhibition at
Sydney's Powerhouse Museum to celebrate their 20th year in 2011.
1991 Dame Roma Mitchell,
founder of the Australian Human Rights Commission, became governor
of South Australia state.
(SFC, 3/6/00, p.A23)
1991 A toxic algae bloom choked
a 1,000km stretch of Australia’s Darling River.
(Econ, 4/28/07, p.82)
1992 Mar 27, Lang Hancock
(b.1909), pioneer Pilbara tycoon, died. He was famous for
discovering the world's largest iron ore deposit in 1952 and
becoming one of the richest men in Australia,
1992 The Australian film
"Proof" was directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse.
(SFEC,12/21/97, DB p.51)
1992 The Australian film
"Romper Stomper" was directed by Geoffrey Wright.
(SFEC, 9/24/00, DBp.59)
1992 The Australian film
"Strictly Ballroom" was directed by Bazz Luhrmann.
(SFEC,12/21/97, DB p.51)
1992 Australia’s Keating
government passed a law requiring workers to set aside big chunks of
their income into a superannuation account for retirement. This
began to create a huge national retirement pool.
(WSJ, 12/6/05, p.A1)(Econ, 5/28/11, SR p.6)
1992 Australia’s High Court
accepted the concept of “native title,” which struck down the
doctrine of British settlers that the land they found was terra
nullius (belonging to no one). The landmark Mabo decision resulted
in legislative recognition of native title rights over some
government-owned lands and years of acrimonious debate about the
(Econ, 5/7/05, Survey p.15)(AP, 1/30/08)(Econ,
5/28/11, SR p.11)
1992 Australia’s High Court
made the sterilization of retarded girls illegal if not medically
required, unless a court or tribunal approved it.
1992 The Australian wine firm
Thomas Hardy & Sons merged with a rival to create BRL Hardy.
(WSJ, 5/30/03, p.A3)
1992 In Yemen 2 hotel bombs
directed at US servicemen killed 2 Australians. The bombing was
later linked to Osama bin Laden, the scion of a wealthy Saudi
family. He was stripped of his Saudi citizenship in 1994.
(SFC, 8/14/96, p.A10,12)
1993 Aug 28, In Australia
Jeffrey Gilham (23) allegedly stabbed his father, mother and brother
to death in their Sydney home, but told police he killed his sibling
in a fit of rage after discovering he had murdered their parents. He
pleaded guilty in 1995 to the manslaughter of his brother (25),
escaping with a five-year good behavior bond. Gilham was eventually
charged with the killings of his parent in February 2006 after 13
years of campaigning by his paternal uncles. In 2009 Jeffrey Gilham
was sentenced to life in prison. In 2012 a court found Jeffrey
should be acquitted and not retried over the killing of his parents.
1993 Sep 23, Sydney, Australia,
was selected to host the 2000 Summer Olympics, beating Beijing by 2
votes. It was later revealed that 2 African members of the IOC had
been bribed the night before the vote.
(AP, 9/23/98)(SFC, 1/23/99, p.A1)
1993 China curbed satellite
dish sales and ownership after Rupert Murdoch, who had just bought
Star TV, said that satellite broadcasting threatened totalitarian
regimes by enabling viewers to bypass state controlled media.
(WSJ, 3/26/96, p.A-15)(SFC, 5/8/99, p.C1)(Econ,
1993 In Australia the Daintree
Eco Lodge and Spa opened in the rain forest of North Queensland.
(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.C7)
1993 In Australia, a developer
bought a 260-acre site in Cardwell, Queensland, across from
Hichinbrook Island, the world’s largest island national park. His
$100 million plans to develop the site faced major opposition in
1998 even after 12 million was invested.
(SFC, 1/16/98, p.B4)
1994 Australia’s Labor
government passed native title laws.
1994 Australia’s foreign
minister, Gareth Evans, accused "freelance military personal and
business spivs" (shady dealers) in Thailand of providing refuge for
Khmer Rouge leaders and helping them get gems and timber out of
Cambodia. The statement was made after 2 Australians were murdered
by the Khmer Rouge.
(SFC, 6/7/96, p.A12)
1994 Fires in Sydney,
Australia, killed 4 people and destroyed 1.9 million acres of
(SFC, 12/4/97, p.A18)
1994 The Hendra virus was first
discovered and named for the Australian suburb where it was found in
an outbreak that killed a horse trainer and 13 horses. It causes
flulike symptoms that can lead to pneumonia or encephalitis. It is
believed to originate in fruit bats in Australia and mainly infects
1995 Mar 5, An Australian yacht
broke in two and sank in heavy wind and fierce winds off the
Southern California coast, the first sinking in the history of
America's Cup racing; all 17 crew members were rescued.
1995 Australia's Northern
Territory introduced the world's first voluntary euthanasia
legislation, but it was overturned in 1997 by the federal
1995 Australia’s Macquarie Bank
won a tender to build the M2 toll road in Sydney by floating a
company that would own the road.
(Econ, 10/15/05, p.81)
1996 Mar 2, The first
conservative government in 13 years was elected in a landslide
victory. John Howard with a pro-business coalition defeated the
reformist labor party of Paul Keating.
(WSJ, 3/4/96, p. A-1)(SFC, 11/27/98, p.A16)
1996 Mar 11, In Australia John
Howard was sworn in as prime minister.
(Econ, 3/11/06, p.40)
1996 Apr 23, Pamela Lyndon
Travers (96), Australia born writer (Mary Poppins), died in London.
1996 Apr 28, A lone gunman,
Martin Bryant, killed 35 tourists visiting a colonial prison on the
Australian island of Tasmania. He was later sentenced to 35 life
terms in prison.
(WSJ, 4/29/96, p.A-1)(SFC, 11/22/96, p.A22)
1996 Jun 8, China set off an
underground nuclear test blast. The Australian Seismological Center
reported a nuclear test by China having a body wave magnitude of
5.7, a middle range explosion, in the Lop Nor area of Xinjiang
Province. This was the 44th test since 1964.
(SFC, 6/8/96, p.A11)(AP, 6/8/06)
1996 Jul 1, The world’s first
voluntary suicide law was scheduled to go into effect in Australia.
The Rights of the Terminally Ill Act originated in Darwin. The
world’s first law making it legal for doctors to assist in the
suicides of terminally patients was passed by the Northern
Territories Parliament. The national parliament overturned the laws
a year later.
(WSJ, 6/27/96, p.A18)(SFC, 1/14/98,
1996 Jul 7, The average cost of
a Big Mac in Australia was $1.97.
(SFC, 7/7/96, Parade, p.17)
1996 Jul, In Sydney Ivan Milat
(b.1944), Australian outdoorsman, was jailed for life for murdering
seven backpackers. Milat killed three Germans, two Britons and two
Australians between 1989 and 1992. Their bodies were later found in
shallow graves in a remote forest southwest of Sydney.
1996 Aug 19, In Canberra,
Australia, protestors stormed the parliament in opposition to
changes in labor laws and proposed budget cuts to reduce the
(SFC, 8/20/96, p.A10)
1996 Aug 21, Rescuers worked to
save some 200 pilot whales on the southwestern coast near
Dunsborough. Most were herded to sea but 14 died.
(SFC, 8/22/96, p.E3)
1996 Sep 22, In Australia Bob
Dent became the first person to kill himself legally under the
world’s only voluntary euthanasia law.
(SFC, 9/27/96, p.A13)
1996 Oct 16, It was reported
that fossilized footprints of a stegosaurus dinosaur were discovered
stolen last week from Aboriginal grounds near Broome.
(SFC, 10/16/96, p.A10)
1996 Oct 16, The Australian
Senate called for self-determination in East Timor and supported
independence from Jakarta. The government had earlier recognized the
incorporation of East Timor into Indonesia.
(SFC, 10/17/96, A11)
1996 Oct, The rabbit calcivirus
was released. It quickly cut the rabbit population and forced eagles
to concentrate on road kill. Increased incidents of vehicle
collisions with eagles was reported.
(SFC, 1/18/96, p.A16)
1996 Nov 22, Martin Bryant, who
gunned down 35 people on Apr 28 at Port Arthur, Australia, was
sentenced to life behind bars with no chance for parole.
1996 The Australian film "Angel
Baby" by Michael Rymer won all the top Australian awards. It starred
John Lynch, Jacqueline McKenzie and Colin Friels.
(SFC, 1/31/97, p.D3)
1996 The Australian film
"Floating Life" starred Annette Shun Wah and Annie Yip. It was
directed by Clara Law. It was about a Hong Kong family that moves to
(SFC, 8/4/99, p.E3)
1996 The Australian film
"Shine" was produced. It rated a 5th place in the 1996 top 10 by one
reviewer. It was based on the life of pianist David Helfgott.
Geoffrey Rush won the 1997 Academy Award for best actor. A 1998 book
by Margaret Helfgott showed how the film twisted and perverted the
facts of Helfgott’s life.
(SFC, 12/29/96, DB p.31)(WSJ, 7/27/98, p.A12)
1996 Australia granted full
independence to its central bank.
(Econ, 5/7/05, Survey p.4)
1997 Feb 4, The parliament
voted to begin the process of becoming a republic. A constitutional
convention was planned for the fall and delegates would decide on
how to put the issue to the electorate.
(WSJ, 2/5/97, p.A1)
1997 Mar 2, The Australian film
"Children of the Revolution" was released in the US.
(SFEC, 3/2/97, DB p.48)
1997 Mar 7, It was disclosed
that the reputed Aboriginal painter Eddie Burrup was actually
82-year-old Elizabeth Durack.
(SFC, 3/8/96, p.A11)
1997 Mar 13, It was revealed
that the 1995 award-winning autobiography of an Aboriginal woman,
"My Own Sweet Time, " was actually written by a 47-year-old white
man in Sydney named Leon Carmen.
(SFC, 3/14/97, p.A16)
1997 Mar 24, The Australian
Senate struck down the law passed by the Northern Territory’s
Parliament that allowed doctor-assisted suicide for the terminally
ill. The law might be reinstated in 2000 if the territory is granted
proposed statehood because under the constitution the national
Parliament cannot override state laws. A growing interest soon
developed in travel to Mexico to buy liquid pentobarbital
(Nembutol), which causes a painless death. The Australian government
later banned Philip Nitschke's book, "The Peaceful Pill Handbook"
(2006) which gives tips on everything from carbon monoxide to buying
pentobarbital in Mexico.
(SFC, 3/25/97, p.A12)(SFC, 1/14/98,
1997 Apr, Pauline Hanson
published her book "Pauline Hanson: The Truth." In it she warned
that Australia’s president in 2050 will be "Poona Li Hung," a
"lesbian of Indian and Chinese background...a part
machine...produced by a joint Korean-Indian-Chinese research team."
(SFC, 5/9/97, p.E3)
1997 Apr, The Australian comedy
film "Love Serenade" was shown at the SF Film Festival.
(SFC, 4/23/97, p.D3)
1997 Apr, The Australian film
"The Quiet Room" was released in the US.
(WSJ, 4/25/97, p.A12)
1997 May, The Cadbury Schweppes
company launched Yowies, miniature plastic bush animals covered in
chocolate with names such as Boof, Rumble and Ditty that quickly
became the champion in pester power.
(WSJ, 8/21/98, p.B1)
1997 Jul 4, It was reported
that Australia had sold 167 tons of gold over the last 6 months in
order to put the money into more productive assets.
(SFC, 7/4/97, p.C1)
1997 Aug 18, Burnum Burnum
(b.1936 as Henry James Penrith), Aboriginal activist, died at age
61. He had been a member of the "stolen generation," Aborigine
children taken from their families into government welfare.
(SFC, 8/19/97, p.A20)
1997 Oct 11, A photograph
titled "Piss Christ" at the National Gallery of Victoria in
Melbourne by Andres Serrano (47) was damaged when an attacker
wrenched it from the wall. The photograph depicted Jesus immersed in
urine. The next day an 18-year-old attacked the work with a hammer
while a companion diverted attention by pulling other pieces off the
(SFC, 10/14/97, p.B5)
1997 Nov 22, Michael Hutchence
(b.1960), lead singer for the Australian rock band INXS, committed
suicide at a Sydney hotel.
1997 Dec 3, Fires in the
southeast destroyed 38 houses and killed 2 firefighters. Up to 150
fires were raging in New South Wales.
(SFC, 12/4/97, p.A18)
1997 Dec 15, A government
report said that at least 1,045 retarded women and girls have been
sterilized since a 1992 law that made it illegal without special
1997 The Australian film "The
Castle" was directed by Rob Sitch.
(SFEC, 9/24/00, DBp.59)
1997 In Australia a national
inquiry said policies removing Aboriginal children from their
parents caused massive trauma to 100,000 children and their
families, and recommended the "stolen generation" be compensated.
The final report, "Bringing Them Home - Report of the National
Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Children from Their Families" was released. PM John Howard refused
an official apology.
1997 Australia’s Macquarie
Island, located about halfway between Australia and Antarctica, was
designated a World Heritage site as the world's only island composed
entirely of oceanic crust. It is known for its wind-swept landscape,
and about 3.5 million seabirds and 80,000 elephant seals migrate
there each year to breed. In 2009 researchers said a 1995 decision
to eradicate cats from Macquarie island allowed the rabbit
population to explode and, in turn, destroy much of its fragile
vegetation that birds depend on for cover.
1998 Jan 13, A federal court
upheld the armed forces’ right to expel HIV-positive soldiers.
(SFC, 1/14/98, p.C3)
1998 Feb 7, Over 1000 defense
force personnel were called to help clean up parts of the Northern
Territory where the worst floods in 40 years resulted from the
overflowing Katherine River.
(SFC, 2/7/98, p.A5)
1998 May 26, In Australia the
first National Sorry Day was held, to acknowledge the wrong that had
been done to indigenous families and to allow healing process to
begin. Sorry Day is also in remembrance of mistreatment of the
Aboriginal people and not only to the children involved in the
Stolen Generation. The day was held annually until 2004. It was
renamed National Day of Healing from 2005, however, in September,
2005, the name reverted when the National Sorry Day Committee
decided to restore the name Sorry Day.
1998 Jul 7, The Senate passed a
law that scaled back Aboriginal land rights under threat by Prime
Minister John Howard to dissolve both houses and call for new
(SFC, 7/8/98, p.A12)
1998 Jul 11, It was reported
that dingoes from Mount Archer National park near the central
Queensland coast were stalking neighborhoods for food.
(SFC, 7/11/98, p.A8)
1998 Jul 29-1998 Jul 30, In
Australia giardia and cryptosporidium were found throughout the
water supply of Sydney. PM John Howard called the crises an
(SFC, 8/1/98, p.A11)
1998 Aug 5, It was reported
that Ian Murphy, founder of the Freedom Scouts, believed that a
million Indonesians planned to invade the country within 5 years.
His organization trained as a guerrilla force to hit and run and
protect Australia from attack.
(SFC, 8/5/98, p.A8)
1998 Oct 3, In Australia
parliamentary elections were scheduled. The conservative coalition
of John Howard won re-election by a narrow margin.
(WSJ, 10/1/98, p.A1)(SFEC, 10/4/98, p.A17)
1998 Nov, Burger King, a unit
of Diageo PLC, opened its 10,000th restaurant in Australia.
(WSJ, 5/13/99, p.B13)
1998 Dec, A brushfire in Queens
that started near Linton killed 5 volunteer fire-fighters.
(SFC, 12/5/98, p.A5)
1998 Dec 28, At least 6 sailors
were feared dead from a gale that struck off Australia during the
Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison skippered the
Sayonara to victory.
(SFC, 12/29/98, p.A1)'
1998 Mandy Sayer of Australia
published her novel "Dreamtime Alice." It was about her years
performing as a tap dancer on the streets of Manhattan and New
Orleans with her father, a drummer, in the 1960s.
(WSJ, 5/20/98, p.A12)
1998 Aden Ridgeway became the
2nd Australian Aborigine to be elected to the federal Parliament.
(SFC, 2/6/99, p.A21)
1998 In Australia’s waterfront
war Chris Corrigan, head of the cargo-handling Patrick Corp., took
on the “wharfies” and smashed their union’s control of the docks.
(Econ, 10/30/04, p.70)
1998 Alphonse Gangitano,
Melbourne drug lord, was shot dead in his home. Retaliatory killings
(Econ, 6/18/05, p.39)
1998 Saudi Arabia, in response
to a massive outbreak of rift-valley fever, imposed a trade ban to
prevent nomadic herders from selling sheep and goats for sacrifice
during the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. The government opted to buy
more expensive Australian livestock instead.
(Econ, 2/3/07, p.80)
1999 Jan 22, In Manoharpur,
India, Graham Stewart Staines (58), an Australian missionary, and
his 2 sons (10 & 8) were burned to death by activists of the
radical Bajrang Dal. Dara Singh led some 30 men in the attack. Singh
was captured in Jan 2000. In 2003 Mahendra Hembram (23), a security
guard, stood by the statement he gave in a lower court in 2002 that
he burned the missionary's jeep, killing the missionary and young
sons as they slept. In 2003 13 men were convicted for the murders. A
trial court later sentenced Dara Singh to death but in 2011 it was
reduced to life in prison on appeal.
(SFEC, 1/24/99, p.A14)(SFC, 2/2/00, p.A17)(AP,
3/24/03)(AP, 9/15/03)(AP, 1/21/11)
1999 Apr 19, One of the annual
Goldman Environmental Prizes went to: Jacqui Katona and Yvonne
Margarula, Australian aboriginal women, who have led a fight against
the mining of a uranium deposit by Kakadu National Park on lands
owned by the Mirrar people.
(SFC, 4/19/99, p.A2)
1999 May 17, US authorities
charged Jean-Philippe Wispelaere of Australia for trying to sell
classified American defense documents. Wispelaere had worked in
Canberra for the Australian Defense Intelligence Organization.
(SFC, 5/18/99, p.A3)
1999 Jul 27, In Switzerland 19
people were killed as they tried to "canyon" down a narrow
gorge on the Saxeten River off Lake Brienz. Two people were
still missing and 13 were identified as Australians.
(SFC, 7/28/99, p.A1)(SFC, 7/29/99, p.A10)
1999 Aug 26, The Parliament
recognized 200 years of injustice to its indigenous people.
(SFC, 8/27/99, p.D3)
1999 Sep 6, Jiang Zemin arrived
in Australia, the first visit there by a Chinese president.
(WSJ, 9/7/99, p.A1)
1999 Sep 15, The UN authorized
an int'l. peacekeeping force in East Timor led by Australia with
some 8,000 troops from a number of nations.
(SFC, 9/15/99, p.A15)(WSJ, 9/16/99, p.A1)
1999 Oct 10, Morris West,
thriller writer, died at age 83. His 27 novels included "The Devil's
Advocate," "Children of the Sun," and "Shoes of a Fisherman."
(SFC, 10/11/99, p.A24)
1999 Oct 23, Albert Tucker,
hailed as Australia's most influential 20th century painter, died at
age 84. His work was the 1st Australian art to be purchased by New
(SFC, 10/25/99, p.A24)
1999 Oct 31, Jesse Martin of
Australia became the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe,
sailing solo, non-stop and unsupported. He sailed from Melbourne,
Australia, on December 8, 1998 aged 18 years 104 days and returned
on October 31 1999, taking 327 days 12 hours 52 minutes.
1999 Nov 6, In Australia
elections to decide on severance of ties with the royal family were
scheduled. 54.5% voted against a republic in which the head of state
would be elected by Parliament.
(SFC, 11/2/99, p.A12)(SFEC, 11/7/99, p.A21)
1999 Dec 2, In Australian a
rail collision outside Sydney killed 7 passengers and injured over
50. A commuter train with 450 people slammed into the back of the
transcontinental Indian Pacific with 159 passengers.
(SFC, 12/3/99, p.D4)
1999 Dec, Victoria and New
South Wales planned to open heroin injecting rooms for addicts. A UN
narcotics board considered sanctions against Australia if the plan
went into effect. At stake was $100 million in export revenues for
opium used by pharmaceuticals.
(SFC, 12/22/99, p.A19)
1999 The Australian film "The
Castle" stared Michael Caton and Tiriel Mora. It was directed by Rob
(WSJ, 5/7/99, p.W6)
1999 The Australian film "Head
On" starred Alex Dinitriades and Paul Capsis. It was directed by Ana
Kokkinos and told an intimate story of male sexual confusion.
(SFC, 11/8/99, p.D3)(SFC, 11/11/99, p.B3)
1999 The Australian film "The
Well" starred Pamela Rabe and Miranda Otto. It was directed by
(SFC, 4/16/99, p.C6)
1999 Rupert Murdoch (68),
Australian born media mogul, married Wendi Deng (31), Chinese-born
junior TV executive.
1999 Natasha Ryan (14)
disappeared in Queensland. Leonard John Fraser, an alleged serial
killer, was charged with her murder. In 2003 she was found hiding at
the home of a boyfriend.
1999 Australia started pumping
from the Laminaria-Corallina oil field in the Timor Sea.
(Econ, 6/5/04, p.40)
1999 Australia withdrew from
the Int’l. Court of Justice’s jurisdiction on maritime boundary
questions shortly before East Timor’s independence.
(Econ, 6/5/04, p.40)
1999 A 2006 report by East
Timor's Truth and Reconciliation Commission found that Australia
actively lobbied to delay East Timor's independence vote in 1999 and
prevent its separation from Indonesia.
1999 The Guinness Book of
Records described Australia’s Palm Island as the most violent place
on Earth outside a combat zone.
1999 Leslie Cunliffe, dubbed
the "Silence of the Lambs" rapist by Australian authorities, posed
as a policeman to abduct a 21-year-old woman at gunpoint from the
southern city of Geelong and locked her in a backyard shed with
padded walls. Cunliffe, a British man, served 12 years in prison for
torture and rape and in 2011 faced deportation.
1999-2003 The US Volcker report of 2005 said that
Australia's wheat exporter, AWB Ltd., paid over $221 million during
this period to the Jordanian company, Alia, and that some of the
money was for the benefit of the Iraqi government. During this
period AWB sold over $2.3 billion in wheat to Iraq. In 2006 11
former executives faced prosecution for illegal kickbacks from Iraq.
(Econ, 1/28/06, p.41)(Econ, 12/2/06, p.46)
2000 Feb, The Australian film
"The Wog Boy" opened with Steve Karamitsis.
(SFC, 5/9/00, p.A10)
2000 Mar 5, Dame Roma Mitchell,
founder of the Australian Human Rights Commission, died at age 86.
She was Australia's first female Supreme Court Judge and state
(SFC, 3/6/00, p.A23)
2000 May, Some 100 billion
locusts threatened the states of New South Wales, Queensland and
South Australia. It was the worst infestation in over a decade.
(SFC, 5/6/00, p.B8)
2000 May, A mining company
discovered a huge underground water reservoir in Western Australia
that covered an area 435 by 25 miles.
(SFC, 5/20/00, p.D8)
2000 May 27, In Australia the
"Declaration of Reconciliation" was presented by prime Minister John
Howard to help heal the history of government racism toward the
native aborigines. Howard removed a phrase of apology in one passage
and substituted regret.
(SFC, 5/26/00, p.A14)
2000 Jun 23, In Australia a
fire at a hostel in Childers, 130 miles north of Brisbane, killed at
least 15 foreign backpackers.
(SFC, 6/23/00, p.D3)
2000 Jul 1, Australia adopted
the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
2000 Jul 14, In Australia John
Roche contacted the Australian intelligence agency, known as ASIO to
discuss information regarding his contacts with al-Qaeda.
2000 Jul 14, Mark Oliphant, a
physicist who helped split the atom in 1932, died at age 98. He
founded the Australian Academy of Science and was appointed as the
governor of South Australia state (1971-1976).
(SFC, 7/18/00, p.A22)
2000 Aug 28, Foster’s Brewing
of Australia reported a deal to buy the California Beringer winery
for some $1.5 billion.
(SFC, 8/29/00, p.A1)
2000 Sep 5, A Beechcraft King
Air 200 plane crashed near Mount Isa after flying for 6 hours on
autopilot. 8 people were killed and believed to have blacked out
after loss of cabin pressure following takeoff from Perth.
(SFC, 9/6/00, p.A11)
2000 Sep 11, Some 5,000
protestors rallied against the Asia-Pacific Economic Summit 2000 in
(SFC, 9/11/00, p.A14)
2000 Sep 12, A series of
clashes between police and protesters marred a generally peaceful
second day of the three-day Asia-Pacific Economic Summit in
2000 Sep 15, The XXVII Olympic
Games opened in Sydney. The 2000 Summer Olympics opened with a
seemingly endless parade of athletes and coaches and a spectacular
display that included wild fantasy, blazing color, and booming
cheers; Aborigine runner Cathy Freeman ignited an Olympic ring of
(SFC, 9/16/00, p.A1)(AP, 9/15/01)
2000 Sep 15-2000 Oct 1, The
2000 Summer Olympics were held in Sydney, Australia.
(WSJ, 8/8/95, p. B-1)(USAT, 5/7/98, p.6E)
2000 Sep 17, In Sydney swimmer
Tom Dolan of the United States won the 400-meter individual medley.
2000 Sep 30, In Sydney,
Australia, Marion Jones won Olympic gold in the U.S. women's
1,600-meter relay and bronze with the 400-meter squad, making her
the only woman to win five track medals at one Olympics. In 2007 the
IOC stripped Jones of her 5 medals due to use of steroids.
(AP, 9/30/01)(WSJ, 12/13/07, p.A1)
2000 Oct 1, In Sydney,
Australia, the 2000 summer Olympics ended with a big party. The US
(97), Russia (88) and China (59) topped the medal count.
(SFC, 10/2/00, p.A1)(WSJ, 10/2/00, p.A1)
2000 Nov, In New South Wales
the worst flooding in 40 years stretched across a third of the
(SFC, 11/25/00, p.D8)
2000 The Northern Territories
proposal for statehood was due for action.
(SFC, 1/14/98, p.C3)
2000 The Solar Sailor, a
prototype solar-powered ferry, began operating in Sydney harbor.
(SFC, 2/6/01, p.A14)
2001 Jan 12, Johnny Warangkula,
Papunya Tula school Aborigine artist, died at age 75. His dot
paintings included "Water Dreaming at Kalipinypa, 1972."
(SFC, 2/17/01, p.A24)
2001 Feb 17, In Queensland
state elections the opposition Labor Party won at least 60 of 89
seats. Many traditional conservatives switched to the right-wing One
Nation group headed by Pauline Hanson.
(SFC, 2/19/01, p.A10)
2001 Mar 15, Australia’s HIH
Insurance, the country’s 2nd largest insurance firm, was forced into
liquidation. This led to a revision of regulatory oversight.
(Econ, 5/28/11, SR
2001 Mar, Billiton, a South
African mining company, and Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP), an
Australian rival, revealed plans to merge.
(Econ, 8/21/10, p.56)
2001 Apr 15, Australia
indicated that it would not ratify the Kyoto treaty to reduce
carbon-dioxide emissions and said the treaty is probably defunct now
that the US has repudiated it.
(WSJ, 4/16/01, p.A1)
2001 Jul 4, Australia’s interim
cabinet approved East Timor’s demands for 90% of the revenues from
oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea.
(SFC, 7/5/01, p.A8)
2001 Jul 14, In Australia
British backpacker Peter Falconio (28) was murdered and his
girlfriend, Joanne Lees. Murdoch was assaulted while they
backpacking in the Outback. In 2005 Bradley John Murdoch (47), was
convicted and given a mandatory life sentence.
2001 Aug 4, Steve Fossett
launched his 5th bid to circle the globe in an unpressurized gondola
from Australia. He set a duration record on Aug 16 over Argentina.
(SFC, 8/17/01, p.D1)
2001 Aug 17, Balloonist Steve
Fossett was forced down by bad weather in Brazil after traveling
(SFC, 8/18/01, p.A8)
2001 Aug 27, Australia denied
access to the Tampa, a Norwegian cargo ship carrying some 433
refugees, mostly from Afghanistan, who had been rescued from a
sinking Indonesian ferry.
(SFC, 8/29/01, p.A8)(Econ, 5/7/05, Survey p.13)
2001 Aug 29, Australian
commandos seized the Norway cargo ship carrying 438 rescued refugees
after the captain defied orders not to enter Australian waters.
(SFC, 8/30/01, p.A12)
2001 Aug 31, Ministers of New
Zealand and Nauru announced that they would take the Afghanistan
asylum seekers stranded in Australian waters.
(SFC, 9/1/01, p.A6)
2001 Sep 7, Australia
intercepted a boat with 200 migrants and put them on the same ship
taking 433 Afghans to Papua New Guinea.
(SSFC, 9/9/01, p.A15)
2001 Sep 13, An Indonesian boat
with 129 people, mostly from Iraq, refused to change course and
landed at Australia’s Ashmore Reef. The UN issued Australia a
warning that it could be breaching its int’l. obligations toward
refugees by mounting a blockade.
(SFC, 9/14/01, p.A32)
2001 Sep 28, In Australia a
leech dropped off Peter Cannon as he and an accomplice tied a woman
(71) to a chair in her remote home in the Tasmanian woods and stole
several hundred dollars in cash. Australian officials extracted
blood from the leech. In 2009 DNA evidence led the police to Cannon,
who admitted to robbing the elderly woman.
2001 Oct 17, Peter Carey won
his 2nd Booker Prize for his novel "True History of the Kelly Gang,"
a fictional account of the 19th century Australian outlaw.
(SFC, 10/18/01, p.B3)
2001 Oct 19, A refugee ship,
enroute from Indonesia to Australia, carrying some 353 emigrants
from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Palestine and Algeria, sank off the
island of Java. 44 people survived.
(SFC, 10/23/01, p.C1)(AP, 2/3/06)(Econ, 4/25/09,
2001 Oct, A plague of bush rats
was reported to have destroyed half of Queensland’s surviving wheat
crop, already decimated by drought. The rats were accompanied by an
explosion in the population of feral cats.
(SFC, 10/13/01, p.C10)
2001 Nov 10, In Australia
conservative PM Howard faced Labor’s Kim Beazley in elections.
Howard and his conservative government won a 3rd term. Howard’s
Liberal Party won 68 seats of the 150 in the lower house. The
coalition National Party won 12 seats. Labor won 67 and independents
(WSJ, 11/9/01, p.A1)(SSFC, 11/11/01, p.A15)
2001 Dec 11, Australia reported
that an Australian citizen, David Hicks (26), who had trained with
the al Qaeda, had been captured in Afghanistan.
(SFC, 12/12/01, p.A19)(SFC, 12/15/01, p.A16)
2001 Dec 28, Bush fires reached
within 12 miles of Sydney. Some 150 home were already destroyed by
over 100 fires across new South Wales. 80% of the Royal National
Park had burned. A number of blazes were due to arson, and 3
teenagers and 2 men had been arrested.
(SFC, 12/29/01, p.A3)
2002 Jan 2, Fires continued
near Sydney and almost 160 houses were lost. 21 arson suspects had
been arrested since the fires began Christmas eve. Arson bombs were
found in Sydney’s northern suburbs.
(SFC, 1/3/02, p.A4)
2002 Jan 3, Fires continued for
the 11th straight day. At least 40 were fires were started by
arsonists. Over 100 fires covered 1,250 square miles.
(SFC, 1/4/02, p.A14)
2002 Jan 7, Rain began to fall
over the charred 1.2 million acres west of Sydney.
(SFC, 1/7/02, p.A5)
2002 Jan 24, Some 200 mainly
Afghan asylum seekers continued their hunger strike for a 10th day
in Woomera. Some had sewn their lips together. Australia resumed
processing asylum applications following a mass suicide attempt.
(SFC, 1/25/02, p.A15)(WSJ, 1/25/02, p.A1)
2002 Jan 30, Woomera asylum
seekers said they would end their hunger strike and continue
negotiations with the government. At Camp Curtin about 100
immigrants refused to eat for a 3rd day.
(SFC, 1/31/02, p.A9)
2002 Mar 31, On Australia’s
Norfolk Island Glenn McNeill (24) of New Zealand hit Janelle Patton
(29) with his car and later stabbed her "just to make sure she was
dead." McNeill was arrested in 2006 based on DNA evidence. Patton
suffered 64 separate injuries including a fractured skull and
numerous stab wounds in the attack In 2007 McNeill told police he
had been smoking cannabis when he hit Patton. On Mar 9 a jury
convicted McNeill of murder. On July 25 he was sentenced to 24 years
(AP, 8/12/02)(Econ, 7/10/04, p.38)(Reuters,
2002 Apr 10, In Australia
Caroline Stuttle (19) was pushed to her death from a bridge in the
north-eastern city of Bundaberg. In 2004 Douglas Previte (32), a
drug-addicted drifter, was found guilty for the murder and robbery
that netted him 73 pence ($1.80) in change.
2002 Apr 14, Glenn Murcutt,
Australian architect, was selected as the winner of the Pritzker
(SFC, 4/16/02, p.D5)
2002 May 20, East Timor, with a
population at about 800,000, celebrated independence. A legal battle
loomed with Australia over the disputed Greater Sunrise natural gas
field in the Timor Sea. The filed lay 95 miles south of East Timor
and 250 miles north of Australia.
(SFC, 5/20/02, p.A6)(WSJ, 5/20/02, p.A19)(WSJ,
2002 Jun 5, In Australia PM
John Howard used World Environment Day to reject calls for his
government to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.
2002 Jun 17, Australian
scientists said they had successfully "teleported" a laser beam
encoded with data, breaking it up and reconstructing an exact
replica a yard away.
2002 Jun 19, American
adventurer Steve Fossett launched his latest solo round-the-world
balloon trip from Australia, his silver balloon rising over this
western farming town after a long delay caused by surface winds.
2002 Jun 22, An aboriginal
artist, famed for his paintings of the Northern Territory’s Western
Desert, died at age 70 in Alice Springs. His name was kept anonymous
in respect of Aborigine belief that the dead not be identified.
(SSFC, 6/23/02, p.A2)
2002 Jul 2, Steve Fossett
became the 1st person to fly a balloon solo around the world. On his
6th attempt he completed the journey in 13 days, 12 hours, 16
minutes and 13 seconds. He departed from Australia Jun 19 and
covered an estimated 19,428 miles.
(SFC, 7/3/02, p.A3)
2002 Jul 3, Over Australia
balloonist Steve Fossett was forced to spend an extra night in the
air as the winds that helped him become the first person to fly solo
around the world bedeviled the final stage of his voyage.
2002 Jul 4, In Australia Steve
Fossett launched Independence Day celebrations early when his Spirit
of Freedom balloon ended its record-breaking flight around the
2002 Jul 19, Evdokia Petrov
(88), former Soviet Union spy, died in Melbourne. She lived under
the name Maria Anna Allyson. Her husband Vladimir Petrov (1991) was
the third secretary at the Soviet embassy in Australia and also
covertly served as a KGB spy. They defected in 1954.
2002 Jul 23, Leo McKern (82),
Australian actor, died in Bath, England. He played the barrister in
the TV show "Rumpole of the Bailey."
(SFC, 7/24/02, p.A1)
2002 Jul 27, Nearly 60 false
killer whales stranded on an Australian beach died or were
euthanized after failed attempts to return them to the water.
2002 Jul, Alexander Downer,
Australia’s foreign minister, accused Saddam Hussein of developing
weapons of mass destruction. Iraq soon after announced that it would
cut its wheat purchases from Australia. Directors of AWB,
Australia's wheat exporter, flew to Iraq and struck a new deal for
(Econ, 1/28/06, p.42)
2002 Aug 2, Australia and
Malaysia signed a counter-terrorism pact which pledged them to work
together to fight suspected Islamic militants in the region.
2002 Aug 8, Australia's highest
court ruled that Aborigines do not have rights to oil or minerals
found under tribal land now being used by mining companies.
2002 Aug 8, The Chinese
government awarded an Australian consortium a 25-year natural gas
supply contract in Australia's biggest-ever foreign trade deal.
2002 Sep 27, In Australia a
federal judge formally gave control of a remote chunk of the
northwest slightly bigger than Greece to an Aboriginal tribe,
marking the end of six years of negotiations.
2002 Oct 12, In Indonesia a car
bomb ripped through the Sari Club at the Kuta Beach resort packed
with foreign tourists on the island of Bali, sparking a blaze that
killed 202 people and injured 300 others. It was the worst terrorist
act in Indonesia's history. Authorities said a second bomb exploded
near the island's U.S. consular office. An estimated 100 victims
were from Australia. Imam Samudra was later charged with engineering
the blast. In 2004 Samudra (34) published a jailhouse autobiography
“Me Against the Terrorist,” in which he called for fellow Muslim
radicals to take the holy war to cyberspace. In 2005 Sally Neighbour
authored “In the Shadow of Swords: How Islamic Terrorists Declared
War on Australia.”
(AP, 10/13/02)(SSFC, 10/12/02, p.A1)(SFC,
12/17/04, p.W1)(Econ, 12/17/05, p.83)
2002 Oct 21, In Australia Xiang
Huan Yun (36) opened fire at Monash University in Melbourne in,
killing two people and seriously wounding 5 others. Yun was soon
charged with two counts of murder and five counts of attempted
(AP, 10/21/02)(AP, 10/22/02)
2002 Oct 24, In southern
Australia a train and a school bus collided, killing six people.
2002 Oct 25, Australia's prime
minister promised to give the world's 50 poorest countries better
access to his nation's markets and called on other rich nations to
do the same.
2002 Oct 27, The Australian
government listed the militant Islamic network Jemaah Islamiyah as a
2002 Nov 14, Australia added
four more Islamic groups to its list of banned "terrorist"
organizations and said that anyone linked to the groups and living
in Australia would be targeted by police and security forces.
2002 Nov 14, In Sydney,
Australia, some 1,000 protesters demonstrated against globalization
and a possible war with Iraq, and blocked downtown intersections in
defiance of a ban on mass street gatherings imposed for a two-day
mini-summit of the World Trade Organization.
2002 Nov 21, In Australia
speaker Jonathan Hunt ruled that "knitting is permitted in the house
but is not permitted from the minister's chair." Retired lawmaker
Marilyn Waring admitted to knitting 32 garments during 9 years in
Parliament. She said in her autobiography it was the only productive
thing she had accomplished in the debating chamber.
2002 Dec 7, In Australia
wildfires raging across Sydney's northern fringe blackened 250,000
2002 Dec 12, Australia's
highest court dismissed one of the nation's longest running tribal
land claims. The Yorta Yorta tribe began the battle in 1994 for a
special property right known as native title in 800 square miles of
land around the Murray River in eastern Australia. The area is now
occupied by farmers.
2002 Dec 13, In Australia an
attacker poured hydrochloric acid on the face and down the throat of
Dominic Li, a Sydney suburban accountant. Li went into a coma and
died three weeks later. In 2006 a man who helped arrange Li’s murder
was sentenced to up to 18 years in jail.
2002 Dec 16, It was reported
that a severe drought ravaging most of Australia's rural sector will
slash farm exports by 13 percent this fiscal year. Triggered by
abnormal sea temperatures, El Nino was blamed for severe drought in
Australia, which slashed crops and caused a liquidation of the
nation's livestock. The drought continued thru 2005.
(AP, 12/16/02)(AP, 5/24/05)
2002 Dec 20, Grote Reber
(90), a pioneer of radio astronomy died in Tasmania. He followed up
Karl Jansky's 1933 announcement of the discovery of radio waves from
space and in his spare time in 1937 built a 30-foot antenna dish,
the 1st radio telescope, in his back yard in Wheaton, Ill., and
managed to pick up signals two years later.
2002 Dec 31, Australia's asylum
seeker detention centers were in turmoil following an attempted mass
breakout and riot in a Sydney centre, an armed stand off at another
and fires burning in two.
2003 Jan 10, An Australian
euthanasia campaigner complained that customs officials seized a
machine he designed to help people kill themselves as he prepared to
board a flight to the United States.
2003 Jan 18, Heavy bush fires
hit Canberra, Australia, killing 4 people. At least 388 homes were
2003 Jan 31, In Australia a
commuter train derailed south of Sydney and 9 people were killed.
2003 Feb 2, Australia's first
cloned sheep, Matilda (b. Apr, 2000) died unexpectedly of unknown
2003 Feb 8, In Australia 750
nude women formed a heart around the words 'No War' near the town of
Byron Bay to protest possible war with Iraq.
2003 Feb 15, Tens of
thousands of people gathered in downtown Sydney and around Australia
to protest possible war with Iraq and their country’s involvement.
2003 Feb 16, In
Australia PM John Howard said he respects the views of hundreds of
thousands of citizens who took part in peace protests over the
weekend but would not be swayed by their opposition to war with
2003 Mar 11, A top
Australian intelligence adviser resigned to protest the government’s
hardline policy on Iraq. Andrew Wilkie, one of its senior
intelligence analysts argued that, based on U.S. and other
intelligence information he has seen, there is currently no
justification for a war on Iraq.
2003 Mar 18, In Australia
PM John Howard said his government would commit 2,000 military
personnel to any U.S.-led strike aimed at disarming Iraq.
2003 Apr 17, Sir William Gunn
(89), a sheep farmer who took over his family's flock as a teenager
and rose to become one of the most powerful men in Australian
2003 Apr 20, An Australian navy
vessel boarded a North Korean ship off Sydney and charged it with
involvement in a $48 million heroin shipment to Victoria.
(WSJ, 4/22/03, A1)
2003 May 1, The Australian
stock market began trade in Australia's first-ever listed brothel,
The Daily Planet. Shares began trading at 31 cents. Heidi Fleiss was
on hand to promote the enterprise and her new book, "Pandering."
2003 Jun 25, An Australian
military spokesman said the army will kill as many as 15,000
kangaroos to keep a southeastern army base from being overgrazed.
2003 Jul 2, The film "Ken
Parks" by Larry Clark and Edward Lachman received an illegal public
screening in Balmain, a suburb of Sydney, Australia. The film was
about the dysfunctional lives of skateboarders in the suburbs of
Visalia, Ca., and was banned due to its explicit sex and violence.
(SFC, 7/7/03, p.D2)
2003 Jul 17, The leaders of an
Australian Christian church voted to allow homosexuals to become
priests, drawing protest from within the congregation.
2003 Jul 23, In "Operation
Helpem Fren" an Australian-led peacekeeping force poured into the
Solomon Islands to keep the island chain from slipping deeper into
(AP, 7/24/03)(Econ, 8/9/03, p.34)
2003 Aug 1, Australia’s island
state of Tasmania reported that a deadly facial cancer was killing
Tasmanian devils, a carnivorous marsupial the size of a small dog.
2003 Aug 7, An Australian
patrol boat spotted the Viarsa, a Spain-based fishing vessel, near
Heard Island, half way between Australia and South Africa. The
Viarsa with 96 tons of Chilean Sea Bass fled south and was chased
for 3 weeks until cornered with help by ships from Britain and South
Africa. In 2006 G. Bruce Knecht authored “Hooked: Pirates, Poaching
and the Perfect Fish,” an account of the chase and the Chilean Sea
(WSJ, 5/4/06, p.B1)
2003 Aug 20, In Australia
Pauline Hanson, the right-wing firebrand known for her
anti-immigration rhetoric, was sentenced to three years in jail for
fraudulently setting up her One Nation political party and illegally
using electoral funds.
2003 Sep 14, A Saudi importer
of some 58,000 Australian sheep was reported to be trying to
give them away for free. The sheep had been stranded for five
weeks on the ship, the Cormo Express, due to a 6% infection rate for
scabby mouth disease. Australia in 2002 had imposed tougher rules on
ships exporting livestock to the Persian Gulf after it was revealed
that 14,500 sheep had died from heat stress in one month. Some 5,700
sheep aboard the Cormo Express died before Eritrea accepted the
(AP, 9/14/03)(Econ, 12/2/06, p.88)
2003 Sep 19, Slim Dusty (76),
Australian country music singer born as David Gordon Kirkpatrick,
died while recording his 106th album. His career took off in 1958
with the song "A Pub With No Beer."
(SFC, 9/20/03, p.A21)
2003 Oct 22, In southern
Australia the fossil of a 2.56-inch fishlike animal from the
Flinders Ranges was believed to be at least 560 million years old,
30 million years older than the previous record.
2003 Oct 22, Christina Mae
Watson (26) died as she and her new husband dove off the tropical
coast of Queensland. In 2009 David Gabriel Watson, of Birmingham,
Alabama, pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He was expected to serve
just one year of the four-and-a-half-year sentence in the death of
his wife of 11 days. Watson served an 18-month sentence in Australia
and was deported to the US in 2010 where he faced 2 murder counts in
Alabama. On Feb 23, 2012, Watson was acquitted of murder charges
after a Birmingham judge ruled that prosecutors lacked sufficient
(AP, 6/5/09)(SFC, 11/26/10, p.A7)(SFC, 2/24/12,
2003 Oct 23, Pres. Bush, was
heckled inside and outside Australia's Parliament. He said that the
war in Iraq was right and inevitable, but that Americans and
Australians "still have decisive days ahead" and that the broader
war on terror could be long and drawn out.
2003 Oct 24, Chinese President
Hu Jintao became the first Asian leader to address Australia's
2003 Oct 28, Australia and New
Zealand they will start withdrawing troops from the Solomon Islands,
claiming success in a mission to restore law and order.
2003 Nov 4, The Minasa Bone, an
Indonesian fishing boat with 14 Kurds aboard, sought asylum on
Melville Island, Australia. The government quickly moved to separate
Melville Island from Australia for migratory purposes and forced the
boat back to Indonesia.
(Econ, 11/22/03, p.41)
2003 Dec 4, The Australian
government said it will join a U.S. program to build a missile
defense system, calling the threat of ballistic missiles too grave
2003 Dec 7, Daniel Morcombe
(13) was last seen waiting for a bus in northern Queensland. In 2011
west coast truck driver Brett Peter Cowan (41) was charged with
Morcombe's abduction, murder and interfering with his corpse. Police
confirmed that three bones recently found at Beerburrum State Forest
belonged to Morcombe.
2003 Dec, Australia launched an
enhanced cooperation program for Papua New Guinea.
(Econ, 5/7/05, Survey p.11)
2003 Mark Latham (42) became
head of Australia’s Labor party.
(Econ, 9/24/05, p.53)
2003 Jim Bacon, head of the
Labor Party government of Tasmania, appointed Richard Butler, former
UN arms inspector, as governor.
(Econ, 1/17/04, p.37)
2003 Andrew Forrest, a former
stockbroker, founded Fortescue to mine iron ore in the Pilbara
region of Western Australia. The company’s first shipment to China
went out in May, 2008.
(Econ, 11/15/08, p.50)
2003 Australia’s 3 phone
companies began blocking service to stolen phones. By 2011 thefts of
stolen phones had droped 25% even as the number of mobile phones
increased from 15 million to 26 million.
(SFC, 12/3/11, p.C2)
2003 In New South Wales,
Australia, the lower reaches of the Great Anabranch of the Darling
River ran dry following a 10-year drought.
(Econ, 5/7/05, Survey p.15)
2004 Feb 1, The first passenger
train to cross Australia from south to north set off on its
three-day journey, marking a new era of rail travel through the vast
Outback. Regular train service from Adelaide to Darwin would take 43
hours. Plans for the Transcontinental line had begun in 1911.
(SSFC, 10/26/03, p.A1)(AP, 2/1/04)
2004 Feb 16, In Australia
rioters set fire to a train station and pelted police with gasoline
bombs in an Aboriginal ghetto in Sydney during a nine-hour street
battle that began after a teenager died, allegedly while being
chased by officer.
2004 Mar 17, It was reported
that locusts have swarmed through the Australian Outback,
devastating crops just as farmers had begun recovering from a
2004 Mar 20, Thousands of
protesters marched in Australia to mark the first anniversary of the
Iraq war. Protests extended across Asia with some 30,000 marching in
2004 Mar 20, The Economist
reported that a Goldman Sachs study found consumers in Australia and
Spain to be the most vulnerable, of 19 countries, to higher interest
rates or recession.
(Econ, 3/20/04, p.85)
2004 Mar 24, Australia's
parliament passed a law making the Great Barrier Reef the most
protected reef system on earth. A fishing ban on a third of the
World Heritage site would begin in July.
2004 Apr, Australian police,
trying to break a large drug syndicate, supplied information that
led to the arrest of the nine Australians on Indonesian resort
island of Bali. The nine were allegedly carrying 11.2 kilograms
(24.7 pounds) of heroin at the time and faced the death penalty on
2004 May 4, In Australia 800
delegates of the Country Women's Association of New South Wales
voted to drop the singing of "God Save the Queen" altogether and
only permit renditions of "Advance Australia Fair", the national
2004 May 14, In Copenhagen,
Denmark, Australian Mary Donaldson married Danish Crown Prince
Frederik, becoming Crown Princess Mary.
2004 May 18, Australia and the
US signed a bilateral free trade agreement.
(WSJ, 5/19/04, p.A16)
2004 May 27, Australia's
conservative government introduced legislation to ban same-sex
marriages and wants immigration rules to stop gays and lesbians from
adopting foreign children. The government has also announced that
same-sex partners will be recognized for the first time by federal
authorities as dependents.
2004 May 27, In Australia
British-born Jack Roche changed his plea from innocent to guilty,
acknowledging his role in an al-Qaida plot to blow up the Israeli
Embassy in Canberra. On June 1 Roche was sentenced to 9 years in
(AP, 5/28/04)(AP, 6/1/04)
2004 May 30, Australians have
been warned they face an environmental crisis unless they stop
squandering scarce water resources in the world's most arid
2004 Jun 25, Australia's
government decided to cover most of the outside of cigarette
packages with graphic images showing the physical damage caused by
2004 Jun 25, The Council of
Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to and signed the National
Water Initiative (NWI) to improve water management across the
2004 Jul 4, Australia and
Thailand signed a free-trade agreement that officials believe will
boost the economies of both countries by billions of dollars over
the next two decades.
2004 Jul 24, An online
statement by a group representing itself as al-Qaida's European
branch threatened to turn Australia into "pools of blood" if it
doesn't withdraw its troops from Iraq.
2004 Jul 30, A new Austrian
postage stamp featuring a likeness of California Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger went on sale on his birthday.
2004 Aug 5, David Hicks,
Australian terror suspect held at the Guantanamo Bay base in Cuba,
signed an affidavit stating: "Interrogators once offered me the
services of a prostitute for 15 minutes if I would spy on other
detainees.” Hicks documented a number of physical abuses.
2004 Aug 12, It was reported
that a huge ant colony measuring 100 kilometers (62 miles) across
had been found under the southern Australian city of Melbourne. The
ants were a mutant variety of Argentine ants.
2004 Aug 13, Australia's
parliament approved a free trade pact with the United States.
2004 Aug 25, David Hicks, an
Australian cowboy who'd converted to Islam and allegedly fought for
the Taliban in Afghanistan, pleaded innocent to war crimes charges
before a U.S. military commission. He was detained by the U.S.
Government in Guantanamo Bay until 2007 when he became the first to
be tried and convicted under the U.S. Military Commissions Act of
2006. He was extradited to Australia to serve the remainder of his
sentence. Hicks served his nine month term in Adelaide's Yatala
Labor Prison and was released under control order on December 29,
2004 Aug 26, Australia
announced a cruise missile program to give it the region's "most
lethal" air combat capacity, a move that further strained awkward
relations with Indonesia.
2004 Sep 5, Australian Prime
Minister John Howard defended his country's controversial refusal to
ratify the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gases as he launched the
19th World Energy Congress in Sydney.
2004 Sep 9, In Indonesia a car
bomb exploded outside the gates of the Australian Embassy in
Jakarta, killing eight people and wounding more than 160.
(AP, 9/9/04)(Econ, 9/11/04, p.39)
2004 Oct 9, Prime Minister John
Howard scored a convincing victory in Australia's federal election,
winning a historic fourth term.
2004 Oct 21, Australian police
arrested 3 Chinese men in Sydney after they uncovered $74 million
worth of crystal methamphetamine hidden in hollowed-out candles from
2004 Oct, Congo’s government
quelled an uprising near a mine owned by Australia’s Anvil Mining
Ltd. The UN later accused Anvil of providing the government with
vehicles and planes in the operation that killed scores of
villagers. In 2007 a military court jailed two Congolese army
officers for life for the 2004 massacre of civilians. The verdict
cleared three Canadian mining company employees of complicity.
(WSJ, 3/20/07, p.A13)(AFP, 6/29/07)
2004 Nov 13, Australian police
arrested two men and seized three million ecstasy tablets that the
pair is accused of importing from Poland hidden inside a bakery
2004 Nov 16, In northeast
Australia a speeding high-speed passenger train derailed, injuring
nearly all 163 people on board.
2004 Nov 28, On southern
Australia’s King Island about 80 whales and dolphins died after
beaching, and about 50 more were still at risk.
2004 Nov, Cameron Doomadgee
died on Australia’s Palm Island soon after he was arrested by Senior
Sergeant Chris Hurley for public drunkenness. A first autopsy put
the cause of death down to a fall, leading to a riot that saw the
island's police station, barracks and watchhouse destroyed. In 2007
officer Hurley was charged for Doomadgee’s death.
2004 Dec 24, The world's
biggest earthquake in almost four years, measuring 8.1 on the
Richter scale, struck off the coast of Australia's southern island
state of Tasmania, but caused no damage or injury.
2004 Australia prohibited the
importation of asbestos.
2004 Australia’s Macquarie Bank
organized a deal to take over Chicago’s Skyway toll road under a
99-year lease for $1.8 billion.
(WSJ, 12/6/05, p.A1)
2004 Australia’s housing market
peaked after more than 2 years of 15% or greater annual growth.
(WSJ, 7/14/05, p.A1)
2005 Jan 1, Australia was
forecast for 3.4% annual GDP growth with a population at 20.3
million and GDP per head at $30,630.
(Econ, 1/8/05, p.90)
2005 Jan 1, Australia’s
free trade agreement with the US became effective.
(Econ, 5/7/05, Survey p.10)
2005 Jan 5, Australian PM John
Howard pledged $765 million over five years to Indonesian tsunami
reconstruction and development due to the Dec 26 disaster.
(AP, 1/6/05)(Econ, 1/15/05, p.38)
2005 Jan 11, At least eight
people were killed in a wildfire that raced through southern
Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, forcing terrified residents to leap into
the sea to avoid the flames.
2005 Jan 12, Firefighters
brought Australia's deadliest bushfires in 20 years under control
after 9 people died in the blazes in the Eyre Peninsula.
2005 Jan 16, Australian born
and bred Charlie Bell (44), the first non-American to head the
McDonald's chain of 30,000 burger restaurants in 119 countries, died
in Sydney from cancer.
2005 Jan, Mark Latham, head of
Australia’s Labor Party, resigned.
2005 Feb 7, Australia's central
bank warned that interest rates, stable at 5.25 percent since
December 2003, may be raised within months amid signs of renewed
2005 Feb 21, In Sierra Leone an
Australian investigator for a U.N.-backed war-crimes tribunal was
convicted of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl who sought a job
as a nanny in his household.
2005 Feb 22, PM John Howard
said Australia will send an extra 450 troops to Iraq to help protect
a Japanese humanitarian mission and bolster the country's transition
2005 Feb 24, Australian PM John
Howard dismissed as "alarmist" a warning by his government's chief
economic adviser that the US was heading for a financial crash that
could ravage the global economy.
2005 Mar 2, Australia’s central
bank raised interest rates to 5.5% from 5.25%. The 2004 annual
growth rate was reported to be 1.5%.
(WSJ, 3/3/05, p.A11)
2005 Mar 16, Tropical Cyclone
Ingrid flattened Faraway Resort, a tourist resort built to showcase
the beauty of northern Australia.
2005 Mar, Australia’s current
account deficit hit 7.1% of GDP.
(Econ, 5/7/05, Survey p.4)
2005 Mar, Mining giant
BHP-Billiton paid $7 billion to acquire WMC Resources of Australia.
WMC owned the Olympic Dam copper an d gold mine, which also
contained the world’s largest uranium deposit.
(Econ, 8/21/10, p.56)
2005 Apr 1, Australia and NATO
signed an agreement to cooperate in the fight against international
terrorism, weapons proliferation and other global military threats.
2005 Apr 2, An Australian navy
helicopter crashed on the earthquake-devastated Indonesian island of
Nias. Media reported that nine people were killed and two were
2005 Apr 4, The leaders of
Australia and Indonesia signed a partnership agreement that they
said would lead to new security pact between their countries.
2005 Apr 7, Australia’s PM John
Howard and Malaysia’s Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced plans to
negotiate a free trade agreement but refused to concede ground on
key differences regarding Canberra's role in the region.
2005 Apr 8, The Wiggles, 4
Australian performers, topped BRW Magazine's list of Australia's 50
richest performers in 2004 with an estimated gross income of $34.5
million, up from $10.7 million in the previous year.
2005 Apr 13, Australia’s Mining
giant BHP Billiton said it had won a 71.5% rise in iron ore prices
with a number of its steel customers.
2005 Apr 14, Amanda Vanstone,
Australia’s immigration minister, said Australia would take in
140,000 immigrants in 2005-06, the biggest number for 35 years.
(Econ, 4/30/05, p.40)
2005 Apr 14, Australian
authorities seized some 5 million ecstasy tablets and arrested 4 men
in what they said was the biggest ever haul of the party drug
anywhere in the world.
2005 Apr 17, In Indonesia
authorities arrested 9 young Australians, the Bali Nine, for trying
to smuggle 8.3 kg of heroin to Australia. In Feb, 2006, 2 of the 9
were sentenced to death and the rest to life in prison. An appeal by
4 sentenced to prison led to a change in their sentences to death.
In 2008 three of the convicted Australians had their death sentences
reduced to life imprisonment. In 2011 Australian drug smuggler Scott
Rush (24) won an appeal reducing his death sentence to life
2005 Apr 18, Australia and
China agreed to start talks on a free trade pact. Visiting PM John
Howard also announcing Canberra's recognition of China as free
2005 Apr 21, Police in
Melbourne seized 18 million dollars (14 million US) worth of the
party drug ecstasy a week after announcing a world-record haul of
2005 Apr 26, In Australia, a
state official said thousands of wild camels will be shot in the
Outback from helicopters in an effort to reduce their numbers.
2005 May 7, In northeastern
Australia a commuter airplane carrying 15 people slammed into a
hillside and everyone on board was feared killed.
2005 May 10, Peter Costello,
Australia’s finance minister, proposed his 10th budget that included
income tax cuts worth almost $17 billion.
(Econ, 5/14/05, p.44)
2005 May 12, Australian police
arrested five men after seizing more than 115 kgs (253 pounds) of
heroin, with a street value of more than A$60 million (US$46
million), hidden in containers of plastic chairs from China.
2005 May 13, East Timor
finished talks in Sydney, Australia, that managed to overcome 2 main
sticking points on their maritime border and revenue from the
Greater Sunrise gasfield. They agreed to defer the boundary issue
for 50 years along with a 50% revenue split.
(Econ, 5/21/05, p.46)
2005 May 20, Australia stepped
up diplomatic efforts to stop Japan from increasing its whale hunt,
saying up to 35 countries were opposed to the plan.
2005 May 26, It was reported
that Jayant "Jay" Patel (56), an America surgeon born and trained in
India and linked to the deaths of at least 87 patients in Australia
over two years (2003-2005, had been given glowing references by six
colleagues in the United States despite having been cited for
negligence there earlier. In 2006 a court issued warrants for
Patel’s arrest on three charges of manslaughter and five charges of
causing grievous bodily harm to patients at Bundaberg Base Hospital
in Queensland. Patel was hired at Bundaberg without disclosing that
he had been disciplined for negligence by medical boards in Oregon
and New York. In 2008 Patel was arrested by FBI agents in Oregon.
(AP, 5/26/05)(AP, 11/22/06)(AFP, 3/12/08)
2005 May 27, Schapelle Corby
(27), an Australian woman, was convicted and sentenced to 20 years
in prison for smuggling nine pounds of marijuana onto Indonesia's
Bali island. In 2012 the justice ministry recommended granting
clemency Corby. Lawyers argued she had gone insane after being
jailed in Bali’s Kerobokan prison. Her sentenced was reduced by 5
(AP, 5/27/05)(AFP, 4/4/12)(AFP, 5/21/12)
2005 Jun 2, Australia led 15
countries including Britain, France and Germany in a protest on
against Japan's plans to expand its annual whale hunt.
2005 Jun 2, On Australia's
southwest coast up to 160 whales became stranded on 2 beaches after
2 pods beached themselves.
2005 Jun 4, Australian
officials said a senior Chinese diplomat has sought Australian
government protection for himself and his family, claiming he faces
persecution if he goes home. Analysts said Chen Yonglin's defection
could muddy Canberra's relations with Beijing.
2005 Jun 6, It was reported
that the rate of rural suicide in Australia is among the highest in
the world as farmers battle the stress of years of drought, failed
crops, mounting debt and slowly decaying towns.
2005 Jun 7, In Australia 2
Chinese defectors, one of them a diplomat who walked away from his
post, claim that China is running a spy network in Australia and
other Western countries.
2005 Jun 11, Australian farmers
danced in the rain as downpours delivered the first soaking falls in
over four years to large parts of drought-ridden eastern Australia.
2005 Jun 13, Australia and
Pakistan signed a new counter-terrorism pact during a visit by
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
2005 Jun 13, Australia handed
East Timor the base at Moleana, a tiny town near the border with
Indonesia, signaling the end of a six-year mission that heralded a
controversial new era of regional intervention in East Timor.
2005 Jun 15, Iraqi troops,
backed by US forces, freed an Australian hostage after six weeks in
captivity. The release came as a suicide bomber dressed in an Iraqi
army uniform blew himself up in a mess hall north of Baghdad,
killing at least 25 Iraqi soldiers and injuring 27. A suicide car
bomber slammed into 3 police cars on patrol in eastern Baghdad,
killing 8 officers.
2005 Jun 16, Australian
scientists said they have found a way to make blood cells in volume
out of human master cells, which could eventually lead to production
of safe blood cells for transfusions and organ transplants.
2005 Jun 17, Australia pledged
to ease a controversial policy of locking up refugees.
2005 Jun 18, In Australia more
than a dozen Chinese nationals detained for immigration violations
slashed their wrists and body parts in attempted suicide fearing
they will be deported.
2005 Jun 21, In Australia PM
John Howard introduced new legislation on the detention of illegal
(Econ, 6/25/05, p.42)
2005 Jun 23, Australia's Deputy
Prime Minister John Anderson resigned because of health concerns.
2005 Jun 30, In Australia a
clinical audit of cases handled by surgeon Dr. Jayant Patel
nicknamed "Dr. Death" by his former colleagues, has found he
contributed to eight patient deaths during his two years at a
Queensland hospital, far fewer than earlier reported.
2005 Jun 30, Storms lashed
Australia's east coast in a violent end to one of the country's
worst droughts on record.
2005 Jul 3, One of Australia's
12 Apostles has disappeared. One of nine limestone stacks that made
up the famous landmark off Australia's southern coast collapsed into
the Indian Ocean.
2005 Jul 8, Australia granted
fugitive former Chinese diplomat Chen Yonglin a permanent visa
allowing him to stay in the country indefinitely.
2005 Jul 16, In Australia Sir
Ronald Wilson (82), a former World War II fighter pilot who became a
respected Australian judge and headed a national inquiry into the
"stolen generations" of Aboriginal children, died.
2005 Jul 21, In Indonesia the
first suspect to face charges in the 2004 bombing of the Australian
Embassy was sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison for assisting
the attack's perpetrators, but was cleared of more serious charges.
2005 Jul 26, A
government-commissioned study said Australia will become warmer and
drier with average national temperatures rising as much as two
degrees Celsius and rainfall decreasing significantly by 2030.
2005 Jul 27, Environment
Minister Ian Campbell said Australia and the US have been secretly
negotiating a new international pact on greenhouse gas emissions to
replace the Kyoto Protocol, which they refused to sign.
2005 Jul 27, In Australia Bob
Carr (57), premier of New South Wales, resigned. He was replaced by
(Econ, 8/6/05, p.34)
2005 Jul 29, The ASEAN summit
concluded in Vientiane, Laos. Australia agreed to sign a
non-aggression pact with the group in exchange for an invitation to
another summit, where ASEAN hopes to start work on an East Asian
(Econ, 7/30/05, p.39)
2005 Jul 31, The HMAS Brisbane,
a decommissioned U.S.-built Australian naval destroyer (1966-2001),
was scuttled with explosives off the coast of Queensland. The vessel
sank evenly to its resting point about 115 feet beneath the surface
to become an artificial reef and a major diving attraction.
2005 Aug 9, Australia’s Foreign
Minister Alexander Downer said Australia and China are negotiating
an agreement to allow Australia to export uranium to China for
2005 Aug 16, It was reported
that scientists in Australia's tropical north are collecting blood
from crocodiles in the hope of developing a powerful antimicrobial
drugs for humans, after tests showed that the reptile's immune
system kills HIV.
2005 Aug 17, Australian
scientists said that cyclone Ingrid, which lashed northeastern
Australia in March, inflicted damage on 10 per cent of the Great
2005 Aug 23, Australians who
take drugs into Asia are stupid and should not expect to be bailed
out by the Australian government, PM John Howard said after another
two Australians were detained in Indonesia over drugs.
2005 Aug 23, Australia’s
government and moderate Muslim leaders pledged to join forces in the
fight against terrorism and blend Australian values with Islamic
teachings at mosques and schools.
2005 Aug 30, In Australia
protesters demanding an end to the Iraq war and a cut in Third World
debt broke through a steel fence around the Sydney Opera House at
the start of the Forbes Global CEO Conference.
2005 Aug 30, Australia and New
Zealand lobbied the United Nations Security Council to indict
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his government in the
International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
2005 Sep 6, Australia staged a
high seas arrest of a Cambodian-flagged ship with an international
crew suspected of fishing illegally in sub-Antarctic waters.
2005 Sep 6, In Australia Donna
Fitchett (46) murdered her 2 sons aged 9 & 11. She was first
convicted in 2008 and sentenced to 24 years prison. She appealed her
conviction and was granted a retrial in May, 2010. A jury again
found her guilty after she admitted drugging her sons and then
strangling one and smothering the other. On Sep 1, 2010, she was
sentenced her to 27 years in prison.
2005 Sep 14, In Australia the
CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization)
Total Wellbeing Diet book was reported to have already sold 370,000
copies. Publishers targeted sales of one million to the country of
just 20 million people.
2005 Sep 19, Mark Latham,
former head of Australia’s Labor Party, published “The Latham
Diaries,” the story of the Labor Party from 1996-2005, and a
sobering account of the state of Australian democracy 100 years
2005 Sep 25, In Australia 20
high-tech solar-powered cars from 10 countries set off on a 3,000
kilometer (1,860 mile) race across the vast outback in the 8th World
Solar Challenge. The Nuna team of the Delft University of Technology
from the Netherlands scored a hat-trick with their third victory in
a row; their Nuna 3 won with a record average speed of 103 km/h.
2005 Sep 27, Australian PM John
Howard won unanimous support from state premiers for tough new
counter-terrorism laws, including detention without charge and
electronic tagging of suspects.
2005 Sep 28, In Australia a
team from Holland, known more for its windmills than its sunshine,
won a four-day, 1,860 mile, international solar-powered car race
across deserts, notching up their third straight victory. The
"Challenge," to design and build a car capable of crossing Australia
on the power of daylight, was launched in 1987 and teams and
individuals from corporations and universities throughout the world
2005 Sep 29, Officials
announced that Rupert Murdoch's Asian broadcast business is buying a
20 percent stake in the Indonesian television network ANTV.
2005 Oct 3, Australians Barry
J. Marshall and Robin Warren won the 2005 Nobel Prize in medicine
for showing that bacterial infection, not stress, was to blame for
painful ulcers in the stomach and intestine.
2005 Oct 10, Japan's space
agency conducted a test flight of a supersonic jet prototype in the
2005 Oct 25-2005 Oct 26, Over
130 whales died in a mass stranding on a remote beach in Australia’s
southern island state of Tasmania.
2005 Oct, Australia’s
government announced a deal with the Labor government of the
Northern Territories to shake up communal management of aboriginal
land by introducing market-driven incentives.
(Econ, 11/19/05, p.46)
2005 Nov 8, Police in Australia
arrested 17 suspects in a string of raids and said they had foiled a
major terror attack. Algerian-born Abdul Nacer Benbrika, a prominent
radical Muslim cleric, was among those arrested after the government
strengthened laws to detain those in the early stages of planning
terror acts following the London transport bombings in July.
(AP, 11/7/05)(AP, 10/25/10)
2005 Nov 15, Hundreds of
thousands of workers staged what unionists called the biggest
protest in Australia's history against PM John Howard's proposed
2005 Nov 17, Australian
researchers confirmed they have scrapped 10 years of research into
genetically modified peas because the altered version caused lung
inflammation in mice.
2005 Nov 17, It was reported
that Syria had detained 4 Australian-Iraqi women at the Damascus
airport for allegedly trying to take gun parts hidden in a child's
toy onto a plane bound for Australia.
2005 Nov 23, Australia's PM
John Howard visited Pakistan's devastated earthquake zone and
announced a further 37 million dollars in aid for victims of the
2005 Dec 1, Reserve Bank of
Australia (RBA) board member Robert Gerard announced his
resignation, a week after revelations about his disputes with the
2005 Dec 1, Australia and East
Timor finalized a revenue-sharing pact covering the $5 billion
Sunrise natural-gas project.
(WSJ, 12/2/05, p.A8)
2005 Dec 2, Singapore executed
25-year-old Australian Nguyen Tuong Van for drug trafficking, after
he had a "beautiful last visit" with his family. Australia's leader
protested the sentence, saying it would damage ties.
2005 Dec 2, Peter Menegazzo,
one of Australia's main cattle barons, was among four people killed
in a light plane crash in the Outback.
2005 Dec 7, Australia’s
Treasurer Peter Costello unveiled details of the nation’s Future
Fund with seed capital of $13.56 billion to cover public service
(WSJ, 12/8/05, p.A14)
2005 Dec 8, In the first visit
to Australia by a Turkish leader, PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized
military solutions to the so-called "war on terror", saying the
US-led invasion of Iraq had transformed the country into a training
ground for extremists.
2005 Dec 11, In Australia
racial tension erupted into violence on a Sydney beach when around
5,000 people, some yelling racist chants, attacked youths of a
Middle Eastern background. White youths were angered by reports that
youths of Lebanese descent had assaulted two lifeguards. Young men
of Arab descent retaliated in several Sydney suburbs, fighting with
police and smashing cars.
(AP, 12/11/05)(AP, 12/11/06)
2005 Dec 12, Young people
riding in vehicles smashed cars and store windows in suburban
Sydney, a day after thousands of drunken white youths attacked
people they believed were of Arab descent at a beach in the same
area in one of Australia's worst outbursts of racial violence. About
50 cars had swept into the area, disgorging men of Middle Eastern
appearance who began trashing every car in sight with baseball bats.
2005 Dec 13, In Australia a
jury convicted Bradley John Murdoch (47), a mechanic, in the July
14, 2001, Outback death of British backpacker Peter Falconio (28).
He also was convicted of assaulting and abducting Falconio's
girlfriend, Joanne Lees. Murdoch was given a mandatory life sentence
by Northern Territory Supreme Court Justice Brian Martin.
2005 Dec 15, An emergency
sitting of Australia’s parliament passed special laws allowing
Sydney police to "lockdown" parts of Sidney to stop racial unrest.
The New South Wales (NSW) state parliament also increased the
penalty for rioting from 10 to 15 years and doubled the sentence for
affray to 10 years.
2005 Dec 15, Australia
announced a major program to expand and upgrade its military forces
to cope with increasing commitments at home and abroad.
2005 Dec 20, One in three
Australians believe too many immigrants are allowed into the country
and 16 percent oppose multiculturalism, according to a survey after
the country's worst racial violence in decades.
2005 Dec 20, Rebekah Lawrence
(34) committed suicide in Sydney. In 2009 a coroner said that
participation in an intense self-help course led a woman to suffer a
psychotic breakdown before she stripped naked and leaped to her
death from an office window in front of horrified co-workers. Her
death came two days after she completed The Turning Point, a
four-day seminar run by the Sydney self-development company People
2005 Dec 26, Kerry Packer (68),
Australian media mogul, died in his Sydney home. He built his empire
on the Nine Network television station and the Australian
Consolidated Press magazine publishing business but in recent years
had concentrated his efforts more in the gaming industry.
(SFC, 12/27/05, p.B4)(Econ, 1/7/06, p.77)
2005 Dec 28, Australian
investment bank Macquarie Bank Ltd. said it had bought an 81 percent
interest in two Canadian healthcare projects, nine months after
acquiring a Canadian aged care housing provider.
2005 Dec 30, Across southeast
Australia firefighters battled to contain scores of wildfires in
scorching, tinder-dry conditions and were bracing for more blazes in
the days ahead.
2005 Craig Thomson, Australia’s
national secretary of the Health Services Union, allegedly made a
payment of A$2,475 ($2,595) to a Sydney brothel on his union credit
card. Thomson, who was elected to government in 2007. The HSU first
became aware of questionable financial transactions in May of 2008
as a result of an exit audit following Craig Thomson's departure as
national secretary. In 2011 the lawmaker's former union asked police
to investigate his union credit card bills.
2006 Jan 1, Raging bushfires
have destroyed at least 10 homes and threatened scores more in
southeast Australia as a scorching heat wave hit Sydney with its
hottest New Year's Day on record.
2006 Jan 2, In eastern
Australia 5 people were killed when a plane carrying a group of
skydivers plunged into a dam near Brisbane.
2006 Jan 7, In eastern
Australia a 21-year-old woman died after a shark attack near North
Stradbroke Island. A camper on a nearby beach said the woman had
been scuba diving in waist-deep water at the time of the attack.
2006 Jan 10, Australia said it
will send an extra 110 troops to Afghanistan to bolster the fight
against Islamist militants, increasing its presence in the country
to about 300.
2006 Jan 11, The Asia Pacific
Partnership on Clean Development and Climate opened in Sidney. It
brought together senior ministers from the US, Australia, Japan,
China, South Korea and India, along with executives from energy and
resource firms. The US and Australia insisted at the opening of a
two-day climate change conference that industry leaders can be
relied upon to voluntarily slash emissions blamed for heating the
2006 Jan 11, In Egypt a tour
bus carrying Australian tourists overturned on a wet highway,
killing six people and injuring at least 24.
2006 Jan 12, Australia and East
Timor agreed to equally share revenue from the Greater Sunrise
natural gas project in the Timor Sea.
(WSJ, 1/13/06, p.A8)
2006 Jan 16, A lawyer told a
government inquiry that Australia's wheat exporter, AWB Ltd.,
knowingly provided hundreds of millions of dollars in kickbacks to
Saddam Hussein's regime and deceived the United Nations about the
payments under the oil-for-food program.
2006 Jan 19, Dragan
Vasiljkovic, a Serbian-Australian man accused of ordering the
torture of Croats during the bloody breakup of the former
Yugoslavia, was arrested in Sydney. Authorities said Vasiljkovic
trained and commanded a unit of the Croatian Serb special forces
known as the "Kninjas." At the time, the rebels were engaged in a
major campaign of ethnic cleansing, forcing tens of thousands of
local Croats to flee their homes.
2006 Jan 23, In Australia
commercial fishing was banned in Sydney's harbor due to dangerous
levels of poisonous dioxin being found in prawns and fish. Prawn
fishing had already been banned a month earlier. Greenpeace said
some of the pollution originated in Homebush Bay on the Parramatta
River, some 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from Sydney Harbor Bridge.
From 1957 to 1976 Union Carbide made chlorinated herbicides there,
including 2,4,5,-T a component of the infamous Agent Orange used
during the Vietnam War.
2006 Jan 23, Wildfires raged
across southern Australia. A firefighter was killed as a fire truck
overturned speeding to a blaze. Distraught ranchers shot cattle
injured by the flames.
2006 Jan 25, In Australia
emergency crews rushed to clean up 10,000 liters of fuel oil that
fouled mangroves off Gladstone City near the Great Barrier Reef
after two vessels collided.
2006 Jan 28, Warren Mundine,
previously an advisor on Aboriginal issues to the conservative
government of PM John Howard, took over the role of Australian Labor
Party president. The first Aborigine to be elected president of an
Australian political party, Mundine said that he wanted to enter
parliament after his term finishes.
2006 Jan 28, A 20-million US
dollar FA-18 Hornet strike fighter jet was lost when it crashed
during a training exercise off the Queensland coast.
2006 Jan 30, Australian Gas
Light Company (AGL) announced that it would build the country's
largest wind farm as part of efforts to meet its legal obligation to
invest in renewable energy. The 95 megawatt facility would cost 236
million dollars (177 million US dollars) and use 45 wind turbines
over an area of 14 square kilometers (5.6 square miles) near the
town of Hallett in South Australia.
2006 Feb 6, In eastern
Australia police investigating the deaths of 13 hospital patients
recommended charging Dr. Jayant Patel, an Indian-born American
surgeon, with four counts of manslaughter and six counts of grievous
bodily harm. On June 29, 2010, Patel (60) was found guilty of
killing three of his patients and grievously harming another.
(AP, 2/6/06)(AP, 6/29/10)
2006 Feb 6, Australian police
arrested three men over a shipment of almost 46 kilograms (101
pounds) of crystal methamphetamine hidden in a speedboat imported
2006 Feb 7, Mario Condello
(53), an Australian underworld figure due to face court on
incitement to murder charges, was shot dead in his driveway
overnight, bringing the toll in a gangland war to 28. Melbourne's
gang war began in 1998 when self-styled "Godfather" Alphonse
Gangitano, 40, was shot dead in his laundry.
2006 Feb 8, Australia and New
Zealand vowed to work to build a single economic market on the back
of strengthening trade ties, but stopped short of endorsing a single
2006 Feb 9, Australian senators
voted to remove an effective ban on abortion drug RU-486.
2006 Feb 9, An Australian
inquiry into alleged kickbacks paid to Iraq under the UN
oil-for-food program claimed its first scalp with the resignation of
Andrew Lindberg, the chief executive of wheat exporter AWB.
2006 Feb 13, In Indonesia 2
Australians were sentenced to life in prison for trying to smuggle
heroin from the Indonesian resort island of Bali to their homeland.
2006 Feb 14, Two Australians
were sentenced to death by firing squad for leading a drug smuggling
ring on Indonesia's resort island of Bali, verdicts that could
strain ties between the countries. Andrew Chan (22) and Myuran
Sukumaran (24) had masterminded the trafficking of 18 pounds of
heroin to their homeland.
2006 Feb 15, An Australian
television network broadcast photographs and video clips that it
said were previously unpublished images of the abuse of Iraqis held
in US military custody at Abu Ghraib prison in 2003. Many of the
images broadcast were more graphic than those previously published,
showing what appear to be dead bodies, as well as wounded people and
prisoners performing sex acts.
2006 Feb 16, Australia's
parliament stripped regulatory control of an abortion drug from the
country's health minister, a staunch Roman Catholic who once warned
of an "epidemic" of abortion in Australia.
2006 Feb 22, Former US
President Bill Clinton and Australia announced plans to combat AIDS
in China, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea, warning that 40 percent of
all new infections could be in the Asia-Pacific region by 2010.
2006 Feb 26, In Australia
Joseph Terrence Thomas (32), a former taxi driver known as "Jihad
Jack" and alleged by prosecutors to be an agent for Osama bin
Laden's Al-Qaeda network, was convicted of receiving funds from the
group but acquitted on more serious terrorism charges.
2006 Feb, China detained an
Australian and later convicted under China's state security laws.
James Sun, a former Chinese air force employee, was helping to
recruit foreign students to Australia when he was seized by security
police and detained as he headed to dinner. Sun was accused of
"seducing" a former air force colleague into copying more than 1,000
top-secret and classified documents, and of passing them to the
Taiwanese. He was found guilty in late 2007 and sentenced to life in
prison. In 2011 the foreign ministry in Canberra confirmed the
2006 Mar 2, Vietnam announced
it has commuted the death sentence of Nguyen Van Chinh (45), a
convicted Australian drug trafficker, to life imprisonment after
heavy lobbying by the Australian government.
2006 Mar 6, PM John Howard in
New Delhi said Australia will consider selling uranium to India if
it is convinced about New Delhi's commitment to follow global
nuclear safeguards for its civilian atomic reactors.
2006 Mar 12, Queen Elizabeth II
arrived in Australia for a five-day state visit that has reignited
the simmering debate over whether she should remain the country's
head of state.
2006 Mar 15, Britain's Queen
Elizabeth II was greeted with protests, as well as pomp, when she
arrived in the southern Australian city Melbourne to open the
2006 Mar 18, Anti-war
protesters marched in Australia, Asia, Turkey and Europe in
demonstrations that marked the third anniversary of the US-led
invasion of Iraq with a demand that coalition troops pull out.
2006 Mar 19, Australian Prime
Minister John Howard's Liberal Party was defeated at the weekend in
two state elections where Labor governments held on to power.
2006 Mar 20, The most powerful
storm to hit Australia in three decades laid waste to its
northeastern coast, mowing down sugar and banana plantations with
180 mph winds but causing no deaths or serious injuries.
2006 Mar 21, Troops began
delivering aid to an estimated 7,000 people who lost their homes to
the cyclone that battered Australia's northeastern coast.
2006 Mar 23, The Australian air
force sank a North Korean cargo ship for target practice. It had
been seized in 2003 after being used to smuggle heroin into
2006 Mar 24, Indonesia recalled
its ambassador in Australia in response to the granting of temporary
asylum to 42 of 43 Papuans who landed in northern Australia by boat
in January. The asylum request from the 43rd Papuan is still being
2006 Mar 25, Researchers said a
prototype scramjet engine, that could ultimately lead to two-hour
jet flights from Australia to Britain, was launched in the South
2006 Mar 30, Researchers in
Australia's Outback launched a test flight of a supersonic jet
designed to fly 10 times faster than conventional airplanes.
2006 Mar 30, Australia's remote
northwest shore was lashed by 80 mph winds as Cyclone Glenda made
landfall. There were no immediate reports of substantial damage.
2006 Mar 31, Australian police
arrested and charged three men with alleged links with a terrorist
organization after counter-terrorism teams swooped on Melbourne's
2006 Apr 1, Chinese Premier Wen
Jiabao arrived in Australia for a visit aimed at finalizing a
uranium supply deal and speeding up free trade negotiations between
the two nations.
2006 Apr 3, Australia agreed to
sell China uranium for nuclear power stations despite concerns that
Beijing could divert the material to atomic weapons.
2006 Apr 7, Australian PM John
Howard moved to ease Indonesian outrage over a decision to grant
visas to asylum-seekers from Papua, saying his government would
review the process.
2006 Apr 10, Mark Vaile,
Australia's trade minister, said he did not read a string of
diplomatic cables warning that the country's monopoly wheat exporter
allegedly was paying multimillion-dollar kickbacks to Saddam
2006 Apr 10, Australian
scientists reported the discovery of an "anti-freeze gene" that
allows Antarctic grass to survive at minus 30°C, saying it could
prevent multi-million-dollar crop losses from frost.
2006 Apr 18, Australia said it
will send up to 110 troops to the Solomon Islands to help restore
calm after the election of a new prime minister sparked rioting.
2006 Apr 21, Australia became
debt free as it paid off the last of its government borrowing.
(WSJ, 4/21/06, p.A7)
2006 Apr 30, In Australia
rescuers made voice contact with two miners trapped a half mile
beneath the earth for nearly a week. Todd Russell (34) and Brant
Webb (37) were trapped April 25 when a small earthquake caused a
rock collapse at the Beaconsfield Gold Mine. One of their co-workers
was killed in the quake.
2006 May 3, Australia raised
its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point to 5.75%. This sent
its currency to a seven-month peak against the US dollar.
2006 May 9, Australia's
government unveiled a big-spending "boom budget" that will use a
projected 10 billion dollar (7.7 billion US) surplus to finance
across-the-board tax cuts and build up the military and national
2006 May 9, In Beaconsfield,
Australia, Brant Webb and Todd Russell were rescued from a mine more
than a half mile underground. A small earthquake on April 25 trapped
Webb and Russell in the 4-foot-tall safety cage they were working in
under tons of rock. Mourners gathered to bury, Larry Knight, who
died in the same rock collapse.
2006 May 11, In Australia the
local assembly of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), which
encompasses the national capital Canberra, adopted controversial
legislation in a late night vote providing for civil unions between
same-sex couples, the first such law in Australia.
2006 May 12, It was announced
that "King Kong" star and Oscar nominee Naomi Watts of Australia has
agreed to serve as special representative for the Joint United
Nations Program on AIDS (UNAIDS).
2006 May 17, In Australia
widespread evidence of child abuse in Aboriginal communities has
sparked calls for the Australian government to take greater action
to protect children at risk.
2006 May 18, In Australia
officials released a 2005 statement in which Australia's national
wheat exporter admitted paying money to Saddam Hussein's regime.
2006 May 18, A Canadian citizen
and two US navy sailors were handed lengthy prison sentences for
attempting to smuggle methamphetamine into Australia stashed in the
radar dome of a visiting warship.
2006 May 18, Australian PM John
Howard, during his first official visit to Ottawa, urged Canada to
work with his country on climate change, much to the horror of
environmentalists. Australia did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
2006 May 20, Australian
Aborigines rejected calls for military peacekeepers to protect
indigenous women and children from violence, as a new report
revealed high levels of sexual abuse of young indigenous males.
2006 May 24, International
peacekeepers and troops from Australia and New Zealand were headed
to East Timor to help restore order after gunbattles between
disgruntled ex-soldiers and the military killed two people and
2006 May 25, PM John Howard
increased Australia’s contingent to Timor-Leste to some 1,300
troops. 500 Malaysians and troops from New Zealand and Portugal were
(Econ, 6/3/06, p.15)
2006 Jun 13, Conservative PM
John Howard's federal government has invoked special powers to
invalidate a territory's law that had been the first in Australia
giving legal recognition to same-sex relationships. On May 11 the
Australian Capital Territory, which includes the national capital
Canberra, became the first of Australia's six states and two
territories to legally recognize gay and lesbian relationships.
2006 Jun 19, Faheem Khalid
Lodhi (36), a Pakistani-born architect was convicted of plotting a
terrorist attack in Australia. He was arrested in April 2004 at his
home in suburban Sydney. The jury convicted Lodhi of charges
relating to maps, chemical inquiries and bombmaking instructions. On
August 23 he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
(AP, 6/19/06)(AP, 8/23/06)
2006 Jun 21, Australian
soldiers in Baghdad mistakenly opened fire on Iraqi Trade Minister
Abdul Falah al-Sudany's bodyguards, killing one and wounding three
people. The Australian government apologized the next day.
2006 Jun 22, In Australia a
176-year-old giant tortoise, believed to have been studied by famed
English naturalist Charles Darwin, died after a short illness.
Harriet was originally named Harry, as she was mistakenly identified
as male, an error which was not rectified for more than a century.
2006 Jun 25, Actress Nicole
Kidman married country music star Keith Urban in Sydney, Australia.
2006 Jun 28, Australia's PM
Howard hailed his country's record liquid natural gas export
contract with China as a symbol of blossoming trade between the
countries during an inaugural ceremony with Premier Wen Jiabao at
the Chinese gas terminal in Shenzen.
2006 Jul 4, Two former currency
dealers for Australia's biggest bank were jailed for their part in a
260 million US dollar rogue trading scandal. Vince Ficarra (27) and
David Bullen (34) made a raft of fictitious trades for the National
Australia Bank (NAB) between September 2003 and January 2004 to mask
massive losses. Bullen was sentenced to 44 months in prison and
Ficarra to 28 months.
2006 Jul 6, An Australian
consortium led by Macquarie Bank said it has agreed to a friendly
1.59 billion US dollar takeover of US utility Duquesne Light
2006 Jul 31, Australian PM John
Howard said he would seek a fifth straight term, ending his
ambitious deputy's leadership hopes and cementing his place as one
of the world's most successful conservative leaders.
2006 Aug 2, Australia's central
bank raised interest rates by 25 basis points to a six-year high of
6.0% in an effort to head off inflationary pressures in a booming
2006 Aug 2, The Australian
government said it had started reducing troop numbers in East Timor
as security in the tiny nation was steadily improving.
2006 Aug 7, Robert McNaught of
the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia made the 1st sighting of
a comet that came to be called Comet McNaught.
(Econ, 1/20/07, p.89)
2006 Aug 14, Australian PM John
Howard ditched plans for a tough new immigration law, conceding he
did not have sufficient support in parliament.
2006 Aug 18, Anglo-Australian
resources giant BHP Billiton closed its operations at the world's
biggest copper mine in Chile and ended negotiations with striking
workers. The strike began on August 7 at the Escondida Mine,
majority owned by BHP. The Chilean government has signaled it was
ready to intervene.
2006 Aug 25, The UN established
a new mission in East Timor but left Australian-led troops in place
following a dispute over whether they should remain independent or
be part of a UN force.
2006 Aug 28, Don Chipp (81), an
Australian politician famed for his pledge to "keep the bastards
honest," died after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.
2006 Aug 30, Canadian miner
Uranium One said it had approved Australia's fourth uranium mine,
the Honeymoon project in the South Australian outback.
2006 Sep 4, Steve Irwin (44),
world-famous Australian "crocodile hunter" and television
environmentalist, was killed by a stingray blow to the chest while
filming a documentary on the Great Barrier Reef. His "Crocodile
Hunter" show, in which the adventurer appeared in his trademark
khaki shorts and shirt, was first broadcast in 1992 and has been
shown around the world on the Discovery cable network ever since.
2006 Sep 6, An Indonesian
appeals court sentenced four Australian members of a drug smuggling
ring to death, prompting a protest from the Australian government.
Scott Rush, Tan Duc Than Nguyen, Si Yi Chen and Matthew Norman had
originally received life terms for trying to take home more than 18
pounds of heroin from Indonesia's resort island of Bali last year.
2006 Sep 19, In Australia Judge
Murray Wilcox granted Aborigines a title claim over Perth, the
capital of Western Australia.
2006 Sep 19, Australia and
Japan imposed financial sanctions on 11 North Korean companies, a
Swiss company and its president, based on allegations they helped
the communist nation's weapons programs.
2006 Sep 20, In Australia
arrested 5 Canadian men after cocaine worth A$35 million ($26
million) was found hidden inside computer monitors. This was
believed to be Australia's fifth-largest illegal drugs seizure.
2006 Oct 9, Cambodian PM Hun
Sen began a six-day official visit to Australia that will focus on
security and trade.
2006 Oct 12, More than 100
wildfires raged across Australia, sending firefighters scrambling to
protect homes and farmland.
2006 Oct 15, Foreign Minister
Alexander Downer said Australia would cut ministerial contacts with
its northern neighbor until an investigation was held into the
escape from Papua New Guinea of a Solomon Islands official wanted on
child sex charges. Julian Moti, now in custody in the Solomons and
facing charges of illegal entry, was wanted in Australia on child
sex charges involving a 13-year-old girl in Vanuatu in 1997. Moti
was deported to Australia in 2007. His case was thrown out in
December after the court found that Australian officials had
colluded in his illegal deportation.
(AFP, 10/15/06)(Econ, 10/28/06, p.51)(Econ,
2006 Oct 16, Australia said it
will ban North Korean ships from entering its ports, toughening its
response to the North's reported nuclear test.
2006 Oct 17, Australia's
worsening drought was driving farmers to suicide. Scientists and
politicians said government funds should be used to help them leave
increasingly unviable land.
2006 Oct 18, Australia’s
Tasmania state unveiled an historic five million dollar (3.8 million
dollars US) compensation package for Aborigines forcibly taken from
their families as children.
2006 Oct 22, PM John Howard
announced that Australia is to launch a 500-million-dollar drive to
tackle global warming, as the country battles its worst drought in
more than a century.
2006 Oct 23, An Australian
scientist said Global warming will force changes to Australia's
A$4.8 billion ($3.6 billion) wine export industry, threatening the
very existence of some varieties as temperatures rise.
2006 Oct 24, The environmental
group WWF said Australians soak up more scarce resources than almost
any other nation and produce so much waste on average that their
mark on the world's ecology exceeds China.
2006 Oct 27, Australia gave the
green light to the southern hemisphere's largest wind farm, the
country's 2nd major project aimed at reducing greenhouse gas
emissions announced this week.
2006 Oct 31, Australia pointed
an accusing finger at China and India as major polluters as it
refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change despite a
major new report warning of impending catastrophe.
2006 Nov 5, Fiji's military,
locked in a standoff with the government, accused Australia on of
breaching its sovereignty by sending an unspecified number of police
it described as mercenaries into the country.
2006 Nov 7, Australia's Senate
narrowly voted to lift the country's ban on cloning human embryos
for stem cell research. A leading expert at a crisis summit said
Australia, already the world's driest inhabited continent, is in the
grip of its worst drought in 1,000 years.
(AP, 11/7/06)(AFP, 11/7/06)
2006 Nov 10, Chevron Corp.
unveiled the Clio field, one of Australia’s biggest natural gas
(WSJ, 11/11/06, p.A4)
2006 Nov 12, The Australian
government denied that a new security pact with Indonesia means that
it would be party to the suppression of Indonesian separatists. The
new agreement was to be signed Nov 13 on the Indonesian resort
island of Lombok.
2006 Nov 18, In Australia
police on horseback and wielding batons clashed with rock- and
bottle-throwing demonstrators outside a G-20 meeting of some the
world's top financial officials, turning what had been promised as a
peaceful rally against poverty into running street skirmishes.
2006 Nov 21, An Australian
government report said Australia should use its uranium to fuel its
own nuclear power industry and curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Australia held 38% of the world’s low cost uranium reserves.
(Econ, 11/25/06, p.59)
2006 Nov 27, An official
inquiry into the corruption that riddled the UN oil-for-food program
in Iraq cleared the Australian government but cited 12 top
executives for bribing Saddam Hussein's regime.
2006 Nov 30, Tens of thousands
of Australians rallied against controversial industrial relations
laws, temporarily bringing parts of the country's major cities to a
halt. Critics said the laws passed 12 months ago strip power from
unions and erode job security, wages and conditions.
2006 Dec 4, Insurance Australia
Group (IAG) announced it will buy British motor insurer Equity
Insurance Group for 570 million pounds.
2006 Dec 6, Australia's
Parliament lifted a four-year ban on cloning human embryos for stem
cell research despite opposition from the prime minister and other
2006 Dec 8, Thousands of
firefighters rushed to contain more than a dozen wildfires burning
across southern Australia amid fears that high temperatures and
gusty winds forecast this weekend could further stoke the blazes,
threatening farms and towns.
2006 Dec 10, More than 3,000
firefighters battled some of Australia's worst wildfires in 70
years, as flames fanned by strong winds and searing temperatures
destroyed one home and threatened dozens more.
2006 Dec 14, Australian flag
carrier and national icon Qantas accepted an increased
11.1-billion-dollar (8.7 billion US) offer from a private equity
group, a day after rejecting a lower bid.
2006 Dec 14, Australia and
France signed an agreement on military cooperation designed to
enhance their ability to work together.
2006 Dec 18, An Australian
court ruled that providing Web links to copyright-protected music is
enough to make a site legally liable. The case created legal
uncertainty for search engines around the world. The full bench of
the Federal Court upheld a lower court ruling that Stephen Cooper,
the operator of the Web site in question, as well as Comcen, the
Internet service provider that hosted it, were guilty under
Australian copyright law.
2006 Dec 20, The USDA for the
1st time released a database that included the recipients of about
$56 billion in subsidies. The USDA also suspended Australia’s state
wheat export monopoly, AWB Ltd., for its dealings with the former
Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq.
(AP, 12/19/06)(WSJ, 12/20/06, p.A8)
2006 Dec, Australia’s PM John
Howard stripped the country’s wheat board of its monopoly following
a bribery scandal.
(Econ, 1/13/07, p.36)
2007 Jan 2, An Australian
Aborigine tribe was granted joint management rights over several
state and national parks under a deal that recognizes its
traditional ownership of the land.
2007 Jan 5, Australia’s Foreign
Minister Alexander Downer said Australia and China have ratified a
nuclear agreement clearing the way for the export of uranium to feed
Beijing's giant nuclear power program.
2007 Jan 9, An Australian zoo
put a group of humans on display to raise awareness about primate
conservation, with the proviso that they don't get up to any monkey
2007 Jan 13, It was reported
that thousands of birds had dropped dead over the past 3 weeks in
(SFC, 1/13/07, p.B8)
2007 Jan 14, Australia's
Environment Minister Ian Campbell told national radio that Japanese
whaling ships on their annual hunt in the Antarctic are banned from
docking in Australia and should use restraint in looming clashes
2007 Jan 17, In southern
Australia firefighters battled to contain a wildfire that razed a
number of homes amid soaring temperatures and warnings that the
worst was yet to come.
2007 Jan 25, Australia’s PM
John Howard announced multibillion-dollar water reforms aimed at
easing Australia's record drought.
2007 Jan 29, Australia’s
Queensland state planned to introduce recycled sewage to its
drinking water as a record drought threatens water supplies around
2007 Feb 15, The Australian
government said it was negotiating with the US on a plan to build a
military satellite communications facility in Perth. Defense
Minister Brendan Nelson said the two nations had negotiated for two
years to build a number of ground-based communications systems
2007 Feb 20, Claiming a world
first for a national government, Australia’s Environment Minister
Malcolm Turnbull said incandescent lightbulbs would be phased out by
2010 in favor of the more fuel-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.
2007 Feb 22, Police clashed
with demonstrators protesting the visit of Vice President Dick
Cheney hours before he arrived in Australia to thank one of
Washington's staunchest supporters in the increasingly unpopular war
2007 Feb 23, An Australian
soldier opened fire on a group of East Timorese attacking him with
steel arrows, killing one of the youths and critically wounding two.
2007 Mar 8, In Malawi Garnet
Halliday (50), a senior Australian mining executive in charge
of the development of a new uranium mine, died with his pilot when
his chartered light aircraft crashed.
2007 Mar 8, At least two people
were killed when a cyclone slammed into Australia's northwest coast,
paralyzing mining operations and leaving a trail of destruction in
2007 Mar 12, Australia's
Muslims announced plans to form a political party to fight what they
call growing Islamophobia spawned by the so-called war on terror.
2007 Mar 12, In outback
Australia floodwaters flowed into the world's largest ephemeral
lake, triggering a once-in-a-decade explosion of bird and fish life
in place of arid salt flats. The Lake Eyre basin itself covers an
area bigger than France, Germany and Italy. The basin last topped
its maximum five meter depth in 1974.
2007 Mar 13, Australia and
Japan signed a groundbreaking defense pact in Tokyo that the leaders
of both countries stressed was not aimed at reining in China, but
the road ahead for a two-way trade deal looked rougher.
2007 Mar 14, Cricket’s World
Cup began with the 1st match between Australia and Scotland on St.
Kitts in the Caribbean. The ICC Cricket World Cup was hosted by the
West Indies from March 13 to April 28, 2007.
2007 Mar 14, It was reported
that wild camels in drought-stricken Australia were in plague
proportions, damaging the environment and property. Australia
claimed the world's largest wild camel population. An estimated one
million feral camels, whose numbers double every eight years,
competed for food and water with native animals and livestock.
2007 Mar 23, Australia called
on South Africa to pressure Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe to
quit, saying the 83-year-old leader was a disaster for his country.
South Africa defended its policy on Zimbabwe as the only way to
approach Mugabe's authoritarian government and said African nations
might convene a summit to deal with the crisis.
(AFP, 3/23/07)(Reuters, 3/23/07)
2007 Mar 26, David Hicks, a
31-year-old former kangaroo skinner, entered a surprise guilty plea
at the first session of the tribunals set up after the US Supreme
Court struck down the Pentagon's previous efforts to try Guantanamo
2007 Mar 28, In Australia a
passenger ferry plowed into a pleasure boat under Sydney's iconic
Harbor Bridge, killing at least 3 people, including two professional
figure skating judges.
2007 Mar 30, A military judge
at Guantanamo Bay said the prison sentence of David Hicks (31), an
Australian detainee who pleaded guilty to providing material support
for terrorism. would be limited to seven years under terms of a plea
bargain. Marine Corps Judge Col. Ralph Kohlmann said all but nine
months would be suspended. The deal required his silence about
(AP, 3/30/07)(AP, 3/31/07)
2007 Mar 30, Leaked extracts of
a UN report said Australia will suffer more droughts, fires, floods
and storms due to global warming and its famous Great Barrier Reef
will be devastated by 2030.
2007 Apr 5, Australian police
charged two men, including an army captain, with stealing military
rocket launchers, some of which ended up in the hands of a suspected
2007 Apr 13, Australia’s PM
John Howard said that people with HIV should not be allowed to
migrate to Australia, and that the government was investigating
whether it could tighten existing restrictions.
2007 Apr 17, Australian
officials said that the US and Australia signed an agreement last
week to exchange a few hundred refugees held at island detention
camps in an effort by both governments to discourage future asylum
2007 Apr 18, A catamaran was
discovered deserted off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef with the
sails up, engine running and food on the table. Its crew of 3 was
last seen April 15.
2007 Apr 28, Australia's
centre-left Labor Party scrapped its 25-year ban on new uranium
mines in a move miners said would encourage new investment and
growth in the industry.
2007 Apr 28, In Jamaica the
7-week, 1st Cricket World Cup ended with Australia defeating Sri
(Econ, 5/5/07, p.48)
2007 Apr 30, Miles
Hilton-Barber (58), A blind British adventurer, touched down in
Sydney Monday to end an epic 13,500-mile flight by microlight
aircraft from London. His 54-day journey was performed under the
supervision of sighted co-pilot Richard Meredith-Hardy.
2007 May 1, Australian police
arrested two men accused of raising money for Sri Lanka's Tamil
Tiger rebels on the pretext of collecting donations for victims of
the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
2007 May 3, Australia signed
the first in a series of contracts that will see its air force buy
24 Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter-bombers from the US Navy.
2007 May 7, Australian gangster
Carl Williams was sentenced to 35 years in jail for murdering three
underworld rivals in a gangland war which lasted almost 10 years and
killed 28 people.
2007 May 8, It was reported
that groups of elderly Australians are setting up backyard
laboratories to manufacture an illegal euthanasia drug so they can
kill themselves when they have had enough of life.
2007 May 10, EnGeneIC, an
Australian biotechnology firm, said it had developed a means of
delivering anti-cancer drugs directly to cancer cells, which aims to
avoid the debilitating toxicity associated with chemotherapy.
2007 May 13, Australia’s PM
John Howard said the Australian government has banned the country's
cricket team from touring Zimbabwe in September because he does not
want to support the regime of a "grubby dictator."
2007 May 14, An Australian
teenager was awarded record damages including a lifetime income
after a court found that his life had been ruined by bullying at
primary school. Australian authorities said they want to shoot more
than 3,000 kangaroos on the fringes of Canberra, noting the animals
were growing in population and eating through the grassy habitats of
(AFP, 5/14/07)(AP, 5/14/07)
2007 May 20, Confessed
Australian al-Qaida supporter David Hicks was transferred to a
maximum security prison in his hometown after spending more than
five years at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
2007 May 21, Mining giant Rio
Tinto and energy powerhouse BP announced plans for a $1.5 billion
coal-fired power project in Australia which would capture carbon
dioxide to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
2007 May 23, Australian PM John
Howard and his Greek counterpart Kostas Karamanlis sealed a deal
which concluded a decades-long debate over pensions for one of the
world's largest expatriate Greek communities.
2007 May 29, President Bush's
environmental adviser said the US rejects the EU's all-encompassing
target on reduction of carbon emissions. The US and Australia ruled
out a regional carbon trading scheme before the meeting officially
opened in the northern city of Darwin, saying it was too early to
impose uniform targets on APEC nations. APEC members already account
for 60% of global energy demand and their needs are expected to
almost double by 2030. Fidel Castro lambasted President Bush for
opposing the EU's goal for an agreement on carbon emissions at next
week's Group of Eight summit.
(AFP, 5/29/07)(AP, 5/30/07)
2007 May 31, Australia and the
Philippines agreed to expand counter-terrorism cooperation, with
elite Australian troops to train their Philippine counterparts in
the restive south.
2007 May, Australia’s Victorian
state civil and administrative tribunal ruled that the Peel Hotel in
the southern city of Melbourne could exclude patrons based on their
2007 May, In Australia the
Slater & Gordon law firm went public and used the proceeds to go
on an acquisition spree, swallowing 6 smaller rivals within a year.
(Econ, 8/23/08, p.55)
2007 Jun 3, Australia’s PM John
Howard ditched his opposition to a greenhouse gas reduction target
for Australia with a pledge to set a national pollution limit next
2007 Jun 5, A passenger train
and truck collided at a rail crossing in southern Australia, killing
11 people and injuring up to 50.
(AP, 6/5/07)(AP, 6/6/07)
2007 Jun 5, Tony Mokbel (42), a
top Australian fugitive, was arrested in Greece. The next day he
accused Australia's authorities of saddling him with a bogus murder
charge to secure his extradition. Mokbel had fled overseas in 2006
while on bail for importing cocaine.
2007 Jun 8, A wild storm lashed
Australia's east coast, killing at least five people. The Pasha
Bulker, massive coal ship, was pushed onto a sand bank off the port
city of Newcastle, some 90 miles north of Sydney.
2007 Jun 12, Australian PM John
Howard agreed to meet the Dalai Lama after opponents charged he was
afraid of offending China, drawing an immediate rebuke from Beijing.
The Dalai Lama warned major nations not to try to contain China's
economic and military rise, and urged countries like Australia to
use their trading clout to pressure Beijing on human rights.
(AP, 6/12/07)(Reuters, 6/12/07)
2007 Jun 12, In Australia
outraged victims in the Hunter and Central Coast areas north of
Sydney said looters raided abandoned houses, businesses and cars
during four days of violent storms, stealing everything from iPods
to alcohol and cigarettes.
2007 Jun 14, In Australia New
Zealand PM Helen Clark met briefly with the Dalai Lama as they both
toured Australia, where the Tibetan spiritual leader's visit has
drawn fire from China.
2007 Jun 15, Australian PM John
Howard met the Dalai Lama triggering an angry reaction from China
who accused the premier of turning a "deaf ear" to its concerns. A
government report said child sex abuse is rampant among Aborigines
in remote northern Australia, blaming widespread drunkenness and the
breakdown of traditional societies as among the root causes.
2007 Jun 18, In Australia a
good Samaritan who tried to rescue a woman being dragged by her hair
on a busy Melbourne street was shot dead and two other people were
wounded when her attacker opened fire. On June 20 a Hells Angel
biker was charged with the murder after surrendering to authorities.
(AFP, 6/18/07)(AFP, 6/20/07)
2007 Jun 20, Australia
announced that it will spend 9.3 billion US dollars on five
Spanish-designed warships to boost its capacity to face military
threats in the region.
2007 Jun 21, Australia's PM
John Howard announced plans for the federal government to take
control of 60 aboriginal communities in the Northern Territories.
Plans also included a ban on pornography and alcohol for Aborigines
in the northern areas and tightened control over their welfare
benefits to fight child sex abuse among them.
(AP, 6/21/07)(Econ, 6/30/07, p.50)
2007 Jun 25, Police and
soldiers began deploying to outback Australia as part of a radical
plan to end child sex abuse in Aboriginal communities which has been
criticized as a return to the nation's paternalistic past.
2007 Jun 28, Dramatic flooding
replaced relentless drought in parts of eastern Australia, as PM
John Howard expressed hopes that the country's worst drought in a
century may be coming to an end.
2007 Jul 1, Australian media
reported that PM John Howard is secretly planning to begin
withdrawing Australian troops from Iraq by February 2008. Howard
denied the report, saying the idea was "absurd."
2007 Jul 2, Police in Australia
arrested a 27-year-old Indian doctor over the foiled terror attacks
in London and Glasgow, and were interviewing a second doctor in the
2007 Jul 2, Australia's second
largest retailer Coles said it had agreed to a 22 billion dollar
(18.7 billion US) buyout offer from conglomerate Wesfarmers, the
largest corporate deal in Australian history.
2007 Jul 6, Australia kicked
off a round-the-world series of Live Earth music concerts designed
to highlight climate change with a traditional Aboriginal welcome
ceremony. Former US vice-president Al Gore appeared on video screens
to launch the worldwide initiative.
2007 Jul 12, Anglo-Australian
miner Rio Tinto launched a 38.1-billion-dollar offer for Canada's
Alcan, trumping US rival Alcoa in a mammoth bid to create the
world's largest aluminium company.
2007 Jul 14, In London an
Indian doctor arrested the same day his brother allegedly drove a
Jeep Cherokee loaded with gas bombs into Glasgow's main airport was
charged with a terrorism offense. A distant cousin in Australia was
also charged in the failed attacks in London and Glasgow.
2007 Jul 15, Antun Gudelj (59),
a Croatian man charged with killing three police officials in the
early days of the 1991 Serb-Croat war, was extradited from Australia
to Croatia to face a new trial after an earlier pardon.
2007 Jul 26, East Timor's
President Jose Ramos-Horta asked visiting Australian PM John Howard
to keep Australian peacekeepers in the young nation until the end of
2007 Jul 27, Mohamed Haneef
(27), an Indian doctor, was freed from custody after Australia's
chief prosecutor said that a charge linking him to failed terrorist
bombings in Britain was a mistake. In 2010 Haneef accepted what his
lawyer described as a "substantial" but confidential settlement for
his ordeal in which authorities incorrectly linked him to failed car
bombings at airports in London and Glasgow.
(AP, 7/27/07)(AFP, 12/21/10)
2007 Aug 1, The South
Australian Supreme Court ordered its own state government to pay
Bruce Trevorrow $448,000 for damages caused when he was taken from
his parents without their knowledge 50 years ago.
2007 Aug 8, Australia's central
bank hiked interest rates 0.25 points to a decade-high 6.5 percent
in an unprecedented pre-election move that the government admitted
creates a political headache.
2007 Aug 14, A new study said
nearly every Australian city will have to find new water supplies
over the next decade as climate change and population growth stretch
the nation's already limited water resources.
2007 Aug 16, Australia’s PM
John Howard said he would lift a ban on selling uranium to India,
subject to strict conditions.
(Econ, 8/25/07, p.40)
2007 Aug 21, An Australian
court ruled that the country's immigration minister wrongly revoked
a work visa for an Indian doctor who was briefly accused of links
with a failed British car bomb plot in June.
2007 Aug 22, A distributor said
Chinese-made blankets containing high levels of formaldehyde have
been recalled across Australia and New Zealand, amid rising global
concern over the safety of products from China.
2007 Aug 25, Australia's
multi-billion dollar racing industry was plunged into turmoil on
after an outbreak of equine influenza triggered a national lockdown.
2007 Aug 26, Australia released
a new draft citizenship test. The 40-page document outlining
citizenship application procedures said migrants who want to become
Australian citizens will have to be able to correctly identify the
country's prime minister and national flower.
2007 Aug 30, A major new study
said nearly 10 percent of Australians are living in poverty despite
a booming economy, but its findings were disputed by PM John Howard.
2007 Aug 31, Australia and
India agreed to study the possibility of a free trade agreement.
Trade Minister Warren Truss said it was a natural result of New
Delhi's rising economic power.
2007 Sep 3, Climate change
activists staged a break-in at an Australian power station as a
pattern of guerrilla-style raids emerged ahead of a summit of
Asia-Pacific leaders in Sydney.
2007 Sep 4, In Australia 2
Indonesians were jailed over a people-smuggling operation to bring
83 Sri Lankans into Australia. The two pleaded guilty to smuggling
83 Sri Lankans into Australian waters in February near Christmas
Island in the Indian Ocean.
2007 Sep 4, US President George
W. Bush arrived in Sydney for a regional summit with the city locked
down in the biggest security operation in Australian history.
2007 Sep 4, 5-nation war games
began in the Bay of Bengal. Indian and US aircraft carriers launched
fighter jets into the air as American submarines cruised below
Japanese, Australian and Singaporean warships.
2007 Sep 5, In Australia
President Bush urged Pacific Rim nations to band together on
tackling global warming, saying all major polluters must be part of
2007 Sep 6, Australian PM John
Howard said he would tell Russian President Vladimir Putin that he
would not approve the sale of uranium to Moscow if there was any
possibility it could be resold to Iran or Syria.
2007 Sep 6, In Australia
Pacific Rim nations agreed that climate change was of "vital
interest," but officials squabbled over whether their leaders should
include energy efficiency targets in a statement at their annual
summit. China’s President Hu Jintao, on the defensive over recalls
of tainted toothpaste, pet food and toys, told President Bush that
Beijing was stepping up product safety inspections.
2007 Sep 7, Leaders of
Australia and Russia signed a deal to export Australian uranium to
fuel Russian nuclear reactors, but promised it would not be
transferred to Iran's disputed atomic program.
2007 Sep 7, In Australia
Pacific Rim negotiators agreed on a joint statement on global
warming that would ask developing nations to commit to energy
efficiency targets and acknowledge that wealthy countries have
greater responsibility for the problem.
2007 Sep 8, Asia Pacific
leaders overcame differences on climate change to agree to take
action against greenhouse gases at a key summit protected by the
tightest security in Australian history.
2007 Sep 14, Australian police
confirmed that corrupt police officers were linked with a bloody
gangland war which raged for years in the country's second largest
city. Melbourne's criminal war began in the late 1990s and claimed
2007 Sep 19, New Zealand police
found the body of Anan Liu (27), a young Asian woman in a car
outside the home of a three-year old toddler, Qian Xun Xue,
nicknamed "Pumpkin," who was abandoned at a train station in
Australia. The father Nai Zin Xue (54), a martial arts expert and
magazine publisher, caught a flight to Los Angeles after abandoning
the toddler. US authorities launched a manhunt for Xue, who was
captured nearly five months later by six Chinese Americans near
Atlanta, Georgia. In 2009 a New Zealand jury found him guilty of his
(Reuters, 9/19/07)(AP, 6/19/09)
2007 Sep 21, Australia’s
ex-senator Bob Collins (b.1946), who served as a minister in the
early 1990s, died, days before he was due to face a hearing on 21
charges of child sex abuse dating back three decades.
2007 Sep 24, An Australian man
was conscious and spoke to his medical team during life-saving brain
surgery in what doctors are claiming as a world-first procedure with
2007 Sep 28, Australia's
Anglican Church said women can be appointed bishops for the first
time, drawing immediate criticism from conservatives.
2007 Sep 29, Lois Maxwell
(b.1927), the woman James Bond never seduced, died in Western
Australia. The Canadian-born actress, born as Lois Ruth Hooker, took
on the Miss Moneypenny role in 1962 alongside Sean Connery in "Dr
No," and continued for 14 Bond films. Her films also included
"Bedtime For Bonzo" with Ronald Reagan.
2007 Oct 2, Australia’s
Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews said that over the past two years
the intake of Africans has been cut from 70% of the total of 13,000
refugees to just 30%.
2007 Oct 3, PM John
Howard said Australia will not take any more refugees from Africa
until at least the middle of next year. He said Australia's
13,000-a-year refugee intake was being "rebalanced" from Africa to
the Middle East and Asia where the need was more acute.
2007 Oct 4, The Australian
government approved plans for a controversial multi-billion-dollar
pulp mill in Tasmania despite objections it could ruin one of the
country's most pristine environments.
2007 Oct 8, Australia suffered
its first combat fatality in the war on terror when a soldier was
killed in a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan.
2007 Oct 9, Australia's third
richest man, cardboard box billionaire Richard Pratt, apologized for
forming a price-fixing cartel with his main rival Amcor.
2007 Oct 17, In Australia a
group of children playing in a suburban Sidney park opened a
suitcase they found floating in a pond and discovered the body of a
2007 Oct 21,
Australia's opposition Labor Party chief Kevin Rudd beat PM
Howard in an election debate marred by controversy when a national
television network's coverage was deliberately cut. Rudd had once
worked as a business consultant in China and spoke fluent Mandarin.
(AFP, 10/22/07)(Econ, 12/1/07, p.52)
2007 Oct 24, Anglo-Australian
mining giant Rio Tinto said all conditions on its $38.1 billion
takeover of Alcan Inc had been satisfied and most shareholders had
accepted its offer.
2007 Oct 30, An Indonesian
court dismissed a legal challenge to the death penalty brought by
lawyers for members of an Australian drugs gang on death row for
2007 Nov 7, Australia's central
bank raised interest rates 0.25 points to an 11-year high of 6.75
percent in a move expected to hurt PM John Howard's re-election
2007 Nov 11, Animal rights
activists attacked as inhumane an Australian state government's
plans to shoot more than 10,000 wild horses to protect the
2007 Nov 12, Voters cast the
first ballots in Australia's elections as a new opinion poll showed
conservative PM John Howard heading for a landslide defeat.
2007 Nov 14, Labor party leader
Kevin Rudd, the man tipped to become Australia's next prime
minister, officially launched his pitch for office with pledges to
withdraw combat troops from Iraq and usher in an "education
2007 Nov 15, Greenpeace
protesters stormed an Australian power plant after a US report
condemned Australian electricity plants as some of the biggest
contributors to greenhouse gases. 15 protesters were arrested after
they chained themselves to conveyor belts at the Munmorah power
plant on the central coast of New South Wales state.
2007 Nov 16, A coroner urged
the Australian government to seek war crimes charges against former
Indonesian military officers over the 1975 killing of five
Australian newsmen during Indonesia's invasion of East Timor.
2007 Nov 18, Three members of
Iraq's Olympic soccer team and their assistant coach left the team
during a trip to Australia and are seeking asylum in the country.
2007 Nov 23, In Afghanistan
Taliban militants beheaded 7 police officers after overrunning their
checkpoints. An Australian commando (26) and 3 civilians were killed
in a clash with Taliban militia in Uruzgan province. In 2008 the
Australian military cleared its soldiers over the deaths of two
women and a baby during this battle but said all civilian casualties
were "highly regrettable."
(Reuters, 11/23/07)(SFC, 11/24/07, p.A3)(AFP,
2007 Nov 24, In Australia
conservative PM John Howard suffered a humiliating defeat at the
hands of the left-leaning opposition. Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd
has promised to immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol on global
warming and withdraw Australia's combat troops from Iraq.
2007 Nov 25, Newly elected
leader Kevin Rudd moved quickly to bring Australia into
international talks on fighting global warming, and to head off
potentially thorny relations with the United States and key Asian
2007 Nov 29, Australia’s
PM-elect Kevin Rudd named his Cabinet, choosing a woman as deputy
leader for the first time, a former rock singer as environment
minister and a lawyer from the Outback as foreign minister.
2007 Nov 30, Australian
PM-elect Kevin Rudd said he would pull the country's 550 combat
troops out of Iraq by the middle of next year.
2007 Nov 30, India's Tata Steel
signed a joint venture with Australia's Riversdale Mining to develop
a hard coking and thermal coal project in Mozambique.
2007 Dec 2, In Australia night
time thieves stole 17.6 tons of ham and bacon from a warehouse in
suburban Sidney and left behind a message saying “Thanks” and “Merry
Christmas.” The stolen meat was worth up to $88,000.
2007 Dec 3, Labor Party leader
Kevin Rudd became Australia's 26th prime minister and immediately
began dismantling the former government's policies by ratifying the
Kyoto Protocol on climate change.
2007 Dec 5, Australia’s PM
Kevin Rudd spoke at the state funeral for Bernie Banton (61), who
died from an asbestos-related disease he contracted while working
for building products company James Hardie. Banton's dogged campaign
ultimately led to the establishment of a 4 billion dollar (3.5
billion US) compensation fund for victims of Hardie's asbestos
2007 Dec 7, Australian police
said they had smashed an international cocaine smuggling ring
spanning three continents and operating out of the Netherlands,
Thailand and Canada. Of the total 40 people arrested, 14 Canadian
and Australian nationals of Chinese and Vietnamese descent were
picked up in Sydney and Melbourne over the past six months.
Australian conman Peter Foster, once linked to the "Cheriegate"
scandal involving the wife of former prime minister Tony Blair, was
jailed for money laundering. Foster, who pleaded guilty to a charge
related to fraudulently obtaining 234,000 US dollars from the Bank
of the Federated States of Micronesia, was sentenced to
(AFP, 12/7/07)(AP, 12/13/07)
2007 Dec 10, Australia accepted
seven asylum seekers from Myanmar as refugees as the country's new
Labor government began unwinding tough immigration laws which force
boatpeople into detention on Pacific island nations.
2007 Dec 11, Australia's Deputy
PM Julia Gillard (46) took charge of government in the absence of
the prime minister, becoming the first woman to run the country in
its 106 years as an independent nation. Gillard will lead the
government for just 60 hours while PM Kevin Rudd is in Bali for the
United Nations climate conference.
2007 Dec 11, Australian
officials conceded that the welfare system failed a girl who was
removed from a remote Aboriginal community after being sexually
abused at age 7, then gang raped in 2006 at age 10 when she was
returned to live in the town.
2007 Dec 12, In Indonesia new
Australian PM Kevin Rudd completed ratification of the Kyoto
Protocol as he pressed for all nations, rich and poor, to commit to
fighting global warming.
2007 Dec 14, Australian PM
Kevin Rudd and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon jetted into East
Timor to lend support to the nation's efforts to stabilize and
rebuild after violence last year. Rudd pledged to support the
nation's ongoing security needs during the five-hour stop.
(AP, 12/14/07)(AFP, 12/14/07)
2007 Dec 16, Australian police
said they had broken up an alleged nationwide child porn ring with
the arrest of six men overnight, including a former policeman, a
trainee teacher and a swimming instructor.
2007 Dec 18, An official said
Australian copper thieves have turned tomb raiders, pilfering
plaques and vases from cemeteries to sell the metal for scrap.
2007 Dec 21, New Australian PM
Kevin Rudd met with al-Maliki during a surprise visit to Baghdad.
Rudd said that after the troops withdraw in June, Australia will
continue to help train the Iraqi police force and army. A gunmen
attacked a family in Diyala province near Balad Ruz, killing two men
and kidnapping a third. Just east of Baqouba, the capital of Diyala,
two men standing in front of their house were killed by unknown
2007 Dec 29, In Australia David
Hicks, the only person convicted of terrorism charges at a US
military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, walked free and said he did not
want to do "anything that might result in my return" to the prison
2007 Julian Assange, a former
Australian hacker, founded Wikileaks, an international publishing
service for whistle-blowers.
(Econ, 6/12/10, p.67)
2007 The wine boom in Australia
went bust forcing many farmers to walk away from grapes and land
they could not sell.
(Econ, 3/29/08, p.84)
2008 Jan 5, Heavy rains caused
flooding across parts of eastern Australia, forcing the evacuation
of hundreds of people as rural towns throughout the area were put on
2008 Jan 7, Australians battled
both fires and some of the worst flooding in decades that stranded
residents in several communities after days of intense summer heat
2008 Jan 8, Nauru’s foreign
minister said Australia's plans to close a much-criticized detention
center for asylum seekers on Nauru will devastate its economy.
2008 Jan 11, A historic
passenger jet flight from Australia to Antarctica touched down
smoothly on a blue ice runway, launching the only regular airlink
between the continents.
2008 Jan 13, Two young
adventurers completed a 62-day paddle of more than 2,000 miles to
become the first people to travel from Australia to New Zealand by
2008 Jan 15, Australia's new
government told an Indian envoy that it will not sell uranium to his
country while it is not a member of the global nonproliferation
2008 Jan 15, An Australian
judge banned the company that conducts Japan's whale hunt from
killing the animals in a large part of its regular hunting grounds
off Antarctica. Japanese whalers said they are holding captive two
activists who "illegally" boarded their vessel in the Southern
Ocean, in a dramatic escalation in the battle between the two sides.
2008 Jan 17, Australia said it
would send a ship to pick up two anti-whaling activists who jumped
on a Japanese harpoon vessel from a rubber boat in Antarctic waters,
offering a solution to a tense, two-day standoff on the high seas.
2008 Jan 18, Two activists who
had jumped on board a Japanese whaling boat were returned to their
ship by Australian officials.
2008 Jan 21, In northeastern
Australia surging floodwaters forced scores of people to evacuate
their homes. Farmers described the heavy rains as a mixed blessing
after years of drought.
2008 Jan 22, North Korea said
it will close its embassy in Australia because it can no longer
2008 Jan 22, Heath Ledger (28),
an Australian-born actor, was found dead at a Manhattan apartment.
He received an Oscar nomination for his role as a troubled gay
cowboy in the 2006 film, "Brokeback Mountain." The NYC medical
examiner later said Ledger died of an accidental overdose of
painkillers, sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medication and other
(AP, 1/22/08)(AP, 2/6/08)
2008 Jan 23, In Australia the
final issue of The Bulletin magazine was published. It was launched
in 1880 and became an institution in Australian publishing.
2008 Jan 24, Doctors said an
Australian girl spontaneously switched blood groups and adopted her
donor's immune system following a liver transplant in the first
known case of its type. Demi-Lee Brennan was aged nine and seriously
ill with liver failure when she received the transplant. Nine months
later it was discovered that she had changed blood types and her
immune system had switched over to that of the donor after stem
cells from the new liver migrated to her bone marrow. She was now a
2008 Jan 27, In Australia an
Aborigine elder, Mr. Ward (b.1961), died of heatstroke during a
four-hour, non-stop trip to face a drink-driving charge in a prison
van with broken air-conditioning. In 2010 state director of public
prosecutions Joe McGrath told Ward's widow that charges would not be
laid against the two guards employed by security firm GSL, now known
as G4S, who were in charge of the van. In 2010 Ward’s family was
awarded 3.2 million Australian dollars ($2.9 million) in
2008 Feb 1, An Australian
report said that Japanese harpoonists killed five whales in one day
after Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd ships, which had halted the hunt
in Antarctic waters, were forced to return to port to refuel.
2008 Feb 3, Australian PM Kevin
Rudd announced a summit of 1,000 ordinary citizens to address
long-term challenges facing the nation, saying the best ideas could
influence government policy. He also scolded the country's
opposition for haggling over the exact content of a planned apology
to Australia's Aborigines, saying its meaning will be quite clear.
2008 Feb 7, A new security pact
between Australia and Indonesia came into force at a ceremony in
Perth attended by the foreign ministers of the at-times testy
2008 Feb 8, Australia's widely
criticized "Pacific Solution" policy of holding asylum seekers on
remote islands ended when the last detainees flew out of Nauru to
live in Australia.
2008 Feb 12, East Timor
declared a state of emergency. Australian troops and a warship
arrived to boost security after rebel attacks on the country's two
top leaders left the president in "extremely serious" condition with
2008 Feb 13, Australians
watched a live broadcast of their government apologizing for
policies that degraded its indigenous people. PM Rudd said
Australians had reached a time in their history when they must face
up to their past to be able to cope with the future. Aborigines
numbered about 450,000 in Australia's population of 21 million.
2008 Feb 15, Representatives
for Australian Aborigines confirmed plans to launch the first
compensation lawsuits since a landmark government apology earlier
this week for past abuses.
2008 Feb 21, Australia's new
government confirmed that it would withdraw its combat troops from
Iraq by mid-year but pledged strong ties with the United States
ahead of landmark talks this week.
2008 Mar 1, In Australia up to
300,000 people lined Sydney's streets to watch the Gay and Lesbian
Mardi Gras, as the largest gay pride march in the Asia Pacific
region marked its 30th anniversary.
2008 Mar 1, BHP Billiton,
Melbourne-based mining giant, said it plans to invest $975 million
to upgrade and expand its thermal coal mines in South Africa to
sustain coal exports amid soaring coal prices.
2008 Mar 4, The Reserve Bank of
Australia raised its official cash-rate target by a quarter point to
7.25% in an effort to tighten credit as inflation remained
(WSJ, 3/5/08, p.A2)
2008 Mar 4, An Australian
aquaculture company claimed a world first in artificially breeding
endangered southern bluefin tuna.
2008 Mar 5, Australia cancelled
a one billion dollar (930 million US) contract for US-made Seasprite
helicopters following a review of the troubled project.
2008 Mar 7, Australian
officials said police have rescued 10 South Korean women who were
forced to work in a Sydney brothel by a sex slavery syndicate that
lured them to Australia with promises of legitimate jobs.
2008 Mar 7, Captain Paul Watson
of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a protest ship harassing
Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean, said he was shot in a
high-seas clash and his crew members pelted with flash grenades,
injuring one. Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and Japanese
officials insisted only warning devices were fired.
2008 Mar 12, In Australia
police said a quarter-ton of cocaine with a street value of more
than 80 million US dollars has been seized after being shipped in
from Southeast Asia.
2008 Mar 14, In Australia
Milton Orkopoulos (50), a former New South Wales state minister, was
convicted on child sex and drugs charges after being described as a
"sordid genius" by prosecutors.
2008 Mar 18, Protesters in
Australia burned Chinese flags, demanding freedom for Tibet,
following similar demonstrations in Europe and the US against
Beijing's crackdown on anti-government riots in the Himalayan
2008 Mar 29, Sydney's iconic
Opera House and Harbor Bridge went dark as the world's first major
city turned off its lights for this year's Earth Hour, a global
campaign to raise awareness of climate change.
2008 Apr 1, An Australian court
charged a Vietnam Airlines pilot with smuggling millions of dollars
in drug profits out of the country. Quoc Viet Lai (58,) faced 40
counts of money laundering after allegedly taking 3.7 million
dollars (3.4 million US) out of Australia between June 2005 and June
2008 Apr 2, Australia began
pumping carbon dioxide underground to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions, using a technology that locks dangerous gases deep in the
2008 Apr 7, In Australia 5
teenage boys armed with machetes and baseball bats invaded a Sydney
high school, smashing classrooms and injuring 18 students and a
2008 Apr 8, An Australian man
was sentenced to nearly three years in jail for shining a laser
pointer at a police helicopter and temporarily blinding the pilot.
2008 Apr 10, Australia’s PM
Kevin Rudd met China's premier for talks expected to touch on what
Rudd has called significant human rights problems in Tibet. Rudd
said Chinese paramilitary police will not be allowed to run
alongside the Olympic torch in Australia, after their heavy-handed
tactics drew criticism in earlier legs of the relay.
2008 Apr 13, Australia’s PM
Kevin Rudd named Queensland governor Quentin Bryce as the next
governor-general, the first woman to act as the British queen's
representative in the country.
2008 Apr 19,
In Australia PM Rudd opened a summit of the nation's top minds
to discuss fresh policy ideas for the future.
2008 Apr 21,
Resources Minister Martin Ferguson announced that Australia
has extended control of its continental shelf by nearly 1 million
square miles under an agreement with the UN.
2008 Apr 28, In Australia
police in Perth arrested Robert Agius (58) on charges of running a
money laundering scheme that helped clients avoid taxes by
transferring $93 million through offshore bank accounts.
2008 Apr 29, Australia's
government promised to spend about $2.9 billion to buy river water
from farmers in a bid to address the country's worst drought in a
2008 Apr 30, Attorney General
Robert McClelland said Australian gay and lesbian couples will have
the same rights as heterosexuals under new laws but marriage will
remain off limits.
2008 Apr 30, Western Australia
state police raided the Perth offices of the Sunday Times, which is
published by Australia's largest newspaper publisher, Rupert
Murdoch's News Limited. Staff said police were searching for the
source of a leak that led to a story alleging the state government
planned to use 16 million dollars (14.9 million US) in taxpayer
funds on an advertising campaign to help its re-election.
2008 May 1, In Australia 6
people were killed in Sydney Harbor when a boat packed with revelers
on a nighttime joyride and a fishing trawler collided.
(Reuters, 5/1/08)(AP, 5/2/08)
2008 May 13, Two major
Australian banks agreed to a proposed merger which would create the
nation's biggest financial services group worth around 66 billion
dollars (62 billion US). St George, the country's fifth-largest
bank, said it had agreed to an 18.6 billion dollar offer from
Westpac Banking Corporation, Australia's third-largest bank by
2008 May 16, In Australia
protesting pensioners brought traffic to a stand still in Melbourne
when some stripped to demand more money from the government.
2008 May 19, In Australia the
Tasmania state government said the Tasmanian devil will be listed as
an endangered species this week as a result of a deadly and
disfiguring cancer outbreak. Animal rights activists said Australian
authorities have started the controversial killing of about 400
kangaroos on the outskirts of Australia's capital of Canberra.
(AFP, 5/19/08)(AP, 5/19/08)
2008 May 21, In Australia
Milton Orkopoulos (50), the former New South Wales state minister
for Aboriginal affairs, was jailed for nearly 14 years on child sex
and drugs charges.
2008 May 27, An Australian town
council unanimously rejected a contentious proposal to build a
1,200-student Islamic school, citing infrastructure concerns. Mayor
Chris Patterson of Camden said the decision had nothing to do with
religion but was based on the impact on traffic and loss of
2008 Jun 1, Australia, a
staunch US ally and one of the first countries to commit troops to
the Iraq war five years ago, ended combat operations there.
2008 Jun 2, In Australia Mark
Standen, an assistant director of the New South Wales state Crime
Commission, was arrested for conspiracy to import controlled
substances and supply prohibited drugs, and with perverting the
course of justice. He is alleged to have assisted a drug-trafficking
syndicate in a plan to bring to Australia 1,300 pounds of the
chemical pseudoephedrine that could be used to make $114 million
worth of the methamphetamine known as "ice." The masterminds of the
syndicate were in the Netherlands, where 12 people were arrested
2008 Jun 5, Australian police
said 70 men have been arrested in a global crackdown on Internet
child pornography and more will be detained.
2008 Jun 13, The leaders of
Australia and Indonesia pledged to join forces to fight climate
change by saving forests and promoting carbon trading.
2008 Jun 18, An Australian
government minister warned a drought crisis needed urgent attention
or a crucial river system could suffer permanent ecological damage
2008 Jun 20, Cambodian
officials said authorities working with Australian police had
destroyed an enormous stockpile of 33 tons of safrole-rich oil, a
key ingredient used in producing the synthetic drug Ecstasy.
Cambodian authorities have been working since 2002 to stem the
distillation of the oil and since then have succeeded in detecting
and dismantling more than 50 clandestine laboratories capable of
producing up to 15 gallons of oil a day. Cambodian officials are
trying to preserve the sassafras tree, which is classified as a rare
species that grows mainly in Cambodia's Cardamom Mountains.
2008 Jun 23, Anglo-Australian
mining group Rio Tinto said that it had agreed to a near doubling of
the price of its iron ore sales to Chinese steel maker Baosteel.
2008 Jun 30, In Hay, Australia,
John Walsh (69) was arrested hours after hacking his two
grandchildren and wife to death with an ax and badly wounding his
daughter in Cowra.
2008 Jul 10, Officials said a
decade-long drought in Australia's most important crop-growing
region is worsening and there is little hope for relief from either
saving rains or a new government conservation plan.
2008 Jul 11, In Australia the
official program for the Catholic church's World Youth Day began,
but was partly overshadowed by the launch of an investigation into
sexual abuse allegations against a disgraced priest. Thousands of
pilgrims converged on Sydney as it braced for the weekend arrival of
(AFP, 7/11/08)(AP, 7/11/08)
2008 Jul 12, Pope Benedict XVI
left Rome on a flight to Australia for a 10-day pilgrimage. The Pope
said he will use his visit to Australia to apologize for sexual
abuse by priests and to examine how the Church can "prevent, heal
2008 Jul 13, Pope Benedict XVI
arrived in Sydney, after a stop in Darwin, for one of the largest
Christian gatherings on Earth, starting a visit set to be marked by
his apology for sexual abuse by priests in Australia.
2008 Jul 15, In Australia the
world's biggest Christian festival opened with a spectacular
harbor-side mass for up to 150,000 pilgrims taking part in World
Youth Day celebrations in Sydney headed by Pope Benedict XVI.
2008 Jul 17, In Sidney,
Australia, Pope Benedict XVI delivered a stinging attack on pop
culture, consumerism and "false idols" to 150,000 mainly teenaged
Catholic pilgrims gathered for World Youth Day.
2008 Jul 18, In Australia Pope
Benedict XVI warned Christian leaders that the push to unite
Christian churches was at a "critical juncture" and called on people
of all religions to join together against violence.
2008 Jul 18, In Singapore Peter
Lloyd (41), a TV reporter for the Australian Broadcasting
Corporation (ABC), was charged with trafficking about one gram of
methamphetamine to a Singaporean for 100 Singapore dollars (73.5 US)
at a hotel early this month.
2008 Jul 19, In Sidney,
Australia, Pope Benedict apologized directly for the first time for
sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy, but victims groups said
they wanted action and not words.
2008 Jul 20, In Australia Pope
Benedict XVI said a "spiritual desert" was spreading throughout the
world and he challenged young people to shed the greed and cynicism
of their time to create a new age of hope for humankind.
2008 Jul 21, In Sidney Pope
Benedict XVI met privately with Australians who were sexually abused
as children by priests, ending a pilgrimage to the country with a
gesture of contrition and concern over a scandal that has rocked the
Roman Catholic church.
2008 Jul 23, Australia
announced an extra $29 million in aid for survivors of Myanmar's May
cyclone, but pressed its recalcitrant military junta to democratize
quickly and respect human rights.
2008 Jul 29, Starbucks said it
will close more than two-thirds of its 84 stores in Australia by the
end of the week under a cost-cutting plan that will put almost 700
people out of work.
2008 Jul 30, Aborigines won
traditional ownership rights over a large stretch of coastline in
northern Australia, in a landmark ruling lawyers said could set a
precedent in other parts of the country.
2008 Aug 1, Anglo-Australian
mining giant Rio Tinto said it received correspondence from Guinea
President Lansana Conte "purporting to rescind the Simandou Mining
2008 Aug 8, Australian Customs
and police said they had seized 4.4 tons of ecstasy tablets worth
nearly 400 million dollars, describing it as the biggest haul of the
illicit drug anywhere in the world. Police said the seizure of the
drugs, which were concealed in tins of tomato shipped to Australia
from Italy, had resulted in the arrests of 21 people across the
country beginning in pre-dawn raids.
2008 Aug 10, In southern
Australia some 5,000 people rallied to protest the dwindling water
levels of the Murray River, claiming the loss was causing an
2008 Aug 14, Australian police
arrested a Catholic priest (65) and charged him with 30 counts of
sexual assault related to abuse allegations dating back three
2008 Sep 1, Australian actor
Michael Pate (b.1920) died of respiratory failure. He had appeared
in more than 50 films and was a regular guest star on American TV
shows in the 1950s and 60s.
2008 Sep 2, Australia's central
bank cut interest rates for the first time in over six-and-a-half
years, pushing them down 25 basis points to 7% amid signs of cooling
2008 Sep 2, In Australia Brian
Spillane, a 65-year-old ex-priest, was arrested and charged in
Sydney with 60 counts relating to alleged sexual assaults against
eight people. Spillane was originally charged in May with 33 child
sex offenses against five people as a result of a police
investigation into allegations of abuse in the 1980s at St.
Stanislaus in the city of Bathurst.
2008 Sep 2, In Afghanistan 22
Taliban were killed in a clash in Zabul province's Naw Bahar
district. 7 Arab fighters were among the dead. Another 10 militants
died in clashes with Afghan and foreign troops in Nad Ali district
of Helmand province. NATO troops in Operation Oqab Tsuka (Eagle’s
summit) delivered a Chinese-built turbine for the power station at
Kajaki. Taliban insurgents opened fire on a patrol of Australian, US
and Afghan troops, as it returned to base. More than a dozen
coalition troops were wounded; none died. In 2009 Australian trooper
Mark Donaldson was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest military
honor in the British Commonwealth, for his efforts to protect the
wounded during the attack.
(AP, 9/3/08)(Econ, 9/6/08, p.64)(AP, 1/16/09)
2008 Sep 3, In Australia police
arrested a 66-year-old Catholic brother in connection with their
probe into St. Stanislaus and a 63-year-old former teacher of
another religious school in Bathurst that is also under
2008 Sep 5, Quentin Bryce was
sworn in as Australia's governor general, the first woman to act as
the British queen's representative Down Under. Morris Iemma (47),
the embattled premier of Australia's most populous state, New South
Wales, was forced to resign after his party withdrew support for him
over a dramatic reshuffle of his cabinet.
(AP, 9/5/08)(AFP, 9/5/08)
2008 Sep 7, The conservation
group WWF said Australian koalas are dying by the thousands as a
result of land clearing in the country's northeast, while millions
of birds and reptiles are also perishing. Queensland state last week
revealed that 375,000 hectares of bush were cleared in 2005-06, a
figure WWF said would have resulted in the deaths of two million
2008 Sep 8, Australian Trade
Minister Simon Crean said Australia will not sell uranium to India
unless it signs a key non-proliferation pact, despite a decision by
nuclear supplier nations to end a ban on trading with New Delhi.
2008 Sep 14, In Western
Australia's 4 people died in a helicopter crash in the Bungle Bungle
National Park of the remote Kimberly region.
2008 Sep 15, An Australian jury
found Abdul Benbrika (48), a Muslim cleric, and five of his
followers guilty of planning to stage a "violent jihad" in Melbourne
in 2005 to force Australian troops out of Iraq. A 7th man was
convicted the next day. In 2009 Benbrika was sentenced to at least
12 years in prison.
(Reuters, 9/15/08)(AP, 9/16/08)(AP, 2/3/09)
2008 Sep 18, Australia’s PM
Kevin Rudd said the west's relations with Russia are at a turning
point after its intervention in Georgia and a pact to sell
Australian uranium to Moscow is in the balance.
2008 Sep 19, PM Kevin Rudd
announced that Australia will launch a multi-million dollar
international carbon capture and storage institute to fight global
2008 Sep 22, in Australia 400
sheep died in a road accident, prompting animal rights activists to
repeat their call for an end to the long distance transportation of
livestock for slaughter.
2008 Sep 27, According to an
estimate by the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), up to A$12
billion ($10 billion) in illicit drug money could be flowing out of
Australia every year.
2008 Oct 1, In Australia a
major report to the government on global warming suggested that
Australians should eat kangaroos instead of cattle and sheep.
2008 Oct 1, In Australia a
7-year-old boy broke into the popular Alice Springs zoo, fed a
string of animals to the resident crocodile and bashed several
lizards to death with a rock. By the time he was done, 13 animals
worth around $5,500 had been killed, including a turtle, bearded
dragons and thorny devil lizards.
2008 Oct 8, Australian
scientists said hundreds of new marine species and previously
uncharted undersea mountains and canyons have been discovered in the
depths of the Southern Ocean.
2008 Oct 12, Australia and New
Zealand gave a blanket guarantee to all bank deposits in a move
likely to raise pressure on other economies to do the same, amid a
crisis of confidence in the global financial system.
2008 Oct 17, Two Indonesian
fishing crew picked up in Australian territorial waters with 14
refugees on their boat were charged with people smuggling.
2008 Oct 22, Defense Minister
Joel Fitzgibbon said Australia will reduce its troop deployment to
East Timor because of the improved security situation.
2008 Oct 29, In Australia
Joseph Thomas (35), a Muslim convert dubbed "Jihad Jack" by the
Australian media, was sentenced to nine months in prison but freed
because of time already served. He spent time at an al-Qaida
training camp and met Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.
2008 Oct 30, In Australia 4
teenagers were charged with attacking an almost blind greater
flamingo at Adelaide Zoo. The bird is believed to be the oldest of
its kind in the world.
2008 Nov 1, In Australia the
badly decomposed body of Chen Liu (27) was found in Sydney, about
two weeks after a friend reported him missing. 34 nails were found
during a post-mortem examination of Liu's body, and were located
mainly in his skull. They were fired from an 85 mm nail gun at close
2008 Nov 12, A Sidney court
sentenced an Australian woman to 22 months periodic detention for
assisting in the suicide of her longtime partner, an Alzheimer's
sufferer who had been rejected for a legal euthanasia in
2008 Nov 17, Australia said it
will invest millions of dollars in non-lethal whale research to show
Japan that the animals do not need to be killed in order to be
2008 Nov 20, The new Australian
Sex Party launched at Sexpo, an annual sex exhibition in Melbourne.
It has already gathered the required 500 members and plans to
register with the electoral commission next week.
2008 Nov 23, In southeastern
Australia rescuers returned 11 pilot whales to sea, a day after a
pod of 64 mothers and calves were found stranded on a beach.
2008 Nov 25, In Australia BHP
Billiton dropped its controversial hostile takeover bid for rival
Rio Tinto because of the global economic crisis.
2008 Nov 29, Joern Utzon
(b.1918), the Danish architect who designed the iconic Sydney Opera
House (1957), died. In 2003 Utzon won the Pritzker prize.
(AP, 11/29/08)(Econ, 12/13/08, p.104)
2008 Nov 30, In southern
Australia a group of 150 whales that became stranded on a remote
coastline were battered to death on rocks before rescuers could save
2008 Dec 2, Australia cut its
key interest rate by one percentage point to 4.25%.
(WSJ, 12/3/08, p.A12)
2008 Dec 5, Australia's driest
state was forced to purchase water for the first time to ensure
adequate supplies in the midst of a drought. Karlene Maywald, state
water security minister, said South Australia has purchased 61
billion gallons (231 gigaliters) of water so that Adelaide, the
state capital, will have enough water for 2009 even if the drought
2008 Dec 10, Anglo-Australian
mining giant Rio Tinto said it will slash some 14,000 jobs globally
to cut its debt by 10 billion US dollars as it battles falling
prices and a global slowdown.
2008 Dec 10, In Australia Taha
Abdul-Rahman of Sydney was jailed for 3½ years for buying
seven rocket launchers stolen from the military between 2001 and
2003, most of which have never been recovered by authorities.
2008 Dec 10, Indonesia launched
the Bali Democracy Forum to promote human rights and democracy. The
forum was attended by foreign ministers from around 20 countries,
with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Australian PM Kevin Rudd
(Econ, 2/19/11, p.43)(http://tinyurl.com/6hbsxh5)
2008 Dec 11, Australian police
said detectives have charged 22 men including a policeman, a senior
lawyer and a child care worker in connection with a child
pornography-sharing network spanning 70 countries. Brazilian
information, which was shared via the international policing network
Interpol, identified more than 200 suspects in 70 countries,
2008 Dec 12, A court in
Australia approved the use of Facebook, a popular social networking
Web site, to notify a couple that they lost their home after
defaulting on a loan.
2008 Dec 13, Alex Bellini, an
Italian adventurer, was rescued a mere 65 nautical miles short
of his goal, Australia, after rough weather sapped him of his final
shreds of energy. He had spent 10 months rowing more than 9,500
nautical miles (18,000 kilometers) across the Pacific.
2008 Dec 15, Australia pledged
to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least five percent by 2020 to
fight climate change, but critics said the plan was a "global
embarrassment" and called for deeper reductions.
2008 Dec 17, Australian
Aborigines won a court fight against Anglo-Swiss mining giant
Xstrata's plans to divert a river and expand one of the world's
biggest zinc mines.
2008 Dec 17, Two Australian
women were killed when their light aircraft slammed into a suburban
house in Sydney after a mid-air collision between two flying school
2008 Dec 24, In Egypt an
Australian teacher (61), who allegedly stuffed his luggage with
2,000-year old animal mummies and religious figurines wrapped as
gifts, was arrested and charged with smuggling antiquities.
2008 Dec, Most Australian
taxpayers received checks for $900 to help stimulate the economy.
(Econ, 5/28/11, SR p.5)
2008 In Australia a video was
made showing an unarmed, dark-skinned man, who refused to undergo a
strip search in a Perth detention facility, screaming in apparent
agony after being zapped with a stun gun eight times while
surrounded by nine police officers. He was stunned another five
times off-camera. The video was made public in 2010 as an example of
the wrongful use of a stun gun.
2009 Jan 10, Australian police
said a Canadian man has been charged with trying to smuggle more
than two million dollars (1.4 million US) worth of cocaine inside
forklift battery cells into Australia from Mexico.
2009 Jan 11, Australia's
Defense Ministry said its special forces in Afghanistan had killed
Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Rasheed, who had been involved in
recruiting suicide bombers and foreign fighters in Uruzgan province.
2009 Jan 13, Nancy Bird-Walton
(93), Australian aviation pioneer, died from natural causes. She was
the first woman in Australia to operate a commercial aircraft. Sir
Charles Kingsford-Smith, the first man to fly across the
mid-Pacific, taught Watson how to fly in 1933, when she was just 17
years old. Two years later, she obtained a commercial pilot's
license and began taking paying passengers for joyrides around the
2009 Jan 16, Australia granted
asylum to 28 people from Afghanistan and Iran, in the first such
move since relaxing tough rules on asylum seekers.
2009 Jan 18, Australia listed
the world's largest sea turtle, the leatherback, as endangered due
to the threats posed by overfishing and the unsustainable harvesting
of its eggs and meat.
2009 Jan 19, In Thailand an
Australian writer was sentenced to three years in prison for
insulting Thailand's royal family in his novel, a rare conviction of
a foreigner amid a crackdown on people and Web sites deemed critical
of the monarchy. Bangkok's Criminal Court sentenced Harry Nicolaides
(41) to six years behind bars but reduced the term because he had
entered a guilty plea.
2009 Jan 15, Australia's
tropical Queensland state declared a flood disaster over an area the
size of France and Germany after recent monsoon storms. The floods
are eventually expected to move inland, helping fill lakes and
relieving a long-running drought in parts of Australia's desert
interior and tropical north.
2009 Jan 17, Two dehydrated men
from Myanmar were found bobbing in an ice box in the Torres Strait
off Australia. They told authorities they had spent 25 days adrift
after their fishing boat sank. There was no sign of 18 other crew
2009 Jan 19, In Thailand Harry
Nicolaides (41), an Australian writer, was sentenced to three years
in prison for insulting Thailand's royal family in his novel, a rare
conviction of a foreigner amid a crackdown on people and Web sites
deemed critical of the monarchy. Bangkok's Criminal Court sentenced
Nicolaides to six years behind bars but reduced the term because he
had entered a guilty plea. His 2005 book “Verisimilitude” had sold 7
copies. Nicolaides returned home on Feb 21, after he was granted a
(AP, 1/19/09)(SFC, 1/20/09, p.A3)(AP, 2/21/09)
2009 Jan 23, In Australia
rescuers poured water on the parched skin of sperm whales beached on
a remote sand bank on Perkins Island to keep them alive until the
next high tide. All 45 whales died with 2 days.
(AP, 1/23/09)(AP, 1/24/09)(AP, 1/25/09)
2009 Jan 29, An Australian man
(36) was charged with murder after allegedly throwing his
four-year-old daughter from a Melbourne bridge into the Yarra River
during peak hour traffic. On April 11, 2011, Arthur Freeman was
sentenced to life in prison.
(AFP, 1/29/09)(AP, 4/11/11)
2009 Jan 30, Melbourne,
Australia's second-largest city, struggled to cope with a
once-in-a-century heatwave as temperatures hit 109 degrees. The heat
wave has claimed dozens of lives and sparked wildfires that have
razed up to 20 homes.
(AFP, 1/31/09)(WSJ, 1/31/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 3, In Australia PM
Kevin Rudd announced a $27 billion stimulus package. Australia’s
Parliament passed the bill on Feb 13.
2009 Feb 4, In northeastern
Australia rain-battered residents were on alert for snakes in their
bathrooms and crocodiles in the road following repeated storms that
have sent local wildlife in search of dry land or a safe haven.
2009 Feb 7, In Australia
searing temperatures and wind blasts created a firestorm that swept
across a swath of the country's Victoria state. On “Black Saturday”
some 2298 homes were destroyed with a death toll of 173. The town of
Marysville and several hamlets in the Kinglake district, both about
50 miles (100 km) north of Melbourne, were utterly devastated. In
2012 James Sokaluk was jailed for at least 14 years for starting a
blaze that killed 10 people and destroyed more than 150 homes at
(AFP, 2/8/09)(Econ, 1/14/12, p.61)(AFP, 4/27/12)
2009 Feb 9, In Australia police
declared incinerated towns crime scenes, and PM Rudd spoke of "mass
murder" after investigators said arsonists may have set some of the
country's worst wildfires in history. The official death toll from
the wildfires was later downgraded to 173 from a previous count of
(AP, 2/9/09)(AP, 2/10/09)(AP, 3/30/09)
2009 Feb 12, Hong Kong's High
Court quashed the conviction of Australian Kevin Egan, one of the
city's most high-profile lawyers, who had been jailed for leaking
the identity of a protected witness to a journalist.
2009 Feb 12, The Aluminum
Corporation of China (Chinalco) announced that it would invest $19.5
billion in Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto. In June it was reported
that Chinalco would not complete the deal.
(Econ, 2/14/09, p.73)(AFP, 6/4/09)
2009 Feb 12, In southern
Afghanistan a gunfight between Australian forces and Taliban
fighters killed at least 3 children who were caught in the crossfire
in Uruzgan province. In 2010 three former Australian commandos faced
serious charges in relation to the late-night raid that killed 6
Afghans, including five children. Another two children and two
adults were wounded. In 2011 Australia dropped all charges against
the three commandos.
(AP, 2/13/09)(AP, 9/27/10)(AP, 8/30/11)
2009 Feb 13, Australian
authorities charged a man with lighting one of the wildfires that
killed at least 189 people, and whisked him into protective custody
to guard him from public fury. Brendan Sokaluk (39), faced two
charges related to one of the February 7 fires that killed 11 people
in Victoria's Gippsland region, east of Melbourne.
(AP, 2/13/09)(AP, 2/16/09)
2009 Feb 20, Australian Federal
Police agents with search warrants boarded an anti-whaling group's
ship, the Steve Irwin, as it docked in the southern Australian city
of Hobart. They seized videotapes of violent clashes between the
activists and Japanese whalers.
2009 Feb 22, In Brisbane,
Australia, Father Peter Kennedy (71), a rebel Catholic priest who
was sacked for blessing gay couples and allowing women to preach,
defied his archbishop and led mass.
2009 Feb 23, In southern
Australia more than 100 people evacuated their homes in Victoria
state when new bushfires threatened communities, two weeks after the
nation's worst fire disaster killed more than 200 people.
2009 Feb 26, The Australian
government announced a multi-million dollar investment in research
on reducing gas emissions from farm animals as part of the fight
against global warming.
2009 Feb, An Australian man in
Victoria state was arrested on charges of raping his daughter for 30
years and fathering four children with her. The daughter first told
police about the alleged abuse in 2005, but no charges were filed
because she said she feared for her safety and would not cooperate
2009 Mar 2, In southern
Australia rescuers used jet skis, backhoes and human muscle to save
dozens of whales and dolphins stranded on Naracoopa Beach on
Tasmania state's King Island. Rescuers refloated 54 whales and five
bottlenose dolphins. A total of 194 pilot whales and seven dolphins
became stranded the previous evening.
(AP, 3/2/09)(AP, 3/3/09)
2009 Mar 5, Australia and South
Korea agreed during a summit between PM Kevin Rudd and President Lee
Myung-bak to deepen security ties and launch formal talks on a free
2009 Mar 11, Australia said it
would provide funding to Zimbabwe's new unity government, the first
Western power to announce direct support to the new administration.
2009 Mar 11, More than 30
shipping containers of ammonium nitrate fell off a ship in stormy
seas off Australia, damaging the ship's hull and leaking up to 30
tons of oil [see Mar 13]. Swire Shipping's cargo liner Pacific
Adventurer released about 200,000 liters (53,000 US gallons) of
heavy fuel oil off the coast of Queensland state as it travelled
through cyclonic weather. Australia later sought more than 18
million US dollars in compensation from a Hong Kong-based shipping
company. In August the Hong Kong-based Swire Shipping company said
it will pay Australia 25 million dollars (21 million US) in
compensation for the oil spill.
(AP, 3/11/09)(AFP, 5/6/09)(AFP, 8/8/09)
2009 Mar 13, Dozens of popular
tourist beaches on Australia's northeast coast were declared a
disaster zone, with their once-pristine sands fouled by a massive
oil and chemical slick. Queensland state's marine safety authority
said up to 100 tons of fuel, 250,000 liters, were now believed to
have spilled from the Hong Kong-flagged ship Pacific Adventurer amid
cyclonic conditions on March 11.
(AP, 3/13/09)(Econ, 3/21/09, p.45)
2009 Mar 13, Terra Firma, a
London-based private equity firm, announced it would buy 90% of
Consolidated pastoral Company, the Australian cattle holdings of the
Packer family, which encompass 12 million acres of land.
(Econ, 3/21/09, p.67)
2009 Mar 16, In southern
Afghanistan two suicide bombers attacked police stations, killing 10
Afghan policemen and 2 civilians, underlining the growing threat
from a Taliban-led insurgency. An Australian soldier in a joint
Australian-Afghan army patrol was shot dead during a "very intense
firefight" with 20 Taliban insurgents in Uruzgan province.
(AFP, 3/16/09)(AP, 3/17/09)
2009 Mar 18, The Australian
government said it plans to crack down on excessive executive pay
packages. It will amend the Corporations Act to require shareholder
approval for any termination payments that exceed average annual
base salary, which excludes additional compensation such as shares
or stock options.
(WSJ, 3/19/09, p.C2)
2009 Mar 19, In Afghanistan
Helmand MP Dad Mohammad Khan, a key anti-Taliban lawmaker, was
killed with four other men when a bomb tore through their vehicle.
Australia’s defense chief said a bomb disposal expert was killed
trying to defuse a device in Afghanistan, announcing the country's
10th combat death there.
(AFP, 3/19/09)(AP, 3/19/09)
2009 Mar 22, In Australia
warring bikers brawled through the Sidney airport, beating one
suspected gang member to death and brandishing metal poles "like
swords" as they rampaged through the main domestic terminal in front
of terrified travelers. Anthony Zervas (29) was bludgeoned to death
with a crowd control barrier pole during the fracas. On June 30
Mahmoud "Mick" Hawi (29), head of the Comanchero motorcycle gang,
was charged with murder.
(AP, 3/22/09)(AFP, 6/30/09)
2009 Mar 23, In Australia
volunteers joined rescue workers struggling to save the lives of 17
whales that survived a mass stranding on a beach on Australia's west
coast. Around 90 long-finned pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins
were found beached over more than five kilometers (three miles) in
Hamelin Bay, south of the city of Perth. Most of the animals died,
but rescuers were able to push four dolphins and four whales out to
sea at the stranding site and truck 10 surviving whales overland to
deeper waters. Six whales believed to be part of a pod that was
rescued from a mass stranding re-beached themselves and two died.
One of the 4 surviving whales was found dead on March 26.
(AFP, 3/23/09)(AP, 3/25/09)(AP, 3/26/09)
2009 Mar 24, Australian police
arrested a senior motorcycle gang member as authorities launched a
crackdown on biker groups in response to a deadly airport brawl that
shocked the country and brought a simmering gang war out into the
2009 Mar 25, Australia PM Kevin
Rudd visited the US and urged Americans not to view China as an
enemy but as a country offering huge economic opportunities, even
though its leaders have "done some bad things in the past."
2009 Mar 28, Sydney became the
world's first major city to plunge itself into darkness for the
second worldwide Earth Hour, a global campaign to highlight the
threat of climate change.
2009 Mar 29, In Australia
thousands of poisonous cane toads met their fate as gleeful hunters
gathered for a celebratory mass killing of the hated amphibians,
with many of the creatures' corpses being turned into fertilizer for
the very farmers they've plagued for years.
2009 Mar 29, In Australia a
gunman opened fire on a senior member of the Hells Angels, shooting
him multiple times outside a Sydney apartment complex in the latest
incident in an escalating battle between biker gangs.
2009 Mar 30, Downtown Sydney,
Australia's largest city, was plunged into chaos during the late
rush hour when a power cut blacked out traffic lights, caused
gridlock on the roads and left tens of thousands of buildings in
darkness. The blackout exposed a flaw in the city's terrorism
(AP, 3/30/09)(AP, 3/31/09)
2009 Apr 3, Australia endorsed
a UN declaration that recognizes indigenous rights, reversing years
of opposition and promising a new era in relations between white
Australians and the nation's impoverished Aborigines. Australia was
one of four nations that voted against the declaration when it was
adopted by the General Assembly in 2007.
2009 Apr 6, In Australia a
motorcycle gang leader surrendered to police and became the sixth
biker charged in connection with a brawl that left a rival bleeding
to death before shocked travelers at Australia's busiest airport.
2009 Apr 7, Australia announced
plans to build a 30 billion US dollar broadband network, its biggest
infrastructure project ever, opting to retain government control
rather than contract out the deal.
2009 Apr 8, A fishing vessel
carrying 45 boatpeople, believed to be from Iraq, landed on
Australia’s remote Christmas Island, island, a day after the
opposition party said a softer stance on refugees had prompted a
"surge" in illegal immigrants.
2009 Apr 16, Five people were
killed and dozens wounded when a blast tore apart a boat carrying
more than 40 Afghan refugees off Australia's northwest coast. The
Australian Broadcasting Corporation later said it was told the
refugees had doused the boat in petrol to try to force the navy to
land them in Australia and not turn them back to Indonesia, but that
the blast was an accident. On Oct 28 two Indonesian fishermen were
jailed for five years for smuggling the boat full of Afghan
(AFP, 4/20/09)(AFP, 10/28/09)
2009 Apr 17, Australia's PM
Rudd denounced people smugglers who set hopeful refugees adrift in
rickety boats as "scum" and pledged to step up efforts to thwart
them, after one vessel exploded at sea and killed three people.
2009 Apr 17, Australia revealed
plans to introduce national arson laws with a maximum penalty of 25
years behind bars in the wake of deadly wildfires that claimed 173
2009 Apr 25, Australia
intercepted a boat carrying more than 50 refugees north of Darwin,
little more than a week after an explosion on another vessel killed
five people. A boat carrying 32 Sri Lankan refugees was stopped near
the northwest coast on April 23.
2009 Apr 29, Australia
announced it will increase by almost one half its troops in
Afghanistan to about 1,550 as part of the US-led surge of
international forces to bolster the faltering fight against Taliban
2009 Apr 29, Two boats carrying
almost 80 people were intercepted off Australia's northern coast as
the conservative political opposition called for an independent
inquiry into refugee policy.
2009 May 2, Australia’s
government said it will spend more than 70 billion US dollars
boosting its defenses over the next 20 years in response to a
regional military build-up and global shifts in power.
2009 May 4, Australia's
government put back its much-vaunted carbon-emissions trading scheme
by a year, bowing to industry demands for more relief amid a
recession while opening the door to an even deeper long-term
2009 May 4, An Afghan guard was
killed by Australian Robert William Langdon as he worked for
US-based private security company Four Horsemen International. A
court later heard that Langdon threw a hand grenade into the truck
carrying the guard's body and ordered other guards to fire into the
air to simulate a Taliban attack. Langdon allegedly admitted killing
the Afghan guard during a heated argument about security for a
convoy. In October Langdon was convicted of murder and sentenced to
death in a court in Kabul. He paid a "sizeable" compensation to the
victim's family and the sentenced was reduced to 20 years.
2009 May 5, Australia's army
started shooting 6,000 kangaroos to thin their population on an army
training ground near the capital, outraging conservationists who
have vowed to protest.
2009 May 6, Ben Southall (34),
a bungee jumping, ostrich-riding British charity worker was named
the winner of what's been dubbed the "Best Job in the World," a
150,000 Australian dollar ($111,000) contract to serve as the
caretaker of Australia’s tropical Hamilton Island. He beat out
nearly 35,000 applicants from around the world for assignment to
swim, explore and relax in the Great Barrier Reef for six months
while writing a blog to promote the area.
2009 May 9, Australia and Japan
joined the ranks of affected countries with confirmed H1N1 swine
flu. New Zealand, the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to
confirm cases, reported two more for a total of seven.
2009 May 11, Australia’s armed
forces chief announced that Australia will formally end its military
mission in Iraq at the end of July, bringing the country's
involvement in one war to a close even as it prepares to send more
troops to Afghanistan.
2009 May 12, Treasurer Wayne
Swan said Australia will post a record 57.6 billion Australian
dollar (44.1 billion US) deficit in 2009-10 as it battles the worst
global recession since the Great Depression.
2009 May 14, In Australia a
court suspended a government program to kill 7,000 kangaroos on
federal land near the Australian capital, halting efforts to thin a
mushrooming population of the beloved marsupials that authorities
say are threatening endangered species.
2009 May 20, Australian
authorities declared a state of emergency in Queensland as
torrential rain and gale force winds caused extensive flooding and
left one man dead.
2009 May 23, In Australia
thousands more people in the flood-hit east were told to leave their
homes as gale-force winds lashed the coast. Emergency services said
up to 20,000 people had been cut off.
2009 May 24, In Australia
thousands of homeowners remained isolated in the flood-hit
northeast. Authorities said days of torrential rain had created a
vast "inland sea."
2009 May 28, Australian Foreign
Minister Stephen Smith condemned a wave of attacks on Indian
students in Melbourne after the latest assault left a 25-year-old
fighting for his life. Indian student Sravan Kumar Theerthala was
stabbed with a screwdriver on May 24 when a group of teenagers
gatecrashed a party he was attending in the suburbs of Melbourne.
2009 Jun 4, Australia's Defense
Minister Joel Fitzgibbon (47) stepped down after a series of
scandals, in the first major embarrassment for PM Kevin Rudd.
Fitzgibbon had been under pressure since March when he admitted not
declaring to parliamentary authorities two trips to China paid for
by wealthy businesswoman Helen Liu.
2009 Jun 5, The
Anglo-Australian firm Rio Tinto cancelled its controversial tie-up
with China's Chinalco in favor of a joint venture with fierce rival
BHP Billiton and a 15.2 billion US dollar rights issue.
2009 Jun 9, In Australia a
protest involving hundreds of Indian students turned into a
"vigilante" attack in Sydney overnight, in the latest flare-up in
racial tensions in recent weeks. Police said a group wielding sticks
and baseball bats attacked men of "Middle Eastern appearance" in
apparent retaliation for an earlier assault on an Indian man.
2009 Jun 11, In Australia an
Australian Aboriginal elder (46), arrested for drunk driving, died
after being "cooked" in the back of a scorching hot prison van. The
next day a coroner found that Mr. Ward's death breached Australia's
obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political
2009 Jun 13, In Australia it
was reported Barry Tannenbaum (43), an expatriate South African
businessman, has denied any wrongdoing in an alleged investment
scandal. Tannenbaum has been accused of fleecing rich South Africans
in what has been billed as one of the country's biggest Ponzi-style
investment scandals, according to local and South African media. The
massive pyramid scheme reportedly cost wealthy investors up to $1.2
2009 Jun 15, In Australia Des
"Tuppence" Moran (61), a former underworld enforcer, died from
multiple gunshot wounds to the head while enjoying a coffee in a
suburban cafe. Gangland widow Judy Moran was one of three people
later charged in the slaying. On March 9, 2011, Judy Moran (66) was
convicted of orchestrating the execution-style murder of her
(AFP, 6/17/09)(AFP, 3/9/11)
2009 Jun 22, Australian police
said that an e-mail challenging PM Kevin Rudd's honesty in his
19-month-old government's biggest political crisis appeared to be a
2009 Jun 28, The Australian
navy intercepted a refugee boat with 194 people aboard off the
country's northwest coast. It was the 15th suspected
people-smuggling craft to have been stopped in Australian waters or
to have made landfall since January.
2009 Jun 29, It was reported
that Australian scientists have developed a "trojan horse" therapy
to combat cancer, using a bacterially-derived nano cell to penetrate
and disarm the cancer cell before a second nano cell kills it with
chemotherapy drugs. Sydney scientists Dr Jennifer MacDiarmid and Dr
Himanshu Brahmbhatt, who formed EnGenelC Pty Ltd in 2001, said they
had achieved 100 percent survival in mice with human cancer cells by
using the "trojan horse" therapy in the past two years.
2009 Jun 30, Australian serial
rapist John Xydias (45) was jailed for 28 years. For over 15 years
he had dressed his unconscious victims in his collection of women's
underwear and filmed assaults on them.
2009 Jun 30, In Australia 2 men
were charged with the murder of a female student from China who went
missing June 25 after a night out in Tasmania. Stavros Papadopoulos
and Daniel Joseph Williams, both 21 and from Hobart, were remanded
in custody after a brief appearance before a magistrate. Accountancy
student Zhang Yu (26) was last seen alive outside a Hobart city
center pub. Police later found her body in the Tyenna river west of
Hobart. In 2010 Papadopoulos was sentenced to life in prison.
Accomplice Daniel Jo Williams was sentenced to 10 years in jail on a
charge of manslaughter.
(AP, 6/30/09)(AFP, 6/30/10)
2009 Jul 3, Australia announced
a 155 million US dollar package for isolated Aboriginal communities,
after a new report revealed shocking levels of child abuse among the
2009 Jul 8, Australia said
Chinese authorities had detained Stern Hu, Rio Tinto Ltd's top iron
ore negotiator, as well as three other Rio employees on suspicion of
espionage and stealing state secrets, threatening to strain already
2009 Jul 8, Australian
residents of rural Bundanoon, hoping to protect the earth and their
wallets, voted to ban the sale of bottled water, the first community
in the country, and possibly the world, to take such a drastic step
in the growing backlash against the industry.
2009 Jul 11, In Indonesia an
Australian working for the Indonesian subsidiary of US-based mining
giant Freeport McMoRan was shot dead by unknown attackers in Papua.
2009 Jul 16, Australia and
China traded warnings over Rio Tinto employees detained for spying,
as the United States urged Beijing to ensure transparency and fair
treatment for staff of foreign companies.
2009 Jul 18, In Australian Min
Lin, his wife, two sons aged 12 and 9, and a female relative were
killed by blunt force trauma to the upper bodies and heads in their
home in a Sydney suburb. The family had run a convenience store for
more than six years after immigrating from China.
2009 Jul 19, An amateur
astronomer in Australia detected a new scar on Jupiter that covered
some 73 million square miles, an larger area than the Pacific ocean.
(SFC, 7/22/09, p.A1)
2009 Jul 20, In Australia
Adelaide-based Vaxine began swine flu vaccine trials with 300
subjects. Melbourne's CSL had 240 people in its seven-month trial,
which started Jul 22. The companies said their trials are the first
tests of a swine flu vaccine on humans.
2009 Jul 28, In Australia Shane
Kent (33), an Australian convert to Islam, admitted being part of a
terror cell that plotted to kill thousands of people by bombing
major sports events. The former forklift truck driver was about to
face a retrial on the charges, which he previously denied, after a
Supreme Court jury last September failed to reach a verdict.
2009 Aug 1, Australia's
centre-left ruling party voted for national recognition of same-sex
unions but stopped short of lifting a ban on gay marriage.
2009 Aug 4, Australian police
said they thwarted a terrorist plot in which extremists with ties to
an al-Qaida-linked Somali Islamist group planned to invade a
military base and open fire with automatic weapons until they were
shot dead themselves. Some 400 officers from state and national
security services took part in 19 raids on properties in Melbourne,
before dawn, arresting four men and detaining several others for
questioning. Police said all four arrested are Australian citizens
of Somali or Lebanese descent aged between 22 and 26.
2009 Aug 5, Australian police
charged four men with planning to attack an army base and shoot
soldiers as the government considered whether to ban a Somalia
militant group linked to the plot.
2009 Aug 10, Australia said it
has pledged 7.8 million US dollars this year to help save more than
100 indigenous languages which are in grave danger of dying out.
2009 Aug 11, China formally
arrested four employees of Anglo-American mining giant Rio Tinto
Ltd. for infringing trade secrets and bribery, but stopped short of
laying politically explosive espionage charges in a case that has
strained ties with key trading partner Australia.
2009 Aug 12, Australian forces
shot 2 Afghan policemen on a motorcycle at the Dorafshan checkpoint
near Tarin Kowt. One of the Afghans was shot 16 times and died. The
other was wounded. The Australian military later said the soldiers
did not know the men were police and were acting in self-defense.
2009 Aug 13, Australian police
said a 20-year-old Australian man has been charged with infecting
more than 3,000 computers around the world with a virus designed to
capture banking and credit card data.
2009 Aug 14, An Australian
judge ruled that Christian Rossiter (49), a quadriplegic man who
says he cannot "undertake any basic human functions," has the right
to direct a nursing home to stop feeding him and allow him to die.
(AP, 8/14/09)(SFC, 8/15/09, p.A2)
2009 Aug 19, Australia
celebrated the biggest trade deal in its history and said it proved
vital ties with China had survived a series of bruising rows. PM
Kevin Rudd said ExxonMobil's 41.3 billion US dollar liquefied
natural gas contract with PetroChina would create up to 6,000 jobs
and pump billions of dollars into the economy. PetroChina ordered
2.25 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year over two
decades from ExxonMobil's share of the still-undeveloped Gorgon
plant off Western Australia.
2009 Aug 20, Australia passed a
clean energy law requiring the country to produce 20 percent of its
power from renewable sources by 2020 in move that could draw
billions of dollars of green investment.
2009 Aug 21, Australian leader
Kevin Rudd and his trans-Tasman counterpart John Key chaired the
first-ever joint meeting of their cabinets, and said it had been a
valuable opportunity to discuss their joint challenges. They vowed
closer military ties and collaboration on climate change in the
2009 Aug 21, A massive oil and
gas leak forced the evacuation of an oil rig off Australia's
northwest coast. PTTEP Australasia, a branch of Thai-owned PTT
Exploration and Production Co. Ltd., said about 40 barrels of oil
had been discharged in the initial incident, and it was still
attempting to bring the leak under control at the rig, owned by
Norway's Seadrill. After 2 days PTTEP said plugging the leak will
take weeks. Government officials said there was little threat of
environmental damage. By the end of October an estimated 400 barrels
a day of oil continued leaking from the fissure off the Australian
coast. PTTEP Australasia has failed repeatedly to stop the leak but
said it is still trying.
(AFP, 8/22/09)(AP, 8/23/09)(AP, 10/30/09)
2009 Aug 22, The West
Australian town of Broome, with deep historical ties to Japan, voted
to sever its sister city relationship with the Japanese village of
Taiji to protest an annual dolphin slaughter near there. At an
extraordinary meeting on October 13 Broome rescinded the decision,
which it said was made in haste and without wide consultation, and
issued an apology to the Japanese community in Broome and Taiji,
their families and friends for any disrespect caused by council's
resolution. But it noted that it did not condone the harvest of
dolphins in Taiji, with which it forged sister-city relations in
(AP, 8/24/09)(AFP, 10/16/09)
2009 Aug 26, Australia's
highest court ruled that the country's military justice system is
unconstitutional because its judges are not independent of the
military command, throwing into doubt 171 cases judged in the past
2009 Aug 27, A senior UN
official condemned Australia's controversial intervention into
remote Aboriginal communities, describing the measures as
discriminatory and finding entrenched racism in Australia.
2009 Aug 29, Australian
authorities intercepted a boat carrying 52 suspected asylum seekers,
the 18th such vessel to be discovered this year.
2009 Sep 3, In Australia
millionaire Michael McGurk (45), a Scottish-born property developer,
was gunned down in front of his son (10) outside their exclusive
Sydney home. In 2007 McGurk had unsuccessfully tried to sue the
Sultan of Brunei over an alleged eight million US dollar agreement
to buy a 400-year-old gold-lined miniature Koran.
2009 Sep 9, Australia announced
that it has launched a war crimes investigation into the 1975
killing of five Australian-based journalists during an attack by
Indonesian forces in East Timor.
2009 Sep 10, Australia
announced liquefied natural gas (LNG) deals worth up to 60 billion
US dollars with Japan and South Korea, raising its status as a major
2009 Sep 11, A risk consultancy
said Australians have overtaken Americans as the world's biggest
individual producers of carbon dioxide, which is blamed for global
warming. British firm Maplecroft placed Australia's per capita
output at 20.58 tons a year, some four percent higher than the
United States and top of a list of 185 countries.
2009 Sep 12, Australia
intercepted a boat carrying 83 suspected asylum seekers off its
northwest coast after it was spotted from the air by a military
patrol plane. Later in the day the Australian navy intercepted a
suspected people-smuggling boat carrying 65 asylum seekers off the
country's northwest coast.
(AFP, 9/12/09)(AFP, 9/13/09)
2009 Sep 14, In Australia
energy giants Chevron, Shell and ExxonMobil agreed to develop the
massive Gorgon field, giving the final go-ahead to a liquefied
natural gas (LNG) project worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
2009 Sep 15, Australia
announced shock plans to break up dominant telecommunications player
Telstra to boost competition as it presses ahead with a 37 billion
US dollar national broadband network.
2009 Sep 18, Australia approved
a vaccine against swine flu and said it would start administering
the medicine this month to its most at-risk citizens, including
medical staff, pregnant women and the chronically ill. Regulators
approved CSL Ltd.'s vaccine for people above age 10, but the
Therapeutic Drug Administration was awaiting the results of more
clinical trials before approving it for younger children.
2009 Sep 19, Australian
authorities delivered a formal apology to the many thousands of
people who were abused in state-run orphanages and children's homes
in decades past.
2009 Sep 20, Australian border
protection officials rescued 54 asylum seekers from a boat stranded
in northern waters.
2009 Sep 21, Christian Rossiter
(49) an Australian quadriplegic died, ending an existence he had
described as a "living hell." On Aug 14 he had won a landmark legal
battle to starve himself to death by refusing food.
2009 Sep 23, Australia's worst
dust storm in 70 years blanketed the heavily populated east coast in
a cloud of red Outback grit, nearly closed the country's largest
airport and left millions of people coughing and sputtering in the
2009 Sep 23, An Australian
naval ship stopped a boat carrying 98 asylum seekers off the
country's northwest coast.
2009 Sep 24, Australia said it
has created a massive nature reserve in the country's far north that
will be managed by Aborigines. The so-called Indigenous Protected
Areas in the Northern Territory contain rock art sites that are
50,000 years old and wilderness areas rivaling the nearby World
Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park.
2009 Sep 25, An Australian
court sentenced Belal Khazaal (39), a former Qantas Airways baggage
handler, to 12 years in prison for publishing a do-it-yourself jihad
book on the Internet. The book was titled "Provisions of the Rules
of Jihad: Short Judicial Rulings and Organizational Instructions for
Fighters and Mujahideen Against Infidels." Khazaal had also been
convicted in absentia by Lebanese military courts in 2003 and 2005
on terrorism-related charges.
2009 Sep 26, The Australian
town of Bundanoon pulled all bottled water from its shelves and
replaced it with refillable bottles in what is believed to be a
2009 Oct 2, An Australian woman
was sentenced to life in prison for the starvation death of her
7-year-old daughter. The woman was convicted of murder in June. Her
husband, convicted at the same time of manslaughter in his
daughter's death, was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment. The girl,
known as Ebony, weighed barely 20 pounds (9kg) when she died in
2009 Oct 2, A boat carrying
about 100 asylum seekers left an Indonesian port bound for Australia
but never arrived. The information was made public in May, 2010, by
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service chief executive
Michael Carmody during a routine Senate inquiry into government
2009 Oct 6, Australia's central
bank unexpectedly raised interest rates by a quarter point, becoming
the first major economy to increase the cost of borrowing amid signs
its recovery from the global slump is gaining momentum.
2009 Oct 9, Japanese officials
said they have obtained rights to develop platinum mines in South
Africa and Botswana in a bid to ensure a stable supply of the metal.
The government-backed Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp.
(JOGMEC) said it has signed a contract with Discovery Metals in
Australia to jointly develop nickel and platinum mines in northeast
Botswana. It has also inked another deal with Canadian firm Platinum
Group Metals to explore for platinum in South Africa.
2009 Oct 16, In Australia 5
Muslim men were convicted of plotting the country’s largest
terrorist conspiracy as part of a bid to force the government to
change its policy on Middle East conflicts. The men, aged 25-44,
were arrested in a series of raids on their homes in 2005. On Feb
15, 2010, the 5 men were sentenced to 23 to 28 years in prison for
stockpiling explosive chemicals and firearms for terrorist attacks
on unspecified targets.
(AP, 10/16/09)(AP, 2/15/10)
2009 Oct 18, In Australia
Jessica Watson (16) steered her bright pink, 10-meter yacht out of
Sydney Harbor to start her bid to become the youngest person to sail
solo and unassisted around the world. Her decision sparked a debate
in Australia about whether someone so young should be allowed to try
such a potentially dangerous feat. She completed her voyage on May
(AP, 10/18/09)(AP, 5/15/10)
2009 Oct 19, Energy group
Chevron announced a new natural gas discovery off Western Australia
that will help support the massive Gorgon liquefied natural gas
2009 Oct 20, Australian
officials said a leech found at a crime scene in 2001 led police to
a man who admitted robbing an elderly woman. The leech dropped off
Peter Cannon as he and an accomplice tied a 71-year-old woman to a
chair in her remote home in the Tasmanian woods on Sept. 28, 2001.
2009 Oct 22, In Australia Don
Lane (75), an American song-and-dance man known as "The Lanky Yank,”
died. He was handed a full-time gig on Australian TV in 1975 and
"The Don Lane Show" became a ratings winner, a mixture of cabaret
acts, interviews, comedy skits and a song from the tall host to
close each show.
2009 Oct 23, Australia approved
Yanzhou Coal's 3.2 billion US dollar takeover of miner Felix
Resources, its biggest by a Chinese firm, in a breakthrough for the
Asian giant's scramble for commodities.
2009 Oct 30, Indonesian
officials and fishermen said thousands of dead fish and clumps of
oil have been found drifting near the coastline more than two months
after an Australian underwater well began leaking in the Timor Sea
on Aug 21.
2009 Nov 1, PTTEP Australasia
attempted to plug a leaking well of the West Atlas drilling rig when
a fire then broke out on the rig. The operation to stem the leak has
involved the Thai-based operator towing the West Triton rig from
Singapore, which took five weeks, to drill down some 2.6km under the
seabed to the source of the emissions. The leak has dumped thousands
of barrels of oil into the Timor Sea since it began on August 21.
The blaze was brought under control on Nov 3 when experts managed to
plug the leak that has spewed tons of crude over the past 10 weeks.
(AP, 11/1/09)(AFP, 11/2/09)(AP, 11/3/09)
2009 Nov 1, A boat carrying 39
apparent asylum seekers sank in the Indian Ocean far from shore. A
Taiwanese fishing trawler and the merchant ship LNG Pioneer arrived
in the area and deployed life rafts and began plucking people from
the water. The stricken ship was in Australia's maritime search and
rescue zone when it sent out distress calls. Up to 11 were still
missing, and one person was confirmed dead.
2009 Nov 4, In Australia a
stabbing rampage at a secure psychiatric hospital left two people
dead. The next day Peko Lakovski (49) was charged with two counts of
murder after reportedly attacking his room-mate Raymond Splatt with
a kitchen knife, before turning on another patient who was in bed at
2009 Nov 7, Australian
authorities declared a natural disaster along parts of the country's
east coast as heavy floods cut the main road linking major cities,
stranding thousands of people.
2009 Nov 10, An Australian
student sparked fears of a new era of computer viruses after
creating a worm which infects Apple's iconic iPhone with pictures of
1980s pop star Rick Astley.
2009 Nov 11, The Australian
Capital Territory, home to the nation's parliament, became the first
Australian region to legalize civil partnership ceremonies for
same-sex couples, in a move supporters hoped would spark national
2009 Nov 15, British officials
said PM Gordon Brown will apologize to thousands of British children
who were shipped to new lives overseas, where many say they suffered
neglect and abuse. Thousands of poor British children were sent to
Australia, Canada and other former colonies under the Child Migrants
Program, which ended in the 1960s. Many ended up in institutions or
as farm laborers. The British government has estimated that a total
of 150,000 British children may have been shipped abroad between
1618 — when a group was sent to the Virginia Colony — and 1967, most
of them from the late 19th century onwards.
2009 Nov 16, Australia’s PM
Kevin Rudd issued an historic apology to thousands of impoverished
British children shipped to Australia with the promise of a better
life. But his government ruled out paying compensation for the abuse
and neglect that many suffered.
2009 Nov 17, Australian doctors
successfully separated joined-at-the-head Bangladeshi twins after
more than 24 hours of surgery, saying the girls were "in great
shape" but faced a difficult recovery.
2009 Nov 18, Australian PM
Kevin Rudd voiced "concerns" about the Church of Scientology after a
senator detailed explosive allegations including torture,
imprisonment and coerced abortions.
2009 Nov 20, In Australia 2
executives at Securency, a banknote-making firm part-owned by
Australia's central bank, were suspended over a police probe into
alleged bribery and kickbacks. According to a May 23 report by The
Age newspaper, Securency officials had paid more than 12 million
dollars in kickbacks for a printing contract to a Vietnamese
businessman with links to the communist state's government.
Officials were also accused of paying bribes worth millions of
dollars into tax haven bank accounts of a politically-connected
Nigerian businessman to win a 2007 contract.
2009 Nov 20, Australian
firefighters battled dozens of bush blazes as record-breaking hot
weather sparked "catastrophic" warnings in two states, just months
after the country's worst ever wildfire disaster.
2009 Nov 21, Australia issued
"catastrophic" alerts after record-breaking temperatures and wild
lightning storms sparked more than 100 fires across the country.
2009 Nov 25, Australian
Northern Territory officials said some 6,000 feral camels are
running wild in the remote outback community of Docker River in
search of water, smashing infrastructure and invading the airstrip.
2009 Dec 2, Australia's plans
for an emissions trading system to combat global warming were
scuttled in Parliament, handing a defeat to a government that had
hoped to set an example at international climate change talks next
2009 Dec 5, Australia welcomed
a 90 billion dollar (82 billion US) deal to supply liquefied natural
gas (LNG) to a Japanese power company in what is believed to be the
country's biggest export sales contract.
2009 Dec 7, ITV, the British TV
channel behind hit show "I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!",
apologized for the death of a rat during filming in Australia, as
the stars who killed it faced police charges.
2009 Dec 9, Australia’s
government said 5 North Korean artists have been banned from
entering Australia for an exhibition of their work, drawing
accusations of censorship from the arts community. The Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade said the artists and a translator have
been refused visas because it is contrary to foreign policy
interests and because they are from a studio linked to North Korean
leader Kim Jong-Il.
2009 Dec 10, In southeastern
Australia more than 120 wildfires fanned by high winds and soaring
temperatures raged, prompting emergency warnings for several towns.
2009 Dec 11, Australia's PM
Kevin Rudd threatened legal action against Japan if it does not stop
its research whaling program that kills up to 1,000 whales a year.
2009 Dec 15, Australia said it
would push ahead with a mandatory China-style plan to filter the
Internet, despite widespread criticism that it will strangle free
speech and is doomed to fail. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy
said new laws would be introduced to ban access to "refused
classification" (RC) sites featuring criminal content such as child
sex abuse, bestiality, rape and detailed drug use.
2009 Dec 15, Australian
scientists reported the discovery of an octopus in Indonesia that
collects coconut shells for shelter, unusually sophisticated
behavior that the researchers believe is the first evidence of tool
use in an invertebrate animal.
2009 Dec 23, Australian
officials said residents were "fleeing for their lives" as savage
wildfires blazed out of control in South Australia, with several
homes destroyed and more under threat.
2009 Dec 28, New Zealand’s
supermaxi Alfa Romeo yacht was first across the finish line in the
Sydney to Hobart ocean race, ending a four-year winning streak by
Australian favorite Wild Oats XI.
2009 Dec 31, In Australia
residents returned to survey the wreckage after Western Australia's
worst wildfire in 50 years engulfed 38 homes in an isolated rural
2009 Australian Jeff Lawton
created his “Re-greening the Desert” video. In 1996 Lawton was
accredited with the Permaculture Community Services Award by the
permaculture movement for services in Australia and around the
2010 Jan 1, It was reported
that Australian researchers have cracked the genetic origin of the
deadly cancer that is threatening to wipe out Tasmanian devils,
raising hopes that the animal's future is safe.
2010 Jan 2, In Australia Indian
accounting graduate Nitin Garg (21) was stabbed by unknown attackers
before collapsing in the Melbourne burger restaurant where he
worked. On June 17 a 15-year-old Australian boy was charged with the
stabbing murder. On June 18 the boy (16) was charged with accessory
to the killing. On April 20, 2011, the boy (16) pleaded guilty to
the murder and one count of attempted armed robbery. On Dec 22 the
boy was sentenced to up to 13 years in jail.
(AFP, 1/4/10)(AFP, 6/17/10)(AFP, 6/18/10)(AP,
2010 Jan 3, In southeastern
Australia more than 1,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes
in Coonamble, in central New South Wales, as the worst floodwaters
to hit the area in a decade threatened to swamp a remote farming
2010 Jan 8, Australia angrily
condemned an Indian newspaper cartoon likening its police to the Ku
Klux Klan over their investigations into the recent murder of a
young Indian man. 4 men reportedly poured an unidentified fluid on
Jaspreet Singh (29), a man of Indian descent, and set him alight in
a suburb of Melbourne, leaving him with 15% burns. Singh was later
charged with making a false report to police and criminal damage
with a view to gaining financial advantage over the incident,
allegedly to make an insurance claim.
(AFP, 1/8/10)(AFP, 1/9/10)(AFP, 2/2/10)
2010 Jan 11, Riversdale, an
Australian mining firm, said the Mozambican government has given it
the green light to build a 800-million-dollar coal mine in the
country's northwest. Riversdale has predicted that the Benga project
will produce some of the lowest-cost coking coal in the world.
2010 Feb 2, Australian
researchers said they had discovered a gene associated with
long-sightedness, a development they said could lead to drug
treatments that will replace glasses.
2010 Feb 4, Australia said it
used an anti-weapons of mass destruction law to block three
shipments to Iran but calls for new sanctions against the Islamic
state opened up a new international divide.
2010 Feb 6, Australian miner
Resourcehouse said it has signed a 60-billion-US-dollar coal deal
with energy-hungry China, calling it the country's "biggest-ever
export contract." The company said it had negotiated a 20-year
agreement to supply China Power International Holding Limited with
30 million tons of coal a year from a proposed mine in central
Queensland. The initial report mistakenly identified the Chinese
company as China Power International Development (CPI).
(AFP, 2/6/10)(AFP, 2/9/10)
2010 Feb 8, Australia tightened
its migration rules in favor of English speakers and professionals,
saying the country has been attracting too many hairdressers and
cooks and too few doctors and engineers.
2010 Feb 8, In Australia ITV
Studios, producer of "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here," was
fined 3,000 Australian dollars ($2,615) after pleading guilty of
animal cruelty after two reality show contestants skinned, cooked
and ate a rat during filming in Australia.
2010 Feb 11, In Australia a
shadowy group of cyber-activists succeeded in jamming key Australian
government websites for a second consecutive day and warned they
could shut down the sites for months in protest over controversial
plans to filter the Internet. Codenamed "Operation: Titstorm", the
hacking campaign involved hundreds of people from around the world
and used a technique called Distributed Denial of Service to jam web
2010 Feb 19, Pope Benedict XVI
approved sainthood for Mother Mary MacKillop (1842-1909), making the
woman known for her work among the needy Australia's first saint.
Sainthood was also approved for Stanislaw Soltys, a 15th-century
Polish priest; Italian nuns Giulia Salzano and Battista Varano;
Spanish nun Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y Barriola and a
Canadian brother, Andre Bessette (d.1937). The formal canonization
will take place Oct. 17 in Rome.
2010 Feb 23, PM Kevin Rudd said
Australia plans to fingerprint and face-scan visitors from about 10
high-risk countries in a bid to combat extremism, which is now a
"permanent" threat. He added that Australia will spend 69 million
dollars (62 million US) on new biometric facilities and will set up
a national control centre to coordinate efforts to fight extremism.
2010 Feb 24, Australia resumed
free-trade talks with China after a 14-month gap, sweeping aside a
brief plunge in ties to focus on a booming partnership tipped to
deliver decades of growth.
2010 Feb 26, Australia warned
Japan that "diplomacy comes to an end this year" on whaling, after
presenting a bold plan to phase out the controversial hunts in the
2010 Feb 27, In Australia
thousands of people in lavish costumes and various states of undress
danced and partied their way through Sydney's streets, in the annual
Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade.
2010 Mar 1, In Australia about
5,200 naked people embraced each other on the steps of Sydney's
iconic Opera House for a photo shoot by Spencer Tunick.
2010 Mar 2, In Australia Seth
Enslow, an American motorcycle stuntman twice, broke the world
record for the longest distance jumped on a Harley-Davidson
motorcycle, sailing through the air near Australia's Sydney Harbor
to shatter the previous 10-year-old record. Bubba Blackwell set the
previous record with a 157 foot (47.85 meters) jump in Las Vegas in
2010 Mar 4, In Australia
Gurshan Singh (3), who was visiting from Punjab in northern India,
disappeared from a suburban house in Melbourne. His body was found
about six hours later some 30 km (20 miles) away, not far from the
city's airport. On march 7 police alleged that Gursewak Dhillon
(23), a part-time taxi driver who had been sharing a house with the
boy and his family, was responsible for the boy’s death.
(AFP, 3/5/10)(AFP, 3/7/10)
2010 Mar 5, An Australian court
ruled that the once-popular painkiller Vioxx doubled the risk of
heart attack and was unfit for consumption, awarding a man leading a
class action suit against the drug's maker 287,000 Australian
dollars ($259,000) in compensation.
2010 Mar 8, In Australia Royal
Dutch Shell and PetroChina joined forces for a 2.96 billion US
dollar bid for Australia's Arrow Energy, hoping for a bigger slice
of the country's booming liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector.
2010 Mar 9, Indonesia’s
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono flew into Canberra with PM Kevin
Rudd and Governor-General Quentin Bryce waiting on the red carpet.
He was soon appointed an honorary companion of the Order of
Australia for his work after the 2002 Bali bombing. Yudhoyono will
become the first Indonesian leader to address a joint sitting of
Australia's parliament on March 10.
2010 Mar 19, Australia's
Hollywood A-listers, prime minister and top tycoons launched a new
campaign for Aboriginal jobs with a spectacular light show at
Sydney's iconic Opera House.
2010 Mar 21, Tropical Cyclone
Ului blew across the coast of northeastern Australia leaving some
60,000 homes without power.
2010 Mar 22, In China four
executives of Australia mining giant Rio Tinto pleaded guilty in
Shanghai to taking bribes.
(SFC, 3/23/10, p.D3)
2010 Mar 23, Internet giant
Google led high-profile criticism of Australia's controversial plan
to filter the Internet, saying it went too far and could set a
2010 Mar 24, Australia and
China signed a multibillion dollar natural gas deal, pushing ahead
with business as the trial of four employees of mining giant Rio
Tinto ended in Shanghai with a verdict still to be announced.
2010 Mar 25, A top Australian
official said about 100 Australian police are being investigated for
circulating racist and pornographic e-mails via the internal police
e-mail system, and one officer involved in the scandal has committed
2010 Mar 27, In Australia
Sydney's iconic Opera House and Harbor Bridge went dark along with
millions of homes at the start of Earth Hour, a global switch-off
aimed at revitalizing efforts against climate change.
2010 Mar 30, Australian media
groups and sports bodies signed a code of conduct aimed at ending
years of disputes and boycotts over press coverage of major sporting
2010 Apr 3, Australia’s PM
Kevin Rudd announced the country’s first population minister, citing
concerns about sustainability as the number of people is tipped to
balloon within decades.
2010 Apr 3, The 230-meter
(754-ft) Shen Neng I, a bulk coal carrier, was on its way to China
when it ran aground on a shoal off offshore from the Australian city
of Rockhampton. Australian government officials said the stranded
ship was leaking oil into the sea and is in danger of breaking up
and damaging the Great Barrier Reef. The ship was refloated on April
(Reuters, 4/4/10)(AP, 4/12/10)
2010 Apr 6, Australia announced
its fifth rate hike since October and said borrowing costs would
continue to rise as growth and inflation return to normal after the
2010 Apr 9, Australia suspended
refugee applications from Afghans for 6 months and 3 months for Sri
Lankans, citing improved conditions in those countries. Human rights
advocates expressed concern about the move and an immigrant group
(AP, 4/9/10)(Econ, 4/17/10, p.47)
2010 Apr 14, Australian police
arrested a Chinese ship captain and senior officer and charged them
with damaging the Great Barrier Reef, more than a week after their
coal carrier ran aground and tore a two-mile (three km) gash in the
2010 Apr 14, An Australia
officials said swarms of locusts have infested a huge area of
eastern Australia, roughly the size of Spain, ravaging farmland
following recent floods.
2010 Apr 19, In Australia Carl
Williams, known as the baby-faced killer, was killed in Victoria
state's highest security prison by a fellow inmate who attacked him
with part of an exercise bike.
2010 Apr 20, Australia’s PM
Kevin Rudd said he had reached agreement with all but one of
Australia's states on major health reforms which he hopes will
spearhead his 2010 re-election campaign.
2010 Apr 29, Australia said it
will force tobacco companies to strip all logos and color from their
packaging, in a move aimed at driving people away from smoking.
(SFC, 4/30/10, p.A2)
2010 Apr 29, A giant NASA
science balloon crashed during take-off in Australia, destroying its
multi-million-dollar payload, toppling a large car and narrowly
missing frightened observers.
2010 May 2, Australia said it
would impose taxes worth billions of dollars on mining companies to
tap the profits of an Asia-driven commodities surge, prompting
warnings it could "kill" the boom.
2010 May 9, Australia's
government said 5 people are feared dead and 59 people were rescued
from a disabled boat carrying suspected asylum-seekers in the Indian
2010 May 14, In Australia the
body of Nona Belomesoff (18) was found in an isolated bushland area.
Christopher James Dannevig (20) was charged with her murder. He had
allegedly set up a fake identity on Facebook and enticed Belomesoff
to a nature reserve in Sydney's southwest on May 12.
2010 May 15, In Australia
Jessica Watson (16) became the youngest person to sail around the
globe solo, nonstop and unassisted when she cruised into Sydney
Harbor in her pink, 34-foot (10m) yacht to a rock star welcome of
thousands. Her feat will not be considered an official world record,
because the World Speed Sailing Record Council discontinued its
2010 May 20, Australian police
raided 12 properties associated with Agape Ministries, led by Rocco
Leo, and netted 15 guns, slow-burning fuses, detonators, extendable
batons and 35,000 rounds of ammunition.
2010 May 24, Australia demanded
that Israel withdraw an embassy official from the country, saying
the Jewish state was behind fake Australian passports linked to the
killing of a Hamas operative.
2010 May 28, Australia said it
will challenge Japan's whale hunting in the Antarctic at the
International Court of Justice, a major legal escalation in its
campaign to ban the practice despite Tokyo's insistence on the right
to so-called scientific whaling.
2010 May 31, Australia filed an
international lawsuit against Japan arguing that its whale cull does
not qualify for a scientific exemption to a 1986 ban. Japan said the
next day that it would staunchly defend its research hunt that kills
hundreds of whales per year.
2010 Jun 6, Australia’s
attorney general said police have been asked to investigate internet
giant Google over possible breaches of telecommunications privacy
laws. The investigation followed complaints from members of the
public about activities of Google employees while taking photographs
for Google Maps, the search engine's maps page. Google said it would
cooperate with the investigation.
2010 Jun 13, Japan’s Hayabusa
space probe, which scientists hope contains material from the
surface of an asteroid returned to Earth, landed in the remote
Australian outback following a 7-year journey.
(AFP, 6/13/10)(SFC, 6/15/10, p.A2)
2010 Jun 15, Anglo-Australian
mining giant Rio Tinto announced it was investing 469 million US
dollars to develop a nickel and copper mine in northern Michigan.
Construction of the Kennecott Eagle mine in Michigan's Upper
Peninsula will begin this year.
2010 Jun 19, A plane carrying a
group of Australian mining executives disappeared en route from
Cameroon to Congo-Brazzaville. All 11 on board were killed wiping
out the entire board of the Sundance Resources company including
mining tycoon Ken Talbot. The wreckage was found June 21 in the
(AFP, 6/20/10)(AFP, 6/22/10)
2010 Jun 22, Australia
reinstated race discrimination laws in the remote Northern Territory
region after suspending them for three years to pursue a
controversial crime crackdown in poor Aboriginal townships.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said: "Reinstating the RDA
(Racial Discrimination Act) restores dignity and helps Indigenous
Australians to take ownership of their lives and to drive change in
the Northern Territory."
2010 Jun 23, Australian PM
Kevin Rudd announced a shock ballot to fight a challenge from his
deputy Julia Gillard, raising the prospect of the country's first
female head of government. Rudd emerged from marathon late-night
talks with Gillard and other ministers to tell a hastily convened
press conference the vote would be held early on June 24.
2010 Jun 24, Julia Gillard
(48), a Welsh-born lawyer, became Australia's first female prime
minister after the once hugely popular Kevin Rudd fell victim to a
party coup less than three years after taking office. Gillard moved
to revive a stalled carbon trading scheme, pledging more
consultation with industry and voters to win support for an issue
that has split the nation.
(AP, 6/24/10)(Reuters, 6/24/10)
2010 Jun 25, New Australia PM
Julia Gillard pledged to end a mining tax row as soon as possible
after spending her first day in power speaking to world leaders and
assuring Washington of Canberra's commitment to Afghanistan.
2010 Jul 5, Australia's new
leader launched a plan to make East Timor a hub for processing
asylum seekers fleeing war and persecution across Asia while a
debate rages in her country over illegal migration.
2010 Jul 5, In Australia
Brendan Sokaluk pleaded not guilty to charges that he deliberately
started one of the deadly wildfires that swept through southern
Australia last year. The fires in Victoria state in February 2009
were Australia's deadliest, killing 173 people and destroying more
than 2,000 homes. Brendan Sokaluk is accused of starting one blaze
that investigators say killed 10 people.
2010 Jul 6, Australia's new PM
Julia Gillard ended a three-month freeze on processing Sri Lankan
asylum-seekers, and said a bar on Afghan claims was under review.
2010 Jul 8, Australian police
investigated the mysterious mass poisoning of seven million tomato,
eggplant and other crops which is expected to send prices soaring.
Detectives probed whether vandals or a competitor with a grudge had
put herbicide in sprinklers at a nursery near the northeastern city
of Cairns, wiping out 16 million tons of produce, mostly tomatoes.
2010 Jul 9, In Afghanistan an
explosion ripped into a convoy of NATO and Afghan forces in eastern
Nangarhar province, killing one civilian and wounding nine others.
Australian Pvt. Nathan Bewes was killed just before midnight by a
homemade bomb, the 6th Australian soldier to die in Afghanistan in
just over a month..
2010 Jul 13, Australian police
said they have seized 240 kg (530 pounds) of cocaine worth 84
million dollars ($73 million) which was stashed in paving stones. 4
men including an American, a Mexican and two Australians were
arrested over the haul, Australia's fifth biggest cocaine seizure,
which was discovered in two shipping containers sent to Melbourne
2010 Jul 15, Australian
scientists reported their discovery of bizarre prehistoric sea life
hundreds of kilometers below the Great Barrier Reef, in an
unprecedented mission to document species under threat from ocean
2010 Jul 19, American companies
TPG and Carlyle Group edged out KKK in a takeover battle for
Healthscope, an Australian hospital chain with a bid of $1.7
(Econ, 7/24/10, p.64)
2010 Jul 19, David Warren
(b.1925), an Australian scientist who invented the "black box"
flight data recorder, died. He designed and constructed a black box
prototype in 1956, but it took several years before officials
understood just how valuable the device could be and began
installing them in commercial airlines worldwide. In 2002, Warren
was awarded the Order of Australia, among the nation's highest
civilian honors, for his work.
2010 Jul 20, The Australian Sex
Party promised to spice up campaigning for next month's elections
with a manifesto "unlike Australia had ever seen before." The
party's policies include legalizing euthanasia, decriminalizing all
drugs for personal use, and watering down strict anti-pornography
2010 Jul 24, Australia’s PM
Julia Gillard pledged 400 million dollars (360 million US) to take
old cars off the road and vowed to impose tougher fuel standards as
part of her election policy on climate change.
2010 Jul 26, The Plastiki
sailboat, largely constructed from 12,500 recycled plastic bottles,
docked in Sydney Harbor completing a 4-month journey across the
Pacific Ocean meant to raise awareness about the perils of plastic
2010 Jul 29, Australia said it
will impose new sanctions against Iran, including restrictions for
the first time on business dealings with that country's oil and gas
2010 Jul 30, The Australian
government committed to expanding its fiber broadband Internet
network to a further 300,000 homes across the vast island continent
if re-elected at next month's polls.
2010 Jul 31, UNESCO added seven
cultural sites to its World Heritage List including Bikini Atoll in
the Marshall Islands, home to nuclear bomb testing in the 1940s and
1950s. Also added to the list were the Turaif District in Saudi
Arabia; Australia's penal colony sites; the Jantar Mantar
astronomical observation site in India; a shrine in Ardabil in Iran;
the Tabriz historic bazaar complex, also in Iran; and the historic
villages of Hahoe and Yangdong in South Korea.
2010 Aug 2, In Australia
publicist Kristy Fraser-Kirk (25) sued Australia's poshest
department store and its former head, Mark McInnes, for 33 million
US dollars over alleged sexual misconduct that led to the disgraced
chief executive's resignation. McInnes abruptly quit in June after
claims of inappropriate behavior were made.
2010 Aug 6, Australian
scientists reported a study revealing that sea sponges share almost
70 percent of human genes.
2010 Aug 9, A leading Chinese
general urged closer ties with Australia's military, amid a
continuing freeze on Beijing's contacts with the Pentagon.
2010 Aug 13, In Australia 2 men
were gunned down in a popular Melbourne bar area, shortly after the
killing of a known crime figure sparked fears of a new gang war in
the city's notorious underworld.
2010 Aug 18, Anglo-Australian
mining giant BHP Billiton launched an enormous hostile takeover bid
for Canada's Potash Corp which values the world's largest fertilizer
producer at 40 billion dollars.
2010 Aug 19, An Australian
Muslim woman, who sought permission to keep her face and head
covered while she gives evidence at an upcoming trial, was told by a
judge she would have to remove her veil. She is a prosecution
witness in a case against the director of a company that ran a
Muslim women's college in Perth. The director, Anwar Sayed, is
accused of inflating the number of students at the school in 2006
and 2007 to claim hundreds of thousands of dollars in state and
2010 Aug 19, Neil P. Campbell,
An Australian construction manager, was indicted Aug. 19 by a
federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., on the charge of receiving a
bribe while working for an organization receiving US government
funds. On Oct 13 he was detained in India for allegedly taking a
$190,000 bribe to allow a subcontractor to build a hospital and
college in Afghanistan.
2010 Aug 20, BHP Billiton Group
announced commencement of all cash-offer to acquire Potash Corp. for
$130 per share. On Nov 3 Canada blocked the Anglo-Australian mining
giant’s $39 billion bid. The deal would have cost Saskatchewan an
estimated C$200m a year in tax revenues.
(Reuters, 8/20/10)(Reuters, 11/3/10)(Econ,
2010 Aug 21, Australians voted
between giving their first female prime minister her own election
mandate and returning to a conservative government after just three
years. The inconclusive election left the nation facing its first
hung parliament since 1940. Both Labor and the Liberal-led coalition
conceded that neither is likely to hold the 76 seats needed to form
a government in the 150-seat lower chamber.
(Reuters, 8/21/10)(AP, 8/22/10)
2010 Aug 22, Australian PM
Julia Gillard vowed to keep the country stable after a voter
backlash produced a rare hung parliament, raising fears of political
paralysis and economic pain. Gillard and Tony Abbott, leader of the
conservative Liberal Party, said they had initiated talks with three
independents in the House of Representatives as well as the Greens
party in a bid to secure their votes in the House of
2010 Aug 27, Australian police
warned social networking sites to be alert to illegal child sex
activity, after cracking an alleged pedophile porn ring operating on
Facebook. Australian police said six arrests had been made in
Britain, including the alleged head of the network, three in
Australia and two in Canada.
2010 Sep 2, Australia’s PM
Julia Gillard edged closer to retaining power when an independent
lawmaker said he would support her center-left Labor Party to form
Australia's first minority government in almost seven decades.
2010 Sep 7, Australia’s PM
Julia Gillard will lead the country's first minority government in
67 years after two independent lawmakers threw their support behind
her center-left Labor Party, ending two weeks of uncertainty left by
national elections that ended on a knife-edge.
2010 Sep 8, In Australia a
kangaroo was beaten to death with a metal pole in the Great Otway
National Park in the southern state of Victoria. Three 8th grade
pupils were later suspended from school as authorities investigated
2010 Sep 11, Australia’s PM
Julia Gillard unveiled her new cabinet, with Wayne Swan retaining
his treasury portfolio and former climate minister Penny Wong moved
to the senior finance portfolio. Former PM Kevin Rudd was named as
the country’s new foreign minister, a high-profile and coveted
posting that will be seen as a consolation prize for being ousted
from the leadership.
(Reuters, 9/11/10)(AP, 9/11/10)
2010 Sep 16, Australian
scientists said they had made a breakthrough in the fight to save
the cancer-hit Tasmanian devil by mapping the species' genome for
the first time.
2010 Sep 20, In Australia a
Fijian man died suddenly at a Sydney immigration center, with a
protest breaking out in the compound after claims he had jumped from
a rooftop fearing deportation.
2010 Sep 26, Australian climate
change activists closed down operations at the world's largest coal
port after entering its three terminals and attaching themselves to
2010 Sep 28, Australia’s new
Parliament was sworn in and included Ed Husic, the country’s first
elected Muslim, who was sworn in with his hand on his parents'
2010 Sep 28, An Australian
mining company said it has discovered deposits in Mozambique of rare
minerals with a variety of industrial uses. The minerals found
included dysprosium, used to make laser materials and in components
of nuclear reactors.
2010 Sep 28, In Malaysia Kylie
Tanti Marion (42), an Australian woman, fell to her death when her
parachute failed to open after she jumped off the Alor Setar Tower
to practice for the KL Tower International Jump on Oct. 7.
2010 Oct 2, Australian PM Julia
Gillard met the chief of international forces in Afghanistan and
vowed support for the US-led mission in a surprise visit to troops
on her first overseas trip as leader.
2010 Oct 7, Australian PM Julia
Gillard dropped her unpopular "citizens' assembly" to guide climate
change policy after the plan drew fierce criticism during the recent
2010 Oct 8, In Australia plan
was released by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority to restore ailing
rivers, posing a new headache for the Labor minority government.
Farmers would lose more than a third of irrigation water in the
major food bowl.
2010 Oct 10, The 10/10/10 event
known as the "Global Work Party" kicked off in Australia and New
Zealand before spinning its way across the globe with events in 188
countries. Environmental campaigners planted trees, collected
rubbish and rallied against pollution for what organizers aimed to
make the world's biggest day of climate-change activism.
2010 Oct 10, Dame Joan
Sutherland (83), renowned Australian opera soprano, died at her home
(SFC, 10/12/10, p.C3)
2010 Oct 12, Australian PM
Julia Gillard renewed her backing for a controversial Internet
filter, saying it was driven by a "moral question."
2010 Oct 13, Australia and
Indonesia agreed to further discuss plans for a refugee centre in
East Timor to stem the flow of asylum seekers through Southeast Asia
on their way to Australia.
2010 Oct 14, Australian police
seized half-a-ton of cocaine from a luxury yacht in one of the
country's largest ever hauls of the drug. 3 Australians were charged
in connection with the yacht seizure.
2010 Oct 17, Pope Benedict XVI
proclaimed Australia's first saint, canonizing Mary MacKillop
(1842-1909), a 19th-century nun. The Vatican also declared five
other saints in an open-air Mass attended by tens of thousands.
Brother Andre (1845-1937), a Canadian, Italian nuns Giulia Salzano
and Battista Camilla da Varano, and Spanish nun Candida Maria de
Jesus Cipitria y Barriola were also canonized.
2010 Oct 18, Australia’s
Justice Minister Brendan O'Connor said illegal pornographic material
must be declared on arrival, watering down recent rules that asked
for all pornography to be revealed. The government said it changed
the wording on passenger arrival cards after becoming aware of
confusion among travelers about what pornography to declare.
2010 Oct 25, The Singapore and
Australian stock exchanges announced an 8.3 billion dollar merger
that would create one of the world's largest and most diversified
financial trading hubs.
(AFP, 10/25/10)(Econ, 10/30/10, p.78)
2010 Nov 1, Australian police
said a mother (55) and son (28), along with a 33-year-old Hong Kong
man, have been charged over one of the country's biggest heroin
hauls after drugs with a potential street value of 405 million US
dollars were found in a shipment of doors.
2010 Nov 1, Britain's BG Group
announced it will spend 15 billion US dollars on a liquefied natural
gas (LNG) project in Australia, an investment Canberra hailed as a
boost for the national economy.
2010 Nov 3, Australian
Treasurer Wayne Swan vowed to crack down on "arrogant" banks in an
extraordinary attack as major lenders face mounting anger over
rising interest rates and fees.
2010 Nov 4, A Qantas A380 with
more than 450 people on board made a dramatic forced landing in
Singapore, trailing smoke from a blackened engine after the Airbus
superjumbo's first mid-air emergency. In response Qantas Airways and
Singapore Airlines suspended flights of the Airbus A380 superjumbos.
(AFP, 11/4/10)(Reuters, 11/4/10)
2010 Nov 6, US Secretary of
State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Australian Foreign Minister Kevin
Rudd said their countries would enhance their military and defense
cooperation by expanding joint exercises and the use of each other's
training facilities. They also pledged to work together to influence
the behavior of an increasingly assertive China.
2010 Nov 8, Australia’s PM
Julia Gillard said the government plans to hold a referendum within
three years on whether to amend its constitution to acknowledge the
Aborigines as the first Australians.
2010 Nov 8, Qantas extended the
grounding of its Airbus A380 superjumbos for at least three more
days after finding oil leaks in some engines, heightening safety
fears after two mid-air blow-outs last week.
2010 Nov 18, Australian
officials said they would deport Gabe Watson, an American man
convicted in the 2003 death of his wife on a scuba-diving honeymoon
after US officials pledged not to seek the death penalty if he is
convicted again at home.
2010 Nov 20, In Australia David
Auchterlonie was murdered on his 17th birthday in New South Wales.
Mathew Milat (17) and Cohen Klein (18) had planned for over a week
to lure Auchterlonie to his death. In 2012 Matthew Milat, a relative
of serial killer Ivan Milat, pleaded guilty to the ax murder and was
sentenced to at least 30 years in prison. Cohen Klein also pleaded
guilty and was sentenced for at least 22 years.
2010 Nov 22, In Australia
police said that an ongoing operation has smashed a cartel that has
raked in an estimated 400 million Australian dollars ($395 million).
Police had already arrested 34 people and seized 6,000 cannabis
plants in the biggest series of drug raids in the history of
2010 Nov 23, Australia promised
to be a future long-tem supplier of rare earths to Japan, after
China suspended shipments of the minerals to its neighbor.
2010 Nov 24, Australia said
that a Thai-owned oil firm's "widespread and systematic
shortcomings" caused the worst offshore drilling accident in the
country's history, which created a massive oil slick. Thousands of
barrels of oil gushed into the sea from a damaged well after a blow
out on the West Atlas rig on August 21, 2009, prompting the
evacuation of workers.
2010 Nov 27, Australia's Qantas
Airways resumed flights of its Airbus A380 superjumbos, after a
mid-flight engine failure grounded all six of the planes earlier
2010 Nov, Sarah Bara was beaten
to death with sticks on Groote Eylandt off the northern Australian
coast. In 2011 Glenys Wurrawilya, Susie Wurrawilya, Paul Wurramara
and Roderick Mamarika received sentences ranging from five years to
seven-and-a-half years in jail. The four were accused of killing Ms
Bara during a fire circle ceremony in which they attempted to
cleanse her of the devil.
2010 Dec 2, Australia's PM
Julia Gillard slammed WikiLeaks' publication of classified documents
as "illegal," in the country's strongest condemnation yet of the
website's ongoing release of sensitive data.
2010 Dec 2, Australian
contractor Leighton Holdings said it had won a 22-year coal mining
contract with India's state-owned NTPC power company worth 5.5
billion dollars (5.3 billion US).
2010 Dec 3, Rio Tinto, an
Anglo-Australian mining firm, announced a joint venture with
Chinalco, to hunt for minerals in China.
(Econ, 12/18/10, p.130)
2010 Dec 8, Australia's Foreign
Minister Kevin Rudd said that the US government is responsible for
the leaking of hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic memos
and cautioned against blaming the website that published the secret
cables and its founder.
2010 Dec 10, Australia's
attorney general declared 45 communities along the country's east
coast disaster areas, following weeks of drenching rains that have
submerged homes, destroyed crops and killed four people.
2010 Dec 12, Australia unveiled
tough changes to finance laws, banning unpopular mortgage fees and
cracking down on price collusion between major banks in a bid to
boost competition in the sector.
2010 Dec 15, Australia signed
an agreement with Brazil to share knowledge on putting on the
Olympics to help preparations with Rio's hosting of the 2016 Games.
2010 Dec 15, In New South
Wales, Australia, police found seven boxes of chemical glassware
used to make drugs when a van was stopped outside the town of
Quirindi. A forensic search of the van later found 43 pounds of
hidden ecstasy tablets with a street value of about 20 million
Australian dollars ($19.7 million).
2010 Dec 15, In violent seas
off Australia’s Christmas Island at least 48 refugees, thought to be
from Iran and Iraq, died after their wooden boat shattered before
horrified witnesses. 42 survivors, including 9 children were
rescued. On January 24, 2011, Australian authorities charged three
Indonesian men with people smuggling. Iranian-born Ali Khorram
Heydarkhani (40) was detained by Indonesian authorities on January
25 but only sent to Australia after overstaying his visa. On May 12,
2011, he was charged in Sydney with offences relating to the
(AFP, 12/15/10)(AP, 12/16/10)(AP, 12/20/10)(AP,
2010 Dec 21, The Australian
Defence Force said steroids and unidentified substances had been
seized in recent raids after a tip-off. A report claimed Australian
sailors have been stashing large amounts of cocaine and heroin on
navy ships and selling them in Sydney's red light district and that
this has been going on "for years."
2010 Dec 22, In Australia Kok
Loong Wong of Malaysia appeared in a Sydney court charged with
possessing 200 pounds (90 kg) of crystal meth in his home, the
seventh-largest "ice" haul in Australian history.
2010 Dec 23, In Australia
Melbourne men Wissam Mahmoud Fattal (34), Nayef El Sayed (26), both
of Lebanese descent, and Somali-origin Saney Edow Aweys (27) were
found guilty of conspiring to plan a terrorist act, which carries a
possible life term. Two other men, Somali-origin Abdirahman Mohamud
Ahmed (26) and Yacqub Khayre (23) were found not guilty after the
2010 Dec 23, Anglo-Australian
resources giant Rio Tinto made a 3.9 billion US dollar offer for
Australia's Riversdale, sparking speculation of a bidding war for
its African steel-making coal with Indian and other rivals.
2010 Dec 28, In Australia
drenching rains pounded communities across the northeast, flooding
major highways and prompting hundreds of evacuations.
2010 Dec 29, Australia’s
military cleared a town in eastern Australia, airlifting the entire
population of 300 people by helicopter in Theodore, where waters
were continuing to rise after days of drenching rain. A total of
1,000 people were evacuated from central and southern Queensland
2010 Dec 31, In Australia
floodwater rose across a vast area in the northeast, inundating 22
towns, forcing 200,000 residents out of their homes, and closing a
major sugar export port.
2010 Australian PM Kevin Rudd
penned a children's book featuring his family pets. It was titled
"Jasper and Abby and the Great Australia Day Kerfuffle."
2010 Australia’s population was
about 22 million and was expected to reach 36 million in 2050.
(Econ, 2/6/10, p.46)
2011 Jan 1, Queensland
Treasurer Andrew Fraser told reporters in the flooded city of
Bundaberg that the flood disaster was of biblical proportions.
Days of driving rain last week swamped northeastern Australia, with
around 200,000 people affected by floodwaters in an area larger than
France and Germany combined.
2011 Jan 3, Australian military
flights rushed to restock the coastal city of Rockhampton before it
was cut off by floodwaters that have turned a huge swath of the
Outback into a lake. Police confirmed two more deaths in the crisis.
2011 Jan 5, Queensland's
premier said Australia's record floods are causing catastrophic
damage to infrastructure in the state of Queensland and have forced
75 percent of its coal mines, which fuel Asia's steel mills, to
grind to a halt. Officials and scientists said the disastrous floods
have spread to 40 towns and threatened the world-famous Great
Barrier Reef as tons of sludge poured into the sea.
(AP, 1/5/11)(AFP, 1/5/11)
2011 Jan 8, In Australia almost
a foot of rain in just a few hours renewed flood fears in the
already waterlogged Queensland state, sending a surging river over
its banks and into another large town. Some 20 buildings in
Maryborough, where about 22,000 people live, were expected to be
flooded after the river burst its banks in the overnight downpour.
2011 Jan 9, In Australia a
swollen river submerged bridges and inundated homes and stores in
Australia's already sodden Queensland state as more heavy rain added
to the country's worst flooding in decades.
2011 Jan 10, In Australia flash
floods swept through the city of Toowoomba, killing at least four
people, trapping others in cars and leaving some clinging to trees.
A 26-foot (8-m) wall of water was coursing through the low-lying
communities from Toowoomba and eastward toward Queensland’s state
2011 Jan 11, In Australia
thousands of people fled central Brisbane as the panicked city
braced for its worst flooding in 120 years. Terrifying flash floods
already left 10 dead and 78 missing nearby.
2011 Jan 12, In Australia
floodwaters poured into the empty downtown of Australia's
third-largest city after tearing a deadly path across the northeast,
swamping neighborhoods in what could be Brisbane's most devastating
floods in a century.
2011 Jan 13, Australia's
3rd-largest city Brisbane resembled a "war zone" with whole suburbs
under water and infrastructure smashed as the worst flood in decades
hit 30,000 properties. The Brisbane River peaked at 4.5 meters. The
flooding in Queensland left 28 people dead.
(AP, 1/13/11)(SFC, 1/17/11, p.A2)(Econ, 1/15/11,
2011 Jan 18, In Australia the
city of Horsham, Victoria state, resembled a lake after the Wimmera
River overflowed its banks and bisected the community before
starting to recede. The weekslong flooding crisis has left 30 people
2011 Jan 20, In Australia a
surging river flooded and isolated Kerang, Victoria state, the
latest community hit in the deadly flood disaster, straining a levee
serving as the main protection between the muddy waters and
residents' homes. The flooding shut down much of Queensland's
lucrative coal industry and has caused 30 deaths.
2011 Jan 24, Lara Giddings took
over as premier Australia’s island state of Tasmania.
(Econ, 2/12/11, p.49)
2011 Jan 27, Australia imposed
a temporary new tax to help fund a multi-billion-dollar rebuilding
program after floods devastated infrastructure and ruined thousands
of homes and businesses across the eastern seaboard over the past
2011 Feb 1, Australia evacuated
thousands of people from its northeast coast as a cyclone rivaling
Hurricane Katrina bore down on tourism towns and rural communities.
2011 Feb 2, In northeastern
Australia Cyclone Yasi ripped roofs from buildings and cut power to
thousands of homes. The scale of disaster was unknown as officials
and residents holed up while the tempest raged.
2011 Feb 2, In Afghanistan
Australian Corporal Richard Edward Atkinson (22) was killed while on
patrol in Uruzgan's Deh Rahwod. This upped the number of Australian
troops killed in the conflict to 22.
2011 Feb 3, Australia's biggest
cyclone in a century shattered entire towns after pummeling the
coast and churning across the country. One man asphyxiated while
sheltering inside during the massive cyclone and become the storm's
(AFP, 2/3/11)(AP, 2/3/11)
2011 Feb 5, In Australia
torrential rains and flash floods trapped scores of people in homes
and cars following a massive cyclone, piling on more misery after
weeks of record inundations.
2011 Feb 6, In Australia
wildfires destroyed homes around Perth and flooding claimed the life
of a man near Wagga Wagga, as officials warned that last week's
monster cyclone would compound economic woes.
2011 Feb 7, In Western
Australia firefighters battled two wildfires, water bombing them
from above as they tried to stop their spread. One on the outskirts
of Perth destroyed at least 40 homes and left a firefighter injured.
2011 Feb 8, Australian
firefighters brought a raging wildfire that destroyed 68 houses and
damaged 32 others near the city of Perth under control.
2011 Feb 10, Australian PM
Julia Gillard introduced contentious legislation for a one-off tax
to help pay for devastating floods which killed 35 people and
swamped thousands of homes.
2011 Feb 17, An Australian
diver was killed by sharks in south Australia, in only the second
fatal shark attack in Australian waters in more than two years.
2011 Feb 19, An Australian
soldier and an Afghan interpreter were shot dead by insurgents in
Uruzgan province, bringing Australia's death toll from the conflict
2011 Mar 5, In Australia
hundreds of thousands of revelers crammed inner Sydney streets for
one of the world's premier gay and lesbian parades.
2011 Mar 9, In Australia Todd
Bairstow (28) was fishing with his dog at a creek near the town of
Weipa in northern Queensland when a four-meter (13-feet) saltwater
crocodile lunged at him and tried to drag him under the water. The
crocodile only retreated after Bairstow's friend heard his screams
from the nearby pub and helped beat off the predator.
2011 Mar 10, Australia’s
Attorney-General Robert McClelland said the nation’s spy agency ASIO
has established a 'cyber' intelligence unit to counter possible
terror attacks on computer systems from abroad.
2011 Mar 10, The Natural
History Museum in London said that it has agreed to return 138 sets
of skeletal remains of indigenous people to Australia, in what it
hailed as a new approach to the delicate subject of repatriation.
2011 Mar 13, In Australia
Owsley Stanley (b.1935), counterculture maker of LSD and Grateful
Dead associate, died in a car crash. His Bear Research Group
reputedly made over 1.25 million doses of LSD from 1965-1967.
(SFC, 3/14/11, p.A1)
2011 Mar 15, Australia's remote
Christmas Island detention centre was hit by a second night of
riots, with up to 200 asylum seekers destroying closed-circuit
2011 Mar 17, In Australia a pod
of long-finned pilot whales beached themselves at Bruny Island,
south of the Tasmanian state capital Hobart. 21 whales died but 11
2011 Mar 23, Scientists warned
that up to 45 rare species of wallaby, bandicoot and other
Australian animals could become extinct within 20 years unless
urgent action is taken to control introduced predators and other
2011 Mar 24, Eyad Abuarga, an
Palestinian-born Australian information technology expert, was
detained in Israel over alleged links to Hamas.
2011 Mar 26, Voters in New
South Wales, Australia's most populous state, delivered a crushing
defeat to PM Julia Gillard's Labor party, handing power to the
conservative opposition in a landslide.
2011 Mar 27, Yang Hengjun (46),
a Sydney-based spy novelist, phoned an assistant from Guangzhou
airport in southeastern China to say three men were following him.
Yang was later able to briefly phone a sister in Guangzhou to say
"he's having a long chat with his old friends." This was a
prearranged signal that Yang had been taken by the secret police.
Yang was an official in the Chinese Foreign Ministry before moving
to Australia. His novel, "Fatal Weakness," deals with espionage
between China and the United States and has been published on the
Internet in China. On March 31 Hengjun said he is OK and apologizing
for causing trouble.
(AP, 3/29/11)(AP, 3/31/11)
2011 Mar 28, Australia launched
its first national health TV advertising campaign aimed at
Aboriginal people, hoping to halve the 50 percent of indigenous
people who smoke by 2018.
2011 Mar 28, Australia's annual
cane toad cull was declared a success by organizers who said that
more than 14,000 of the noxious pests had perished as a result. The
number of cane toads across Australia is estimated to have ballooned
to more than 200 million since being introduced from Brazil in the
1930s to control scarab beetles infesting the country's sugar cane.
2011 Mar 29, In Australia
Sydney's Daily Telegraph said American intelligence officials tipped
off the government that several thousand emails may have been
accessed from the computers of at least 10 ministers including PM
Julia Gillard's parliamentary computer. Chinese intelligence
agencies were among the list of foreign hackers that were under
2011 Apr 4, The Australian
Institute of Criminology's "Fraud against the Commonwealth" report
showed Australia is losing almost Aus$600 million a year to social
security fraud and crooked public servants as the government
announced new measures to tackle the menace.
2011 Apr 6, The Australian
military was hit by another scandal after a young army recruit
allegedly filmed himself having sex with a female cadet and
broadcast it via Skype to his friends.
2011 Apr 8, Australian
Treasurer Wayne Swan officially rejected a proposed merger of the
Australian and Singapore stock exchanges, branding it a takeover by
the city-state that offered no benefits.
2011 Apr 11, Australia fined
Japan Airlines (JAL) Aus$5.5 million (US$5.8 million) after the
carrier admitted its role in a long-running cargo cartel case
involving 15 airlines. The Australian Competition and Consumer
Commission (ACCC) said JAL admitted to "making and giving effect to
illegal price-fixing understandings with other international
airlines" on fuel, insurance and security surcharges.
2011 Apr 15, An Australian
Crime Commission report said organized crime costs Australia up to
Aus$15 billion (US$15.8 billion) each year. The report warned that
opportunities for illegal activity were unprecedented.
2011 Apr 20, A South Australian
politician was detained and charged with four child pornography
2011 Apr 22, Anglo-Australian
miner Rio Tinto settled a long-running dispute over Guinea's huge
Simandou iron ore field, with the West African nation agreeing to
take a stake of up to 35 percent.
2011 Apr 26, Australian PM
Julia Gillard, visiting China, raised a range of human rights
concerns in talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who denied China
had taken a "backward step."
2011 Apr 27, In Australia
University of Sydney officials said an anonymous American donor has
given "Jeune fille endormie, a 1935 Pablo Picasso painting worth
millions, to the university on the condition the school use proceeds
from the painting's sale to fund scientific research. The portrait
was donated last year.
2011 Apr 29, In Australia a
gunman killed three neighbors then shot a police officer in the face
during a shootout and siege in the normally sleepy city of Adelaide.
2011 May 2, The Vatican said in
a statement that Pope Benedict XVI had "removed from pastoral care"
Bishop William Morris of the Toowoomba diocese, west of Brisbane.
Morris had called on the church to consider ordaining women and
2011 May 5, Australian police
said they have arrested four people and seized 239 kg (527 pounds)
of methamphetamine, or ice, in the country's biggest bust of its
2011 May 6, Australia's Defence
Ministry announced it will slash 1,000 civilian jobs as part of a
belt-tightening exercise to bring the national budget back into
2011 May 7, Australia’s PM
Julia Gillard said Malaysia has agreed to take hundreds of asylum
seekers who land in Australia illegally and called this "big blow"
to people smugglers.
2011 May 9, In Australia
organizers of the Sydney Writers' Festival said Chinese authorities
have barred dissident writer Liao Yiwu from traveling to Australia
for a festival for "security reasons" and advised him against
publishing his works abroad.
2011 May 9, Abu Dhabi donated
US$32 million dollars to Queensland to help protect the Australian
state from cyclones in the wake of a monster storm that hit in
2011 May 11, In Australia
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was awarded the Sydney Peace
Foundation's top honor for "exceptional courage in pursuit of human
rights", joining the likes of Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.
2011 May 11, India said it had
lodged a complaint with the Australian government over swimwear
carrying the image of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi that has sparked
protests. Fashion house Lisa Blue promised to halt production
immediately and apologized for any offence the design may have
2011 May 12, In Australia two
Malaysians were arrested and charged with importing heroin into
Australia with a street value of more than Aus$50 million (US$53
million), the country's biggest haul in a decade.
2011 May 16, Australia’s Sydney
Morning Herald said a development application has been lodged for a
Aus$12 million (US$12.7 million) extension to the Stiletto brothel,
which proposes doubling its size to 40 working rooms and 21 waiting
2011 May 27, Australian
anesthesiologist, Dr. James Latham Peters (61), was charged with
endangering his patients' lives after police alleged he infected
nearly 50 women with hepatitis C at an abortion clinic.
2011 May 27, It was reported
that A 22-year-old Australian university student has solved a
problem which has puzzled astrophysicists for decades, discovering
part of the so-called "missing mass" of the universe during her
summer break. Undergraduate Amelia Fraser-McKelvie made the
breakthrough during a holiday internship with a team at Monash
University's School of Physics, locating the mystery material within
vast structures called "filaments of galaxies."
2011 May 28, Thousands of
people turned out for Australia's first "SlutWalk," protesting for
women to be able to wear whatever they like without fear of being
sexually assaulted. SlutWalk began in Canada in April after a
Toronto police official said that "women should avoid dressing like
sluts in order not to be victimized."
2011 May 30, Australian robots
have begun talking to each other in a language of their own
devising. Two "Lingodroids," developed by the University of
Queensland, have picked up their shared language by playing location
games that led them to construct a shared vocabulary for places,
distances and directions.
2011 Jun 5, Thousands of
Australians across the country rallied to support a tax on the
carbon emissions blamed for global warming, as a new report outlined
the risks of rising sea levels from climate change.
2011 Jun 19, In Fiji Agape
Ministries leader Rocco Leo, a fugitive Australian cult leader, was
picked up by officials, along with two associates, for alleged visa
breaches. On May 20, 2010, Australian police raided 12 properties
associated with Agape and netted 15 guns, slow-burning fuses,
detonators, extendable batons and 35,000 rounds of ammunition.
2011 Jun 21, In Australia
Hundreds of flights were grounded in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and
Canberra as the Chilean ash cloud returned to Australia with a
2011 Jun 24, UNESCO added the
Ningaloo Coast in Western Australia, Japan's remote Ogasawara
Islands and the Kenya Lake System in the Rift Valley province, to
its heritage list.
2011 Jun 27, In Australia Hong
Kong-based Philip Morris Asia Limited launched legal action against
the government over plans to strip company logos from cigarette
packages and replace them with grisly images of cancerous mouths,
sickly children and bulging, blinded eyes.
2011 Jul 1, Australian federal
police charged two currency printing firms and several of their
former senior managers with bribing foreign officials to secure bank
note supply contracts. The charges against Securency International
Pty Ltd., one of the world's leading currency printing firms, and
Note Printing Australia Ltd. related to alleged bribes paid to
officials in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam between 1999 and 2005.
2011 Jul 2, Australian aviation
regulators grounded budget carrier Tiger Airways Australia, a
subsidiary of Singapore's Tiger Airways, because it posed a "serious
and imminent risk to air safety", throwing the travel plans of
thousands of people into chaos.
2011 Jul 2, Australian
officials worked to isolate potential victims after uncovering two
more cases of the deadly horse-borne Hendra virus, which has erupted
in New south Wales and Queensland. Hendra can lead to fatal
respiratory illness and has killed four of the seven people who have
contracted it in Australia since it was first documented in 1994.
2011 Jul 6, Australia announced
it would lift a ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia and resume
trade with additional safeguards in place to address animal cruelty
2011 Jul 10, Australia’s PM
Julia Gillard announced plans to tax carbon pollution at Aus$23
(US$24.74) per ton to help battle climate change, as it moved
towards creating the region's biggest emissions trading scheme.
(AFP, 7/10/11)(Econ, 7/16/11, p.41)
2011 Jul 12, Australia's major
alcohol brands launched voluntary health warnings on their labels
targeting children, pregnant women and excessive boozing in a
country famed for its binge-drinking culture.
2011 Jul 17, Christian
Martinez, an Australian convert to Islam, was pinned down and lashed
40 times for drinking alcohol by a group of 4 Muslim men who broke
into his Sidney home to punish him for breaking sharia law. Two of
the men were soon charged with aggravated breaking and entering with
intent to commit an indictable offense.
(AFP, 7/19/11)(AP, 7/20/11)
2011 Jul 21, Australian police
raided the Sydney offices of Greenpeace over their destruction of an
experimental crop of genetically modified wheat at a government
2011 Jul 24, Cadel Evans won
the Tour de France, becoming the first Australian to capture
cycling's most prestigious title.
2011 Jul 25, The Catholic
Church in Australia apologized for the forced adoption of babies
from young, unwed mothers in the 1950s, '60s and '70s, saying the
practice was "deeply regrettable.”
2011 Jul 26, Australia
authorities said a lethal bat-borne horse virus has been detected in
a dog for the first time, prompting fears it has jumped species.
2011 Jul 26, Australian painter
Margaret Olley (88), one of Australia's most important and respected
artists, was found dead at her Sydney home. She was best known for
her colorful still life paintings.
2011 Jul 27, In Australia a
25-year-old unemployed truck driver (online nickname "Evil"), who
had been unable to find a job in information technology, faced 49
charges after a six-month investigation into his online activities.
2011 Jul 28, Australian farmer
Steve Marsh launched legal action against neighbor Michael Baxter
after genetically modified canola blew onto his farm, prompting
authorities to strip him of his organic license.
2011 Aug 3, In Australia a
masked man, later identified as Paul Peters, strapped a fake bomb to
the neck of Madeleine Pulver (18) in her suburban Sydney home.
Pulver endured a horrifying 10-hour ordeal with experts working into
the night to remove the device, only later establishing it was an
elaborate hoax. Peters fled to the US and was arrested nearly two
weeks later in Louisville, Kentucky. He was extradited to Australia
and faced 20 years in prison. On Nov 20 Peters was sentenced to 13
years and six months in prison.
(Reuters, 8/16/11)(AFP, 3/8/12)(AP, 10/31/12)(AP,
2011 Aug 10, Australian
Clifford John Gerathy (60), accused of funneling Aus$17.2 million
($17.8 million) in bribes to a Vietnamese official and falsifying
Malaysian accounts, was charged over a banknotes scandal. He was
charged with conspiracy to bribe a foreign public official and false
2011 Aug 10, Australian
aviation authorities lifted a 6-week flying ban on the local unit of
Tiger Airways after the budget carrier agreed to new conditions
including extra training for pilots.
2011 Aug 15, Paul "Doug"
Peters, a man wanted in Australia for allegedly strapping a fake
bomb to the neck of a teenage girl in a suburban Sydney home on
August 3, was arrested near Louisville, Kentucky.
2011 Aug 17, SABMiller, one of
the world's largest brewers, said it will take a $10 billion bid for
rival Foster's Group Ltd. straight to the Australian company's
shareholders after the board rejected its offer as too low.
2011 Aug 22, Bosses at
Australia's BlueScope steel were attacked for pocketing "obscene"
bonuses worth Aus$3.0 million (US$3.1 million), after they sacked
1,000 workers and abandoned their export business.
2011 Aug 24, In eastern
Australia an overnight house fire killed 11 people, including eight
children, from two families in Logan City, Queensland state.
2011 Aug 31, Australia's High
Court dealt a heavy blow to the government by blocking its plans to
send asylum-seekers to Malaysia, ruling they could not go to a
nation lacking legal safeguards.
2011 Sep 4, In Australia a
shark bit the legs off a bodyboarder, killing the man, at a popular
surfing spot at Bunker Bay near the western town of Dunsborough.
2011 Sep 11, In Australia Andy
Whitfield (39), who played the title role in the hit cable series
"Spartacus: Blood and Sand" (2010), died in Sydney of lymphoma
2011 Sep 13, Australian
lawmaker Nick Xenophon named Catholic priest Monsignor Ian Dempsey
as having allegedly raped Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth in
violent attacks dating back about 50 years.
2011 Sep 15, Australia’s
government said Australian passports will now have three gender
options: male, female and indeterminate, under new guidelines to
remove discrimination against transgender and intersex people.
2011 Sep 21, Australian beer
giant Foster's said it has accepted an improved takeover worth
Aus$9.9 billion (£6.5 billion) from British-based brewer
2011 Sep 26, Australia opened
frontline combat roles to women for the first time in its history
under a new policy allowing all military positions to be filled on
merit rather than gender.
2011 Sep 27, In Australia
thousands of international air travelers faced delays as Customs and
Border Protection officers walked off the job at airports across the
country after workers rejected a 9 percent pay rise over three
2011 Sep 28, In Australia
popular right-wing columnist Andrew Bolt was found guilty of
breaking Australian discrimination law by implying that fair-skinned
Aborigines chose to identify as indigenous for profit and career
2011 Oct 4, Apple Inc rejected
an offer from Samsung Electronics Co to settle their tablet computer
dispute in Australia, possibly killing off the commercial viability
of the South Korean firm's new Galaxy tablet in that market.
2011 Oct 4, An Australian boy
(14) was arrested in Indonesia for having bought 0.13 ounces (3.6
grams) of marijuana. He faced 12 years in detention under tough
narcotics laws. The boy was released on Dec 4 because he admitted
the purchase and repeatedly expressed remorse.
2011 Oct 6, Australian police
said they have disrupted an international people smuggling ring by
arresting two suspected key players in the syndicate following a
10-month undercover sting operation.
2011 Oct 6, Australian actress
Diane Cilento (78), who was once married to James Bond actor Sean
Connery, died. In 1956 she was nominated for a Tony Award for her
portrayal of Helen of Troy in the play "Tiger at the Gates." She
received an Academy Award nomination in 1963 for best supporting
actress for her work in the movie "Tom Jones."
2011 Oct 10, In Australia Bryn
Martin (64) disappeared while swimming toward a buoy off Perth
city's central Cottesloe Beach. Officials suspected that a shark
attack killed Martin.
2011 Oct 22, Off southwest
Australia a great white shark killed an American recreational diver
in a third fatality in recent weeks.
2011 Oct 28, Commonwealth
leaders agreed to drop rules that give sons precedence as heir to
the throne and bar anyone in line for the crown from marrying a
Roman Catholic. The agreement came on the sidelines of a
Commonwealth summit presided over by the Queen in the west
Australian city of Perth. Current succession rules, dating back to
1688 and 1700, were designed to ensure a Protestant monarchy, and
bar anyone in line to the throne from marrying a Catholic.
2011 Oct 29, Australian flag
carrier Qantas grounded its entire fleet indefinitely in a bitter
industrial dispute. Months of strikes by baggage handlers, engineers
and pilots have been costing Qantas Aus$15 million (£9.9
million) per week, with the total financial impact so far hitting
2011 Oct 29, Commonwealth
leaders meeting in Australia failed to establish a human rights
watchdog for their 54-nation bloc, but insisted that progress had
been made during their summit to promote democratic values.
2011 Oct 30, In Australia the
3-day 54-nation Commonwealth summit, held once every two years,
wrapped up with a joint communique. Among the forum's successes was
the adoption of a measure that will coordinate global emergency
relief efforts to deal with food supply crises.
2011 Oct 31, An Australian
court ended the strikes and employee lockout that had abruptly
grounded Qantas Airways and stranded tens of thousands of passengers
worldwide. The government referred the dispute to Fair Work
Australia, which ordered both sides into 21 days of talks.
(AP, 10/31/11)(Econ, 11/5/11, p.75)
2011 Nov 6, Afghan Pres. Karzai
met with Australian PM Julia Gillard, who made an unannounced trip
to the country. In the north 2 suicide bombers targeted worshippers
on a key Muslim festival, killing seven, including two local police
commanders of Old Baghlan City. A roadside bomb ripped through a
police vehicle in the south, killing a district police chief and two
of his bodyguards.
(AP, 11/6/11)(AFP, 11/7/11)
2011 Nov 8, Australia passed
its controversial pollution tax in a sweeping and historic reform
aimed at lowering carbon emissions blamed for climate change, after
years of fierce debate.
2011 Nov 8, In eastern
Afghanistan up to 70 Taliban fighters were killed after trying to
attack a foreign troop base in Paktika province. Mohammad Akbar, the
governor of Sar Hawza district in Paktika, died in hospital after
his car struck a roadside bomb in the province. A rogue Afghan
soldier shot and wounded 3 Australian troops at a joint base at
Charmistan, Uruzgan province. In February, 2012, a Taliban video had
Mohammed Roozi talking about how he attacked Australian and Afghan
soldiers at Patrol Base Nasir, saying he turned a machine gun and
rocket launcher on them before going into hiding.
(AFP, 11/9/11)(AFP, 2/10/12)
2011 Nov 11, Australian police
seized about 660 pounds (300 kg) of cocaine from a yacht at the
northeastern coastal town of Bundaberg. Police said the yacht was
crewed by Ivan Maria Ramos Valea (35) and Julia Maria Boada
Fernandez (37), who were both arrested. Two other Spanish citizens,
Miguel Angel Sanchez Barrocal (38) and Jose Herrero-Calvo (39) were
also arrested in Bundaberg.
2011 Nov 12, In Australia 22
sperm whales and 2 minke whales died after getting stranded near
Ocean Beach, Tasmania. Rescuers over the next 2 days saved two huge
sperm whales stranded at Macquarie Harbor. Another died and a 4th
remained stranded as weather worsened.
(AFP, 11/14/11)(AP, 11/15/11)
2011 Nov 16, US President
Barack Obama arrived in Australia and announced a new security
agreement with Australia. Obama said the US would keep sending a
clear message that China needs to accept the responsibilities that
come with being a world power.
2011 Nov 17, Australian
scientists exploring areas of the Indian Ocean said they had found
sunken parts of the megacontinent Gondwana which could offer clues
on how the current world was formed. This would hopefully shed light
on how Gondwana broke into present-day Australia, Antarctica and
India between 80 and 130 million years ago.
2011 Nov 18, In Australia 4
people died as fires ravaged a nursing home in Sydney's suburban
Quakers Hill neighborhood. A 5th died the next day and Nurse Roger
Dean (35), who said he rescued patients from a fire, was charged
2011 Nov 25, Australia loosened
its highly charged policy of mandatory detention for asylum seekers
who arrive by boat, freeing 27 from overcrowded, prison-like
conditions and estimating more than 100 would be released monthly.
2011 Nov 25, Australia said it
will create the world's largest marine reserve in the Coral Sea. The
proposal includes seas beyond the already protected Great Barrier
Reef Marine Park off northeast Australia.
2011 Dec 4, Australia’s Labor
party passed PM Julia Gillard's proposal with 206 votes to 185,
reversing a decades-old policy excluding New Delhi from Australia's
uranium trade because it is not a signatory to the Nuclear
2011 Dec 5, In the Philippines
several armed men abducted Warren Rodwell (53) of Australia from his
home in the seaside town of Ipil on Mindanao island, then fled on
speed boats. The kidnappers mailed four pictures of Rodwell before
Christmas to his Filipino wife then called her to demand an initial
ransom of $23,000 (1 million pesos). The ransom was soon raised to
(AFP, 12/5/11)(AP, 1/1/12)(AP, 1/5/12)
2011 Dec 6, Saudi Arabia
sentenced an Australian man to 500 lashes and a year in jail after
being found guilty of blasphemy. Reports said Mansor Almaribe (45)
was detained in Medina on November 14 while making the hajj
pilgrimage and accused of insulting companions of the prophet
Mohammed. The father-of-five from Shepparton in Victoria state, who
could not afford a lawyer, suffers from diabetes and heart disease.
2011 Dec 9, Australia's highest
court dismissed rival Apple's appeal in its global patent battle
against South Korea’s Samsung Electronics. Samsung is now free to
sell its Galaxy tablet computers in Australia.
2011 Dec 9, In Australia a
senior Queensland Health executive, Hohepa Morehu-Barlow (36), also
known as Joel Barlow, was being hunted after Aus$16 million (US$16
million) went missing from the government department. He was
arrested at his own apartment Dec 12 after three days on the run
from police following the discovery of his alleged theft.
(AFP, 12/9/11)(AP, 12/13/11)
2011 Dec 12, Senior Australian
naval officer Lieutenant Commander John Alan Jones (58) was
convicted by a court martial of repeatedly spanking a junior female
sailor to test her discipline and obedience.
2011 Dec 15, Australia’s
independent Remuneration Tribunal recommended pay hikes for most
politicians and public servants. PM Julia Gillard was recommended
for a bumper 31 percent rise to take her salary past that of US
President Barack Obama.
2011 Dec 19, Members of an
Australian class action lawsuit, who blame a German pharmaceutical
company's anti-morning sickness drug, Thalidomide, for causing birth
defects, won the right to have their case heard in their own
country. The class action against Grunenthal is open to Australians
born between Jan. 1, 1958, and Dec. 31, 1970, who were injured after
their mothers took thalidomide while pregnant.
2011 Dec 19, Belarus police
arrested dozens of regime opponents who tried to stage a banned
vigil in Minsk. Australian filmmaker Kitty Green (27) was detained
while covering a topless protest outside the offices of the
Belarussian KGB security services to mark Lukashenko's disputed
re-election a year ago. Three members of the radical Femen group
were also seized by KGB security agents who forced them to strip
naked in a forest and threatened to torch them.
2012 Jan 8, The anti-whaling
group Sea Shepherd said three Australian activists were being held
as "prisoners" by the Japanese harpoon fleet after sneaking aboard
one of their vessels overnight to protest. The activists were
transferred to an Australian customs vessel on Jan 13.
(AFP, 1/8/12)(AP, 1/13/12)
2012 Jan 12, The Australian
military was rocked by more sex scandals, including allegations of
assault, child porn, rape and drug-dealing within its ranks.
2012 Jan 13, Japanese energy
firm Inpex and French giant Total announced a huge $34 billion gas
project in Australia, as Tokyo looks for alternatives to nuclear
power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.
2012 Jan 24, Flooding in
northeastern Australia caused thousands of homes to lose power and
prompted authorities to start evacuations, around a year after
deadly floods devastated the region.
2012 Jan 26, Two Australian
adventurers reached home and made Antarctic history by becoming the
first team to travel unaided to the South Pole and back, surviving
three months of "extreme hardship." James Castrission (29) an
accountant, and Justin Jones (28), a scientist, skied 2,270 km
(1,400 miles) to complete the arduous trek. The pair reached had the
Pole on December 31.
2012 Feb 1, Some 24,000
Australian ducks were being destroyed after testing positive for a
low pathogenic strain of the bird flu virus, an outbreak which has
prompted poultry export bans in parts of Asia.
2012 Feb 3, Major flooding hit
parts of Australia's east, stranding thousands of residents,
prompting a military airlift and leaving some communities only
accessible by helicopter.
2012 Feb 4, In Australia
celebrated filmmakers Andrew Wight (52) and Mike deGruy (60)
died in a helicopter crash at Jasper's Brush. They were working on a
documentary with Oscar-winning director James Cameron and National
2012 Feb 7, Australia imposed
new travel bans and financial sanctions on Syrian leaders on as it
stepped up actions to force an end to violence against Syria's
2012 Feb 15, In Australia some
3,500 workers from mining giant BHP Billiton's Queensland coal mines
began a seven-day strike in what unions said was one of the nation's
largest industrial stoppages in a decade.
2012 Feb 17, Budget carrier Air
Australia collapsed, stranding thousands of passengers as its
domestic flights and international services to Honolulu, Bali and
Phuket were all grounded.
2012 Feb 22, Australia's
foreign minister Kevin Rudd resigned, saying he was unable to
continue without PM Julia Gillard's support, paving the way for him
to make a leadership challenge.
2012 Feb 22, Mining giant Rio
Tinto said it has unearthed a "remarkable" 12.76 carat pink diamond
in Australia, the largest of the rare and precious stones ever found
in the resources-rich nation.
2012 Feb 29, A five-count
indictment was returned in Washington accusing Australian David
Levick of knowingly skirting a federal trade embargo with Iran and
plotting to export the technology without the required
authorization. Prosecutors said Levick and his company, ICM
Components, Inc., ordered materials on behalf of an unnamed
representative of an Iranian trade company. The export scheme
spanned about two years starting around March 2007.
2012 Mar 1, In Malaysia Dominic
Jude Christopher Bird (32), a truck driver Perth, Western Australia,
was arrested in Kuala Lumpur in possession of 225 grams (7.9 ounces)
of methamphetamine. He faced a possible death sentence.
2012 Mar 3, Thousands of
Australians were ordered to evacuate their homes in Sydney's
northwest and elsewhere in New South Wales state as heavy rainfall
flooded rivers and waterways.
2012 Mar 5, In Australia New
South Wales officials said Muslim women will have to remove veils to
have their signatures officially witnessed under the latest laws
giving state officials authority to look under religious and other
2012 Mar 19, Australia’s
parliament passed a mining tax on profits from coal and iron ore.
(Econ, 3/24/12, p.41)
2012 Mar 20, In northern
Australia a devastating "mini-tornado" tore through the city of
Townsville, ripping roofs off houses, snapping trees in half and
injuring 13 people.
2012 Mar 21, Australian zoo
officials said 4 rare white rhinoceroses have died in recent weeks
at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in New South Wales after
displaying mysterious neurological problems such as stumbling.
2012 Mar 22, Australia police
captured Malcolm Naden (38) just after midnight at a remote house
near the town of Gloucester. The former slaughterhouse worker has
been charged with the 2005 strangling death of a cousin and other
2012 Mar 23, Australian police
said they have smashed a child porn ring and arrested 14 men,
including fathers, after hundreds of thousands of images and videos
were seized, some depicting toddlers. Police raided more than a
dozen properties across the country over the past week after a
tip-off by Interpol, which linked the men to a child exploitation
network in Germany.
2012 Mar 28, Fiji's military
regime said it had seized control of national carrier Air Pacific
from Australia's Qantas because it did not want foreigners to own or
control Fijian airlines.
2012 Mar 30, Australian artist
Tim Storrier won the 91st Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW
in Sydney for his painting “The Histrionic Wayfarer (after Bosch).”
The Archibald Prize is one of Australia’s oldest and most
prestigious art prizes.
2012 Mar 31, Millions of people
switched off their lights for Earth Hour in a global effort to raise
awareness about climate change that will even be monitored from
space. Newcomers to the Sydney-led initiative, now in its sixth
year, included Libya, Iraq and the International Space Station,
which will watch over the event as it rolls across the globe.
2012 Mar 31, In southwestern
Australia a shark attack killed Peter Kurmann (33) as he was diving
from a boat off Stratham Beach.
(SSFC, 4/1/12, p.A4)
2012 Apr 3, An Australian court
found Google Inc. guilty of breaching trade law by posting
misleading or deceptive advertisements in a ruling that holds search
engines responsible for their advertisers' content.
2012 Apr 13, Australia's Qantas
launched the nation's first commercial flight using a mixture of
refined cooking oil, saying it would not survive if it relied solely
on traditional jet fuel. Australia's tax on carbon emissions comes
into force on July 1.
2012 Apr 16, Australia said it
will lift sanctions against Myanmar's president and more than 200
others who are currently under travel and financial bans, after a
series of reforms in the past year.
2012 Apr 17, Australia said it
will bring its troops home from Afghanistan a year earlier than
planned with most soldiers withdrawn in 2013 after significant
security gains over the past 18 months.
2012 Apr 19, Australia vowed in
an apparent U-turn to keep combat troops in Afghanistan through 2014
after PM Julia Gillard had indicated they would come home earlier
2012 Apr 21, In Australia 2
Aboriginal teenagers were shot by police in central Sydney after
mounting a crowded footpath in a stolen car and hitting a bystander.
2012 Apr 27, In Australia
Clarence Marae, the private secretary of Vanuatu’s PM Kilman, was
arrested at Sydney airport while traveling with PM Kilman, en route
to Israel for a state visit. The arrest was linked to an alleged
international tax scam.
2012 May 4, Australian Police
hunted for a gang of Sydney street robbers who threw feces at their
victims to distract them before grabbing their money.
2012 May 8, Australia's
government said it will rein in defense spending and scale back
promised increases in foreign aid as it tries to become the first
major developed economy to balance its books after the global
2012 May 9, In Australia 27
protected Little Penguins were found mauled in the Phillip Island
Nature Park in Victoria state, a popular tourist attraction. The
penguins were believed killed by a dog or a pack of dogs, ironically
at Cat Bay.
2012 May 10, Vanuatu expelled
the 12-member police contingent from Australia in retaliation for
the April 27 arrest of PM Kilman’s private secretary while in
transit to Israel.
(Econ, 5/19/12, p.49)
2012 May 17, Japan and
Australia signed an agreement in Tokyo that will allow them to share
intelligence as the Asia-Pacific region adapts to the rising power
2012 May 23, The annual index
by Business Review Weekly said Australia's richest person, Gina
Rinehart (58), has eclipsed Wal-Mart heiress Christy Walton to
become the world's wealthiest woman. The index put the mining
tycoon's personal fortune at Aus$29.17 billion (US$28.48 billion).
2012 May 25, A long-running
joust to host a radio telescope, the Square Kilometer Array, that
would give mankind its farthest peek into the Universe ended with a
Solomon-like judgement to split the site between two groups,
Australia and New Zealand and South Africa.
(AFP, 5/25/12)(Econ, 6/2/12, p.94)
2012 May 31, In southern
Australia a truck carrying around 400 sheep overturned on a highway
overpass outside Melbourne, causing the animals to rain onto the
freeway below resulting in "a large number" of dead and injured
2012 Jun 1, Australian
researchers reported that eating a block of dark chocolate daily
over 10 years has "significant" benefits for high-risk cardiac
patients and could prevent heart attacks and strokes.
2012 Jun 5, Australia's central
bank cut its benchmark interest rate for a second consecutive month
as Europe's economy weakens and growth in China moderates. It
lowered the rate by a quarter percentage point to 3.5 percent.
2012 Jun 7, Australia said it
will lift remaining sanctions against Myanmar and more than double
its foreign aid to encourage democratic reforms.
2012 Jun 7, Australian police
said Captain Emad, an alleged people-smuggling kingpin who was
granted a refugee visa, fled the country this week after a
television expose, and they were powerless to stop him.
2012 Jun 14, Australia
announced a 2.3 million-square-km marine preserve expansion creating
the world's largest network of marine reserves which will restrict
fishing as well as oil and gas exploration in a major step to
safeguard the environment and access to food.
2012 Jun 15, In Australia
documents were released revealing "horrific" child sex assaults and
brutal initiation ceremonies in the Australian military, prompting
PM Julia Gillard to signal a possible public inquiry. The report
details allegations of sexual and other serious physical assaults
against boys as young as 13 dating back to the 1950s.
2012 Jun 18, Australia
archaeologist Bryce Barker said he has found the oldest piece of
rock art in Australia and one of the oldest in the world: an
Aboriginal work created 28,000 years ago in the Northern Territory
rock shelter known as Nawarla Gabarnmang.
2012 Jun 20, In Australia a
Sydney brothel was reported to have received the green light for a
multi-million-dollar expansion which will see it become the nation’s
largest sex premises. Stiletto’s hourly rate of Aus$370
includes room, lady of choice and beverages.
2012 Jun 20, In Thailand
Michelle Elizabeth Smith (60), an Australian tourist, was stabbed
and killed as 2 men tried to steal her bag on the resort island of
Phuket. Two Thai men were arrested and pleaded guilty on June 26,
saying they meant only to slash her pocketbook strap and never meant
to stab her.
2012 Jun 21, Indonesian and
Australian navies launched efforts to rescue survivors after a Sri
Lanka refugee boat carrying about 200 people, mostly men from
Afghanistan, capsized south of Indonesia and scores were
feared drowned in an apparent attempt to reach Australia to seek
asylum. 109 people were rescued and about 90 remained missing.
(AFP, 6/21/12)(AFP, 6/22/12)
2012 Jun 27, Four people are
believed to have died and 130 others were rescued after a crowded
boat carrying asylum seekers to Australia capsized and sank between
Christmas Island and the main Indonesian island of Java.
2012 Jul 1, Australia
introduced a controversial carbon tax in a bid to tackle climate
change, with PM Julia Gillard hailing the move amid opposition
warnings it will stifle industry. A mining levy was also introduced.
(AFP, 7/1/12)(Econ, 7/7/12, p.18)
2012 Jul 2, Indonesian
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono arrived in Australia as a
political storm over people-smuggling raged.
2012 Jul 3, Australia and
Indonesia agreed to work more closely to crack down on
people-smuggling, with visiting President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
saying his people were victims of the trade as well.
2012 Jul 10, A damning report
on the Australian military detailed 24 allegations of rape that
never went to trial and other claims that Defence Minister Stephen
Smith admitted would "shock" people. Smith released an entire
1,500-page document detailing 847 alleged incidents of sexual or
other abuse dating back to the 1950s.
2012 Jul 14, In western
Australia a surfer was bitten in half in a savage shark attack near
Wedge Island, north of Perth, the fifth such fatality in the region
in less than a year.
2012 Jul 18, An Australian
woman born without arms and legs after her pregnant mother took the
anti-morning sickness drug Thalidomide reached a multimillion dollar
settlement with UK-based Distillers Company (Biochemicals) Ltd. —
which sold the drug in Australia — and Diageo Scotland Ltd., the
successor company to Distillers. Grunenthal, the German maker of the
drug, refused to settle.
2012 Jul 18, In Alaska 2
visitors from Australia were killed in a fiery small plane crash
about 39 miles north of Fairbanks.
2012 Jul 19, In Australia a
Chinese national (54) and an Australian man (47) were arrested when
drugs worth Aus$128 million (US$133 million) were seized in Sydney.
The bust disrupted an international syndicate dealing in
2012 Jul 28, Australian media
reported that Sri Lankan navy officials have urged Australia to
deport the growing number of boatpeople arriving from their country,
saying it was the "best way" to deter people smugglers.
2012 Jul 31, Australian police
seized a record half a ton of methamphetamine and heroin worth up to
A$500 million ($525 million) hidden in a shipment of terracotta pots
from Thailand. Seven people, including four from Hong Kong, were
arrested after a year-long investigation following a tip-off from US
2012 Aug 1, The United Arab
Emirates said it has signed and Australia have signed a pact with
Australia to work together on the peaceful use of nuclear energy,
laying the groundwork for potential shipments of uranium to the Gulf
2012 Aug 3, In Australia
Tasmania Zoo owner Dick Warren said 9 birds, including an endangered
swift parrot, had their heads smashed in or ripped off and more than
60 animals were missing after vandals went on the rampage.
2012 Aug 13, Australia's PM
Gillard announced a sharp reversal in her government's policy on
asylum seekers, saying it will introduce legislation allowing their
deportation to the poor Pacific nations of Papua New Guinea and
Nauru to face lengthy stays in detention camps.
2012 Aug 15, Australia highest
court upheld the world's toughest law on cigarette promotion, which
prohibits tobacco companies from displaying their logos on cigarette
packs. Starting in December, packs will instead come in a uniformly
drab shade of olive and feature graphic health warnings and images
of cancer-riddled mouths, blinded eyeballs and sickly children.
2012 Aug 15, In Australia
Charles Zentai (90) won a legal battle against extradition to
Hungary, in a move which allows him to stay in Australia, where he
2012 Aug 15, The Australian
Competition and Consumer Commission said that car importer Ateco
Automotive ordered dealers to stop selling certain vehicles by
China’s Great Wall Motor Co. and Chery Automobile after asbestos was
found inside engine and exhaust gaskets.
2012 Aug 17, Australian police
said they were investigating the theft of some 500,000 credit card
numbers which resulted in Aus$25 million (US$26.2 million) worth of
2012 Aug 23, In Switzerland the
Green Climate Fund, which aims to channel $100 billion a year in aid
to poor countries, selected as leaders Zaheer Fakir, head of
international relations for South Africa's environment agency, and
Ewen McDonald, deputy head of Australia's international development
2012 Aug 29, An asylum-seeker
boat heading for Australia disappeared off the Indonesian coast with
150 people aboard. Over the next 24 hours rescuers recovered 54
survivors, mostly males from Afghanistan.
(AFP, 8/30/12)(AFP, 8/31/12)
2012 Sep 11, Australia’s
federal sustainability minister announced a ban on the Abel Tasman,
a huge Dutch fishing vessel, from trawling in Australia’s waters. On
Sep 19 the Labor government banned the ship for 2 years.
(Economist, 9/22/12, p.48)
2012 Oct 1, An Australian study
found that the Great Barrier Reef has lost more than half of its
coral cover since 1985.
(SFC, 10/2/12, p.A2)
2012 Nov 2, Australia’s Foreign
Minister Bob Carr announced that Australia will spend over $104
million over the next four years to help reduce deaths from malaria
in the Asia-Pacific region.
(SFC, 11/3/12, p.A2)
2012 Nov 9, The Australian
government said it has abandoned its 5-year-old pledge to mandate a
filter blocking child pornography and other objectionable Internet
content. Instead service providers have agreed to block a list of
(SFC, 11/9/12, p.A2)
2012 Nov 14, Australia
announced that it will host two US space surveillance systems as
part of closer military ties agreed at a bilateral security summit.
2012 Nov 15, World animal
health body OIE said that Australia had reported a case of a highly
pathogenic bird flu virus at an egg farm in the New South Wales
2012 Australia’s Aborigines,
numbering about 500,000, comprised about 2.5% of the country’s 23
(Econ, 1/14/12, p.42)