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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.
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 lenses.
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 paleontologist.
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 footprints.
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 Ocean.
100Mil BC A snake, later named Wonambi, emerged in Australia about this time. It was believed to have gone extinct about 50,000
(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
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 mil]
(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 near Broome.
(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
(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.
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
(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
(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 southern China.
(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 genyornis.
(SFC, 1/8/99, p.A2)(SFC, 6/8/01,
45000BC The extinction of most of Australia’s large animals occurred about this time, shortly after the arrival of humans.
(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
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 800,000 BC.
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
(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
(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 Sydney.
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
(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
(WUD, 1994 p.1455)(MC, 10/10/01)
1757 Jun 1, Ignaz J. Pleyel, Austrian composer, piano builder (Piano method), was born. (MC, 6/1/02)
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.
(www.artstor.org/what-is-artstor/w-html/col-endeavour-london.shtml)(SSFC, 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 1989.
(SFC, 6/18/96, p.D1)(WSJ, 10/5/99,
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
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
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)
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 70,000 years.
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
(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 Warrior."
(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
(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.
(http://members.ozemail.com.au/~fliranre/home.htm)(HN, 4/28/98)(HNQ, 5/26/98)
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, 7/23/04, p.W12)
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
1803 Mar 5, Australia's first newspaper, "The Sydney Gazette & New South Wales Advertiser" was 1st published.
1804 Oct 9, Hobart, Tasmania, was founded.
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 plains.
(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
1819 In Sydney convict labor built the Hyde Park Barracks and the state Parliament.
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
c1830-1840 Wine production began in Hunter Valley, north of Sydney
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 Australia.
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 from
(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
(SFEC, 9/10/00, p.T6)
1845 Cooper’s Creek, 800 miles north of Melbourne, was discovered by non-Aborigines.
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,
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,
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.
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
(WSJ, 11/9/00, p.A1)
1856 Australia's Van Dieman's Island was renamed Tasmania.
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.
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)
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 found.
(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
(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.
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 away.
(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
(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
(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,
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.
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 request.
(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 Mateo County.
(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 Oodnadatta.
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 1825.
1887 A cyclone killed some 140 oyster crewmen in Broome, Australia.
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.
1889 Jan 16, An Australian record temperature of 128F, or 53C, was recorded in Cloncurry, Queensland.
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)
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
(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
(Econ, 4/28/07, p.82)(www.austehc.unimelb.edu.au/fam/1610.html)
1898 Sep 24, Howard W Florey, pathologist, was born in Australia. He purified penicillin and won a Nobel Prize
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
(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 British monarch.
(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 Australia.
(SFC, 7/27/01, p.A21)(HN,
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 Anglo-Saxons.
(SFC, 5/9/00, p.A14)
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
1902 In Australia various governments met at Corowa on the Murray River, to try to secure their water
(Econ, 2/23/08, p.60)
1904 The first regional art gallery in New South Wales was built at Broken Hill.
1906 Sep 1, Papua New Guinea was placed under Australian administration, which continued to 1973.
(www.hubert-herald.nl/PapuaNewGuinea.htm)(Econ, 5/28/11, SR
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 designed himself.
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,
1911 The Australian federal government took control of the Northern Territory as part of a deal to build a railway linking Adelaide to Darwin.
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
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
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
(SFEC, 9/10/00, p.T9)
1919 Dec 10, Captain Ross Smith became the first person to fly 11,500 miles from England to Australia.
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.
Australia-based Qantas Airlines was founded as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd. Regular passenger service began in 1922.
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.
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)
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,
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.
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, Australia.
(NPub, 2002, p.11)
1928 Capt. Harry Lyon navigated the southern Cross on its epic flight from San Francisco Bay to Australia.
(SFC, 8/15/03, p.E9)
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 Darwin.
(SFEC, 10/10/99, p.T9)(SSFC, 10/26/03, p.C2)
1930 Apr 29, Telephone connection England-Australia went into
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.
(WSJ, 6/5/07, p.A20)(www.filmreference.com/film/22/Rupert-Murdoch.html)
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
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
(SFEC, 1/4/98, p.T1)(USAT, 9/17/99, p.1D)(SFEC, 9/10/00, p.T12)
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 iconic songs.
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, 3/26/09)(AFP, 2/18/10)
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 reserves.
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 protest.
(Econ, 3/3/07, p.89)
1939 Jan 29, Germaine Greer, feminist, author (Female Eunuch), was born in Melbourne,
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 market.
(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
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.”
(www.whatsthenumber.com/oz/voice/writers/paterson0.htm)(NG, 8/04, p.29)
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, 11/19/08)(AP, 8/12/09)
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 months.
(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.
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
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.
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 Pampanito.
(SFC, 5/27/97, p.A17)(SFC,12/5/97, p.C3)(SFC, 9/17/08, p.B1)
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.
(www.shalom-magazine.com/Article.php?id=480310)(AP, 11/12/09)(AFP, 8/15/12)
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, 10/3/08)
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
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.
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 Darwin.
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, 4/12/08, p.R2)
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 relay.
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,
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."
1959 Aug 31, Australia defeated the US for tennis' Davis Cup.
Feb 20, Percy Aldridge Grainger (78), Australian-US composer, pianist, died.
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
(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.
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
(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
(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 were
(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
(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
(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 detective.
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 MIAs.
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: Untamed Shrew."
(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
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 55,000.
(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
(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
(www.brittenpears.org/gallery/album07/rumours19Snake)(Econ, 1/29/11, p.84)
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 Polynesia.
(Econ, 10/20/07, p.61)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Islands_Forum)
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.
(SFC, 2/6/99, p.A21)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_federal_election,_1972)
1972 Dec 5,
Gough Whitlam, labor leader, became prime minister of Australia. He served to Nov 11, 1975.
1972 Dec 15, The Commonwealth of Australia ordered equal pay for
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.
(SFC, 5/9/97, p.E3)(www.multiculturalaustralia.edu.au/hotwords/hottext.php?id=78)
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.
(Econ, 4/18/09, p.91)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Fairweather)
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.
(SFEC, 9/10/00, p.T10)(www.emergency-management.net/cyclone.htm)
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 correct breaches.
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
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
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.”
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, p.A5)
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
(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
(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 Sylvania Heights.
1981 The Australian film "Gallipoli" was directed by Peter Weir
(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, Australia.
(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 1994.
(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 majority.
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.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Dam)(Econ, 2/12/11, p.49)
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.
(http://intl.econ.cuhk.edu.hk/exchange_rate_regime/index.php?cid=28)(Econ, 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 history.
(AP, 8/22/97)(SFEC, 10/1/00, p.T4)(HNQ,
1983 Dame Roma Mitchell, retired from the South Australia state Supreme Court after serving 18 years.
(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 Britain.
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."
(WSJ, 12/31/97, p.A10)(www.heritage.org/Research/SocialSecurity/BG1149.cfm)
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 traffic.
(Econ, 6/2/07, p.62)
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.
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 until 1942.
(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.
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 irrigated farmland.
(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
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.
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
(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 to
(Econ, 5/28/11, SR p.3)(http://primeministers.naa.gov.au/primeministers/keating/)
1991 Dec 31, President Bush arrived in Australia as part of a 12-day Pacific
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.
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
(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,
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lang_Hancock)(Econ, 4/19/08, p.53)
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 issue.
(Econ, 5/7/05, Survey p.15)(AP, 1/30/08)(Econ, 5/28/11, SR
1992 Australia’s High Court made the sterilization of retarded girls illegal if not medically required, unless a court or tribunal approved it.
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.
(AFP, 3/11/09)(AFP, 6/25/12)(http://tinyurl.com/6mx57rr)
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,
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, 9/24/05, p.80)
1993 In Australia the Daintree Eco Lodge and Spa opened in the rain forest of North Queensland.
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.
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.
1994 Fires in Sydney, Australia, killed 4 people and destroyed 1.9 million acres of forest.
(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 horses.
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 government.
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.
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.
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
(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, p.C3)(Reuters, 7/27/05)
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 nation’s debt.
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.
1996 Sep 22, In Australia Bob Dent became the first person to kill himself legally under the world’s only voluntary euthanasia law.
1996 Oct 16, It was reported that fossilized footprints of a stegosaurus dinosaur were discovered stolen last week from Aboriginal grounds near Broome.
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
(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
(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)
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
(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
(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, p.C3)(Reuters, 6/3/08)
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
(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 wall.
(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 approval.
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)
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.
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 elections.
(SFC, 7/8/98, p.A12)
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 international embarrassment.
(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)
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 followed.
(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,
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)
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 York's MOMA.
(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,
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 Samantha Lang.
(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
(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.
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.
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
(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
(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
(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).
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.
2000 Sep 11, Some 5,000 protestors rallied against the Asia-Pacific Economic Summit 2000 in Melbourne.
(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 Melbourne, Australia.
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.
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
(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
(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 state.
(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)
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 p.5)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIH_Insurance)
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.
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)
Aug 17, Balloonist Steve Fossett was forced down by bad weather in Brazil after traveling 12,695 miles.
(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.
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, p.49)
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
(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 won 3.
(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.
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.
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.
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 in jail.
(AP, 8/12/02)(Econ, 7/10/04, p.38)(Reuters, 3/9/07)(AFP,
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)
2002 Apr 14, Glenn Murcutt, Australian architect, was selected as the winner of the Pritzker Architectural Prize.
(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, 6/10/04, p.A1)
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 world.
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
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 wheat shipments.
(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
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 murder.
(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 terrorist group.
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 acres.
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
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.
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 destroyed.
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 causes.
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 Iraq.
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
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
(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 anarchy.
(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
(AP, 6/5/09)(SFC, 11/26/10, p.A7)(SFC, 2/24/12, p.A5)
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 parliament.
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 to ignore.
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
(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
(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.
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 two-year drought.
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 Japan.
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 drugs charges.
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 anthem.
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 prison.
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 inhabited continent.
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 smoking.
2004 Jun 25, The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to and signed the National Water Initiative (NWI) to improve water management across the country.
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, 2007.
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
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
(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
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 oven.
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.
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
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)
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
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,
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 inflationary pressures.
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 to democracy.
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%.
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 rescued.
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
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 imprisonment.
(Econ, 9/16/06, p.52)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bali_Nine)(AFP, 3/6/08)(AP, 5/10/11)
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 market
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 the
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
2005 Apr, Australia’s unemployment rate fell to 5.1%.
(Econ, 5/7/05, Survey
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.
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
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
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
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
2005 Jun 13, Australia and Pakistan signed a new counter-terrorism pact during a visit by Pakistani President Pervez
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
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.
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 immigrants.
(Econ, 6/25/05, p.42)
2005 Jun 23, Australia's Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson resigned because of health
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
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
2005 Jul 8, Australia granted fugitive former Chinese diplomat Chen Yonglin a permanent visa allowing him to stay in the country
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 free-trade area.
(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.
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 peaceful purposes.
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 Barrier Reef.
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 after Federation.
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 take
2005 Sep 29, Officials announced that Rupert Murdoch's Asian broadcast business is buying a 20 percent stake in the Indonesian television network
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 Australian
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
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
(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 labor reforms.
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 disaster.
2005 Dec 1, Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) board member Robert Gerard announced his resignation, a week after revelations about his disputes with the tax office.
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 pension liabilities.
(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
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 Knowhow.
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
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
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 earth's atmosphere.
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.
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 from Canada.
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 currency.
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.
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 story.
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.
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 Commonwealth Games.
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 Australia.
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 Australian
2006 Mar 30, Researchers in Australia's Outback launched a test flight of a supersonic jet designed to fly 10 times faster than conventional
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 northern suburbs.
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 Hussein's
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
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
2006 Apr 21, Australia became debt free as it paid off the last of its government borrowing.
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 security agencies.
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 wounded
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 also
(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.
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.
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
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 economy.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
(AFP, 10/15/06)(Econ, 10/28/06, p.51)(Econ, 5/19/12, p.49)
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.
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.
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.
2006 Nov 10, Chevron Corp. unveiled the Clio field, one of Australia’s biggest natural gas discoveries.
(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.
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 party leaders.
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 business.
2007 Jan 13, It was reported that thousands of birds had dropped dead over the past 3 weeks in Western Australia.
(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 with protesters.
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 the nation.
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 around
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 in Iraq.
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 its wake.
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.
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
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)
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 prisoners.
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 alleged abuse.
(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 terrorist.
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 seekers.
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 Lanka.
(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 endangered species.
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,
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 sexuality.
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
(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
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)
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.
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
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 case.
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
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.
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 2008.
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.
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 any solution.
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 29 lives.
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 wife's murder.
(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 cutting-edge technology.
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 youngster inside.
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 heroin smuggling.
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 hopes.
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 environment.
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 revolution."
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."
11/23/07)(SFC, 11/24/07, p.A3)(AFP, 5/12/08)
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 neighbors.
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
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 products.
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 four-and-a-half
(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.
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 armed men.
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 in Cuba.
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 flood alert.
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 and storms.
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 kayak.
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 treaty.
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 afford it.
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 prescription drugs.
(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 healthy 15-year-old.
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 compensation.
(AFP, 6/28/10)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr_Ward)(AP, 7/29/10)
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 neighbors.
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 gunshot wounds.
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 problematic.
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.
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.
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
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 region.
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 2006.
Apr 2, Australia began pumping carbon dioxide underground to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, using a technology that locks dangerous gases deep in the Earth.
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 teacher.
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 century.
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 market capitalization.
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 agricultural land.
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 last week.
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.
Jun 18, An Australian government minister warned a drought crisis needed urgent attention or a crucial river system could suffer permanent ecological damage by October.
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.
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.
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 Pope
(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 and reconcile".
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
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
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 environmental disaster.
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 decades.
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 economic growth.
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)
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 investigation.
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 mammals.
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 warming.
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.
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.
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 range.
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
2008 Nov 25, In Australia BHP Billiton dropped its controversial hostile takeover bid for rival Rio Tinto because of the global economic
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
(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
2008 Dec 2, Australia cut its key interest rate by one percentage point to 4.25%.
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 continues.
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 as co-chairs.
(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.
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 country.
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 members.
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 royal pardon.
(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,
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
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 Churchill.
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 210.
(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 with police.
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 trade agreement.
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.
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 open.
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
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
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 warning system.
(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
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 refugees.
(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 lives.
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 insurgents.
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 reduction.
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.
(AP, 1/27/10)(http://tinyurl.com/ybfe5lu)(AFP, 1/6/11)
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.
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 Rights.
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 billion.
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 brother-in-law.
(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 forgery.
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.
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 downtrodden minority.
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 fraying
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
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
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
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
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
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
(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
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 historic meeting.
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 1981.
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 two
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
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 energy supplier.
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
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
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
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 streets.
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
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 world-first
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 November, 2007.
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 operations.
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 15, 2010.
(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 (LNG) project.
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.
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.
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 the time.
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 week.
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
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
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 community.
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 world.
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, 4/20/11)(Reuters, 12/22/11)
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 town.
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
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 traffic.
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 Southern Ocean.
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 1999.
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 dangerous precedent.
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 suicide.
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
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
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 12.
(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 global crisis.
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 condemned it.
(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 protected area.
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
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
(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
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 "youngest" category.
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
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
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 Congo jungle.
(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.
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
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
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.
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 from Mexico.
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 warming.
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 billion.
(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
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 laws.
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 waste.
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 sector.
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.
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 federal grants.
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, 11/6/10, p.50)
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.
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 Representatives.
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
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 the beating.
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
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
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 election campaign.
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 in Switzerland.
(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)
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
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 Victoria state.
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 this month.
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.
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).
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 boatpeople disaster.
(AFP, 12/15/10)(AP, 12/16/10)(AP, 12/20/10)(AP, 1/25/11)(AFP, 5/12/11)
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 three-month trial.
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
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
2010 Australia’s population was about 22 million and was expected to reach 36 million in 2050.
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 capital, Brisbane.
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
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, p.45)
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 dead.
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 month.
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 first
(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 to
2011 Mar 5, In Australia hundreds of thousands of revelers crammed inner Sydney streets for one of the world's premier gay and lesbian
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.
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.
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 television cameras.
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 were saved.
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 threats.
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
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
2011 Apr 20, A South Australian politician was detained and charged with four child pornography offences.
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 married men.
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 kind.
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 surplus.
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 February.
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 caused.
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 rooms.
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."
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 vengeance.
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,
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 concerns.
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.
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 research farm.
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
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, 11/20/12)
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 accounting.
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.
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.
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.
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 cancer.
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.
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 SABMiller.
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 advancement.
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 Aus$68 million.
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
(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.
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 with murder.
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 Non-Proliferation
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 $2 million.
(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
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.
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)
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.
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 Geographic.
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 civilian population.
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
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
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 face coverings.
2012 Mar 19, Australia’s parliament passed a mining tax on profits from coal and iron
(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
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 violent crimes.
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
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.
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 than planned.
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
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
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 economic crisis.
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 of China.
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).
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,
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
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.
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
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
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
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 authorities.
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 nation.
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
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 has citizenship.
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 fraudulent transactions.
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 agency.
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
(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
(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 1,400 websites.
(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 region.
2012 Australia’s Aborigines, numbering about 500,000, comprised about 2.5% of the country’s 23 million
(Econ, 1/14/12, p.42) Go to http://www.timelinesdb.com
Subject = Australia
End of file.