Return to home Australia
Custom Tours Australia is about the same
size as the 48 adjoining US states.
(SSFC, 10/9/05, Par p.27)
The states of Australia included Queensland (Brisbane); the island
state of Tasmania (about the size of West Virginia).
3.6Bil BC Fossils of bacteria from Western
Australia and south Africa date to about this time.
(SFC, 8/23/96, p.A21)(NH, 7/98, p.22) 2007 Jan 2, An
Australian Aborigine tribe was granted joint management rights over
several state and national parks under a deal that recognizes its
traditional ownership of the land.
2007 Jan 5, Australia’s Foreign
Minister Alexander Downer said Australia and China have ratified a
nuclear agreement clearing the way for the export of uranium to feed
Beijing's giant nuclear power program.
2007 Jan 9, An Australian zoo
put a group of humans on display to raise awareness about primate
conservation, with the proviso that they don't get up to any monkey
2007 Jan 13, It was reported
that thousands of birds had dropped dead over the past 3 weeks in
(SFC, 1/13/07, p.B8)
2007 Jan 14, Australia's
Environment Minister Ian Campbell told national radio that Japanese
whaling ships on their annual hunt in the Antarctic are banned from
docking in Australia and should use restraint in looming clashes
2007 Jan 17, In southern
Australia firefighters battled to contain a wildfire that razed a
number of homes amid soaring temperatures and warnings that the
worst was yet to come.
2007 Jan 25, Australia’s PM
John Howard announced multibillion-dollar water reforms aimed at
easing Australia's record drought.
2007 Jan 29, Australia’s
Queensland state planned to introduce recycled sewage to its
drinking water as a record drought threatens water supplies around
2007 Feb 15, The Australian
government said it was negotiating with the US on a plan to build a
military satellite communications facility in Perth. Defense
Minister Brendan Nelson said the two nations had negotiated for two
years to build a number of ground-based communications systems
2007 Feb 20, Claiming a world
first for a national government, Australia’s Environment Minister
Malcolm Turnbull said incandescent lightbulbs would be phased out by
2010 in favor of the more fuel-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.
2007 Feb 22, Police clashed
with demonstrators protesting the visit of Vice President Dick
Cheney hours before he arrived in Australia to thank one of
Washington's staunchest supporters in the increasingly unpopular war
2007 Feb 23, An Australian
soldier opened fire on a group of East Timorese attacking him with
steel arrows, killing one of the youths and critically wounding two.
2007 Mar 8, In Malawi Garnet
Halliday (50), a senior Australian mining executive in charge
of the development of a new uranium mine, died with his pilot when
his chartered light aircraft crashed.
2007 Mar 8, At least two people
were killed when a cyclone slammed into Australia's northwest coast,
paralyzing mining operations and leaving a trail of destruction in
2007 Mar 12, Australia's
Muslims announced plans to form a political party to fight what they
call growing Islamophobia spawned by the so-called war on terror.
2007 Mar 12, In outback
Australia floodwaters flowed into the world's largest ephemeral
lake, triggering a once-in-a-decade explosion of bird and fish life
in place of arid salt flats. The Lake Eyre basin itself covers an
area bigger than France, Germany and Italy. The basin last topped
its maximum five meter depth in 1974.
2007 Mar 13, Australia and
Japan signed a groundbreaking defense pact in Tokyo that the leaders
of both countries stressed was not aimed at reining in China, but
the road ahead for a two-way trade deal looked rougher.
2007 Mar 14, Cricket’s World
Cup began with the 1st match between Australia and Scotland on St.
Kitts in the Caribbean. The ICC Cricket World Cup was hosted by the
West Indies from March 13 to April 28, 2007.
2007 Mar 14, It was reported
that wild camels in drought-stricken Australia were in plague
proportions, damaging the environment and property. Australia
claimed the world's largest wild camel population. An estimated one
million feral camels, whose numbers double every eight years,
competed for food and water with native animals and livestock.
2007 Mar 23, Australia called
on South Africa to pressure Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe to
quit, saying the 83-year-old leader was a disaster for his country.
South Africa defended its policy on Zimbabwe as the only way to
approach Mugabe's authoritarian government and said African nations
might convene a summit to deal with the crisis.
(AFP, 3/23/07)(Reuters, 3/23/07)
2007 Mar 26, David Hicks, a
31-year-old former kangaroo skinner, entered a surprise guilty plea
at the first session of the tribunals set up after the US Supreme
Court struck down the Pentagon's previous efforts to try Guantanamo
2007 Mar 28, In Australia a
passenger ferry plowed into a pleasure boat under Sydney's iconic
Harbor Bridge, killing at least 3 people, including two professional
figure skating judges.
2007 Mar 30, A military judge
at Guantanamo Bay said the prison sentence of David Hicks (31), an
Australian detainee who pleaded guilty to providing material support
for terrorism. would be limited to seven years under terms of a plea
bargain. Marine Corps Judge Col. Ralph Kohlmann said all but nine
months would be suspended. The deal required his silence about
(AP, 3/30/07)(AP, 3/31/07)
2007 Mar 30, Leaked extracts of
a UN report said Australia will suffer more droughts, fires, floods
and storms due to global warming and its famous Great Barrier Reef
will be devastated by 2030.
2007 Apr 5, Australian police
charged two men, including an army captain, with stealing military
rocket launchers, some of which ended up in the hands of a suspected
2007 Apr 13, Australia’s PM
John Howard said that people with HIV should not be allowed to
migrate to Australia, and that the government was investigating
whether it could tighten existing restrictions.
2007 Apr 17, Australian
officials said that the US and Australia signed an agreement last
week to exchange a few hundred refugees held at island detention
camps in an effort by both governments to discourage future asylum
2007 Apr 18, A catamaran was
discovered deserted off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef with the
sails up, engine running and food on the table. Its crew of 3 was
last seen April 15.
2007 Apr 28, Australia's
centre-left Labor Party scrapped its 25-year ban on new uranium
mines in a move miners said would encourage new investment and
growth in the industry.
2007 Apr 28, In Jamaica the
7-week, 1st Cricket World Cup ended with Australia defeating Sri
(Econ, 5/5/07, p.48)
2007 Apr 30, Miles
Hilton-Barber (58), A blind British adventurer, touched down in
Sydney Monday to end an epic 13,500-mile flight by microlight
aircraft from London. His 54-day journey was performed under the
supervision of sighted co-pilot Richard Meredith-Hardy.
2007 May 1, Australian police
arrested two men accused of raising money for Sri Lanka's Tamil
Tiger rebels on the pretext of collecting donations for victims of
the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
2007 May 3, Australia signed
the first in a series of contracts that will see its air force buy
24 Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter-bombers from the US Navy.
2007 May 7, Australian gangster
Carl Williams was sentenced to 35 years in jail for murdering three
underworld rivals in a gangland war which lasted almost 10 years and
killed 28 people.
2007 May 8, It was reported
that groups of elderly Australians are setting up backyard
laboratories to manufacture an illegal euthanasia drug so they can
kill themselves when they have had enough of life.
2007 May 10, EnGeneIC, an
Australian biotechnology firm, said it had developed a means of
delivering anti-cancer drugs directly to cancer cells, which aims to
avoid the debilitating toxicity associated with chemotherapy.
2007 May 13, Australia’s PM
John Howard said the Australian government has banned the country's
cricket team from touring Zimbabwe in September because he does not
want to support the regime of a "grubby dictator."
2007 May 14, An Australian
teenager was awarded record damages including a lifetime income
after a court found that his life had been ruined by bullying at
primary school. Australian authorities said they want to shoot more
than 3,000 kangaroos on the fringes of Canberra, noting the animals
were growing in population and eating through the grassy habitats of
(AFP, 5/14/07)(AP, 5/14/07)
2007 May 20, Confessed
Australian al-Qaida supporter David Hicks was transferred to a
maximum security prison in his hometown after spending more than
five years at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
2007 May 21, Mining giant Rio
Tinto and energy powerhouse BP announced plans for a $1.5 billion
coal-fired power project in Australia which would capture carbon
dioxide to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
2007 May 23, Australian PM John
Howard and his Greek counterpart Kostas Karamanlis sealed a deal
which concluded a decades-long debate over pensions for one of the
world's largest expatriate Greek communities.
2007 May 29, President Bush's
environmental adviser said the US rejects the EU's all-encompassing
target on reduction of carbon emissions. The US and Australia ruled
out a regional carbon trading scheme before the meeting officially
opened in the northern city of Darwin, saying it was too early to
impose uniform targets on APEC nations. APEC members already account
for 60% of global energy demand and their needs are expected to
almost double by 2030. Fidel Castro lambasted President Bush for
opposing the EU's goal for an agreement on carbon emissions at next
week's Group of Eight summit.
(AFP, 5/29/07)(AP, 5/30/07)
2007 May 31, Australia and the
Philippines agreed to expand counter-terrorism cooperation, with
elite Australian troops to train their Philippine counterparts in
the restive south.
2007 May, Australia’s Victorian
state civil and administrative tribunal ruled that the Peel Hotel in
the southern city of Melbourne could exclude patrons based on their
2007 May, In Australia the
Slater & Gordon law firm went public and used the proceeds to go
on an acquisition spree, swallowing 6 smaller rivals within a year.
(Econ, 8/23/08, p.55)
2007 Jun 3, Australia’s PM John
Howard ditched his opposition to a greenhouse gas reduction target
for Australia with a pledge to set a national pollution limit next
2007 Jun 5, A passenger train
and truck collided at a rail crossing in southern Australia, killing
11 people and injuring up to 50.
(AP, 6/5/07)(AP, 6/6/07)
2007 Jun 5, Tony Mokbel (42), a
top Australian fugitive, was arrested in Greece. The next day he
accused Australia's authorities of saddling him with a bogus murder
charge to secure his extradition. Mokbel had fled overseas in 2006
while on bail for importing cocaine.
2007 Jun 8, A wild storm lashed
Australia's east coast, killing at least five people. The Pasha
Bulker, massive coal ship, was pushed onto a sand bank off the port
city of Newcastle, some 90 miles north of Sydney.
2007 Jun 12, Australian PM John
Howard agreed to meet the Dalai Lama after opponents charged he was
afraid of offending China, drawing an immediate rebuke from Beijing.
The Dalai Lama warned major nations not to try to contain China's
economic and military rise, and urged countries like Australia to
use their trading clout to pressure Beijing on human rights.
(AP, 6/12/07)(Reuters, 6/12/07)
2007 Jun 12, In Australia
outraged victims in the Hunter and Central Coast areas north of
Sydney said looters raided abandoned houses, businesses and cars
during four days of violent storms, stealing everything from iPods
to alcohol and cigarettes.
2007 Jun 14, In Australia New
Zealand PM Helen Clark met briefly with the Dalai Lama as they both
toured Australia, where the Tibetan spiritual leader's visit has
drawn fire from China.
2007 Jun 15, Australian PM John
Howard met the Dalai Lama triggering an angry reaction from China
who accused the premier of turning a "deaf ear" to its concerns. A
government report said child sex abuse is rampant among Aborigines
in remote northern Australia, blaming widespread drunkenness and the
breakdown of traditional societies as among the root causes.
2007 Jun 18, In Australia a
good Samaritan who tried to rescue a woman being dragged by her hair
on a busy Melbourne street was shot dead and two other people were
wounded when her attacker opened fire. On June 20 a Hells Angel
biker was charged with the murder after surrendering to authorities.
(AFP, 6/18/07)(AFP, 6/20/07)
2007 Jun 20, Australia
announced that it will spend 9.3 billion US dollars on five
Spanish-designed warships to boost its capacity to face military
threats in the region.
2007 Jun 21, Australia's PM
John Howard announced plans for the federal government to take
control of 60 aboriginal communities in the Northern Territories.
Plans also included a ban on pornography and alcohol for Aborigines
in the northern areas and tightened control over their welfare
benefits to fight child sex abuse among them.
(AP, 6/21/07)(Econ, 6/30/07, p.50)
2007 Jun 25, Police and
soldiers began deploying to outback Australia as part of a radical
plan to end child sex abuse in Aboriginal communities which has been
criticized as a return to the nation's paternalistic past.
2007 Jun 28, Dramatic flooding
replaced relentless drought in parts of eastern Australia, as PM
John Howard expressed hopes that the country's worst drought in a
century may be coming to an end.
2007 Jul 1, Australian media
reported that PM John Howard is secretly planning to begin
withdrawing Australian troops from Iraq by February 2008. Howard
denied the report, saying the idea was "absurd."
2007 Jul 2, Police in Australia
arrested a 27-year-old Indian doctor over the foiled terror attacks
in London and Glasgow, and were interviewing a second doctor in the
2007 Jul 2, Australia's second
largest retailer Coles said it had agreed to a 22 billion dollar
(18.7 billion US) buyout offer from conglomerate Wesfarmers, the
largest corporate deal in Australian history.
2007 Jul 6, Australia kicked
off a round-the-world series of Live Earth music concerts designed
to highlight climate change with a traditional Aboriginal welcome
ceremony. Former US vice-president Al Gore appeared on video screens
to launch the worldwide initiative.
2007 Jul 12, Anglo-Australian
miner Rio Tinto launched a 38.1-billion-dollar offer for Canada's
Alcan, trumping US rival Alcoa in a mammoth bid to create the
world's largest aluminium company.
2007 Jul 14, In London an
Indian doctor arrested the same day his brother allegedly drove a
Jeep Cherokee loaded with gas bombs into Glasgow's main airport was
charged with a terrorism offense. A distant cousin in Australia was
also charged in the failed attacks in London and Glasgow.
2007 Jul 15, Antun Gudelj (59),
a Croatian man charged with killing three police officials in the
early days of the 1991 Serb-Croat war, was extradited from Australia
to Croatia to face a new trial after an earlier pardon.
2007 Jul 26, East Timor's
President Jose Ramos-Horta asked visiting Australian PM John Howard
to keep Australian peacekeepers in the young nation until the end of
2007 Jul 27, Mohamed Haneef
(27), an Indian doctor, was freed from custody after Australia's
chief prosecutor said that a charge linking him to failed terrorist
bombings in Britain was a mistake. In 2010 Haneef accepted what his
lawyer described as a "substantial" but confidential settlement for
his ordeal in which authorities incorrectly linked him to failed car
bombings at airports in London and Glasgow.
(AP, 7/27/07)(AFP, 12/21/10)
2007 Aug 1, The South
Australian Supreme Court ordered its own state government to pay
Bruce Trevorrow $448,000 for damages caused when he was taken from
his parents without their knowledge 50 years ago.
2007 Aug 8, Australia's central
bank hiked interest rates 0.25 points to a decade-high 6.5 percent
in an unprecedented pre-election move that the government admitted
creates a political headache.
2007 Aug 14, A new study said
nearly every Australian city will have to find new water supplies
over the next decade as climate change and population growth stretch
the nation's already limited water resources.
2007 Aug 16, Australia’s PM
John Howard said he would lift a ban on selling uranium to India,
subject to strict conditions.
(Econ, 8/25/07, p.40)
2007 Aug 21, An Australian
court ruled that the country's immigration minister wrongly revoked
a work visa for an Indian doctor who was briefly accused of links
with a failed British car bomb plot in June.
2007 Aug 22, A distributor said
Chinese-made blankets containing high levels of formaldehyde have
been recalled across Australia and New Zealand, amid rising global
concern over the safety of products from China.
2007 Aug 25, Australia's
multi-billion dollar racing industry was plunged into turmoil on
after an outbreak of equine influenza triggered a national lockdown.
2007 Aug 26, Australia released
a new draft citizenship test. The 40-page document outlining
citizenship application procedures said migrants who want to become
Australian citizens will have to be able to correctly identify the
country's prime minister and national flower.
2007 Aug 30, A major new study
said nearly 10 percent of Australians are living in poverty despite
a booming economy, but its findings were disputed by PM John Howard.
2007 Aug 31, Australia and
India agreed to study the possibility of a free trade agreement.
Trade Minister Warren Truss said it was a natural result of New
Delhi's rising economic power.
2007 Sep 3, Climate change
activists staged a break-in at an Australian power station as a
pattern of guerrilla-style raids emerged ahead of a summit of
Asia-Pacific leaders in Sydney.
2007 Sep 4, In Australia 2
Indonesians were jailed over a people-smuggling operation to bring
83 Sri Lankans into Australia. The two pleaded guilty to smuggling
83 Sri Lankans into Australian waters in February near Christmas
Island in the Indian Ocean.
2007 Sep 4, US President George
W. Bush arrived in Sydney for a regional summit with the city locked
down in the biggest security operation in Australian history.
2007 Sep 4, 5-nation war games
began in the Bay of Bengal. Indian and US aircraft carriers launched
fighter jets into the air as American submarines cruised below
Japanese, Australian and Singaporean warships.
2007 Sep 5, In Australia
President Bush urged Pacific Rim nations to band together on
tackling global warming, saying all major polluters must be part of
2007 Sep 6, Australian PM John
Howard said he would tell Russian President Vladimir Putin that he
would not approve the sale of uranium to Moscow if there was any
possibility it could be resold to Iran or Syria.
2007 Sep 6, In Australia
Pacific Rim nations agreed that climate change was of "vital
interest," but officials squabbled over whether their leaders should
include energy efficiency targets in a statement at their annual
summit. China’s President Hu Jintao, on the defensive over recalls
of tainted toothpaste, pet food and toys, told President Bush that
Beijing was stepping up product safety inspections.
2007 Sep 7, Leaders of
Australia and Russia signed a deal to export Australian uranium to
fuel Russian nuclear reactors, but promised it would not be
transferred to Iran's disputed atomic program.
2007 Sep 7, In Australia
Pacific Rim negotiators agreed on a joint statement on global
warming that would ask developing nations to commit to energy
efficiency targets and acknowledge that wealthy countries have
greater responsibility for the problem.
2007 Sep 8, Asia Pacific
leaders overcame differences on climate change to agree to take
action against greenhouse gases at a key summit protected by the
tightest security in Australian history.
2007 Sep 14, Australian police
confirmed that corrupt police officers were linked with a bloody
gangland war which raged for years in the country's second largest
city. Melbourne's criminal war began in the late 1990s and claimed
2007 Sep 19, New Zealand police
found the body of Anan Liu (27), a young Asian woman in a car
outside the home of a three-year old toddler, Qian Xun Xue,
nicknamed "Pumpkin," who was abandoned at a train station in
Australia. The father Nai Zin Xue (54), a martial arts expert and
magazine publisher, caught a flight to Los Angeles after abandoning
the toddler. US authorities launched a manhunt for Xue, who was
captured nearly five months later by six Chinese Americans near
Atlanta, Georgia. In 2009 a New Zealand jury found him guilty of his
(Reuters, 9/19/07)(AP, 6/19/09)
2007 Sep 21, Australia’s
ex-senator Bob Collins (b.1946), who served as a minister in the
early 1990s, died, days before he was due to face a hearing on 21
charges of child sex abuse dating back three decades.
2007 Sep 24, An Australian man
was conscious and spoke to his medical team during life-saving brain
surgery in what doctors are claiming as a world-first procedure with
2007 Sep 28, Australia's
Anglican Church said women can be appointed bishops for the first
time, drawing immediate criticism from conservatives.
2007 Sep 29, Lois Maxwell
(b.1927), the woman James Bond never seduced, died in Western
Australia. The Canadian-born actress, born as Lois Ruth Hooker, took
on the Miss Moneypenny role in 1962 alongside Sean Connery in "Dr
No," and continued for 14 Bond films. Her films also included
"Bedtime For Bonzo" with Ronald Reagan.
2007 Oct 2, Australia’s
Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews said that over the past two years
the intake of Africans has been cut from 70% of the total of 13,000
refugees to just 30%.
2007 Oct 3, PM John
Howard said Australia will not take any more refugees from Africa
until at least the middle of next year. He said Australia's
13,000-a-year refugee intake was being "rebalanced" from Africa to
the Middle East and Asia where the need was more acute.
2007 Oct 4, The Australian
government approved plans for a controversial multi-billion-dollar
pulp mill in Tasmania despite objections it could ruin one of the
country's most pristine environments.
2007 Oct 8, Australia suffered
its first combat fatality in the war on terror when a soldier was
killed in a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan.
2007 Oct 9, Australia's third
richest man, cardboard box billionaire Richard Pratt, apologized for
forming a price-fixing cartel with his main rival Amcor.
2007 Oct 17, In Australia a
group of children playing in a suburban Sidney park opened a
suitcase they found floating in a pond and discovered the body of a
2007 Oct 21,
Australia's opposition Labor Party chief Kevin Rudd beat PM
Howard in an election debate marred by controversy when a national
television network's coverage was deliberately cut. Rudd had once
worked as a business consultant in China and spoke fluent Mandarin.
(AFP, 10/22/07)(Econ, 12/1/07, p.52)
2007 Oct 24, Anglo-Australian
mining giant Rio Tinto said all conditions on its $38.1 billion
takeover of Alcan Inc had been satisfied and most shareholders had
accepted its offer.
2007 Oct 30, An Indonesian
court dismissed a legal challenge to the death penalty brought by
lawyers for members of an Australian drugs gang on death row for
2007 Nov 7, Australia's central
bank raised interest rates 0.25 points to an 11-year high of 6.75
percent in a move expected to hurt PM John Howard's re-election
2007 Nov 11, Animal rights
activists attacked as inhumane an Australian state government's
plans to shoot more than 10,000 wild horses to protect the
2007 Nov 12, Voters cast the
first ballots in Australia's elections as a new opinion poll showed
conservative PM John Howard heading for a landslide defeat.
2007 Nov 14, Labor party leader
Kevin Rudd, the man tipped to become Australia's next prime
minister, officially launched his pitch for office with pledges to
withdraw combat troops from Iraq and usher in an "education
2007 Nov 15, Greenpeace
protesters stormed an Australian power plant after a US report
condemned Australian electricity plants as some of the biggest
contributors to greenhouse gases. 15 protesters were arrested after
they chained themselves to conveyor belts at the Munmorah power
plant on the central coast of New South Wales state.
2007 Nov 16, A coroner urged
the Australian government to seek war crimes charges against former
Indonesian military officers over the 1975 killing of five
Australian newsmen during Indonesia's invasion of East Timor.
2007 Nov 18, Three members of
Iraq's Olympic soccer team and their assistant coach left the team
during a trip to Australia and are seeking asylum in the country.
2007 Nov 23, In Afghanistan
Taliban militants beheaded 7 police officers after overrunning their
checkpoints. An Australian commando (26) and 3 civilians were killed
in a clash with Taliban militia in Uruzgan province. In 2008 the
Australian military cleared its soldiers over the deaths of two
women and a baby during this battle but said all civilian casualties
were "highly regrettable."
(Reuters, 11/23/07)(SFC, 11/24/07, p.A3)(AFP,
2007 Nov 24, In Australia
conservative PM John Howard suffered a humiliating defeat at the
hands of the left-leaning opposition. Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd
has promised to immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol on global
warming and withdraw Australia's combat troops from Iraq.
2007 Nov 25, Newly elected
leader Kevin Rudd moved quickly to bring Australia into
international talks on fighting global warming, and to head off
potentially thorny relations with the United States and key Asian
2007 Nov 29, Australia’s
PM-elect Kevin Rudd named his Cabinet, choosing a woman as deputy
leader for the first time, a former rock singer as environment
minister and a lawyer from the Outback as foreign minister.
2007 Nov 30, Australian
PM-elect Kevin Rudd said he would pull the country's 550 combat
troops out of Iraq by the middle of next year.
2007 Nov 30, India's Tata Steel
signed a joint venture with Australia's Riversdale Mining to develop
a hard coking and thermal coal project in Mozambique.
2007 Dec 2, In Australia night
time thieves stole 17.6 tons of ham and bacon from a warehouse in
suburban Sidney and left behind a message saying “Thanks" and “Merry
Christmas." The stolen meat was worth up to $88,000.
2007 Dec 3, Labor Party leader
Kevin Rudd became Australia's 26th prime minister and immediately
began dismantling the former government's policies by ratifying the
Kyoto Protocol on climate change.
2007 Dec 5, Australia’s PM
Kevin Rudd spoke at the state funeral for Bernie Banton (61), who
died from an asbestos-related disease he contracted while working
for building products company James Hardie. Banton's dogged campaign
ultimately led to the establishment of a 4 billion dollar (3.5
billion US) compensation fund for victims of Hardie's asbestos
2007 Dec 7, Australian police
said they had smashed an international cocaine smuggling ring
spanning three continents and operating out of the Netherlands,
Thailand and Canada. Of the total 40 people arrested, 14 Canadian
and Australian nationals of Chinese and Vietnamese descent were
picked up in Sydney and Melbourne over the past six months.
Australian conman Peter Foster, once linked to the "Cheriegate"
scandal involving the wife of former prime minister Tony Blair, was
jailed for money laundering. Foster, who pleaded guilty to a charge
related to fraudulently obtaining 234,000 US dollars from the Bank
of the Federated States of Micronesia, was sentenced to
(AFP, 12/7/07)(AP, 12/13/07)
2007 Dec 10, Australia accepted
seven asylum seekers from Myanmar as refugees as the country's new
Labor government began unwinding tough immigration laws which force
boatpeople into detention on Pacific island nations.
2007 Dec 11, Australia's Deputy
PM Julia Gillard (46) took charge of government in the absence of
the prime minister, becoming the first woman to run the country in
its 106 years as an independent nation. Gillard will lead the
government for just 60 hours while PM Kevin Rudd is in Bali for the
United Nations climate conference.
2007 Dec 11, Australian
officials conceded that the welfare system failed a girl who was
removed from a remote Aboriginal community after being sexually
abused at age 7, then gang raped in 2006 at age 10 when she was
returned to live in the town.
2007 Dec 12, In Indonesia new
Australian PM Kevin Rudd completed ratification of the Kyoto
Protocol as he pressed for all nations, rich and poor, to commit to
fighting global warming.
2007 Dec 14, Australian PM
Kevin Rudd and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon jetted into East
Timor to lend support to the nation's efforts to stabilize and
rebuild after violence last year. Rudd pledged to support the
nation's ongoing security needs during the five-hour stop.
(AP, 12/14/07)(AFP, 12/14/07)
2007 Dec 16, Australian police
said they had broken up an alleged nationwide child porn ring with
the arrest of six men overnight, including a former policeman, a
trainee teacher and a swimming instructor.
2007 Dec 18, An official said
Australian copper thieves have turned tomb raiders, pilfering
plaques and vases from cemeteries to sell the metal for scrap.
2007 Dec 21, New Australian PM
Kevin Rudd met with al-Maliki during a surprise visit to Baghdad.
Rudd said that after the troops withdraw in June, Australia will
continue to help train the Iraqi police force and army. A gunmen
attacked a family in Diyala province near Balad Ruz, killing two men
and kidnapping a third. Just east of Baqouba, the capital of Diyala,
two men standing in front of their house were killed by unknown
2007 Dec 29, In Australia David
Hicks, the only person convicted of terrorism charges at a US
military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, walked free and said he did not
want to do "anything that might result in my return" to the prison
2007 Julian Assange, a former
Australian hacker, founded Wikileaks, an international publishing
service for whistle-blowers.
(Econ, 6/12/10, p.67)
2007 The wine boom in Australia
went bust forcing many farmers to walk away from grapes and land
they could not sell.
(Econ, 3/29/08, p.84)
2008 Jan 5, Heavy rains caused
flooding across parts of eastern Australia, forcing the evacuation
of hundreds of people as rural towns throughout the area were put on
2008 Jan 7, Australians battled
both fires and some of the worst flooding in decades that stranded
residents in several communities after days of intense summer heat
2008 Jan 8, Nauru’s foreign
minister said Australia's plans to close a much-criticized detention
center for asylum seekers on Nauru will devastate its economy.
2008 Jan 11, A historic
passenger jet flight from Australia to Antarctica touched down
smoothly on a blue ice runway, launching the only regular airlink
between the continents.
2008 Jan 13, Two young
adventurers completed a 62-day paddle of more than 2,000 miles to
become the first people to travel from Australia to New Zealand by
2008 Jan 15, Australia's new
government told an Indian envoy that it will not sell uranium to his
country while it is not a member of the global nonproliferation
2008 Jan 15, An Australian
judge banned the company that conducts Japan's whale hunt from
killing the animals in a large part of its regular hunting grounds
off Antarctica. Japanese whalers said they are holding captive two
activists who "illegally" boarded their vessel in the Southern
Ocean, in a dramatic escalation in the battle between the two sides.
2008 Jan 17, Australia said it
would send a ship to pick up two anti-whaling activists who jumped
on a Japanese harpoon vessel from a rubber boat in Antarctic waters,
offering a solution to a tense, two-day standoff on the high seas.
2008 Jan 18, Two activists who
had jumped on board a Japanese whaling boat were returned to their
ship by Australian officials.
2008 Jan 21, In northeastern
Australia surging floodwaters forced scores of people to evacuate
their homes. Farmers described the heavy rains as a mixed blessing
after years of drought.
2008 Jan 22, North Korea said
it will close its embassy in Australia because it can no longer
2008 Jan 22, Heath Ledger (28),
an Australian-born actor, was found dead at a Manhattan apartment.
He received an Oscar nomination for his role as a troubled gay
cowboy in the 2006 film, "Brokeback Mountain." The NYC medical
examiner later said Ledger died of an accidental overdose of
painkillers, sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medication and other
(AP, 1/22/08)(AP, 2/6/08)
2008 Jan 23, In Australia the
final issue of The Bulletin magazine was published. It was launched
in 1880 and became an institution in Australian publishing.
2008 Jan 24, Doctors said an
Australian girl spontaneously switched blood groups and adopted her
donor's immune system following a liver transplant in the first
known case of its type. Demi-Lee Brennan was aged nine and seriously
ill with liver failure when she received the transplant. Nine months
later it was discovered that she had changed blood types and her
immune system had switched over to that of the donor after stem
cells from the new liver migrated to her bone marrow. She was now a
2008 Jan 27, In Australia an
Aborigine elder, Mr. Ward (b.1961), died of heatstroke during a
four-hour, non-stop trip to face a drink-driving charge in a prison
van with broken air-conditioning. In 2010 state director of public
prosecutions Joe McGrath told Ward's widow that charges would not be
laid against the two guards employed by security firm GSL, now known
as G4S, who were in charge of the van. In 2010 Ward’s family was
awarded 3.2 million Australian dollars ($2.9 million) in
2008 Feb 1, An Australian
report said that Japanese harpoonists killed five whales in one day
after Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd ships, which had halted the hunt
in Antarctic waters, were forced to return to port to refuel.
2008 Feb 3, Australian PM Kevin
Rudd announced a summit of 1,000 ordinary citizens to address
long-term challenges facing the nation, saying the best ideas could
influence government policy. He also scolded the country's
opposition for haggling over the exact content of a planned apology
to Australia's Aborigines, saying its meaning will be quite clear.
2008 Feb 7, A new security pact
between Australia and Indonesia came into force at a ceremony in
Perth attended by the foreign ministers of the at-times testy
2008 Feb 8, Australia's widely
criticized "Pacific Solution" policy of holding asylum seekers on
remote islands ended when the last detainees flew out of Nauru to
live in Australia.
2008 Feb 12, East Timor
declared a state of emergency. Australian troops and a warship
arrived to boost security after rebel attacks on the country's two
top leaders left the president in "extremely serious" condition with
2008 Feb 13, Australians
watched a live broadcast of their government apologizing for
policies that degraded its indigenous people. PM Rudd said
Australians had reached a time in their history when they must face
up to their past to be able to cope with the future. Aborigines
numbered about 450,000 in Australia's population of 21 million.
2008 Feb 15, Representatives
for Australian Aborigines confirmed plans to launch the first
compensation lawsuits since a landmark government apology earlier
this week for past abuses.
2008 Feb 21, Australia's new
government confirmed that it would withdraw its combat troops from
Iraq by mid-year but pledged strong ties with the United States
ahead of landmark talks this week.
2008 Mar 1, In Australia up to
300,000 people lined Sydney's streets to watch the Gay and Lesbian
Mardi Gras, as the largest gay pride march in the Asia Pacific
region marked its 30th anniversary.
2008 Mar 1, BHP Billiton,
Melbourne-based mining giant, said it plans to invest $975 million
to upgrade and expand its thermal coal mines in South Africa to
sustain coal exports amid soaring coal prices.
2008 Mar 4, The Reserve Bank of
Australia raised its official cash-rate target by a quarter point to
7.25% in an effort to tighten credit as inflation remained
(WSJ, 3/5/08, p.A2)
2008 Mar 4, An Australian
aquaculture company claimed a world first in artificially breeding
endangered southern bluefin tuna.
2008 Mar 5, Australia cancelled
a one billion dollar (930 million US) contract for US-made Seasprite
helicopters following a review of the troubled project.
2008 Mar 7, Australian
officials said police have rescued 10 South Korean women who were
forced to work in a Sydney brothel by a sex slavery syndicate that
lured them to Australia with promises of legitimate jobs.
2008 Mar 7, Captain Paul Watson
of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a protest ship harassing
Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean, said he was shot in a
high-seas clash and his crew members pelted with flash grenades,
injuring one. Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and Japanese
officials insisted only warning devices were fired.
2008 Mar 12, In Australia
police said a quarter-ton of cocaine with a street value of more
than 80 million US dollars has been seized after being shipped in
from Southeast Asia.
2008 Mar 14, In Australia
Milton Orkopoulos (50), a former New South Wales state minister, was
convicted on child sex and drugs charges after being described as a
"sordid genius" by prosecutors.
2008 Mar 18, Protesters in
Australia burned Chinese flags, demanding freedom for Tibet,
following similar demonstrations in Europe and the US against
Beijing's crackdown on anti-government riots in the Himalayan
2008 Mar 29, Sydney's iconic
Opera House and Harbor Bridge went dark as the world's first major
city turned off its lights for this year's Earth Hour, a global
campaign to raise awareness of climate change.
2008 Apr 1, An Australian court
charged a Vietnam Airlines pilot with smuggling millions of dollars
in drug profits out of the country. Quoc Viet Lai (58,) faced 40
counts of money laundering after allegedly taking 3.7 million
dollars (3.4 million US) out of Australia between June 2005 and June
2008 Apr 2, Australia began
pumping carbon dioxide underground to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions, using a technology that locks dangerous gases deep in the
2008 Apr 7, In Australia 5
teenage boys armed with machetes and baseball bats invaded a Sydney
high school, smashing classrooms and injuring 18 students and a
2008 Apr 8, An Australian man
was sentenced to nearly three years in jail for shining a laser
pointer at a police helicopter and temporarily blinding the pilot.
2008 Apr 10, Australia’s PM
Kevin Rudd met China's premier for talks expected to touch on what
Rudd has called significant human rights problems in Tibet. Rudd
said Chinese paramilitary police will not be allowed to run
alongside the Olympic torch in Australia, after their heavy-handed
tactics drew criticism in earlier legs of the relay.
2008 Apr 13, Australia’s PM
Kevin Rudd named Queensland governor Quentin Bryce as the next
governor-general, the first woman to act as the British queen's
representative in the country.
2008 Apr 19,
In Australia PM Rudd opened a summit of the nation's top minds
to discuss fresh policy ideas for the future.
2008 Apr 21,
Resources Minister Martin Ferguson announced that Australia
has extended control of its continental shelf by nearly 1 million
square miles under an agreement with the UN.
2008 Apr 28, In Australia
police in Perth arrested Robert Agius (58) on charges of running a
money laundering scheme that helped clients avoid taxes by
transferring $93 million through offshore bank accounts.
2008 Apr 29, Australia's
government promised to spend about $2.9 billion to buy river water
from farmers in a bid to address the country's worst drought in a
2008 Apr 30, Attorney General
Robert McClelland said Australian gay and lesbian couples will have
the same rights as heterosexuals under new laws but marriage will
remain off limits.
2008 Apr 30, Western Australia
state police raided the Perth offices of the Sunday Times, which is
published by Australia's largest newspaper publisher, Rupert
Murdoch's News Limited. Staff said police were searching for the
source of a leak that led to a story alleging the state government
planned to use 16 million dollars (14.9 million US) in taxpayer
funds on an advertising campaign to help its re-election.
2008 May 1, In Australia 6
people were killed in Sydney Harbor when a boat packed with revelers
on a nighttime joyride and a fishing trawler collided.
(Reuters, 5/1/08)(AP, 5/2/08)
2008 May 13, Two major
Australian banks agreed to a proposed merger which would create the
nation's biggest financial services group worth around 66 billion
dollars (62 billion US). St George, the country's fifth-largest
bank, said it had agreed to an 18.6 billion dollar offer from
Westpac Banking Corporation, Australia's third-largest bank by
2008 May 16, In Australia
protesting pensioners brought traffic to a stand still in Melbourne
when some stripped to demand more money from the government.
2008 May 19, In Australia the
Tasmania state government said the Tasmanian devil will be listed as
an endangered species this week as a result of a deadly and
disfiguring cancer outbreak. Animal rights activists said Australian
authorities have started the controversial killing of about 400
kangaroos on the outskirts of Australia's capital of Canberra.
(AFP, 5/19/08)(AP, 5/19/08)
2008 May 21, In Australia
Milton Orkopoulos (50), the former New South Wales state minister
for Aboriginal affairs, was jailed for nearly 14 years on child sex
and drugs charges.
2008 May 27, An Australian town
council unanimously rejected a contentious proposal to build a
1,200-student Islamic school, citing infrastructure concerns. Mayor
Chris Patterson of Camden said the decision had nothing to do with
religion but was based on the impact on traffic and loss of
2008 Jun 1, Australia, a
staunch US ally and one of the first countries to commit troops to
the Iraq war five years ago, ended combat operations there.
2008 Jun 2, In Australia Mark
Standen, an assistant director of the New South Wales state Crime
Commission, was arrested for conspiracy to import controlled
substances and supply prohibited drugs, and with perverting the
course of justice. He is alleged to have assisted a drug-trafficking
syndicate in a plan to bring to Australia 1,300 pounds of the
chemical pseudoephedrine that could be used to make $114 million
worth of the methamphetamine known as "ice." The masterminds of the
syndicate were in the Netherlands, where 12 people were arrested
2008 Jun 5, Australian police
said 70 men have been arrested in a global crackdown on Internet
child pornography and more will be detained.
2008 Jun 13, The leaders of
Australia and Indonesia pledged to join forces to fight climate
change by saving forests and promoting carbon trading.
2008 Jun 18, An Australian
government minister warned a drought crisis needed urgent attention
or a crucial river system could suffer permanent ecological damage
2008 Jun 20, Cambodian
officials said authorities working with Australian police had
destroyed an enormous stockpile of 33 tons of safrole-rich oil, a
key ingredient used in producing the synthetic drug Ecstasy.
Cambodian authorities have been working since 2002 to stem the
distillation of the oil and since then have succeeded in detecting
and dismantling more than 50 clandestine laboratories capable of
producing up to 15 gallons of oil a day. Cambodian officials are
trying to preserve the sassafras tree, which is classified as a rare
species that grows mainly in Cambodia's Cardamom Mountains.
2008 Jun 23, Anglo-Australian
mining group Rio Tinto said that it had agreed to a near doubling of
the price of its iron ore sales to Chinese steel maker Baosteel.
2008 Jun 30, In Hay, Australia,
John Walsh (69) was arrested hours after hacking his two
grandchildren and wife to death with an ax and badly wounding his
daughter in Cowra.
2008 Jul 10, Officials said a
decade-long drought in Australia's most important crop-growing
region is worsening and there is little hope for relief from either
saving rains or a new government conservation plan.
2008 Jul 11, In Australia the
official program for the Catholic church's World Youth Day began,
but was partly overshadowed by the launch of an investigation into
sexual abuse allegations against a disgraced priest. Thousands of
pilgrims converged on Sydney as it braced for the weekend arrival of
(AFP, 7/11/08)(AP, 7/11/08)
2008 Jul 12, Pope Benedict XVI
left Rome on a flight to Australia for a 10-day pilgrimage. The Pope
said he will use his visit to Australia to apologize for sexual
abuse by priests and to examine how the Church can "prevent, heal
2008 Jul 13, Pope Benedict XVI
arrived in Sydney, after a stop in Darwin, for one of the largest
Christian gatherings on Earth, starting a visit set to be marked by
his apology for sexual abuse by priests in Australia.
2008 Jul 15, In Australia the
world's biggest Christian festival opened with a spectacular
harbor-side mass for up to 150,000 pilgrims taking part in World
Youth Day celebrations in Sydney headed by Pope Benedict XVI.
2008 Jul 17, In Sidney,
Australia, Pope Benedict XVI delivered a stinging attack on pop
culture, consumerism and "false idols" to 150,000 mainly teenaged
Catholic pilgrims gathered for World Youth Day.
2008 Jul 18, In Australia Pope
Benedict XVI warned Christian leaders that the push to unite
Christian churches was at a "critical juncture" and called on people
of all religions to join together against violence.
2008 Jul 18, In Singapore Peter
Lloyd (41), a TV reporter for the Australian Broadcasting
Corporation (ABC), was charged with trafficking about one gram of
methamphetamine to a Singaporean for 100 Singapore dollars (73.5 US)
at a hotel early this month.
2008 Jul 19, In Sidney,
Australia, Pope Benedict apologized directly for the first time for
sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy, but victims groups said
they wanted action and not words.
2008 Jul 20, In Australia Pope
Benedict XVI said a "spiritual desert" was spreading throughout the
world and he challenged young people to shed the greed and cynicism
of their time to create a new age of hope for humankind.
2008 Jul 21, In Sidney Pope
Benedict XVI met privately with Australians who were sexually abused
as children by priests, ending a pilgrimage to the country with a
gesture of contrition and concern over a scandal that has rocked the
Roman Catholic church.
2008 Jul 23, Australia
announced an extra $29 million in aid for survivors of Myanmar's May
cyclone, but pressed its recalcitrant military junta to democratize
quickly and respect human rights.
2008 Jul 29, Starbucks said it
will close more than two-thirds of its 84 stores in Australia by the
end of the week under a cost-cutting plan that will put almost 700
people out of work.
2008 Jul 30, Aborigines won
traditional ownership rights over a large stretch of coastline in
northern Australia, in a landmark ruling lawyers said could set a
precedent in other parts of the country.
2008 Aug 1, Anglo-Australian
mining giant Rio Tinto said it received correspondence from Guinea
President Lansana Conte "purporting to rescind the Simandou Mining
Concession." Just before his death on Dec 22 Conte signed rights to
mine the northern half of the Simandou Mining Concession to Israeli
businessman Benny Steinmetz for $160m, who in turn soon sold a 51%
stake to Brazil’s Vale for $2.5 billion.
(AFP, 8/3/08)(Econ, 6/7/14, p.57)(Econ, 12/6/14,
2008 Aug 8, Australian Customs
and police said they had seized 4.4 tons of ecstasy tablets worth
nearly 400 million dollars, describing it as the biggest haul of the
illicit drug anywhere in the world. Police said the seizure of the
drugs, which were concealed in tins of tomato shipped to Australia
from Italy, had resulted in the arrests of 21 people across the
country beginning in pre-dawn raids.
2008 Aug 10, In southern
Australia some 5,000 people rallied to protest the dwindling water
levels of the Murray River, claiming the loss was causing an
2008 Aug 14, Australian police
arrested a Catholic priest (65) and charged him with 30 counts of
sexual assault related to abuse allegations dating back three
2008 Aug 23, In Somalia 2
Western reporters were kidnapped near Mogadishu. The next day the
National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) named them as Amanda
Lindhout, a Canadian reporter based in Baghdad but freelancing for
French television and Canada's Global National News, and Nigel
Brennan, a freelance Australian photojournalist. Both were released
after 15 months and arrived in Kenya on Nov 25, 2009. Brennan’s
family mortgaged their house to raise his ransom.
(Reuters, 8/24/08)(AP, 11/26/09)(Econ, 3/16/13,
2008 Sep 1, Australian actor
Michael Pate (b.1920) died of respiratory failure. He had appeared
in more than 50 films and was a regular guest star on American TV
shows in the 1950s and 60s.
2008 Sep 2, Australia's central
bank cut interest rates for the first time in over six-and-a-half
years, pushing them down 25 basis points to 7% amid signs of cooling
2008 Sep 2, In Australia Brian
Spillane, a 65-year-old ex-priest, was arrested and charged in
Sydney with 60 counts relating to alleged sexual assaults against
eight people. Spillane was originally charged in May with 33 child
sex offenses against five people as a result of a police
investigation into allegations of abuse in the 1980s at St.
Stanislaus in the city of Bathurst.
2008 Sep 2, In Afghanistan 22
Taliban were killed in a clash in Zabul province's Naw Bahar
district. 7 Arab fighters were among the dead. Another 10 militants
died in clashes with Afghan and foreign troops in Nad Ali district
of Helmand province. NATO troops in Operation Oqab Tsuka (Eagle’s
summit) delivered a Chinese-built turbine for the power station at
Kajaki. Taliban insurgents opened fire on a patrol of Australian, US
and Afghan troops, as it returned to base. More than a dozen
coalition troops were wounded; none died. In 2009 Australian trooper
Mark Donaldson was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest military
honor in the British Commonwealth, for his efforts to protect the
wounded during the attack.
(AP, 9/3/08)(Econ, 9/6/08, p.64)(AP, 1/16/09)
2008 Sep 3, In Australia police
arrested a 66-year-old Catholic brother in connection with their
probe into St. Stanislaus and a 63-year-old former teacher of
another religious school in Bathurst that is also under
2008 Sep 5, Quentin Bryce was
sworn in as Australia's governor general, the first woman to act as
the British queen's representative Down Under. Morris Iemma (47),
the embattled premier of Australia's most populous state, New South
Wales, was forced to resign after his party withdrew support for him
over a dramatic reshuffle of his cabinet.
(AP, 9/5/08)(AFP, 9/5/08)
2008 Sep 7, The conservation
group WWF said Australian koalas are dying by the thousands as a
result of land clearing in the country's northeast, while millions
of birds and reptiles are also perishing. Queensland state last week
revealed that 375,000 hectares of bush were cleared in 2005-06, a
figure WWF said would have resulted in the deaths of two million
2008 Sep 8, Australian Trade
Minister Simon Crean said Australia will not sell uranium to India
unless it signs a key non-proliferation pact, despite a decision by
nuclear supplier nations to end a ban on trading with New Delhi.
2008 Sep 14, In Western
Australia's 4 people died in a helicopter crash in the Bungle Bungle
National Park of the remote Kimberly region.
2008 Sep 15, An Australian jury
found Abdul Benbrika (48), a Muslim cleric, and five of his
followers guilty of planning to stage a "violent jihad" in Melbourne
in 2005 to force Australian troops out of Iraq. A 7th man was
convicted the next day. In 2009 Benbrika was sentenced to at least
12 years in prison.
(Reuters, 9/15/08)(AP, 9/16/08)(AP, 2/3/09)
2008 Sep 18, Australia’s PM
Kevin Rudd said the west's relations with Russia are at a turning
point after its intervention in Georgia and a pact to sell
Australian uranium to Moscow is in the balance.
2008 Sep 19, PM Kevin Rudd
announced that Australia will launch a multi-million dollar
international carbon capture and storage institute to fight global
2008 Sep 22, in Australia 400
sheep died in a road accident, prompting animal rights activists to
repeat their call for an end to the long distance transportation of
livestock for slaughter.
2008 Sep 27, According to an
estimate by the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), up to A$12
billion ($10 billion) in illicit drug money could be flowing out of
Australia every year.
2008 Oct 1, In Australia a
major report to the government on global warming suggested that
Australians should eat kangaroos instead of cattle and sheep.
2008 Oct 1, In Australia a
7-year-old boy broke into the popular Alice Springs zoo, fed a
string of animals to the resident crocodile and bashed several
lizards to death with a rock. By the time he was done, 13 animals
worth around $5,500 had been killed, including a turtle, bearded
dragons and thorny devil lizards.
2008 Oct 8, Australian
scientists said hundreds of new marine species and previously
uncharted undersea mountains and canyons have been discovered in the
depths of the Southern Ocean.
2008 Oct 12, Australia and New
Zealand gave a blanket guarantee to all bank deposits in a move
likely to raise pressure on other economies to do the same, amid a
crisis of confidence in the global financial system.
2008 Oct 17, Two Indonesian
fishing crew picked up in Australian territorial waters with 14
refugees on their boat were charged with people smuggling.
2008 Oct 22, Defense Minister
Joel Fitzgibbon said Australia will reduce its troop deployment to
East Timor because of the improved security situation.
2008 Oct 29, In Australia
Joseph Thomas (35), a Muslim convert dubbed "Jihad Jack" by the
Australian media, was sentenced to nine months in prison but freed
because of time already served. He spent time at an al-Qaida
training camp and met Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.
2008 Oct 30, In Australia 4
teenagers were charged with attacking an almost blind greater
flamingo at Adelaide Zoo. The bird is believed to be the oldest of
its kind in the world.
2008 Nov 1, In Australia the
badly decomposed body of Chen Liu (27) was found in Sydney, about
two weeks after a friend reported him missing. 34 nails were found
during a post-mortem examination of Liu's body, and were located
mainly in his skull. They were fired from an 85 mm nail gun at close
2008 Nov 12, A Sidney court
sentenced an Australian woman to 22 months periodic detention for
assisting in the suicide of her longtime partner, an Alzheimer's
sufferer who had been rejected for a legal euthanasia in
2008 Nov 17, Australia said it
will invest millions of dollars in non-lethal whale research to show
Japan that the animals do not need to be killed in order to be
2008 Nov 20, The new Australian
Sex Party launched at Sexpo, an annual sex exhibition in Melbourne.
It has already gathered the required 500 members and plans to
register with the electoral commission next week.
2008 Nov 23, In southeastern
Australia rescuers returned 11 pilot whales to sea, a day after a
pod of 64 mothers and calves were found stranded on a beach.
2008 Nov 25, In Australia BHP
Billiton dropped its controversial hostile takeover bid for rival
Rio Tinto because of the global economic crisis.
2008 Nov 29, Joern Utzon
(b.1918), the Danish architect who designed the iconic Sydney Opera
House (1957), died. In 2003 Utzon won the Pritzker prize.
(AP, 11/29/08)(Econ, 12/13/08, p.104)
2008 Nov 30, In southern
Australia a group of 150 whales that became stranded on a remote
coastline were battered to death on rocks before rescuers could save
2008 Dec 2, Australia cut its
key interest rate by one percentage point to 4.25%.
(WSJ, 12/3/08, p.A12)
2008 Dec 5, Australia's driest
state was forced to purchase water for the first time to ensure
adequate supplies in the midst of a drought. Karlene Maywald, state
water security minister, said South Australia has purchased 61
billion gallons (231 gigaliters) of water so that Adelaide, the
state capital, will have enough water for 2009 even if the drought
2008 Dec 10, Anglo-Australian
mining giant Rio Tinto said it will slash some 14,000 jobs globally
to cut its debt by 10 billion US dollars as it battles falling
prices and a global slowdown.
2008 Dec 10, In Australia Taha
Abdul-Rahman of Sydney was jailed for 3½ years for buying seven
rocket launchers stolen from the military between 2001 and 2003,
most of which have never been recovered by authorities.
2008 Dec 10, Indonesia launched
the Bali Democracy Forum to promote human rights and democracy. The
forum was attended by foreign ministers from around 20 countries,
with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Australian PM Kevin Rudd
(Econ, 2/19/11, p.43)(http://tinyurl.com/6hbsxh5)
2008 Dec 11, Australian police
said detectives have charged 22 men including a policeman, a senior
lawyer and a child care worker in connection with a child
pornography-sharing network spanning 70 countries. Brazilian
information, which was shared via the international policing network
Interpol, identified more than 200 suspects in 70 countries,
2008 Dec 12, A court in
Australia approved the use of Facebook, a popular social networking
Web site, to notify a couple that they lost their home after
defaulting on a loan.
2008 Dec 13, Alex Bellini, an
Italian adventurer, was rescued a mere 65 nautical miles short
of his goal, Australia, after rough weather sapped him of his final
shreds of energy. He had spent 10 months rowing more than 9,500
nautical miles (18,000 kilometers) across the Pacific.
2008 Dec 15, Australia pledged
to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least five percent by 2020 to
fight climate change, but critics said the plan was a "global
embarrassment" and called for deeper reductions.
2008 Dec 17, Australian
Aborigines won a court fight against Anglo-Swiss mining giant
Xstrata's plans to divert a river and expand one of the world's
biggest zinc mines.
2008 Dec 17, Two Australian
women were killed when their light aircraft slammed into a suburban
house in Sydney after a mid-air collision between two flying school
2008 Dec 24, In Egypt an
Australian teacher (61), who allegedly stuffed his luggage with
2,000-year old animal mummies and religious figurines wrapped as
gifts, was arrested and charged with smuggling antiquities.
2008 Dec, Most Australian
taxpayers received checks for $900 to help stimulate the economy.
(Econ, 5/28/11, SR p.5)
2008 In Australia a video was
made showing an unarmed, dark-skinned man, who refused to undergo a
strip search in a Perth detention facility, screaming in apparent
agony after being zapped with a stun gun eight times while
surrounded by nine police officers. He was stunned another five
times off-camera. The video was made public in 2010 as an example of
the wrongful use of a stun gun.
2009 Jan 10, Australian police
said a Canadian man has been charged with trying to smuggle more
than two million dollars (1.4 million US) worth of cocaine inside
forklift battery cells into Australia from Mexico.
2009 Jan 11, Australia's
Defense Ministry said its special forces in Afghanistan had killed
Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Rasheed, who had been involved in
recruiting suicide bombers and foreign fighters in Uruzgan province.
2009 Jan 13, Nancy Bird-Walton
(93), Australian aviation pioneer, died from natural causes. She was
the first woman in Australia to operate a commercial aircraft. Sir
Charles Kingsford-Smith, the first man to fly across the
mid-Pacific, taught Watson how to fly in 1933, when she was just 17
years old. Two years later, she obtained a commercial pilot's
license and began taking paying passengers for joyrides around the
2009 Jan 16, Australia granted
asylum to 28 people from Afghanistan and Iran, in the first such
move since relaxing tough rules on asylum seekers.
2009 Jan 18, Australia listed
the world's largest sea turtle, the leatherback, as endangered due
to the threats posed by overfishing and the unsustainable harvesting
of its eggs and meat.
2009 Jan 19, In Thailand an
Australian writer was sentenced to three years in prison for
insulting Thailand's royal family in his novel, a rare conviction of
a foreigner amid a crackdown on people and Web sites deemed critical
of the monarchy. Bangkok's Criminal Court sentenced Harry Nicolaides
(41) to six years behind bars but reduced the term because he had
entered a guilty plea.
2009 Jan 15, Australia's
tropical Queensland state declared a flood disaster over an area the
size of France and Germany after recent monsoon storms. The floods
are eventually expected to move inland, helping fill lakes and
relieving a long-running drought in parts of Australia's desert
interior and tropical north.
2009 Jan 17, Two dehydrated men
from Myanmar were found bobbing in an ice box in the Torres Strait
off Australia. They told authorities they had spent 25 days adrift
after their fishing boat sank. There was no sign of 18 other crew
2009 Jan 19, In Thailand Harry
Nicolaides (41), an Australian writer, was sentenced to three years
in prison for insulting Thailand's royal family in his novel, a rare
conviction of a foreigner amid a crackdown on people and Web sites
deemed critical of the monarchy. Bangkok's Criminal Court sentenced
Nicolaides to six years behind bars but reduced the term because he
had entered a guilty plea. His 2005 book “Verisimilitude" had sold 7
copies. Nicolaides returned home on Feb 21, after he was granted a
(AP, 1/19/09)(SFC, 1/20/09, p.A3)(AP, 2/21/09)
2009 Jan 23, In Australia
rescuers poured water on the parched skin of sperm whales beached on
a remote sand bank on Perkins Island to keep them alive until the
next high tide. All 45 whales died with 2 days.
(AP, 1/23/09)(AP, 1/24/09)(AP, 1/25/09)
2009 Jan 29, An Australian man
(36) was charged with murder after allegedly throwing his
four-year-old daughter from a Melbourne bridge into the Yarra River
during peak hour traffic. On April 11, 2011, Arthur Freeman was
sentenced to life in prison.
(AFP, 1/29/09)(AP, 4/11/11)
2009 Jan 30, Melbourne,
Australia's second-largest city, struggled to cope with a
once-in-a-century heatwave as temperatures hit 109 degrees. The heat
wave has claimed dozens of lives and sparked wildfires that have
razed up to 20 homes.
(AFP, 1/31/09)(WSJ, 1/31/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 3, In Australia PM
Kevin Rudd announced a $27 billion stimulus package. Australia’s
Parliament passed the bill on Feb 13.
2009 Feb 4, In northeastern
Australia rain-battered residents were on alert for snakes in their
bathrooms and crocodiles in the road following repeated storms that
have sent local wildlife in search of dry land or a safe haven.
2009 Feb 7, In Australia
searing temperatures and wind blasts created a firestorm that swept
across a swath of the country's Victoria state. On “Black Saturday"
some 2298 homes were destroyed with a death toll of 173. The town of
Marysville and several hamlets in the Kinglake district, both about
50 miles (100 km) north of Melbourne, were utterly devastated. In
2012 James Sokaluk was jailed for at least 14 years for starting a
blaze that killed 10 people and destroyed more than 150 homes at
(AFP, 2/8/09)(Econ, 1/14/12, p.61)(AFP, 4/27/12)
2009 Feb 9, In Australia police
declared incinerated towns crime scenes, and PM Rudd spoke of "mass
murder" after investigators said arsonists may have set some of the
country's worst wildfires in history. The official death toll from
the wildfires was later downgraded to 173 from a previous count of
(AP, 2/9/09)(AP, 2/10/09)(AP, 3/30/09)
2009 Feb 12, Hong Kong's High
Court quashed the conviction of Australian Kevin Egan, one of the
city's most high-profile lawyers, who had been jailed for leaking
the identity of a protected witness to a journalist.
2009 Feb 12, The Aluminum
Corporation of China (Chinalco) announced that it would invest $19.5
billion in Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto. In June it was reported
that Chinalco would not complete the deal.
(Econ, 2/14/09, p.73)(AFP, 6/4/09)
2009 Feb 12, In southern
Afghanistan a gunfight between Australian forces and Taliban
fighters killed at least 3 children who were caught in the crossfire
in Uruzgan province. In 2010 three former Australian commandos faced
serious charges in relation to the late-night raid that killed 6
Afghans, including five children. Another two children and two
adults were wounded. In 2011 Australia dropped all charges against
the three commandos.
(AP, 2/13/09)(AP, 9/27/10)(AP, 8/30/11)
2009 Feb 13, Australian
authorities charged a man with lighting one of the wildfires that
killed at least 189 people, and whisked him into protective custody
to guard him from public fury. Brendan Sokaluk (39), faced two
charges related to one of the February 7 fires that killed 11 people
in Victoria's Gippsland region, east of Melbourne.
(AP, 2/13/09)(AP, 2/16/09)
2009 Feb 20, Australian Federal
Police agents with search warrants boarded an anti-whaling group's
ship, the Steve Irwin, as it docked in the southern Australian city
of Hobart. They seized videotapes of violent clashes between the
activists and Japanese whalers.
2009 Feb 22, In Brisbane,
Australia, Father Peter Kennedy (71), a rebel Catholic priest who
was sacked for blessing gay couples and allowing women to preach,
defied his archbishop and led mass.
2009 Feb 23, In southern
Australia more than 100 people evacuated their homes in Victoria
state when new bushfires threatened communities, two weeks after the
nation's worst fire disaster killed more than 200 people.
2009 Feb 26, The Australian
government announced a multi-million dollar investment in research
on reducing gas emissions from farm animals as part of the fight
against global warming.
2009 Feb, An Australian man in
Victoria state was arrested on charges of raping his daughter for 30
years and fathering four children with her. The daughter first told
police about the alleged abuse in 2005, but no charges were filed
because she said she feared for her safety and would not cooperate
2009 Mar 2, In southern
Australia rescuers used jet skis, backhoes and human muscle to save
dozens of whales and dolphins stranded on Naracoopa Beach on
Tasmania state's King Island. Rescuers refloated 54 whales and five
bottlenose dolphins. A total of 194 pilot whales and seven dolphins
became stranded the previous evening.
(AP, 3/2/09)(AP, 3/3/09)
2009 Mar 5, Australia and South
Korea agreed during a summit between PM Kevin Rudd and President Lee
Myung-bak to deepen security ties and launch formal talks on a free
2009 Mar 11, Australia said it
would provide funding to Zimbabwe's new unity government, the first
Western power to announce direct support to the new administration.
2009 Mar 11, More than 30
shipping containers of ammonium nitrate fell off a ship in stormy
seas off Australia, damaging the ship's hull and leaking up to 30
tons of oil [see Mar 13]. Swire Shipping's cargo liner Pacific
Adventurer released about 200,000 liters (53,000 US gallons) of
heavy fuel oil off the coast of Queensland state as it travelled
through cyclonic weather. Australia later sought more than 18
million US dollars in compensation from a Hong Kong-based shipping
company. In August the Hong Kong-based Swire Shipping company said
it will pay Australia 25 million dollars (21 million US) in
compensation for the oil spill.
(AP, 3/11/09)(AFP, 5/6/09)(AFP, 8/8/09)
2009 Mar 13, Dozens of popular
tourist beaches on Australia's northeast coast were declared a
disaster zone, with their once-pristine sands fouled by a massive
oil and chemical slick. Queensland state's marine safety authority
said up to 100 tons of fuel, 250,000 liters, were now believed to
have spilled from the Hong Kong-flagged ship Pacific Adventurer amid
cyclonic conditions on March 11.
(AP, 3/13/09)(Econ, 3/21/09, p.45)
2009 Mar 13, Terra Firma, a
London-based private equity firm, announced it would buy 90% of
Consolidated pastoral Company, the Australian cattle holdings of the
Packer family, which encompass 12 million acres of land.
(Econ, 3/21/09, p.67)
2009 Mar 16, In southern
Afghanistan two suicide bombers attacked police stations, killing 10
Afghan policemen and 2 civilians, underlining the growing threat
from a Taliban-led insurgency. An Australian soldier in a joint
Australian-Afghan army patrol was shot dead during a "very intense
firefight" with 20 Taliban insurgents in Uruzgan province.
(AFP, 3/16/09)(AP, 3/17/09)
2009 Mar 18, The Australian
government said it plans to crack down on excessive executive pay
packages. It will amend the Corporations Act to require shareholder
approval for any termination payments that exceed average annual
base salary, which excludes additional compensation such as shares
or stock options.
(WSJ, 3/19/09, p.C2)
2009 Mar 19, In Afghanistan
Helmand MP Dad Mohammad Khan, a key anti-Taliban lawmaker, was
killed with four other men when a bomb tore through their vehicle.
Australia’s defense chief said a bomb disposal expert was killed
trying to defuse a device in Afghanistan, announcing the country's
10th combat death there.
(AFP, 3/19/09)(AP, 3/19/09)
2009 Mar 22, In Australia
warring bikers brawled through the Sidney airport, beating one
suspected gang member to death and brandishing metal poles "like
swords" as they rampaged through the main domestic terminal in front
of terrified travelers. Anthony Zervas (29) was bludgeoned to death
with a crowd control barrier pole during the fracas. On June 30
Mahmoud "Mick" Hawi (29), head of the Comanchero motorcycle gang,
was charged with murder.
(AP, 3/22/09)(AFP, 6/30/09)
2009 Mar 23, In Australia
volunteers joined rescue workers struggling to save the lives of 17
whales that survived a mass stranding on a beach on Australia's west
coast. Around 90 long-finned pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins
were found beached over more than five kilometers (three miles) in
Hamelin Bay, south of the city of Perth. Most of the animals died,
but rescuers were able to push four dolphins and four whales out to
sea at the stranding site and truck 10 surviving whales overland to
deeper waters. Six whales believed to be part of a pod that was
rescued from a mass stranding re-beached themselves and two died.
One of the 4 surviving whales was found dead on March 26.
(AFP, 3/23/09)(AP, 3/25/09)(AP, 3/26/09)
2009 Mar 24, Australian police
arrested a senior motorcycle gang member as authorities launched a
crackdown on biker groups in response to a deadly airport brawl that
shocked the country and brought a simmering gang war out into the
2009 Mar 25, Australia PM Kevin
Rudd visited the US and urged Americans not to view China as an
enemy but as a country offering huge economic opportunities, even
though its leaders have "done some bad things in the past."
2009 Mar 28, Sydney became the
world's first major city to plunge itself into darkness for the
second worldwide Earth Hour, a global campaign to highlight the
threat of climate change.
2009 Mar 29, In Australia
thousands of poisonous cane toads met their fate as gleeful hunters
gathered for a celebratory mass killing of the hated amphibians,
with many of the creatures' corpses being turned into fertilizer for
the very farmers they've plagued for years.
2009 Mar 29, In Australia a
gunman opened fire on a senior member of the Hells Angels, shooting
him multiple times outside a Sydney apartment complex in the latest
incident in an escalating battle between biker gangs.
2009 Mar 30, Downtown Sydney,
Australia's largest city, was plunged into chaos during the late
rush hour when a power cut blacked out traffic lights, caused
gridlock on the roads and left tens of thousands of buildings in
darkness. The blackout exposed a flaw in the city's terrorism
(AP, 3/30/09)(AP, 3/31/09)
2009 Apr 3, Australia endorsed
a UN declaration that recognizes indigenous rights, reversing years
of opposition and promising a new era in relations between white
Australians and the nation's impoverished Aborigines. Australia was
one of four nations that voted against the declaration when it was
adopted by the General Assembly in 2007.
2009 Apr 6, In Australia a
motorcycle gang leader surrendered to police and became the sixth
biker charged in connection with a brawl that left a rival bleeding
to death before shocked travelers at Australia's busiest airport.
2009 Apr 7, Australia announced
plans to build a 30 billion US dollar broadband network, its biggest
infrastructure project ever, opting to retain government control
rather than contract out the deal.
2009 Apr 8, A fishing vessel
carrying 45 boatpeople, believed to be from Iraq, landed on
Australia’s remote Christmas Island, island, a day after the
opposition party said a softer stance on refugees had prompted a
"surge" in illegal immigrants.
2009 Apr 16, Five people were
killed and dozens wounded when a blast tore apart a boat carrying
more than 40 Afghan refugees off Australia's northwest coast. The
Australian Broadcasting Corporation later said it was told the
refugees had doused the boat in petrol to try to force the navy to
land them in Australia and not turn them back to Indonesia, but that
the blast was an accident. On Oct 28 two Indonesian fishermen were
jailed for five years for smuggling the boat full of Afghan
(AFP, 4/20/09)(AFP, 10/28/09)
2009 Apr 17, Australia's PM
Rudd denounced people smugglers who set hopeful refugees adrift in
rickety boats as "scum" and pledged to step up efforts to thwart
them, after one vessel exploded at sea and killed three people.
2009 Apr 17, Australia revealed
plans to introduce national arson laws with a maximum penalty of 25
years behind bars in the wake of deadly wildfires that claimed 173
2009 Apr 25, Australia
intercepted a boat carrying more than 50 refugees north of Darwin,
little more than a week after an explosion on another vessel killed
five people. A boat carrying 32 Sri Lankan refugees was stopped near
the northwest coast on April 23.
2009 Apr 29, Australia
announced it will increase by almost one half its troops in
Afghanistan to about 1,550 as part of the US-led surge of
international forces to bolster the faltering fight against Taliban
2009 Apr 29, Two boats carrying
almost 80 people were intercepted off Australia's northern coast as
the conservative political opposition called for an independent
inquiry into refugee policy.
2009 May 2, Australia’s
government said it will spend more than 70 billion US dollars
boosting its defenses over the next 20 years in response to a
regional military build-up and global shifts in power.
2009 May 4, Australia's
government put back its much-vaunted carbon-emissions trading scheme
by a year, bowing to industry demands for more relief amid a
recession while opening the door to an even deeper long-term
2009 May 4, An Afghan guard was
killed by Australian Robert William Langdon as he worked for
US-based private security company Four Horsemen International. A
court later heard that Langdon threw a hand grenade into the truck
carrying the guard's body and ordered other guards to fire into the
air to simulate a Taliban attack. Langdon allegedly admitted killing
the Afghan guard during a heated argument about security for a
convoy. In October Langdon was convicted of murder and sentenced to
death in a court in Kabul. He paid a "sizeable" compensation to the
victim's family and the sentenced was reduced to 20 years.
2009 May 5, Australia's army
started shooting 6,000 kangaroos to thin their population on an army
training ground near the capital, outraging conservationists who
have vowed to protest.
2009 May 6, Ben Southall (34),
a bungee jumping, ostrich-riding British charity worker was named
the winner of what's been dubbed the "Best Job in the World," a
150,000 Australian dollar ($111,000) contract to serve as the
caretaker of Australia’s tropical Hamilton Island. He beat out
nearly 35,000 applicants from around the world for assignment to
swim, explore and relax in the Great Barrier Reef for six months
while writing a blog to promote the area.
2009 May 9, Australia and Japan
joined the ranks of affected countries with confirmed H1N1 swine
flu. New Zealand, the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to
confirm cases, reported two more for a total of seven.
2009 May 11, Australia’s armed
forces chief announced that Australia will formally end its military
mission in Iraq at the end of July, bringing the country's
involvement in one war to a close even as it prepares to send more
troops to Afghanistan.
2009 May 12, Treasurer Wayne
Swan said Australia will post a record 57.6 billion Australian
dollar (44.1 billion US) deficit in 2009-10 as it battles the worst
global recession since the Great Depression.
2009 May 14, In Australia a
court suspended a government program to kill 7,000 kangaroos on
federal land near the Australian capital, halting efforts to thin a
mushrooming population of the beloved marsupials that authorities
say are threatening endangered species.
2009 May 20, Australian
authorities declared a state of emergency in Queensland as
torrential rain and gale force winds caused extensive flooding and
left one man dead.
2009 May 23, In Australia
thousands more people in the flood-hit east were told to leave their
homes as gale-force winds lashed the coast. Emergency services said
up to 20,000 people had been cut off.
2009 May 24, In Australia
thousands of homeowners remained isolated in the flood-hit
northeast. Authorities said days of torrential rain had created a
vast "inland sea."
2009 May 28, Australian Foreign
Minister Stephen Smith condemned a wave of attacks on Indian
students in Melbourne after the latest assault left a 25-year-old
fighting for his life. Indian student Sravan Kumar Theerthala was
stabbed with a screwdriver on May 24 when a group of teenagers
gatecrashed a party he was attending in the suburbs of Melbourne.
2009 Jun 4, Australia's Defense
Minister Joel Fitzgibbon (47) stepped down after a series of
scandals, in the first major embarrassment for PM Kevin Rudd.
Fitzgibbon had been under pressure since March when he admitted not
declaring to parliamentary authorities two trips to China paid for
by wealthy businesswoman Helen Liu.
2009 Jun 5, The
Anglo-Australian firm Rio Tinto cancelled its controversial tie-up
with China's Chinalco in favor of a joint venture with fierce rival
BHP Billiton and a 15.2 billion US dollar rights issue.
2009 Jun 9, In Australia a
protest involving hundreds of Indian students turned into a
"vigilante" attack in Sydney overnight, in the latest flare-up in
racial tensions in recent weeks. Police said a group wielding sticks
and baseball bats attacked men of "Middle Eastern appearance" in
apparent retaliation for an earlier assault on an Indian man.
2009 Jun 11, In Australia an
Australian Aboriginal elder (46), arrested for drunk driving, died
after being "cooked" in the back of a scorching hot prison van. The
next day a coroner found that Mr. Ward's death breached Australia's
obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political
2009 Jun 13, In Australia it
was reported Barry Tannenbaum (43), an expatriate South African
businessman, has denied any wrongdoing in an alleged investment
scandal. Tannenbaum has been accused of fleecing rich South Africans
in what has been billed as one of the country's biggest Ponzi-style
investment scandals, according to local and South African media. The
massive pyramid scheme reportedly cost wealthy investors up to $1.2
2009 Jun 15, In Australia Des
"Tuppence" Moran (61), a former underworld enforcer, died from
multiple gunshot wounds to the head while enjoying a coffee in a
suburban cafe. Gangland widow Judy Moran was one of three people
later charged in the slaying. On March 9, 2011, Judy Moran (66) was
convicted of orchestrating the execution-style murder of her
(AFP, 6/17/09)(AFP, 3/9/11)
2009 Jun 22, Australian police
said that an e-mail challenging PM Kevin Rudd's honesty in his
19-month-old government's biggest political crisis appeared to be a
2009 Jun 28, The Australian
navy intercepted a refugee boat with 194 people aboard off the
country's northwest coast. It was the 15th suspected
people-smuggling craft to have been stopped in Australian waters or
to have made landfall since January.
2009 Jun 29, It was reported
that Australian scientists have developed a "trojan horse" therapy
to combat cancer, using a bacterially-derived nano cell to penetrate
and disarm the cancer cell before a second nano cell kills it with
chemotherapy drugs. Sydney scientists Dr Jennifer MacDiarmid and Dr
Himanshu Brahmbhatt, who formed EnGenelC Pty Ltd in 2001, said they
had achieved 100 percent survival in mice with human cancer cells by
using the "trojan horse" therapy in the past two years.
2009 Jun 30, Australian serial
rapist John Xydias (45) was jailed for 28 years. For over 15 years
he had dressed his unconscious victims in his collection of women's
underwear and filmed assaults on them.
2009 Jun 30, In Australia 2 men
were charged with the murder of a female student from China who went
missing June 25 after a night out in Tasmania. Stavros Papadopoulos
and Daniel Joseph Williams, both 21 and from Hobart, were remanded
in custody after a brief appearance before a magistrate. Accountancy
student Zhang Yu (26) was last seen alive outside a Hobart city
center pub. Police later found her body in the Tyenna river west of
Hobart. In 2010 Papadopoulos was sentenced to life in prison.
Accomplice Daniel Jo Williams was sentenced to 10 years in jail on a
charge of manslaughter.
(AP, 6/30/09)(AFP, 6/30/10)
2009 Jul 3, Australia announced
a 155 million US dollar package for isolated Aboriginal communities,
after a new report revealed shocking levels of child abuse among the
2009 Jul 8, Australia said
Chinese authorities had detained Stern Hu, Rio Tinto Ltd's top iron
ore negotiator, as well as three other Rio employees on suspicion of
espionage and stealing state secrets, threatening to strain already
2009 Jul 8, Australian
residents of rural Bundanoon, hoping to protect the earth and their
wallets, voted to ban the sale of bottled water, the first community
in the country, and possibly the world, to take such a drastic step
in the growing backlash against the industry.
2009 Jul 11, In Indonesia an
Australian working for the Indonesian subsidiary of US-based mining
giant Freeport McMoRan was shot dead by unknown attackers in Papua.
2009 Jul 16, Australia and
China traded warnings over Rio Tinto employees detained for spying,
as the United States urged Beijing to ensure transparency and fair
treatment for staff of foreign companies.
2009 Jul 18, In Australian Min
Lin, his wife, two sons aged 12 and 9, and a female relative were
killed by blunt force trauma to the upper bodies and heads in their
home in a Sydney suburb. The family had run a convenience store for
more than six years after immigrating from China.
2009 Jul 19, An amateur
astronomer in Australia detected a new scar on Jupiter that covered
some 73 million square miles, an larger area than the Pacific ocean.
(SFC, 7/22/09, p.A1)
2009 Jul 20, In Australia
Adelaide-based Vaxine began swine flu vaccine trials with 300
subjects. Melbourne's CSL had 240 people in its seven-month trial,
which started Jul 22. The companies said their trials are the first
tests of a swine flu vaccine on humans.
2009 Jul 28, In Australia Shane
Kent (33), an Australian convert to Islam, admitted being part of a
terror cell that plotted to kill thousands of people by bombing
major sports events. The former forklift truck driver was about to
face a retrial on the charges, which he previously denied, after a
Supreme Court jury last September failed to reach a verdict.
2009 Aug 1, Australia's
centre-left ruling party voted for national recognition of same-sex
unions but stopped short of lifting a ban on gay marriage.
2009 Aug 4, Australian police
said they thwarted a terrorist plot in which extremists with ties to
an al-Qaida-linked Somali Islamist group planned to invade a
military base and open fire with automatic weapons until they were
shot dead themselves. Some 400 officers from state and national
security services took part in 19 raids on properties in Melbourne,
before dawn, arresting four men and detaining several others for
questioning. Police said all four arrested are Australian citizens
of Somali or Lebanese descent aged between 22 and 26.
2009 Aug 5, Australian police
charged four men with planning to attack an army base and shoot
soldiers as the government considered whether to ban a Somalia
militant group linked to the plot.
2009 Aug 10, Australia said it
has pledged 7.8 million US dollars this year to help save more than
100 indigenous languages which are in grave danger of dying out.
2009 Aug 11, China formally
arrested four employees of Anglo-American mining giant Rio Tinto
Ltd. for infringing trade secrets and bribery, but stopped short of
laying politically explosive espionage charges in a case that has
strained ties with key trading partner Australia.
2009 Aug 12, Australian forces
shot 2 Afghan policemen on a motorcycle at the Dorafshan checkpoint
near Tarin Kowt. One of the Afghans was shot 16 times and died. The
other was wounded. The Australian military later said the soldiers
did not know the men were police and were acting in self-defense.
2009 Aug 13, Australian police
said a 20-year-old Australian man has been charged with infecting
more than 3,000 computers around the world with a virus designed to
capture banking and credit card data.
2009 Aug 14, An Australian
judge ruled that Christian Rossiter (49), a quadriplegic man who
says he cannot "undertake any basic human functions," has the right
to direct a nursing home to stop feeding him and allow him to die.
(AP, 8/14/09)(SFC, 8/15/09, p.A2)
2009 Aug 19, Australia
celebrated the biggest trade deal in its history and said it proved
vital ties with China had survived a series of bruising rows. PM
Kevin Rudd said ExxonMobil's 41.3 billion US dollar liquefied
natural gas contract with PetroChina would create up to 6,000 jobs
and pump billions of dollars into the economy. PetroChina ordered
2.25 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year over two
decades from ExxonMobil's share of the still-undeveloped Gorgon
plant off Western Australia.
2009 Aug 20, Australia passed a
clean energy law requiring the country to produce 20 percent of its
power from renewable sources by 2020 in move that could draw
billions of dollars of green investment.
2009 Aug 21, Australian leader
Kevin Rudd and his trans-Tasman counterpart John Key chaired the
first-ever joint meeting of their cabinets, and said it had been a
valuable opportunity to discuss their joint challenges. They vowed
closer military ties and collaboration on climate change in the
2009 Aug 21, A massive oil and
gas leak forced the evacuation of an oil rig off Australia's
northwest coast. PTTEP Australasia, a branch of Thai-owned PTT
Exploration and Production Co. Ltd., said about 40 barrels of oil
had been discharged in the initial incident, and it was still
attempting to bring the leak under control at the rig, owned by
Norway's Seadrill. After 2 days PTTEP said plugging the leak will
take weeks. Government officials said there was little threat of
environmental damage. By the end of October an estimated 400 barrels
a day of oil continued leaking from the fissure off the Australian
coast. PTTEP Australasia has failed repeatedly to stop the leak but
said it is still trying.
(AFP, 8/22/09)(AP, 8/23/09)(AP, 10/30/09)
2009 Aug 22, The West
Australian town of Broome, with deep historical ties to Japan, voted
to sever its sister city relationship with the Japanese village of
Taiji to protest an annual dolphin slaughter near there. At an
extraordinary meeting on October 13 Broome rescinded the decision,
which it said was made in haste and without wide consultation, and
issued an apology to the Japanese community in Broome and Taiji,
their families and friends for any disrespect caused by council's
resolution. But it noted that it did not condone the harvest of
dolphins in Taiji, with which it forged sister-city relations in
(AP, 8/24/09)(AFP, 10/16/09)
2009 Aug 26, Australia's
highest court ruled that the country's military justice system is
unconstitutional because its judges are not independent of the
military command, throwing into doubt 171 cases judged in the past
2009 Aug 27, A senior UN
official condemned Australia's controversial intervention into
remote Aboriginal communities, describing the measures as
discriminatory and finding entrenched racism in Australia.
2009 Aug 29, Australian
authorities intercepted a boat carrying 52 suspected asylum seekers,
the 18th such vessel to be discovered this year.
2009 Sep 3, In Australia
millionaire Michael McGurk (45), a Scottish-born property developer,
was gunned down in front of his son (10) outside their exclusive
Sydney home. In 2007 McGurk had unsuccessfully tried to sue the
Sultan of Brunei over an alleged eight million US dollar agreement
to buy a 400-year-old gold-lined miniature Koran.
2009 Sep 9, Australia announced
that it has launched a war crimes investigation into the 1975
killing of five Australian-based journalists during an attack by
Indonesian forces in East Timor.
2009 Sep 10, Australia
announced liquefied natural gas (LNG) deals worth up to 60 billion
US dollars with Japan and South Korea, raising its status as a major
2009 Sep 11, A risk consultancy
said Australians have overtaken Americans as the world's biggest
individual producers of carbon dioxide, which is blamed for global
warming. British firm Maplecroft placed Australia's per capita
output at 20.58 tons a year, some four percent higher than the
United States and top of a list of 185 countries.
2009 Sep 12, Australia
intercepted a boat carrying 83 suspected asylum seekers off its
northwest coast after it was spotted from the air by a military
patrol plane. Later in the day the Australian navy intercepted a
suspected people-smuggling boat carrying 65 asylum seekers off the
country's northwest coast.
(AFP, 9/12/09)(AFP, 9/13/09)
2009 Sep 14, In Australia
energy giants Chevron, Shell and ExxonMobil agreed to develop the
massive Gorgon field, giving the final go-ahead to a liquefied
natural gas (LNG) project worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
2009 Sep 15, Australia
announced shock plans to break up dominant telecommunications player
Telstra to boost competition as it presses ahead with a 37 billion
US dollar national broadband network.
2009 Sep 18, Australia approved
a vaccine against swine flu and said it would start administering
the medicine this month to its most at-risk citizens, including
medical staff, pregnant women and the chronically ill. Regulators
approved CSL Ltd.'s vaccine for people above age 10, but the
Therapeutic Drug Administration was awaiting the results of more
clinical trials before approving it for younger children.
2009 Sep 19, Australian
authorities delivered a formal apology to the many thousands of
people who were abused in state-run orphanages and children's homes
in decades past.
2009 Sep 20, Australian border
protection officials rescued 54 asylum seekers from a boat stranded
in northern waters.
2009 Sep 21, Christian Rossiter
(49) an Australian quadriplegic died, ending an existence he had
described as a "living hell." On Aug 14 he had won a landmark legal
battle to starve himself to death by refusing food.
2009 Sep 23, Australia's worst
dust storm in 70 years blanketed the heavily populated east coast in
a cloud of red Outback grit, nearly closed the country's largest
airport and left millions of people coughing and sputtering in the
2009 Sep 23, An Australian
naval ship stopped a boat carrying 98 asylum seekers off the
country's northwest coast.
2009 Sep 24, Australia said it
has created a massive nature reserve in the country's far north that
will be managed by Aborigines. The so-called Indigenous Protected
Areas in the Northern Territory contain rock art sites that are
50,000 years old and wilderness areas rivaling the nearby World
Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park.
2009 Sep 25, An Australian
court sentenced Belal Khazaal (39), a former Qantas Airways baggage
handler, to 12 years in prison for publishing a do-it-yourself jihad
book on the Internet. The book was titled "Provisions of the Rules
of Jihad: Short Judicial Rulings and Organizational Instructions for
Fighters and Mujahideen Against Infidels." Khazaal had also been
convicted in absentia by Lebanese military courts in 2003 and 2005
on terrorism-related charges.
2009 Sep 26, The Australian
town of Bundanoon pulled all bottled water from its shelves and
replaced it with refillable bottles in what is believed to be a
2009 Oct 2, An Australian woman
was sentenced to life in prison for the starvation death of her
7-year-old daughter. The woman was convicted of murder in June. Her
husband, convicted at the same time of manslaughter in his
daughter's death, was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment. The girl,
known as Ebony, weighed barely 20 pounds (9kg) when she died in
2009 Oct 2, A boat carrying
about 100 asylum seekers left an Indonesian port bound for Australia
but never arrived. The information was made public in May, 2010, by
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service chief executive
Michael Carmody during a routine Senate inquiry into government
2009 Oct 6, Australia's central
bank unexpectedly raised interest rates by a quarter point, becoming
the first major economy to increase the cost of borrowing amid signs
its recovery from the global slump is gaining momentum.
2009 Oct 9, Japanese officials
said they have obtained rights to develop platinum mines in South
Africa and Botswana in a bid to ensure a stable supply of the metal.
The government-backed Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp.
(JOGMEC) said it has signed a contract with Discovery Metals in
Australia to jointly develop nickel and platinum mines in northeast
Botswana. It has also inked another deal with Canadian firm Platinum
Group Metals to explore for platinum in South Africa.
2009 Oct 16, In Australia 5
Muslim men were convicted of plotting the country’s largest
terrorist conspiracy as part of a bid to force the government to
change its policy on Middle East conflicts. The men, aged 25-44,
were arrested in a series of raids on their homes in 2005. On Feb
15, 2010, the 5 men were sentenced to 23 to 28 years in prison for
stockpiling explosive chemicals and firearms for terrorist attacks
on unspecified targets.
(AP, 10/16/09)(AP, 2/15/10)
2009 Oct 18, In Australia
Jessica Watson (16) steered her bright pink, 10-meter yacht out of
Sydney Harbor to start her bid to become the youngest person to sail
solo and unassisted around the world. Her decision sparked a debate
in Australia about whether someone so young should be allowed to try
such a potentially dangerous feat. She completed her voyage on May
(AP, 10/18/09)(AP, 5/15/10)
2009 Oct 19, Energy group
Chevron announced a new natural gas discovery off Western Australia
that will help support the massive Gorgon liquefied natural gas
2009 Oct 20, Australian
officials said a leech found at a crime scene in 2001 led police to
a man who admitted robbing an elderly woman. The leech dropped off
Peter Cannon as he and an accomplice tied a 71-year-old woman to a
chair in her remote home in the Tasmanian woods on Sept. 28, 2001.
2009 Oct 22, In Australia Don
Lane (75), an American song-and-dance man known as "The Lanky Yank,"
died. He was handed a full-time gig on Australian TV in 1975 and
"The Don Lane Show" became a ratings winner, a mixture of cabaret
acts, interviews, comedy skits and a song from the tall host to
close each show.
2009 Oct 23, Australia approved
Yanzhou Coal's 3.2 billion US dollar takeover of miner Felix
Resources, its biggest by a Chinese firm, in a breakthrough for the
Asian giant's scramble for commodities.
2009 Oct 30, Indonesian
officials and fishermen said thousands of dead fish and clumps of
oil have been found drifting near the coastline more than two months
after an Australian underwater well began leaking in the Timor Sea
on Aug 21.
2009 Nov 1, PTTEP Australasia
attempted to plug a leaking well of the West Atlas drilling rig when
a fire then broke out on the rig. The operation to stem the leak has
involved the Thai-based operator towing the West Triton rig from
Singapore, which took five weeks, to drill down some 2.6km under the
seabed to the source of the emissions. The leak has dumped thousands
of barrels of oil into the Timor Sea since it began on August 21.
The blaze was brought under control on Nov 3 when experts managed to
plug the leak that has spewed tons of crude over the past 10 weeks.
(AP, 11/1/09)(AFP, 11/2/09)(AP, 11/3/09)
2009 Nov 1, A boat carrying 39
apparent asylum seekers sank in the Indian Ocean far from shore. A
Taiwanese fishing trawler and the merchant ship LNG Pioneer arrived
in the area and deployed life rafts and began plucking people from
the water. The stricken ship was in Australia's maritime search and
rescue zone when it sent out distress calls. Up to 11 were still
missing, and one person was confirmed dead.
2009 Nov 4, In Australia a
stabbing rampage at a secure psychiatric hospital left two people
dead. The next day Peko Lakovski (49) was charged with two counts of
murder after reportedly attacking his room-mate Raymond Splatt with
a kitchen knife, before turning on another patient who was in bed at
2009 Nov 7, Australian
authorities declared a natural disaster along parts of the country's
east coast as heavy floods cut the main road linking major cities,
stranding thousands of people.
2009 Nov 10, An Australian
student sparked fears of a new era of computer viruses after
creating a worm which infects Apple's iconic iPhone with pictures of
1980s pop star Rick Astley.
2009 Nov 11, The Australian
Capital Territory, home to the nation's parliament, became the first
Australian region to legalize civil partnership ceremonies for
same-sex couples, in a move supporters hoped would spark national
2009 Nov 15, British officials
said PM Gordon Brown will apologize to thousands of British children
who were shipped to new lives overseas, where many say they suffered
neglect and abuse. Thousands of poor British children were sent to
Australia, Canada and other former colonies under the Child Migrants
Program, which ended in the 1960s. Many ended up in institutions or
as farm laborers. The British government has estimated that a total
of 150,000 British children may have been shipped abroad between
1618 — when a group was sent to the Virginia Colony — and 1967, most
of them from the late 19th century onwards.
2009 Nov 16, Australia’s PM
Kevin Rudd issued an historic apology to thousands of impoverished
British children shipped to Australia with the promise of a better
life. But his government ruled out paying compensation for the abuse
and neglect that many suffered.
2009 Nov 17, Australian doctors
successfully separated joined-at-the-head Bangladeshi twins after
more than 24 hours of surgery, saying the girls were "in great
shape" but faced a difficult recovery.
2009 Nov 18, Australian PM
Kevin Rudd voiced "concerns" about the Church of Scientology after a
senator detailed explosive allegations including torture,
imprisonment and coerced abortions.
2009 Nov 20, In Australia 2
executives at Securency, a banknote-making firm part-owned by
Australia's central bank, were suspended over a police probe into
alleged bribery and kickbacks. According to a May 23 report by The
Age newspaper, Securency officials had paid more than 12 million
dollars in kickbacks for a printing contract to a Vietnamese
businessman with links to the communist state's government.
Officials were also accused of paying bribes worth millions of
dollars into tax haven bank accounts of a politically-connected
Nigerian businessman to win a 2007 contract.
2009 Nov 20, Australian
firefighters battled dozens of bush blazes as record-breaking hot
weather sparked "catastrophic" warnings in two states, just months
after the country's worst ever wildfire disaster.
2009 Nov 21, Australia issued
"catastrophic" alerts after record-breaking temperatures and wild
lightning storms sparked more than 100 fires across the country.
2009 Nov 25, Australian
Northern Territory officials said some 6,000 feral camels are
running wild in the remote outback community of Docker River in
search of water, smashing infrastructure and invading the airstrip.
2009 Dec 2, Australia's plans
for an emissions trading system to combat global warming were
scuttled in Parliament, handing a defeat to a government that had
hoped to set an example at international climate change talks next
2009 Dec 5, Australia welcomed
a 90 billion dollar (82 billion US) deal to supply liquefied natural
gas (LNG) to a Japanese power company in what is believed to be the
country's biggest export sales contract.
2009 Dec 7, ITV, the British TV
channel behind hit show "I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!",
apologized for the death of a rat during filming in Australia, as
the stars who killed it faced police charges.
2009 Dec 9, Australia’s
government said 5 North Korean artists have been banned from
entering Australia for an exhibition of their work, drawing
accusations of censorship from the arts community. The Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade said the artists and a translator have
been refused visas because it is contrary to foreign policy
interests and because they are from a studio linked to North Korean
leader Kim Jong-Il.
2009 Dec 10, In southeastern
Australia more than 120 wildfires fanned by high winds and soaring
temperatures raged, prompting emergency warnings for several towns.
2009 Dec 11, Australia's PM
Kevin Rudd threatened legal action against Japan if it does not stop
its research whaling program that kills up to 1,000 whales a year.
2009 Dec 15, Australia said it
would push ahead with a mandatory China-style plan to filter the
Internet, despite widespread criticism that it will strangle free
speech and is doomed to fail. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy
said new laws would be introduced to ban access to "refused
classification" (RC) sites featuring criminal content such as child
sex abuse, bestiality, rape and detailed drug use.
2009 Dec 15, Australian
scientists reported the discovery of an octopus in Indonesia that
collects coconut shells for shelter, unusually sophisticated
behavior that the researchers believe is the first evidence of tool
use in an invertebrate animal.
2009 Dec 23, Australian
officials said residents were "fleeing for their lives" as savage
wildfires blazed out of control in South Australia, with several
homes destroyed and more under threat.
2009 Dec 28, New Zealand’s
supermaxi Alfa Romeo yacht was first across the finish line in the
Sydney to Hobart ocean race, ending a four-year winning streak by
Australian favorite Wild Oats XI.
2009 Dec 31, In Australia
residents returned to survey the wreckage after Western Australia's
worst wildfire in 50 years engulfed 38 homes in an isolated rural
2009 Tony Abbott (b.1957),
Australian politician and leader of the labor Party, authored his
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
2009 Australia’s Defence
Signals Directorate (DSD), an intelligence agency, tried to tap the
phones of Indonesia’s Pres. Susilo Bambang, as well as his wife and
several of his innermost circle. This only became public in 2013.
(Econ, 11/23/13, p.43)
2010 Jan 1, It was reported
that Australian researchers have cracked the genetic origin of the
deadly cancer that is threatening to wipe out Tasmanian devils,
raising hopes that the animal's future is safe.
2010 Jan 2, In Australia Indian
accounting graduate Nitin Garg (21) was stabbed by unknown attackers
before collapsing in the Melbourne burger restaurant where he
worked. On June 17 a 15-year-old Australian boy was charged with the
stabbing murder. On June 18 the boy (16) was charged with accessory
to the killing. On April 20, 2011, the boy (16) pleaded guilty to
the murder and one count of attempted armed robbery. On Dec 22 the
boy was sentenced to up to 13 years in jail.
(AFP, 1/4/10)(AFP, 6/17/10)(AFP, 6/18/10)(AP,
2010 Jan 3, In southeastern
Australia more than 1,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes
in Coonamble, in central New South Wales, as the worst floodwaters
to hit the area in a decade threatened to swamp a remote farming
2010 Jan 8, Australia angrily
condemned an Indian newspaper cartoon likening its police to the Ku
Klux Klan over their investigations into the recent murder of a
young Indian man. 4 men reportedly poured an unidentified fluid on
Jaspreet Singh (29), a man of Indian descent, and set him alight in
a suburb of Melbourne, leaving him with 15% burns. Singh was later
charged with making a false report to police and criminal damage
with a view to gaining financial advantage over the incident,
allegedly to make an insurance claim.
(AFP, 1/8/10)(AFP, 1/9/10)(AFP, 2/2/10)
2010 Jan 11, Riversdale, an
Australian mining firm, said the Mozambican government has given it
the green light to build a 800-million-dollar coal mine in the
country's northwest. Riversdale has predicted that the Benga project
will produce some of the lowest-cost coking coal in the world.
2010 Feb 2, Australian
researchers said they had discovered a gene associated with
long-sightedness, a development they said could lead to drug
treatments that will replace glasses.
2010 Feb 4, Australia said it
used an anti-weapons of mass destruction law to block three
shipments to Iran but calls for new sanctions against the Islamic
state opened up a new international divide.
2010 Feb 6, Australian miner
Resourcehouse said it has signed a 60-billion-US-dollar coal deal
with energy-hungry China, calling it the country's "biggest-ever
export contract." The company said it had negotiated a 20-year
agreement to supply China Power International Holding Limited with
30 million tons of coal a year from a proposed mine in central
Queensland. The initial report mistakenly identified the Chinese
company as China Power International Development (CPI).
(AFP, 2/6/10)(AFP, 2/9/10)
2010 Feb 8, Australia tightened
its migration rules in favor of English speakers and professionals,
saying the country has been attracting too many hairdressers and
cooks and too few doctors and engineers.
2010 Feb 8, In Australia ITV
Studios, producer of "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here," was
fined 3,000 Australian dollars ($2,615) after pleading guilty of
animal cruelty after two reality show contestants skinned, cooked
and ate a rat during filming in Australia.
2010 Feb 11, In Australia a
shadowy group of cyber-activists succeeded in jamming key Australian
government websites for a second consecutive day and warned they
could shut down the sites for months in protest over controversial
plans to filter the Internet. Codenamed "Operation: Titstorm", the
hacking campaign involved hundreds of people from around the world
and used a technique called Distributed Denial of Service to jam web
2010 Feb 19, Pope Benedict XVI
approved sainthood for Mother Mary MacKillop (1842-1909), making the
woman known for her work among the needy Australia's first saint.
Sainthood was also approved for Stanislaw Soltys, a 15th-century
Polish priest; Italian nuns Giulia Salzano and Battista Varano;
Spanish nun Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y Barriola and a
Canadian brother, Andre Bessette (d.1937). The formal canonization
will take place Oct. 17 in Rome.
2010 Feb 23, PM Kevin Rudd said
Australia plans to fingerprint and face-scan visitors from about 10
high-risk countries in a bid to combat extremism, which is now a
"permanent" threat. He added that Australia will spend 69 million
dollars (62 million US) on new biometric facilities and will set up
a national control centre to coordinate efforts to fight extremism.
2010 Feb 24, Australia resumed
free-trade talks with China after a 14-month gap, sweeping aside a
brief plunge in ties to focus on a booming partnership tipped to
deliver decades of growth.
2010 Feb 26, Australia warned
Japan that "diplomacy comes to an end this year" on whaling, after
presenting a bold plan to phase out the controversial hunts in the
2010 Feb 27, In Australia
thousands of people in lavish costumes and various states of undress
danced and partied their way through Sydney's streets, in the annual
Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade.
2010 Mar 1, In Australia about
5,200 naked people embraced each other on the steps of Sydney's
iconic Opera House for a photo shoot by Spencer Tunick.
2010 Mar 2, In Australia Seth
Enslow, an American motorcycle stuntman twice, broke the world
record for the longest distance jumped on a Harley-Davidson
motorcycle, sailing through the air near Australia's Sydney Harbor
to shatter the previous 10-year-old record. Bubba Blackwell set the
previous record with a 157 foot (47.85 meters) jump in Las Vegas in
2010 Mar 4, In Australia
Gurshan Singh (3), who was visiting from Punjab in northern India,
disappeared from a suburban house in Melbourne. His body was found
about six hours later some 30 km (20 miles) away, not far from the
city's airport. On march 7 police alleged that Gursewak Dhillon
(23), a part-time taxi driver who had been sharing a house with the
boy and his family, was responsible for the boy’s death.
(AFP, 3/5/10)(AFP, 3/7/10)
2010 Mar 5, An Australian court
ruled that the once-popular painkiller Vioxx doubled the risk of
heart attack and was unfit for consumption, awarding a man leading a
class action suit against the drug's maker 287,000 Australian
dollars ($259,000) in compensation.
2010 Mar 8, In Australia Royal
Dutch Shell and PetroChina joined forces for a 2.96 billion US
dollar bid for Australia's Arrow Energy, hoping for a bigger slice
of the country's booming liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector.
2010 Mar 9, Indonesia’s
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono flew into Canberra with PM Kevin
Rudd and Governor-General Quentin Bryce waiting on the red carpet.
He was soon appointed an honorary companion of the Order of
Australia for his work after the 2002 Bali bombing. Yudhoyono will
become the first Indonesian leader to address a joint sitting of
Australia's parliament on March 10.
2010 Mar 19, Australia's
Hollywood A-listers, prime minister and top tycoons launched a new
campaign for Aboriginal jobs with a spectacular light show at
Sydney's iconic Opera House.
2010 Mar 21, Tropical Cyclone
Ului blew across the coast of northeastern Australia leaving some
60,000 homes without power.
2010 Mar 22, In China four
executives of Australia mining giant Rio Tinto pleaded guilty in
Shanghai to taking bribes.
(SFC, 3/23/10, p.D3)
2010 Mar 23, Internet giant
Google led high-profile criticism of Australia's controversial plan
to filter the Internet, saying it went too far and could set a
2010 Mar 24, Australia and
China signed a multibillion dollar natural gas deal, pushing ahead
with business as the trial of four employees of mining giant Rio
Tinto ended in Shanghai with a verdict still to be announced.
2010 Mar 25, A top Australian
official said about 100 Australian police are being investigated for
circulating racist and pornographic e-mails via the internal police
e-mail system, and one officer involved in the scandal has committed
2010 Mar 27, In Australia
Sydney's iconic Opera House and Harbor Bridge went dark along with
millions of homes at the start of Earth Hour, a global switch-off
aimed at revitalizing efforts against climate change.
2010 Mar 30, Australian media
groups and sports bodies signed a code of conduct aimed at ending
years of disputes and boycotts over press coverage of major sporting
2010 Apr 3, Australia’s PM
Kevin Rudd announced the country’s first population minister, citing
concerns about sustainability as the number of people is tipped to
balloon within decades.
2010 Apr 3, The 230-meter
(754-ft) Shen Neng I, a bulk coal carrier, was on its way to China
when it ran aground on a shoal off offshore from the Australian city
of Rockhampton. Australian government officials said the stranded
ship was leaking oil into the sea and is in danger of breaking up
and damaging the Great Barrier Reef. The ship was refloated on April
(Reuters, 4/4/10)(AP, 4/12/10)
2010 Apr 6, Australia announced
its fifth rate hike since October and said borrowing costs would
continue to rise as growth and inflation return to normal after the
2010 Apr 9, Australia suspended
refugee applications from Afghans for 6 months and 3 months for Sri
Lankans, citing improved conditions in those countries. Human rights
advocates expressed concern about the move and an immigrant group
(AP, 4/9/10)(Econ, 4/17/10, p.47)
2010 Apr 14, Australian police
arrested a Chinese ship captain and senior officer and charged them
with damaging the Great Barrier Reef, more than a week after their
coal carrier ran aground and tore a two-mile (three km) gash in the
2010 Apr 14, An Australia
officials said swarms of locusts have infested a huge area of
eastern Australia, roughly the size of Spain, ravaging farmland
following recent floods.
2010 Apr 19, In Australia Carl
Williams, known as the baby-faced killer, was killed in Victoria
state's highest security prison by a fellow inmate who attacked him
with part of an exercise bike.
2010 Apr 20, Australia’s PM
Kevin Rudd said he had reached agreement with all but one of
Australia's states on major health reforms which he hopes will
spearhead his 2010 re-election campaign.
2010 Apr 29, Australia said it
will force tobacco companies to strip all logos and color from their
packaging, in a move aimed at driving people away from smoking.
(SFC, 4/30/10, p.A2)
2010 Apr 29, A giant NASA
science balloon crashed during take-off in Australia, destroying its
multi-million-dollar payload, toppling a large car and narrowly
missing frightened observers.
2010 May 2, Australia said it
would impose taxes worth billions of dollars on mining companies to
tap the profits of an Asia-driven commodities surge, prompting
warnings it could "kill" the boom.
2010 May 9, Australia's
government said 5 people are feared dead and 59 people were rescued
from a disabled boat carrying suspected asylum-seekers in the Indian
2010 May 14, In Australia the
body of Nona Belomesoff (18) was found in an isolated bushland area.
Christopher James Dannevig (20) was charged with her murder. He had
allegedly set up a fake identity on Facebook and enticed Belomesoff
to a nature reserve in Sydney's southwest on May 12.
2010 May 15, In Australia
Jessica Watson (16) became the youngest person to sail around the
globe solo, nonstop and unassisted when she cruised into Sydney
Harbor in her pink, 34-foot (10m) yacht to a rock star welcome of
thousands. Her feat will not be considered an official world record,
because the World Speed Sailing Record Council discontinued its
2010 May 20, Australian police
raided 12 properties associated with Agape Ministries, led by Rocco
Leo, and netted 15 guns, slow-burning fuses, detonators, extendable
batons and 35,000 rounds of ammunition.
2010 May 24, Australia demanded
that Israel withdraw an embassy official from the country, saying
the Jewish state was behind fake Australian passports linked to the
killing of a Hamas operative.
2010 May 28, Australia said it
will challenge Japan's whale hunting in the Antarctic at the
International Court of Justice, a major legal escalation in its
campaign to ban the practice despite Tokyo's insistence on the right
to so-called scientific whaling.
2010 May 31, Australia filed an
international lawsuit against Japan arguing that its whale cull does
not qualify for a scientific exemption to a 1986 ban. Japan said the
next day that it would staunchly defend its research hunt that kills
hundreds of whales per year.
2010 Jun 6, Australia’s
attorney general said police have been asked to investigate internet
giant Google over possible breaches of telecommunications privacy
laws. The investigation followed complaints from members of the
public about activities of Google employees while taking photographs
for Google Maps, the search engine's maps page. Google said it would
cooperate with the investigation.
2010 Jun 13, Japan’s Hayabusa
space probe, which scientists hope contains material from the
surface of an asteroid returned to Earth, landed in the remote
Australian outback following a 7-year journey.
(AFP, 6/13/10)(SFC, 6/15/10, p.A2)
2010 Jun 15, Anglo-Australian
mining giant Rio Tinto announced it was investing 469 million US
dollars to develop a nickel and copper mine in northern Michigan.
Construction of the Kennecott Eagle mine in Michigan's Upper
Peninsula will begin this year.
2010 Jun 19, A plane carrying a
group of Australian mining executives disappeared en route from
Cameroon to Congo-Brazzaville. All 11 on board were killed wiping
out the entire board of the Sundance Resources company including
mining tycoon Ken Talbot. The wreckage was found June 21 in the
(AFP, 6/20/10)(AFP, 6/22/10)
2010 Jun 22, Australia
reinstated race discrimination laws in the remote Northern Territory
region after suspending them for three years to pursue a
controversial crime crackdown in poor Aboriginal townships.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said: "Reinstating the RDA
(Racial Discrimination Act) restores dignity and helps Indigenous
Australians to take ownership of their lives and to drive change in
the Northern Territory."
2010 Jun 23, Australian PM
Kevin Rudd announced a shock ballot to fight a challenge from his
deputy Julia Gillard, raising the prospect of the country's first
female head of government. Rudd emerged from marathon late-night
talks with Gillard and other ministers to tell a hastily convened
press conference the vote would be held early on June 24.
2010 Jun 24, Julia Gillard
(48), a Welsh-born lawyer, became Australia's first female prime
minister after the once hugely popular Kevin Rudd fell victim to a
party coup less than three years after taking office. Gillard moved
to revive a stalled carbon trading scheme, pledging more
consultation with industry and voters to win support for an issue
that has split the nation.
(AP, 6/24/10)(Reuters, 6/24/10)
2010 Jun 25, New Australia PM
Julia Gillard pledged to end a mining tax row as soon as possible
after spending her first day in power speaking to world leaders and
assuring Washington of Canberra's commitment to Afghanistan.
2010 Jul 5, Australia's new
leader launched a plan to make East Timor a hub for processing
asylum seekers fleeing war and persecution across Asia while a
debate rages in her country over illegal migration.
2010 Jul 5, In Australia
Brendan Sokaluk pleaded not guilty to charges that he deliberately
started one of the deadly wildfires that swept through southern
Australia last year. The fires in Victoria state in February 2009
were Australia's deadliest, killing 173 people and destroying more
than 2,000 homes. Brendan Sokaluk is accused of starting one blaze
that investigators say killed 10 people.
2010 Jul 6, Australia's new PM
Julia Gillard ended a three-month freeze on processing Sri Lankan
asylum-seekers, and said a bar on Afghan claims was under review.
2010 Jul 8, Australian police
investigated the mysterious mass poisoning of seven million tomato,
eggplant and other crops which is expected to send prices soaring.
Detectives probed whether vandals or a competitor with a grudge had
put herbicide in sprinklers at a nursery near the northeastern city
of Cairns, wiping out 16 million tons of produce, mostly tomatoes.
2010 Jul 9, In Afghanistan an
explosion ripped into a convoy of NATO and Afghan forces in eastern
Nangarhar province, killing one civilian and wounding nine others.
Australian Pvt. Nathan Bewes was killed just before midnight by a
homemade bomb, the 6th Australian soldier to die in Afghanistan in
just over a month..
2010 Jul 13, Australian police
said they have seized 240 kg (530 pounds) of cocaine worth 84
million dollars ($73 million) which was stashed in paving stones. 4
men including an American, a Mexican and two Australians were
arrested over the haul, Australia's fifth biggest cocaine seizure,
which was discovered in two shipping containers sent to Melbourne
2010 Jul 15, Australian
scientists reported their discovery of bizarre prehistoric sea life
hundreds of kilometers below the Great Barrier Reef, in an
unprecedented mission to document species under threat from ocean
2010 Jul 19, American companies
TPG and Carlyle Group edged out KKK in a takeover battle for
Healthscope, an Australian hospital chain with a bid of $1.7
(Econ, 7/24/10, p.64)
2010 Jul 19, David Warren
(b.1925), an Australian scientist who invented the "black box"
flight data recorder, died. He designed and constructed a black box
prototype in 1956, but it took several years before officials
understood just how valuable the device could be and began
installing them in commercial airlines worldwide. In 2002, Warren
was awarded the Order of Australia, among the nation's highest
civilian honors, for his work.
2010 Jul 20, The Australian Sex
Party promised to spice up campaigning for next month's elections
with a manifesto "unlike Australia had ever seen before." The
party's policies include legalizing euthanasia, decriminalizing all
drugs for personal use, and watering down strict anti-pornography
2010 Jul 24, Australia’s PM
Julia Gillard pledged 400 million dollars (360 million US) to take
old cars off the road and vowed to impose tougher fuel standards as
part of her election policy on climate change.
2010 Jul 26, The Plastiki
sailboat, largely constructed from 12,500 recycled plastic bottles,
docked in Sydney Harbor completing a 4-month journey across the
Pacific Ocean meant to raise awareness about the perils of plastic
2010 Jul 29, Australia said it
will impose new sanctions against Iran, including restrictions for
the first time on business dealings with that country's oil and gas
2010 Jul 30, The Australian
government committed to expanding its fiber broadband Internet
network to a further 300,000 homes across the vast island continent
if re-elected at next month's polls.
2010 Jul 31, UNESCO added seven
cultural sites to its World Heritage List including Bikini Atoll in
the Marshall Islands, home to nuclear bomb testing in the 1940s and
1950s. Also added to the list were the Turaif District in Saudi
Arabia; Australia's penal colony sites; the Jantar Mantar
astronomical observation site in India; a shrine in Ardabil in Iran;
the Tabriz historic bazaar complex, also in Iran; and the historic
villages of Hahoe and Yangdong in South Korea.
2010 Aug 2, In Australia
publicist Kristy Fraser-Kirk (25) sued Australia's poshest
department store and its former head, Mark McInnes, for 33 million
US dollars over alleged sexual misconduct that led to the disgraced
chief executive's resignation. McInnes abruptly quit in June after
claims of inappropriate behavior were made.
2010 Aug 6, Australian
scientists reported a study revealing that sea sponges share almost
70 percent of human genes.
2010 Aug 9, A leading Chinese
general urged closer ties with Australia's military, amid a
continuing freeze on Beijing's contacts with the Pentagon.
2010 Aug 13, In Australia 2 men
were gunned down in a popular Melbourne bar area, shortly after the
killing of a known crime figure sparked fears of a new gang war in
the city's notorious underworld.
2010 Aug 18, Anglo-Australian
mining giant BHP Billiton launched an enormous hostile takeover bid
for Canada's Potash Corp which values the world's largest fertilizer
producer at 40 billion dollars.
2010 Aug 19, An Australian
Muslim woman, who sought permission to keep her face and head
covered while she gives evidence at an upcoming trial, was told by a
judge she would have to remove her veil. She is a prosecution
witness in a case against the director of a company that ran a
Muslim women's college in Perth. The director, Anwar Sayed, is
accused of inflating the number of students at the school in 2006
and 2007 to claim hundreds of thousands of dollars in state and
2010 Aug 19, Neil P. Campbell,
An Australian construction manager, was indicted Aug. 19 by a
federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., on the charge of receiving a
bribe while working for an organization receiving US government
funds. On Oct 13 he was detained in India for allegedly taking a
$190,000 bribe to allow a subcontractor to build a hospital and
college in Afghanistan.
2010 Aug 20, BHP Billiton Group
announced commencement of all cash-offer to acquire Potash Corp. for
$130 per share. On Nov 3 Canada blocked the Anglo-Australian mining
giant’s $39 billion bid. The deal would have cost Saskatchewan an
estimated C$200m a year in tax revenues.
(Reuters, 8/20/10)(Reuters, 11/3/10)(Econ,
2010 Aug 21, Australians voted
between giving their first female prime minister her own election
mandate and returning to a conservative government after just three
years. The inconclusive election left the nation facing its first
hung parliament since 1940. Both Labor and the Liberal-led coalition
conceded that neither is likely to hold the 76 seats needed to form
a government in the 150-seat lower chamber.
(Reuters, 8/21/10)(AP, 8/22/10)
2010 Aug 22, Australian PM
Julia Gillard vowed to keep the country stable after a voter
backlash produced a rare hung parliament, raising fears of political
paralysis and economic pain. Gillard and Tony Abbott, leader of the
conservative Liberal Party, said they had initiated talks with three
independents in the House of Representatives as well as the Greens
party in a bid to secure their votes in the House of
2010 Aug 27, Australian police
warned social networking sites to be alert to illegal child sex
activity, after cracking an alleged pedophile porn ring operating on
Facebook. Australian police said six arrests had been made in
Britain, including the alleged head of the network, three in
Australia and two in Canada.
2010 Sep 2, Australia’s PM
Julia Gillard edged closer to retaining power when an independent
lawmaker said he would support her center-left Labor Party to form
Australia's first minority government in almost seven decades.
2010 Sep 7, Australia’s PM
Julia Gillard will lead the country's first minority government in
67 years after two independent lawmakers threw their support behind
her center-left Labor Party, ending two weeks of uncertainty left by
national elections that ended on a knife-edge.
2010 Sep 8, In Australia a
kangaroo was beaten to death with a metal pole in the Great Otway
National Park in the southern state of Victoria. Three 8th grade
pupils were later suspended from school as authorities investigated
2010 Sep 11, Australia’s PM
Julia Gillard unveiled her new cabinet, with Wayne Swan retaining
his treasury portfolio and former climate minister Penny Wong moved
to the senior finance portfolio. Former PM Kevin Rudd was named as
the country’s new foreign minister, a high-profile and coveted
posting that will be seen as a consolation prize for being ousted
from the leadership.
(Reuters, 9/11/10)(AP, 9/11/10)
2010 Sep 16, Australian
scientists said they had made a breakthrough in the fight to save
the cancer-hit Tasmanian devil by mapping the species' genome for
the first time.
2010 Sep 20, In Australia a
Fijian man died suddenly at a Sydney immigration center, with a
protest breaking out in the compound after claims he had jumped from
a rooftop fearing deportation.
2010 Sep 26, Australian climate
change activists closed down operations at the world's largest coal
port after entering its three terminals and attaching themselves to
2010 Sep 28, Australia’s new
Parliament was sworn in and included Ed Husic, the country’s first
elected Muslim, who was sworn in with his hand on his parents'
2010 Sep 28, An Australian
mining company said it has discovered deposits in Mozambique of rare
minerals with a variety of industrial uses. The minerals found
included dysprosium, used to make laser materials and in components
of nuclear reactors.
2010 Sep 28, In Malaysia Kylie
Tanti Marion (42), an Australian woman, fell to her death when her
parachute failed to open after she jumped off the Alor Setar Tower
to practice for the KL Tower International Jump on Oct. 7.
2010 Oct 2, Australian PM Julia
Gillard met the chief of international forces in Afghanistan and
vowed support for the US-led mission in a surprise visit to troops
on her first overseas trip as leader.
2010 Oct 7, Australian PM Julia
Gillard dropped her unpopular "citizens' assembly" to guide climate
change policy after the plan drew fierce criticism during the recent
2010 Oct 8, In Australia plan
was released by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority to restore ailing
rivers, posing a new headache for the Labor minority government.
Farmers would lose more than a third of irrigation water in the
major food bowl.
2010 Oct 10, The 10/10/10 event
known as the "Global Work Party" kicked off in Australia and New
Zealand before spinning its way across the globe with events in 188
countries. Environmental campaigners planted trees, collected
rubbish and rallied against pollution for what organizers aimed to
make the world's biggest day of climate-change activism.
2010 Oct 10, Dame Joan
Sutherland (83), renowned Australian opera soprano, died at her home
(SFC, 10/12/10, p.C3)
2010 Oct 12, Australian PM
Julia Gillard renewed her backing for a controversial Internet
filter, saying it was driven by a "moral question."
2010 Oct 13, Australia and
Indonesia agreed to further discuss plans for a refugee centre in
East Timor to stem the flow of asylum seekers through Southeast Asia
on their way to Australia.
2010 Oct 14, Australian police
seized half-a-ton of cocaine from a luxury yacht in one of the
country's largest ever hauls of the drug. 3 Australians were charged
in connection with the yacht seizure.
2010 Oct 17, Pope Benedict XVI
proclaimed Australia's first saint, canonizing Mary MacKillop
(1842-1909), a 19th-century nun. The Vatican also declared five
other saints in an open-air Mass attended by tens of thousands.
Brother Andre (1845-1937), a Canadian, Italian nuns Giulia Salzano
and Battista Camilla da Varano, and Spanish nun Candida Maria de
Jesus Cipitria y Barriola were also canonized.
2010 Oct 18, Australia’s
Justice Minister Brendan O'Connor said illegal pornographic material
must be declared on arrival, watering down recent rules that asked
for all pornography to be revealed. The government said it changed
the wording on passenger arrival cards after becoming aware of
confusion among travelers about what pornography to declare.
2010 Oct 25, The Singapore and
Australian stock exchanges announced an 8.3 billion dollar merger
that would create one of the world's largest and most diversified
financial trading hubs.
(AFP, 10/25/10)(Econ, 10/30/10, p.78)
2010 Nov 1, Australian police
said a mother (55) and son (28), along with a 33-year-old Hong Kong
man, have been charged over one of the country's biggest heroin
hauls after drugs with a potential street value of 405 million US
dollars were found in a shipment of doors.
2010 Nov 1, Britain's BG Group
announced it will spend 15 billion US dollars on a liquefied natural
gas (LNG) project in Australia, an investment Canberra hailed as a
boost for the national economy.
2010 Nov 3, Australian
Treasurer Wayne Swan vowed to crack down on "arrogant" banks in an
extraordinary attack as major lenders face mounting anger over
rising interest rates and fees.
2010 Nov 4, A Qantas A380 with
more than 450 people on board made a dramatic forced landing in
Singapore, trailing smoke from a blackened engine after the Airbus
superjumbo's first mid-air emergency. In response Qantas Airways and
Singapore Airlines suspended flights of the Airbus A380 superjumbos.
In 2013 the engine failure was traced to an oil pipe that failed to
conform to design specifications.
(AFP, 11/4/10)(Reuters, 11/4/10)(AP, 6/27/13)
2010 Nov 6, US Secretary of
State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Australian Foreign Minister Kevin
Rudd said their countries would enhance their military and defense
cooperation by expanding joint exercises and the use of each other's
training facilities. They also pledged to work together to influence
the behavior of an increasingly assertive China.
2010 Nov 8, Australia’s PM
Julia Gillard said the government plans to hold a referendum within
three years on whether to amend its constitution to acknowledge the
Aborigines as the first Australians.
2010 Nov 8, Qantas extended the
grounding of its Airbus A380 superjumbos for at least three more
days after finding oil leaks in some engines, heightening safety
fears after two mid-air blow-outs last week.
2010 Nov 18, Australian
officials said they would deport Gabe Watson, an American man
convicted in the 2003 death of his wife on a scuba-diving honeymoon
after US officials pledged not to seek the death penalty if he is
convicted again at home.
2010 Nov 20, In Australia David
Auchterlonie was murdered on his 17th birthday in New South Wales.
Mathew Milat (17) and Cohen Klein (18) had planned for over a week
to lure Auchterlonie to his death. In 2012 Matthew Milat, a relative
of serial killer Ivan Milat, pleaded guilty to the ax murder and was
sentenced to at least 30 years in prison. Cohen Klein also pleaded
guilty and was sentenced for at least 22 years.
2010 Nov 22, In Australia
police said that an ongoing operation has smashed a cartel that has
raked in an estimated 400 million Australian dollars ($395 million).
Police had already arrested 34 people and seized 6,000 cannabis
plants in the biggest series of drug raids in the history of
2010 Nov 23, Australia promised
to be a future long-tem supplier of rare earths to Japan, after
China suspended shipments of the minerals to its neighbor.
2010 Nov 24, Australia said
that a Thai-owned oil firm's "widespread and systematic
shortcomings" caused the worst offshore drilling accident in the
country's history, which created a massive oil slick. Thousands of
barrels of oil gushed into the sea from a damaged well after a blow
out on the West Atlas rig on August 21, 2009, prompting the
evacuation of workers.
2010 Nov 27, Australia's Qantas
Airways resumed flights of its Airbus A380 superjumbos, after a
mid-flight engine failure grounded all six of the planes earlier
2010 Nov, Sarah Bara was beaten
to death with sticks on Groote Eylandt off the northern Australian
coast. In 2011 Glenys Wurrawilya, Susie Wurrawilya, Paul Wurramara
and Roderick Mamarika received sentences ranging from five years to
seven-and-a-half years in jail. The four were accused of killing Ms
Bara during a fire circle ceremony in which they attempted to
cleanse her of the devil.
2010 Dec 2, Australia's PM
Julia Gillard slammed WikiLeaks' publication of classified documents
as "illegal," in the country's strongest condemnation yet of the
website's ongoing release of sensitive data.
2010 Dec 2, Australian
contractor Leighton Holdings said it had won a 22-year coal mining
contract with India's state-owned NTPC power company worth 5.5
billion dollars (5.3 billion US).
2010 Dec 3, Rio Tinto, an
Anglo-Australian mining firm, announced a joint venture with
Chinalco, to hunt for minerals in China.
(Econ, 12/18/10, p.130)
2010 Dec 8, Australia's Foreign
Minister Kevin Rudd said that the US government is responsible for
the leaking of hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic memos
and cautioned against blaming the website that published the secret
cables and its founder.
2010 Dec 10, Australia's
attorney general declared 45 communities along the country's east
coast disaster areas, following weeks of drenching rains that have
submerged homes, destroyed crops and killed four people.
2010 Dec 12, Australia unveiled
tough changes to finance laws, banning unpopular mortgage fees and
cracking down on price collusion between major banks in a bid to
boost competition in the sector.
2010 Dec 15, Australia signed
an agreement with Brazil to share knowledge on putting on the
Olympics to help preparations with Rio's hosting of the 2016 Games.
2010 Dec 15, In New South
Wales, Australia, police found seven boxes of chemical glassware
used to make drugs when a van was stopped outside the town of
Quirindi. A forensic search of the van later found 43 pounds of
hidden ecstasy tablets with a street value of about 20 million
Australian dollars ($19.7 million).
2010 Dec 15, In violent seas
off Australia’s Christmas Island at least 48 refugees, thought to be
from Iran and Iraq, died after their wooden boat shattered before
horrified witnesses. 42 survivors, including 9 children were
rescued. On January 24, 2011, Australian authorities charged three
Indonesian men with people smuggling. Iranian-born Ali Khorram
Heydarkhani (40) was detained by Indonesian authorities on January
25 but only sent to Australia after overstaying his visa. On May 12,
2011, he was charged in Sydney with offences relating to the
(AFP, 12/15/10)(AP, 12/16/10)(AP, 12/20/10)(AP,
2010 Dec 15, Ben Zygier (34)
reportedly committed suicide in a high-security Israeli jail after
being held for months in great secrecy. His body was soon flown from
Israel to Melbourne for burial. The Australian man had reportedly
been recruited by the Israeli spy agency Mossad. Zygier's crime was
to inadvertently reveal the identity of Ziad al-Homsi to a Lebanese
man he was trying to turn into a double agent, but who worked for
Lebanese intelligence. Al-Homsi had been approached by Mossad in
2007 and flown to China on the pretext of attending a mayoral
(Reuters, 2/12/13)(AP, 2/19/13)(Reuters, 5/7/13)
2010 Dec 21, The Australian
Defense Force said steroids and unidentified substances had been
seized in recent raids after a tip-off. A report claimed Australian
sailors have been stashing large amounts of cocaine and heroin on
navy ships and selling them in Sydney's red light district and that
this has been going on "for years."
2010 Dec 22, In Australia Kok
Loong Wong of Malaysia appeared in a Sydney court charged with
possessing 200 pounds (90 kg) of crystal meth in his home, the
seventh-largest "ice" haul in Australian history.
2010 Dec 23, In Australia
Melbourne men Wissam Mahmoud Fattal (34), Nayef El Sayed (26), both
of Lebanese descent, and Somali-origin Saney Edow Aweys (27) were
found guilty of conspiring to plan a terrorist act, which carries a
possible life term. Two other men, Somali-origin Abdirahman Mohamud
Ahmed (26) and Yacqub Khayre (23) were found not guilty after the
2010 Dec 23, Anglo-Australian
resources giant Rio Tinto made a 3.9 billion US dollar offer for
Australia's Riversdale, sparking speculation of a bidding war for
its African steel-making coal with Indian and other rivals.
2010 Dec 28, In Australia
drenching rains pounded communities across the northeast, flooding
major highways and prompting hundreds of evacuations.
2010 Dec 29, Australia’s
military cleared a town in eastern Australia, airlifting the entire
population of 300 people by helicopter in Theodore, where waters
were continuing to rise after days of drenching rain. A total of
1,000 people were evacuated from central and southern Queensland
2010 Dec 31, In Australia
floodwater rose across a vast area in the northeast, inundating 22
towns, forcing 200,000 residents out of their homes, and closing a
major sugar export port.
2010 Australian PM Kevin Rudd
penned a children's book featuring his family pets. It was titled
"Jasper and Abby and the Great Australia Day Kerfuffle."
2010 Australia’s population was
about 22 million and was expected to reach 36 million in 2050.
(Econ, 2/6/10, p.46)
2011 Jan 1, Queensland
Treasurer Andrew Fraser told reporters in the flooded city of
Bundaberg that the flood disaster was of biblical proportions.
Days of driving rain last week swamped northeastern Australia, with
around 200,000 people affected by floodwaters in an area larger than
France and Germany combined.
2011 Jan 3, Australian military
flights rushed to restock the coastal city of Rockhampton before it
was cut off by floodwaters that have turned a huge swath of the
Outback into a lake. Police confirmed two more deaths in the crisis.
2011 Jan 5, Queensland's
premier said Australia's record floods are causing catastrophic
damage to infrastructure in the state of Queensland and have forced
75 percent of its coal mines, which fuel Asia's steel mills, to
grind to a halt. Officials and scientists said the disastrous floods
have spread to 40 towns and threatened the world-famous Great
Barrier Reef as tons of sludge poured into the sea.
(AP, 1/5/11)(AFP, 1/5/11)
2011 Jan 8, In Australia almost
a foot of rain in just a few hours renewed flood fears in the
already waterlogged Queensland state, sending a surging river over
its banks and into another large town. Some 20 buildings in
Maryborough, where about 22,000 people live, were expected to be
flooded after the river burst its banks in the overnight downpour.
2011 Jan 9, In Australia a
swollen river submerged bridges and inundated homes and stores in
Australia's already sodden Queensland state as more heavy rain added
to the country's worst flooding in decades.
2011 Jan 10, In Australia flash
floods swept through the city of Toowoomba, killing at least four
people, trapping others in cars and leaving some clinging to trees.
A 26-foot (8-m) wall of water was coursing through the low-lying
communities from Toowoomba and eastward toward Queensland’s state
2011 Jan 11, In Australia
thousands of people fled central Brisbane as the panicked city
braced for its worst flooding in 120 years. Terrifying flash floods
already left 10 dead and 78 missing nearby.
2011 Jan 12, In Australia
floodwaters poured into the empty downtown of Australia's
third-largest city after tearing a deadly path across the northeast,
swamping neighborhoods in what could be Brisbane's most devastating
floods in a century.
2011 Jan 13, Australia's
3rd-largest city Brisbane resembled a "war zone" with whole suburbs
under water and infrastructure smashed as the worst flood in decades
hit 30,000 properties. The Brisbane River peaked at 4.5 meters. The
flooding in Queensland left 28 people dead.
(AP, 1/13/11)(SFC, 1/17/11, p.A2)(Econ, 1/15/11,
2011 Jan 18, In Australia the
city of Horsham, Victoria state, resembled a lake after the Wimmera
River overflowed its banks and bisected the community before
starting to recede. The weekslong flooding crisis has left 30 people
2011 Jan 20, In Australia a
surging river flooded and isolated Kerang, Victoria state, the
latest community hit in the deadly flood disaster, straining a levee
serving as the main protection between the muddy waters and
residents' homes. The flooding shut down much of Queensland's
lucrative coal industry and has caused 30 deaths.
2011 Jan 24, Lara Giddings took
over as premier Australia’s island state of Tasmania.
(Econ, 2/12/11, p.49)
2011 Jan 27, Australia imposed
a temporary new tax to help fund a multi-billion-dollar rebuilding
program after floods devastated infrastructure and ruined thousands
of homes and businesses across the eastern seaboard over the past
2011 Feb 1, Australia evacuated
thousands of people from its northeast coast as a cyclone rivaling
Hurricane Katrina bore down on tourism towns and rural communities.
2011 Feb 2, In northeastern
Australia Cyclone Yasi ripped roofs from buildings and cut power to
thousands of homes. The scale of disaster was unknown as officials
and residents holed up while the tempest raged.
2011 Feb 2, In Afghanistan
Australian Corporal Richard Edward Atkinson (22) was killed while on
patrol in Uruzgan's Deh Rahwod. This upped the number of Australian
troops killed in the conflict to 22.
2011 Feb 3, Australia's biggest
cyclone in a century shattered entire towns after pummeling the
coast and churning across the country. One man asphyxiated while
sheltering inside during the massive cyclone and become the storm's
(AFP, 2/3/11)(AP, 2/3/11)
2011 Feb 5, In Australia
torrential rains and flash floods trapped scores of people in homes
and cars following a massive cyclone, piling on more misery after
weeks of record inundations.
2011 Feb 6, In Australia
wildfires destroyed homes around Perth and flooding claimed the life
of a man near Wagga Wagga, as officials warned that last week's
monster cyclone would compound economic woes.
2011 Feb 7, In Western
Australia firefighters battled two wildfires, water bombing them
from above as they tried to stop their spread. One on the outskirts
of Perth destroyed at least 40 homes and left a firefighter injured.
2011 Feb 8, Australian
firefighters brought a raging wildfire that destroyed 68 houses and
damaged 32 others near the city of Perth under control.
2011 Feb 10, Australian PM
Julia Gillard introduced contentious legislation for a one-off tax
to help pay for devastating floods which killed 35 people and
swamped thousands of homes.
2011 Feb 17, An Australian
diver was killed by sharks in south Australia, in only the second
fatal shark attack in Australian waters in more than two years.
2011 Feb 19, An Australian
soldier and an Afghan interpreter were shot dead by insurgents in
Uruzgan province, bringing Australia's death toll from the conflict
2011 Mar 5, In Australia
hundreds of thousands of revelers crammed inner Sydney streets for
one of the world's premier gay and lesbian parades.
2011 Mar 9, In Australia Todd
Bairstow (28) was fishing with his dog at a creek near the town of
Weipa in northern Queensland when a four-meter (13-feet) saltwater
crocodile lunged at him and tried to drag him under the water. The
crocodile only retreated after Bairstow's friend heard his screams
from the nearby pub and helped beat off the predator.
2011 Mar 10, Australia’s
Attorney-General Robert McClelland said the nation’s spy agency ASIO
has established a 'cyber' intelligence unit to counter possible
terror attacks on computer systems from abroad.
2011 Mar 10, The Natural
History Museum in London said that it has agreed to return 138 sets
of skeletal remains of indigenous people to Australia, in what it
hailed as a new approach to the delicate subject of repatriation.
2011 Mar 13, In Australia
Owsley Stanley (b.1935), counterculture maker of LSD and Grateful
Dead associate, died in a car crash. His Bear Research Group
reputedly made over 1.25 million doses of LSD from 1965-1967.
(SFC, 3/14/11, p.A1)
2011 Mar 15, Australia's remote
Christmas Island detention centre was hit by a second night of
riots, with up to 200 asylum seekers destroying closed-circuit
2011 Mar 17, In Australia a pod
of long-finned pilot whales beached themselves at Bruny Island,
south of the Tasmanian state capital Hobart. 21 whales died but 11
2011 Mar 23, Scientists warned
that up to 45 rare species of wallaby, bandicoot and other
Australian animals could become extinct within 20 years unless
urgent action is taken to control introduced predators and other
2011 Mar 24, Eyad Abuarga, an
Palestinian-born Australian information technology expert, was
detained in Israel over alleged links to Hamas.
2011 Mar 26, Voters in New
South Wales, Australia's most populous state, delivered a crushing
defeat to PM Julia Gillard's Labor party, handing power to the
conservative opposition in a landslide.
2011 Mar 27, Yang Hengjun (46),
a Sydney-based spy novelist, phoned an assistant from Guangzhou
airport in southeastern China to say three men were following him.
Yang was later able to briefly phone a sister in Guangzhou to say
"he's having a long chat with his old friends." This was a
prearranged signal that Yang had been taken by the secret police.
Yang was an official in the Chinese Foreign Ministry before moving
to Australia. His novel, "Fatal Weakness," deals with espionage
between China and the United States and has been published on the
Internet in China. On March 31 Hengjun said he is OK and apologizing
for causing trouble.
(AP, 3/29/11)(AP, 3/31/11)
2011 Mar 28, Australia launched
its first national health TV advertising campaign aimed at
Aboriginal people, hoping to halve the 50 percent of indigenous
people who smoke by 2018.
2011 Mar 28, Australia's annual
cane toad cull was declared a success by organizers who said that
more than 14,000 of the noxious pests had perished as a result. The
number of cane toads across Australia is estimated to have ballooned
to more than 200 million since being introduced from Brazil in the
1930s to control scarab beetles infesting the country's sugar cane.
2011 Mar 29, In Australia
Sydney's Daily Telegraph said American intelligence officials tipped
off the government that several thousand emails may have been
accessed from the computers of at least 10 ministers including PM
Julia Gillard's parliamentary computer. Chinese intelligence
agencies were among the list of foreign hackers that were under
2011 Apr 4, The Australian
Institute of Criminology's "Fraud against the Commonwealth" report
showed Australia is losing almost Aus$600 million a year to social
security fraud and crooked public servants as the government
announced new measures to tackle the menace.
2011 Apr 6, The Australian
military was hit by another scandal after a young army recruit
allegedly filmed himself having sex with a female cadet and
broadcast it via Skype to his friends.
2011 Apr 8, Australian
Treasurer Wayne Swan officially rejected a proposed merger of the
Australian and Singapore stock exchanges, branding it a takeover by
the city-state that offered no benefits.
2011 Apr 11, Australia fined
Japan Airlines (JAL) Aus$5.5 million (US$5.8 million) after the
carrier admitted its role in a long-running cargo cartel case
involving 15 airlines. The Australian Competition and Consumer
Commission (ACCC) said JAL admitted to "making and giving effect to
illegal price-fixing understandings with other international
airlines" on fuel, insurance and security surcharges.
2011 Apr 15, An Australian
Crime Commission report said organized crime costs Australia up to
Aus$15 billion (US$15.8 billion) each year. The report warned that
opportunities for illegal activity were unprecedented.
2011 Apr 20, A South Australian
politician was detained and charged with four child pornography
2011 Apr 22, Anglo-Australian
miner Rio Tinto settled a long-running dispute over Guinea's huge
Simandou iron ore field, with the West African nation agreeing to
take a stake of up to 35 percent.
2011 Apr 26, Australian PM
Julia Gillard, visiting China, raised a range of human rights
concerns in talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who denied China
had taken a "backward step."
2011 Apr 27, In Australia
University of Sydney officials said an anonymous American donor has
given "Jeune fille endormie, a 1935 Pablo Picasso painting worth
millions, to the university on the condition the school use proceeds
from the painting's sale to fund scientific research. The portrait
was donated last year.
2011 Apr 29, In Australia a
gunman killed three neighbors then shot a police officer in the face
during a shootout and siege in the normally sleepy city of Adelaide.
2011 May 2, The Vatican said in
a statement that Pope Benedict XVI had "removed from pastoral care"
Bishop William Morris of the Toowoomba diocese, west of Brisbane.
Morris had called on the church to consider ordaining women and
2011 May 5, Australian police
said they have arrested four people and seized 239 kg (527 pounds)
of methamphetamine, or ice, in the country's biggest bust of its
2011 May 6, Australia's Defence
Ministry announced it will slash 1,000 civilian jobs as part of a
belt-tightening exercise to bring the national budget back into
2011 May 7, Australia’s PM
Julia Gillard said Malaysia has agreed to take hundreds of asylum
seekers who land in Australia illegally and called this "big blow"
to people smugglers.
2011 May 9, In Australia
organizers of the Sydney Writers' Festival said Chinese authorities
have barred dissident writer Liao Yiwu from traveling to Australia
for a festival for "security reasons" and advised him against
publishing his works abroad.
2011 May 9, Abu Dhabi donated
US$32 million dollars to Queensland to help protect the Australian
state from cyclones in the wake of a monster storm that hit in
2011 May 11, In Australia
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was awarded the Sydney Peace
Foundation's top honor for "exceptional courage in pursuit of human
rights", joining the likes of Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.
2011 May 11, India said it had
lodged a complaint with the Australian government over swimwear
carrying the image of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi that has sparked
protests. Fashion house Lisa Blue promised to halt production
immediately and apologized for any offence the design may have
2011 May 12, In Australia two
Malaysians were arrested and charged with importing heroin into
Australia with a street value of more than Aus$50 million (US$53
million), the country's biggest haul in a decade.
2011 May 16, Australia’s Sydney
Morning Herald said a development application has been lodged for a
Aus$12 million (US$12.7 million) extension to the Stiletto brothel,
which proposes doubling its size to 40 working rooms and 21 waiting
2011 May 27, Australian
anesthesiologist, Dr. James Latham Peters (61), was charged with
endangering his patients' lives after police alleged he infected
nearly 50 women with hepatitis C at an abortion clinic.
2011 May 27, It was reported
that A 22-year-old Australian university student has solved a
problem which has puzzled astrophysicists for decades, discovering
part of the so-called "missing mass" of the universe during her
summer break. Undergraduate Amelia Fraser-McKelvie made the
breakthrough during a holiday internship with a team at Monash
University's School of Physics, locating the mystery material within
vast structures called "filaments of galaxies."
2011 May 28, Thousands of
people turned out for Australia's first "SlutWalk," protesting for
women to be able to wear whatever they like without fear of being
sexually assaulted. SlutWalk began in Canada in April after a
Toronto police official said that "women should avoid dressing like
sluts in order not to be victimized."
2011 May 30, Australian robots
have begun talking to each other in a language of their own
devising. Two "Lingodroids," developed by the University of
Queensland, have picked up their shared language by playing location
games that led them to construct a shared vocabulary for places,
distances and directions.
2011 Jun 5, Thousands of
Australians across the country rallied to support a tax on the
carbon emissions blamed for global warming, as a new report outlined
the risks of rising sea levels from climate change.
2011 Jun 19, In Fiji Agape
Ministries leader Rocco Leo, a fugitive Australian cult leader, was
picked up by officials, along with two associates, for alleged visa
breaches. On May 20, 2010, Australian police raided 12 properties
associated with Agape and netted 15 guns, slow-burning fuses,
detonators, extendable batons and 35,000 rounds of ammunition.
2011 Jun 21, In Australia
Hundreds of flights were grounded in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and
Canberra as the Chilean ash cloud returned to Australia with a
2011 Jun 24, UNESCO added the
Ningaloo Coast in Western Australia, Japan's remote Ogasawara
Islands and the Kenya Lake System in the Rift Valley province, to
its heritage list.
2011 Jun 27, In Australia Hong
Kong-based Philip Morris Asia Limited launched legal action against
the government over plans to strip company logos from cigarette
packages and replace them with grisly images of cancerous mouths,
sickly children and bulging, blinded eyes.
2011 Jul 1, Australian federal
police charged two currency printing firms and several of their
former senior managers with bribing foreign officials to secure bank
note supply contracts. The charges against Securency International
Pty Ltd., one of the world's leading currency printing firms, and
Note Printing Australia Ltd. related to alleged bribes paid to
officials in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam between 1999 and 2005.
2011 Jul 2, Australian aviation
regulators grounded budget carrier Tiger Airways Australia, a
subsidiary of Singapore's Tiger Airways, because it posed a "serious
and imminent risk to air safety", throwing the travel plans of
thousands of people into chaos.
2011 Jul 2, Australian
officials worked to isolate potential victims after uncovering two
more cases of the deadly horse-borne Hendra virus, which has erupted
in New south Wales and Queensland. Hendra can lead to fatal
respiratory illness and has killed four of the seven people who have
contracted it in Australia since it was first documented in 1994.
2011 Jul 6, Australia announced
it would lift a ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia and resume
trade with additional safeguards in place to address animal cruelty
2011 Jul 10, Australia’s PM
Julia Gillard announced plans to tax carbon pollution at Aus$23
(US$24.74) per ton to help battle climate change, as it moved
towards creating the region's biggest emissions trading scheme.
(AFP, 7/10/11)(Econ, 7/16/11, p.41)
2011 Jul 12, Australia's major
alcohol brands launched voluntary health warnings on their labels
targeting children, pregnant women and excessive boozing in a
country famed for its binge-drinking culture.
2011 Jul 17, Christian
Martinez, an Australian convert to Islam, was pinned down and lashed
40 times for drinking alcohol by a group of 4 Muslim men who broke
into his Sidney home to punish him for breaking sharia law. Two of
the men were soon charged with aggravated breaking and entering with
intent to commit an indictable offense.
(AFP, 7/19/11)(AP, 7/20/11)
2011 Jul 21, Australian police
raided the Sydney offices of Greenpeace over their destruction of an
experimental crop of genetically modified wheat at a government
2011 Jul 24, Cadel Evans won
the Tour de France, becoming the first Australian to capture
cycling's most prestigious title.
2011 Jul 25, The Catholic
Church in Australia apologized for the forced adoption of babies
from young, unwed mothers in the 1950s, '60s and '70s, saying the
practice was "deeply regrettable."
2011 Jul 26, Australia
authorities said a lethal bat-borne horse virus has been detected in
a dog for the first time, prompting fears it has jumped species.
2011 Jul 26, Australian painter
Margaret Olley (88), one of Australia's most important and respected
artists, was found dead at her Sydney home. She was best known for
her colorful still life paintings.
2011 Jul 27, In Australia a
25-year-old unemployed truck driver (online nickname "Evil"), who
had been unable to find a job in information technology, faced 49
charges after a six-month investigation into his online activities.
2011 Jul 28, Australian farmer
Steve Marsh launched legal action against neighbor Michael Baxter
after genetically modified canola blew onto his farm, prompting
authorities to strip him of his organic license.
2011 Aug 3, In Australia a
masked man, later identified as Paul Peters, strapped a fake bomb to
the neck of Madeleine Pulver (18) in her suburban Sydney home.
Pulver endured a horrifying 10-hour ordeal with experts working into
the night to remove the device, only later establishing it was an
elaborate hoax. Peters fled to the US and was arrested nearly two
weeks later in Louisville, Kentucky. He was extradited to Australia
and faced 20 years in prison. On Nov 20 Peters was sentenced to 13
years and six months in prison.
(Reuters, 8/16/11)(AFP, 3/8/12)(AP, 10/31/12)(AP,
2011 Aug 10, Australian
Clifford John Gerathy (60), accused of funneling Aus$17.2 million
($17.8 million) in bribes to a Vietnamese official and falsifying
Malaysian accounts, was charged over a banknotes scandal. He was
charged with conspiracy to bribe a foreign public official and false
2011 Aug 10, Australian
aviation authorities lifted a 6-week flying ban on the local unit of
Tiger Airways after the budget carrier agreed to new conditions
including extra training for pilots.
2011 Aug 15, Paul "Doug"
Peters, a man wanted in Australia for allegedly strapping a fake
bomb to the neck of a teenage girl in a suburban Sydney home on
August 3, was arrested near Louisville, Kentucky.
2011 Aug 17, SABMiller, one of
the world's largest brewers, said it will take a $10 billion bid for
rival Foster's Group Ltd. straight to the Australian company's
shareholders after the board rejected its offer as too low.
2011 Aug 22, Bosses at
Australia's BlueScope steel were attacked for pocketing "obscene"
bonuses worth Aus$3.0 million (US$3.1 million), after they sacked
1,000 workers and abandoned their export business.
2011 Aug 24, In eastern
Australia an overnight house fire killed 11 people, including eight
children, from two families in Logan City, Queensland state.
2011 Aug 31, Australia's High
Court dealt a heavy blow to the government by blocking its plans to
send asylum-seekers to Malaysia, ruling they could not go to a
nation lacking legal safeguards.
2011 Sep 4, In Australia a
shark bit the legs off a bodyboarder, killing the man, at a popular
surfing spot at Bunker Bay near the western town of Dunsborough.
2011 Sep 11, In Australia Andy
Whitfield (39), who played the title role in the hit cable series
"Spartacus: Blood and Sand" (2010), died in Sydney of lymphoma
2011 Sep 13, Australian
lawmaker Nick Xenophon named Catholic priest Monsignor Ian Dempsey
as having allegedly raped Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth in
violent attacks dating back about 50 years.
2011 Sep 15, Australia’s
government said Australian passports will now have three gender
options: male, female and indeterminate, under new guidelines to
remove discrimination against transgender and intersex people.
2011 Sep 21, Australian beer
giant Foster's said it has accepted an improved takeover worth
Aus$9.9 billion (£6.5 billion) from British-based brewer 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
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
2011 Oct 29, Commonwealth
leaders meeting in Australia failed to establish a human rights
watchdog for their 54-nation bloc, but insisted that progress had
been made during their summit to promote democratic values.
2011 Oct 30, In Australia the
3-day 54-nation Commonwealth summit, held once every two years,
wrapped up with a joint communique. Among the forum's successes was
the adoption of a measure that will coordinate global emergency
relief efforts to deal with food supply crises.
2011 Oct 31, An Australian
court ended the strikes and employee lockout that had abruptly
grounded Qantas Airways and stranded tens of thousands of passengers
worldwide. The government referred the dispute to Fair Work
Australia, which ordered both sides into 21 days of talks.
(AP, 10/31/11)(Econ, 11/5/11, p.75)
2011 Nov 6, Afghan Pres. Karzai
met with Australian PM Julia Gillard, who made an unannounced trip
to the country. In the north 2 suicide bombers targeted worshippers
on a key Muslim festival, killing seven, including two local police
commanders of Old Baghlan City. A roadside bomb ripped through a
police vehicle in the south, killing a district police chief and two
of his bodyguards.
(AP, 11/6/11)(AFP, 11/7/11)
2011 Nov 8, Australia passed
its controversial pollution tax in a sweeping and historic reform
aimed at lowering carbon emissions blamed for climate change, after
years of fierce debate.
2011 Nov 8, In eastern
Afghanistan up to 70 Taliban fighters were killed after trying to
attack a foreign troop base in Paktika province. Mohammad Akbar, the
governor of Sar Hawza district in Paktika, died in hospital after
his car struck a roadside bomb in the province. A rogue Afghan
soldier shot and wounded 3 Australian troops at a joint base at
Charmistan, Uruzgan province. In February, 2012, a Taliban video had
Mohammed Roozi talking about how he attacked Australian and Afghan
soldiers at Patrol Base Nasir, saying he turned a machine gun and
rocket launcher on them before going into hiding.
(AFP, 11/9/11)(AFP, 2/10/12)
2011 Nov 11, Australian police
seized about 660 pounds (300 kg) of cocaine from a yacht at the
northeastern coastal town of Bundaberg. Police said the yacht was
crewed by Ivan Maria Ramos Valea (35) and Julia Maria Boada
Fernandez (37), who were both arrested. Two other Spanish citizens,
Miguel Angel Sanchez Barrocal (38) and Jose Herrero-Calvo (39) were
also arrested in Bundaberg.
2011 Nov 12, In Australia 22
sperm whales and 2 minke whales died after getting stranded near
Ocean Beach, Tasmania. Rescuers over the next 2 days saved two huge
sperm whales stranded at Macquarie Harbor. Another died and a 4th
remained stranded as weather worsened.
(AFP, 11/14/11)(AP, 11/15/11)
2011 Nov 16, US President
Barack Obama arrived in Australia and announced a new security
agreement with Australia. Obama said the US would keep sending a
clear message that China needs to accept the responsibilities that
come with being a world power.
2011 Nov 17, Australian
scientists exploring areas of the Indian Ocean said they had found
sunken parts of the megacontinent Gondwana which could offer clues
on how the current world was formed. This would hopefully shed light
on how Gondwana broke into present-day Australia, Antarctica and
India between 80 and 130 million years ago.
2011 Nov 18, In Australia 4
people died as fires ravaged a nursing home in Sydney's suburban
Quakers Hill neighborhood. A 5th died the next day and Nurse Roger
Dean (35), who said he rescued patients from a fire, was charged
with murder. On May 27, 2013 Dean pleaded guilty to murdering 11
elderly people by setting fire to their nursing home. On Aug 31,
2013, Dean was sentenced to life in prison.
(AP, 11/19/11)(SFC, 5/28/13, p.A2)(AP, 8/1/13)
2011 Nov 25, Australia loosened
its highly charged policy of mandatory detention for asylum seekers
who arrive by boat, freeing 27 from overcrowded, prison-like
conditions and estimating more than 100 would be released monthly.
2011 Nov 25, Australia said it
will create the world's largest marine reserve in the Coral Sea. The
proposal includes seas beyond the already protected Great Barrier
Reef Marine Park off northeast Australia.
2011 Dec 4, Australia’s Labor
party passed PM Julia Gillard's proposal with 206 votes to 185,
reversing a decades-old policy excluding New Delhi from Australia's
uranium trade because it is not a signatory to the Nuclear
2011 Dec 5, In the Philippines
several armed men abducted Warren Rodwell (53) of Australia from his
home in the seaside town of Ipil on Mindanao island, then fled on
speed boats. The kidnappers mailed four pictures of Rodwell before
Christmas to his Filipino wife then called her to demand an initial
ransom of $23,000 (1 million pesos). The ransom was soon raised to
$2 million. Rodwell was released on March 23, 2013.
(AFP, 12/5/11)(AP, 1/1/12)(AP, 1/5/12)(SSFC,
2011 Dec 6, Saudi Arabia
sentenced an Australian man to 500 lashes and a year in jail after
being found guilty of blasphemy. Reports said Mansor Almaribe (45)
was detained in Medina on November 14 while making the hajj
pilgrimage and accused of insulting companions of the prophet
Mohammed. The father-of-five from Shepparton in Victoria state, who
could not afford a lawyer, suffers from diabetes and heart disease.
2011 Dec 9, Australia's highest
court dismissed rival Apple's appeal in its global patent battle
against South Korea’s Samsung Electronics. Samsung is now free to
sell its Galaxy tablet computers in Australia.
2011 Dec 9, In Australia a
senior Queensland Health executive, Hohepa Morehu-Barlow (36), also
known as Joel Barlow, was being hunted after Aus$16 million (US$16
million) went missing from the government department. He was
arrested at his own apartment Dec 12 after three days on the run
from police following the discovery of his alleged theft.
(AFP, 12/9/11)(AP, 12/13/11)
2011 Dec 12, Senior Australian
naval officer Lieutenant Commander John Alan Jones (58) was
convicted by a court martial of repeatedly spanking a junior female
sailor to test her discipline and obedience.
2011 Dec 15, Australia’s
independent Remuneration Tribunal recommended pay hikes for most
politicians and public servants. PM Julia Gillard was recommended
for a bumper 31 percent rise to take her salary past that of US
President Barack Obama.
2011 Dec 19, Members of an
Australian class action lawsuit, who blame a German pharmaceutical
company's anti-morning sickness drug, Thalidomide, for causing birth
defects, won the right to have their case heard in their own
country. The class action against Grunenthal is open to Australians
born between Jan. 1, 1958, and Dec. 31, 1970, who were injured after
their mothers took thalidomide while pregnant.
2011 Dec 19, Belarus police
arrested dozens of regime opponents who tried to stage a banned
vigil in Minsk. Australian filmmaker Kitty Green (27) was detained
while covering a topless protest outside the offices of the
Belarussian KGB security services to mark Lukashenko's disputed
re-election a year ago. Three members of the radical Femen group
were also seized by KGB security agents who forced them to strip
naked in a forest and threatened to torch them.
2012 Jan 8, The anti-whaling
group Sea Shepherd said three Australian activists were being held
as "prisoners" by the Japanese harpoon fleet after sneaking aboard
one of their vessels overnight to protest. The activists were
transferred to an Australian customs vessel on Jan 13.
(AFP, 1/8/12)(AP, 1/13/12)
2012 Jan 12, The Australian
military was rocked by more sex scandals, including allegations of
assault, child porn, rape and drug-dealing within its ranks.
2012 Jan 13, Japanese energy
firm Inpex and French giant Total announced a huge $34 billion gas
project in Australia, as Tokyo looks for alternatives to nuclear
power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.
2012 Jan 24, Flooding in
northeastern Australia caused thousands of homes to lose power and
prompted authorities to start evacuations, around a year after
deadly floods devastated the region.
2012 Jan 26, Two Australian
adventurers reached home and made Antarctic history by becoming the
first team to travel unaided to the South Pole and back, surviving
three months of "extreme hardship." James Castrission (29) an
accountant, and Justin Jones (28), a scientist, skied 2,270 km
(1,400 miles) to complete the arduous trek. The pair reached had the
Pole on December 31.
2012 Feb 1, Some 24,000
Australian ducks were being destroyed after testing positive for a
low pathogenic strain of the bird flu virus, an outbreak which has
prompted poultry export bans in parts of Asia.
2012 Feb 3, Major flooding hit
parts of Australia's east, stranding thousands of residents,
prompting a military airlift and leaving some communities only
accessible by helicopter.
2012 Feb 4, In Australia
celebrated filmmakers Andrew Wight (52) and Mike deGruy (60)
died in a helicopter crash at Jasper's Brush. They were working on a
documentary with Oscar-winning director James Cameron and National
2012 Feb 7, Australia imposed
new travel bans and financial sanctions on Syrian leaders on as it
stepped up actions to force an end to violence against Syria's
2012 Feb 15, In Australia some
3,500 workers from mining giant BHP Billiton's Queensland coal mines
began a seven-day strike in what unions said was one of the nation's
largest industrial stoppages in a decade.
2012 Feb 17, Budget carrier Air
Australia collapsed, stranding thousands of passengers as its
domestic flights and international services to Honolulu, Bali and
Phuket were all grounded.
2012 Feb 22, Australia's
foreign minister Kevin Rudd resigned, saying he was unable to
continue without PM Julia Gillard's support, paving the way for him
to make a leadership challenge.
2012 Feb 22, Mining giant Rio
Tinto said it has unearthed a "remarkable" 12.76 carat pink diamond
in Australia, the largest of the rare and precious stones ever found
in the resources-rich nation.
2012 Feb 29, A five-count
indictment was returned in Washington accusing Australian David
Levick of knowingly skirting a federal trade embargo with Iran and
plotting to export the technology without the required
authorization. Prosecutors said Levick and his company, ICM
Components, Inc., ordered materials on behalf of an unnamed
representative of an Iranian trade company. The export scheme
spanned about two years starting around March 2007.
2012 Mar 1, In Malaysia Dominic
Jude Christopher Bird (32), a truck driver Perth, Western Australia,
was arrested in Kuala Lumpur in possession of 225 grams (7.9 ounces)
of methamphetamine. He faced a possible death sentence.
2012 Mar 3, Thousands of
Australians were ordered to evacuate their homes in Sydney's
northwest and elsewhere in New South Wales state as heavy rainfall
flooded rivers and waterways.
2012 Mar 5, In Australia New
South Wales officials said Muslim women will have to remove veils to
have their signatures officially witnessed under the latest laws
giving state officials authority to look under religious and other
2012 Mar 19, Australia’s
parliament passed a mining tax on profits from coal and iron ore.
(Econ, 3/24/12, p.41)
2012 Mar 20, In northern
Australia a devastating "mini-tornado" tore through the city of
Townsville, ripping roofs off houses, snapping trees in half and
injuring 13 people.
2012 Mar 21, Australian zoo
officials said 4 rare white rhinoceroses have died in recent weeks
at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in New South Wales after
displaying mysterious neurological problems such as stumbling.
2012 Mar 22, Australia police
captured Malcolm Naden (38) just after midnight at a remote house
near the town of Gloucester. The former slaughterhouse worker has
been charged with the 2005 strangling death of a cousin and other
2012 Mar 23, Australian police
said they have smashed a child porn ring and arrested 14 men,
including fathers, after hundreds of thousands of images and videos
were seized, some depicting toddlers. Police raided more than a
dozen properties across the country over the past week after a
tip-off by Interpol, which linked the men to a child exploitation
network in Germany.
2012 Mar 28, Fiji's military
regime said it had seized control of national carrier Air Pacific
from Australia's Qantas because it did not want foreigners to own or
control Fijian airlines.
2012 Mar 30, Australian artist
Tim Storrier won the 91st Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW
in Sydney for his painting “The Histrionic Wayfarer (after Bosch)."
The Archibald Prize is one of Australia’s oldest and most
prestigious art prizes.
2012 Mar 31, Millions of people
switched off their lights for Earth Hour in a global effort to raise
awareness about climate change that will even be monitored from
space. Newcomers to the Sydney-led initiative, now in its sixth
year, included Libya, Iraq and the International Space Station,
which will watch over the event as it rolls across the globe.
2012 Mar 31, In southwestern
Australia a shark attack killed Peter Kurmann (33) as he was diving
from a boat off Stratham Beach.
(SSFC, 4/1/12, p.A4)
2012 Apr 3, An Australian court
found Google Inc. guilty of breaching trade law by posting
misleading or deceptive advertisements in a ruling that holds search
engines responsible for their advertisers' content.
2012 Apr 13, Australia's Qantas
launched the nation's first commercial flight using a mixture of
refined cooking oil, saying it would not survive if it relied solely
on traditional jet fuel. Australia's tax on carbon emissions comes
into force on July 1.
2012 Apr 16, Australia said it
will lift sanctions against Myanmar's president and more than 200
others who are currently under travel and financial bans, after a
series of reforms in the past year.
2012 Apr 17, Australia said it
will bring its troops home from Afghanistan a year earlier than
planned with most soldiers withdrawn in 2013 after significant
security gains over the past 18 months.
2012 Apr 19, Australia vowed in
an apparent U-turn to keep combat troops in Afghanistan through 2014
after PM Julia Gillard had indicated they would come home earlier
2012 Apr 21, In Australia 2
Aboriginal teenagers were shot by police in central Sydney after
mounting a crowded footpath in a stolen car and hitting a bystander.
2012 Apr 27, In Australia
Clarence Marae, the private secretary of Vanuatu’s PM Kilman, was
arrested at Sydney airport while traveling with PM Kilman, en route
to Israel for a state visit. The arrest was linked to an alleged
international tax scam.
2012 May 4, Australian Police
hunted for a gang of Sydney street robbers who threw feces at their
victims to distract them before grabbing their money.
2012 May 8, Australia's
government said it will rein in defense spending and scale back
promised increases in foreign aid as it tries to become the first
major developed economy to balance its books after the global
2012 May 9, In Australia 27
protected Little Penguins were found mauled in the Phillip Island
Nature Park in Victoria state, a popular tourist attraction. The
penguins were believed killed by a dog or a pack of dogs, ironically
at Cat Bay.
2012 May 10, Vanuatu expelled
the 12-member police contingent from Australia in retaliation for
the April 27 arrest of PM Kilman’s private secretary while in
transit to Israel.
(Econ, 5/19/12, p.49)
2012 May 17, Japan and
Australia signed an agreement in Tokyo that will allow them to share
intelligence as the Asia-Pacific region adapts to the rising power
2012 May 23, The annual index
by Business Review Weekly said Australia's richest person, Gina
Rinehart (58), has eclipsed Wal-Mart heiress Christy Walton to
become the world's wealthiest woman. The index put the mining
tycoon's personal fortune at Aus$29.17 billion (US$28.48 billion).
2012 May 25, A long-running
joust to host a radio telescope, the Square Kilometer Array, that
would give mankind its farthest peek into the Universe ended with a
Solomon-like judgement to split the site between two groups,
Australia and New Zealand and South Africa.
(AFP, 5/25/12)(Econ, 6/2/12, p.94)
2012 May 31, In southern
Australia a truck carrying around 400 sheep overturned on a highway
overpass outside Melbourne, causing the animals to rain onto the
freeway below resulting in "a large number" of dead and injured
2012 Jun 1, Australian
researchers reported that eating a block of dark chocolate daily
over 10 years has "significant" benefits for high-risk cardiac
patients and could prevent heart attacks and strokes.
2012 Jun 5, Australia's central
bank cut its benchmark interest rate for a second consecutive month
as Europe's economy weakens and growth in China moderates. It
lowered the rate by a quarter percentage point to 3.5 percent.
2012 Jun 7, Australia said it
will lift remaining sanctions against Myanmar and more than double
its foreign aid to encourage democratic reforms.
2012 Jun 7, Australian police
said Captain Emad, an alleged people-smuggling kingpin who was
granted a refugee visa, fled the country this week after a
television expose, and they were powerless to stop him.
2012 Jun 14, Australia
announced a 2.3 million-square-km marine preserve expansion creating
the world's largest network of marine reserves which will restrict
fishing as well as oil and gas exploration in a major step to
safeguard the environment and access to food.
2012 Jun 15, In Australia
documents were released revealing "horrific" child sex assaults and
brutal initiation ceremonies in the Australian military, prompting
PM Julia Gillard to signal a possible public inquiry. The report
details allegations of sexual and other serious physical assaults
against boys as young as 13 dating back to the 1950s.
2012 Jun 18, Australia
archaeologist Bryce Barker said he has found the oldest piece of
rock art in Australia and one of the oldest in the world: an
Aboriginal work created 28,000 years ago in the Northern Territory
rock shelter known as Nawarla Gabarnmang.
2012 Jun 20, In Australia a
Sydney brothel was reported to have received the green light for a
multi-million-dollar expansion which will see it become the nation’s
largest sex premises. Stiletto’s hourly rate of Aus$370
includes room, lady of choice and beverages.
2012 Jun 20, In Thailand
Michelle Elizabeth Smith (60), an Australian tourist, was stabbed
and killed as 2 men tried to steal her bag on the resort island of
Phuket. Two Thai men were arrested and pleaded guilty on June 26,
saying they meant only to slash her pocketbook strap and never meant
to stab her.
2012 Jun 21, Indonesian and
Australian navies launched efforts to rescue survivors after a Sri
Lanka refugee boat carrying about 200 people, mostly men from
Afghanistan, capsized on its way to Christmas Island. Scores were
feared drowned in an apparent attempt to seek asylum. 110 people
were rescued and about 90 remained missing. On Jan 28 an Indonesian
court sentenced Javaid Mahmood (55), a Pakistani man, for attempting
to smuggle the asylum seekers. He was the 2nd man found guilty in
(AFP, 6/21/12)(AFP, 6/22/12)(SFC, 1/29/14, p.A2)
2012 Jun 27, Four people are
believed to have died and 130 others were rescued after a crowded
boat carrying asylum seekers to Australia capsized and sank between
Christmas Island and the main Indonesian island of Java.
2012 Jul 1, Australia
introduced a controversial carbon tax in a bid to tackle climate
change, with PM Julia Gillard hailing the move amid opposition
warnings it will stifle industry. A mining levy was also introduced.
(AFP, 7/1/12)(Econ, 7/7/12, p.18)
2012 Jul 2, Indonesian
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono arrived in Australia as a
political storm over people-smuggling raged.
2012 Jul 3, Australia and
Indonesia agreed to work more closely to crack down on
people-smuggling, with visiting President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
saying his people were victims of the trade as well.
2012 Jul 10, A damning report
on the Australian military detailed 24 allegations of rape that
never went to trial and other claims that Defence Minister Stephen
Smith admitted would "shock" people. Smith released an entire
1,500-page document detailing 847 alleged incidents of sexual or
other abuse dating back to the 1950s.
2012 Jul 14, In western
Australia a surfer was bitten in half in a savage shark attack near
Wedge Island, north of Perth, the fifth such fatality in the region
in less than a year.
2012 Jul 18, An Australian
woman born without arms and legs after her pregnant mother took the
anti-morning sickness drug Thalidomide reached a multimillion dollar
settlement with UK-based Distillers Company (Biochemicals) Ltd. —
which sold the drug in Australia — and Diageo Scotland Ltd., the
successor company to Distillers. Grunenthal, the German maker of the
drug, refused to settle.
2012 Jul 18, In Alaska 2
visitors from Australia were killed in a fiery small plane crash
about 39 miles north of Fairbanks.
2012 Jul 19, In Australia a
Chinese national (54) and an Australian man (47) were arrested when
drugs worth Aus$128 million (US$133 million) were seized in Sydney.
The bust disrupted an international syndicate dealing in
2012 Jul 28, Australian media
reported that Sri Lankan navy officials have urged Australia to
deport the growing number of boatpeople arriving from their country,
saying it was the "best way" to deter people smugglers.
2012 Jul 31, Australian police
seized a record half a ton of methamphetamine and heroin worth up to
A$500 million ($525 million) hidden in a shipment of terracotta pots
from Thailand. Seven people, including four from Hong Kong, were
arrested after a year-long investigation following a tip-off from US
2012 Aug 1, The United Arab
Emirates said it has signed and Australia have signed a pact with
Australia to work together on the peaceful use of nuclear energy,
laying the groundwork for potential shipments of uranium to the Gulf
2012 Aug 3, In Australia
Tasmania Zoo owner Dick Warren said 9 birds, including an endangered
swift parrot, had their heads smashed in or ripped off and more than
60 animals were missing after vandals went on the rampage.
2012 Aug 13, Australia's PM
Gillard announced a sharp reversal in her government's policy on
asylum seekers, saying it will introduce legislation allowing their
deportation to the poor Pacific nations of Papua New Guinea and
Nauru to face lengthy stays in detention camps.
2012 Aug 15, Australia highest
court upheld the world's toughest law on cigarette promotion, which
prohibits tobacco companies from displaying their logos on cigarette
packs. Starting in December, packs will instead come in a uniformly
drab shade of olive and feature graphic health warnings and images
of cancer-riddled mouths, blinded eyeballs and sickly children.
2012 Aug 15, In Australia
Charles Zentai (90) won a legal battle against extradition to
Hungary, in a move which allows him to stay in Australia, where he
2012 Aug 15, The Australian
Competition and Consumer Commission said that car importer Ateco
Automotive ordered dealers to stop selling certain vehicles by
China’s Great Wall Motor Co. and Chery Automobile after asbestos was
found inside engine and exhaust gaskets.
2012 Aug 17, Australian police
said they were investigating the theft of some 500,000 credit card
numbers which resulted in Aus$25 million (US$26.2 million) worth of
2012 Aug 23, In Switzerland the
Green Climate Fund, which aims to channel $100 billion a year in aid
to poor countries, selected as leaders Zaheer Fakir, head of
international relations for South Africa's environment agency, and
Ewen McDonald, deputy head of Australia's international development
2012 Aug 29, An asylum-seeker
boat heading for Australia disappeared off the Indonesian coast with
150 people aboard. Over the next 24 hours rescuers recovered 54
survivors, mostly males from Afghanistan.
(AFP, 8/30/12)(AFP, 8/31/12)
2012 Sep 11, Australia’s
federal sustainability minister announced a ban on the Abel Tasman,
a huge Dutch fishing vessel, from trawling in Australia’s waters. On
Sep 19 the Labor government banned the ship for 2 years.
(Economist, 9/22/12, p.48)
2012 Sep 22, In Australia Jill
Meagher (29) was raped and strangled as she walked home from a bar
after an evening out with work colleagues in Melbourne. On Jun 19,
2013, sex offender Adrian Ernest Bayley (41) was sentenced to life
in prison for the rape and murder. He had been free on parole after
previous convictions for raping five women.
2012 Oct 1, An Australian study
found that the Great Barrier Reef has lost more than half of its
coral cover since 1985.
(SFC, 10/2/12, p.A2)
2012 Nov 2, Australia’s Foreign
Minister Bob Carr announced that Australia will spend over $104
million over the next four years to help reduce deaths from malaria
in the Asia-Pacific region.
(SFC, 11/3/12, p.A2)
2012 Nov 9, The Australian
government said it has abandoned its 5-year-old pledge to mandate a
filter blocking child pornography and other objectionable Internet
content. Instead service providers have agreed to block a list of
(SFC, 11/9/12, p.A2)
2012 Nov 14, Australia
announced that it will host two US space surveillance systems as
part of closer military ties agreed at a bilateral security summit.
2012 Nov 15, World animal
health body OIE said that Australia had reported a case of a highly
pathogenic bird flu virus at an egg farm in the New South Wales
2012 Dec 1, Australia’s new
plain packaging law for cigarettes went into effect.
(Econ, 11/17/12, p.60)
2012 Dec 10, Australian radio
announcers Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who made a Dec 4 prank
call to a British hospital treating Prince William's pregnant wife
Kate, broke a three-day silence to speak of their distress at the
apparent suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha. Saldanha (46) was found
dead in staff accommodation near London's King Edward VII hospital
on Dec 7 after putting the hoax call through to a colleague who
unwittingly disclosed details of Kate's morning sickness to 2DayFM's
2012 Australia’s Aborigines,
numbering about 500,000, comprised about 2.5% of the country’s 23
(Econ, 1/14/12, p.42)
2013 Jan 3, Australian
astronomers discovered a comet named C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring).
Scientists said it will pass about 50km from Mars on October 19,
2014. On Oct 19 the comet’s closest approach to Mars was about
(Econ, 3/9/13, p.80)(Econ, 10/25/14, p.82)
2013 Jan 7, In Australia
officials searched for bodies among the charred ruins of more than
100 homes and other buildings destroyed by wildfires in the island
state of Tasmania. Around 100 residents remained unaccounted for,
three days after the fires broke out.
2013 Jan 9, In Australia
Richard Ammar Chichakli, a Syrian-born American, was arrested on
charges that he conspired with Viktor Bout and others to try to buy
aircraft from two companies in the United States.
2013 Jan 9, British health
officials said a new strain of the winter vomiting disease norovirus
has spread to France, New Zealand and Japan from Australia and is
overtaking all others to become the dominant local strain.
2013 Jan 18, The British
defence ministry said Britain and Australia will increase ties on
defence issues including cyber security and equipment programs such
as the BAE Systems-built Type 26 frigate.
2013 Jan 28, Australia reported
4 deaths as torrential rain over the weekend flooded the Queensland
towns of Gladstone, Gympie and Ipswich.
(AP, 1/28/13)(AP, 1/29/13)
2013 Jan 31, Australia’s
government received confirmation that the Shonan Maru No. 2, a
support vessel for the Japanese whaling fleet, had entered
Australia's exclusive economic zone near Macquarie Island in the
Antarctic Ocean. The Australian embassy in Tokyo protested to the
2013 Jan, Australia’s heat wave
set a new reocrd of 40.3° C for the highest national average
(Econ, 1/12/13, p.34)
2013 Feb 7, An Australian
government report said doping was widespread among professional and
amateur athletes and demanded investigators name offenders to
protect clean athletes' reputations.
2013 Feb 27, Australia's
highest court narrowly rejected the case of two Muslim activists who
argued they had a constitutional free-speech right to send offensive
letters to families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
2013 Mar 14, In Australia Adam
Giles was sworn as government head of the Northern Territory
becoming the first Aboriginal leader of a provincial government.
2013 Mar 18, In Australia
visiting Myanmar President Thein Sein welcomed closer ties with
Australia as he asked for continued support through his country's
transition to "peace, democracy and prosperity," a mission that he
said "has no parallel in modern times."
2013 Mar 21, Australian PM
Julia Gillard delivered a historic national apology in Parliament to
the thousands of unwed mothers who were forced by government
policies to give up their babies for adoption over several decades.
2013 Mar 25, A fishing boat
carrying nearly 100 asylum seekers capsized off Australia's west
coast. 2 people died and another 93 were rescued after the boat
overturned north of Christmas Island.
2013 Apr 8, Australia and China
agreed to make their currencies directly exchangeable in a deal that
advances internationalization of the yuan and reduces costs for
companies. PM Julia Gilliard said the Australian dollar will become
only the third major currency to have direct convertibility with the
yuan, after the US dollar and Japanese yen.
2013 Apr 9, Australia’s PM
Julia Gillard capped a 6-day trip to China with the formation of a
“strategic partnershnip," a commitment to hold annual talks between
(Econ, 4/20/13, p.44)
2013 Apr 15, Australian and
British researchers reported that the summer ice melt in parts of
Antarctica is at its highest level in 1,000 years, adding new
evidence of the impact of global warming on sensitive Antarctic
glaciers and ice shelves.
2013 Apr 23, Australian police
arrested a man they say is affiliated with international hacking
collective Lulz Security on a charge of attacking and defacing a
2013 Apr 23, Australia's
competition regulator approved the takeover by Virgin Australia of
budget rival Tiger Airways Australia.
2013 Apr 26, In Australia
billionaire Clive Palmer announced the formation of the United
Australia Party to back his move to run for prime minister.
(SSFC, 4/28/13, p.A5)
2013 Apr 27, In Indonesia an
Australia woman (28) was attacked and raped while vacationing with
her family near Bali’s popular Kuta beach. Her assailant also stole
stole three iPads, two cellphones and $154 in cash.
2013 May 3, Australia announced
a significant boost to its military air power, committing to buy up
to new 100 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, as it
shifts its focus back to the Indo-Pacific as China and India beef up
2013 May 8, Two Australian
citizens from New South Wales state fell from the mid deck of the
Carnival Spirit. They were discovered missing the next morning after
the ship docked at Sydney's Circular Quay.
2013 May 9, It was reported
that 460 Vietnamese men, women and children have fled to Australian
shores so far this year.
2013 May 21, Microsoft Corp.
said it is expanding its services for hosting and processing online
data in Australia with the establishment of two new "cloud"
computing data centers in the country.
2013 May 27, Australian
Broadcasting Corp. television reported that the plans for the 630
million Australian dollar ($608 million) Australian Security
Intelligence Organization building had been stolen through a
cyberattack by Chinese hackers on a building contractor.
2013 May, In Vietnam Pham Trung
Dung, an Australian of Vietnamese origin, was arrested when customs
officials reportedly found the heroin in his luggage as he was
boarding a flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Australia. On June 27,
2014, Dung was sentenced to death for possessing more than 4 kg (8.8
pounds) of heroin.
2013 Jun 8, Australian
authorities said a boat carrying up to 60 asylum seekers has
capsized in the Indian Ocean near Christmas Island. 13 bodies were
so far recovered with no survivors.
(SSFC, 6/9/13, p.A6)
2013 Jun 19, In Australia
serial sex offender Adrian Ernest Bayley (41) was sentenced to life
in prison for raping and murdering an Irish woman while he was free
on parole after previous convictions for raping five women.
2013 Jun 26, Australian PM
Julia Gillard was ousted as Labor Party leader by her predecessor,
Kevin Rudd, in a 57-45 vote of party lawmakers hoping to avoid a
huge defeat in upcoming elections.
2013 Jun 27, Kevin Rudd was
sworn in as Australian prime minister three years and three days
after he was ousted from the same job in an internal government
2013 Jul 16, Australia's PM
Kevin Rudd said a deeply unpopular carbon tax will be replaced by a
less-severe emissions trading scheme a year ahead of schedule, in a
bid to lower power bills for households as a tight national election
2013 Jul 16, In rough seas
north of Christmas Island a boat carrying 150 people believed to be
asylum seekers capsized, killing four people.
2013 Jul 19, Australia's PM
Kevin Rudd, with PNG PM Peter O’Neill at his side, warned that all
refugees who arrive in the country by boat will be resettled on the
island nation of Papua New Guinea, a policy shift that rights groups
(AP, 7/19/13)(Econ, 7/27/13, p.34)
2013 Jul 22, Australia’s PM
Kevin Rudd succeeded in changing the ruling party's regulations to
make his job safer.
2013 Jul 23, The US Navy
offered Australia any help it wanted to retrieve four bombs,
mistakenly dropped on July 16 inside the World Heritage-listed Great
Barrier Reef marine park.
(Reuters, 7/23/13)(SFC, 7/23/13, p.A2)
2013 Aug 3, Australia’s PM
Kevin Rudd and the President of Nauru, Baron Waqa, signed a
memorandum of understanding providing for asylum seekers arriving by
boat to be sent to Nauru where they can opt for resettlement after
their claims for refugee status are processed.
2013 Aug 9, Christopher Lane
(22) of Melbourne, Australia, was shot once in the back as he was
jogging in Duncan, Okla. He died before paramedics arrived. On Aug
20 prosecutors charged two boys, Chancey Allen Luna (16) and James
Francis Edwards Jr. (15), with first-degree murder. A third boy,
Michael Dewayne Jones (17), was charged as an accessory to
first-degree murder after the fact. The boys said they were bored
and decided to shoot someone.
(Yahoo, 8/21/13)(AP, 2/4/14)
2013 Aug 22, The UN said
Australia’s indefinite detention of 46 recognized refugees amounts
to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Many have been held as
security threats for over two years.
(SFC, 8/23/13, p.A2)
2013 Sep 7, Australia's
conservative opposition swept to power, ending six years of Labor
Party rule and winning over a disenchanted public by promising to
end a hated tax on carbon emissions, boost a flagging economy and
bring about political stability after years of Labor infighting.
Opposition leader Tony Abbott (55) will become PM in three
2013 Sep 13, Australian man Tom
Denniss (52) completed a grueling run that looped the world, having
done the equivalent of a marathon a day for more than 20 months in
what he hopes is a record. Denniss began his endurance test on
December 31, 2011 at the Sydney Opera House and since then has
travelled more than 26,000 km (16,200 miles) over five continents.
2013 Oct 10, More than 700
Australian police swooped on the Hells Angels in a series of
heavily-armed raids, seizing guns, drugs and cash, as authorities
intensify a crackdown on biker gangs linked to organized crime.
2013 Oct 14, Australia’s Rio
Tinto said the annual sale of its rare pink-hued diamonds attracted
unprecedented interest with at least two of the stones fetching
record prices of over $2 million.
2013 Oct 15, Mining magnate
Andrew Forrest pledged to give 65 million Australian dollars ($62
million) to university education in his home state in one of
Australia's largest philanthropic donations.
2013 Oct 18, In Australia
nearly 100 wildfires raged across New South Wales state, killing one
person, destroying dozens of houses and forcing hundreds of
evacuations as the nation's annual fire season got off to an
unusually early start.
2013 Oct 15, An Australian
naval team in the Indian Ocean captured nine suspected pirates
sought after attacks on a supertanker 500 miles off the coast of
2013 Oct 22, The Australian
Capital Territory became the first jurisdiction in Australia to
legalize same-sex marriage with a bill passing the ACT parliament by
just one vote.
2013 Oct 23, Australian
investigators said a military training exercise ignited the largest
of the wildfires that have ravaged its most populous state over the
2013 Oct 24, In Australia
a plane dousing wildfires in bushland south of Australia's biggest
city, Sydney, crashed into a national park, killing the pilot and
sparking a new fire to add to 55 still burning across the state of
New South Wales.
2013 Nov 2, Jacqui Park, an
Australian media rights activist, accused Sri Lankan officials of a
"witch-hunt" against local journalists as she arrived back in Sydney
after being detained in Colombo for two days.
2013 Nov 1, In Tasmania int’l.
negotiations ended after China, Russia and Ukraine scuttled plans to
create the world's largest ocean sanctuary in Antarctica. The
sanctuary plans were led by the Antarctic Ocean Alliance which
campaigns for protecting the Antarctic seas. For the sanctuary
proposals to pass, they needed backing from all 200 delegates from
25 member countries, many of which have conflicting interests.
(Reuters, 11/1/13)(SFC, 11/2/13, p.A2)
2013 Nov 3, Hackers claiming
links to international activist group Anonymous (Anonymous Indonesia
and Anonymous Philippines) defaced dozens of websites belonging to
Australian businesses and Philippine government agencies.
2013 Nov 13, Former Australian
prime minister Kevin Rudd announced an end to his chequered
political career, quitting politics two months after being ousted
from office by Tony Abbott.
2013 Nov 15, Toronto police
said a global investigation into a Canadian child porn website has
led to the arrest of 341 people including teachers, doctors and
police officers, and the rescue of 386 sexually abused children.
Australian police said they had arrested 65 of the total.
2013 Nov 21, Indonesia's
military halted training with Australia as a decision to suspend
cooperation due to spying claims took effect, while angry
demonstrators in Jakarta declared they were "ready for war" with
2013 Nov 23, In Australia a
surfer was fatally mauled by a shark on the west coast near
(SSFC, 11/24/13, p.A4)
2013 Nov 27, In Australia Simon
Gittany was found guilty of throwing his Canadian girlfriend, former
ballerina Lisa Harnum, off the balcony of their high-rise Sydney
2013 Nov 30, In Australia a
shark attack killed Zach Young (19) as he body boarded near the
northern New South Wales city of Coffs Harbor in the nation's second
deadly attack this month.
2013 Dec 1, Two Australian
scientists and their pilot were injured when their helicopter made
an emergency landing in Antarctica, leaving them stranded overnight
on the ice.
2013 Dec 2, In Australia a
class action over birth defects linked to the morning sickness drug
thalidomide was settled in a court, with the British distributor
agreeing to pay victims Aus$89 million (US$81 million).
2013 Dec 3, Netherlands-based
Royal Dutch Shell PLC said it has completed building the hull of the
world's largest floating facility, which has been constructed to
process natural gas off the coast of western Australia.
2013 Dec 5, Australia and
Indonesia announced that they would set up a hotline as part of
efforts to repair relations following media reports last month that
Canberra had spied on top Indonesian officials.
2013 Dec 7, Australia's first
gay marriages were celebrated in the national capital Canberra,
despite the prospect of a High Court decision ruling against the
unions later this week.
2013 Dec 12, Australia's top
court struck down gay marriage in the nation's capital, ruling that
parliament must decide on same-sex unions.
2013 Dec 16, Australia’s PM
Tony Abbott said Australian combat troops have completed their
withdrawal from Afghanistan, marking the end of the nation's longest
war which left 40 of its soldiers dead.
2013 Dec 22, Australia
announced an aerial Customs and Border Protection mission to the
Southern Ocean as a showdown looms between Japan's whaling fleet and
Sea Shepherd activists, saying it would send a message to both sides
that the world was watching.
2013 Dec 28, Australian media
reported that Jacqueline Zwambila, Zimbabwe's ambassador to
Australia, has asked for political asylum just days before her term
ends saying she fears for her safety at home.
2013 Dec 31, A cyclone ripped
across northwest Australia, closing ports and threatening mining
operations in the sparsely populated Pilbara region.
2014 Jan 2, A Chinese
helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the MV Akademik
Shokalskiy Russian research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic
ice since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared
enough for the operation. The passengers were all transported to an
Australian icebreaker in the area.
2014 Jan 9, In northwest
Australia the temperature in the Pilbara region reached 122 degrees.
(SFC, 1/10/14, p.A2)
2014 Jan 11, In Australia US
stage hypnotist Scott Lewis plunged to his death from the balcony of
a Sydney apartment. Lewis was in Sydney performing his hypnosis act
along with six other performers in the show "The illusionists 2.0,"
which opened at the Sydney Opera House last week.
2014 Jan 13, Australian
officials said one man died a day earlier and four other people were
missing after a fast-moving wildfire destroyed at least 49 homes in
Perth. Firefighters continued to fight the blaze.
(AFP, 1/13/14)(SFC, 1/14/14, p.A2)
2014 Jan 15, Australian
officials said lightning strikes ignited more than 250 fires across
the southeast. Firefighters battled to put out the flames as the
country sweltered under a heatwave.
2014 Jan 16, British police
working alongside counterparts in the Philippines and Australia said
they had dismantled a paedophile ring that streamed live sexual
abuse of Filipino children as young as six over the Internet, with
victims' parents involved in some cases.
2014 Jan 17, Indonesia said
that it would increase naval patrols after territorial violations by
Australia as it tried to turn back asylum seekers. The Australian
government apologised unreservedly to Jakarta after its navy
"inadvertently" violated Indonesian waters during border security
(Reuters, 1/17/14)(AFP, 1/17/14)
2014 Jan 23, Australian police
revealed they had cracked a major global money-laundering ring with
operatives in more than 20 countries and funds syphoned off to
groups reported to include Hezbollah.
2014 Jan 26, In northern
Australia a crocodile was suspected to have taken a boy (12) after
attacking his friend as they swam in a water hole in at Mudginberri
Billabong in World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park.
2014 Jan 26, A shark was shot
and killed in Western Australian under a new strategy to protect
(Econ, 2/1/14, p.35)
2014 Jan 31, In Australia a
government agency approved a plan to dump sediment within the area
of the Great Barrier Marine Park in an expansion project of the
Abbot Point coal port in northern Queensland.
(SFC, 2/1/14, p.A2)
2014 Feb 3, St. Louis-based
Post Holdings Inc. said it is buying the PowerBar and Musashi brands
from Nestle SA, further diversifying its business by expanding into
the active nutrition category. Musashi is a leading sports nutrition
brand in Australia.
2014 Feb 16, In North Korea
John Short (75), an Australian missionary, was questioned and then
arrested in his Pyongyang hotel, a day after he arrived there. He
has lived in Hong Kong for 50 years and has been arrested previously
in China for evangelizing.
2014 Feb 23, In Sidney,
Australia, finance chiefs from the 20 largest economies (G-20)
agreed to implement policies that will boost world GDP by more than
$2 trillion over the coming five years.
2014 Mar 3, The United Nations'
highest court banned Australia from making any use of documents it
seized from a lawyer working for East Timor in an arbitration case
over a multibillion-dollar oil and gas deal between the two nations.
2014 Mar 19, Australia’s
Courier Mail reported that Canar Temel (22), a soldier who went AWOL
from his Brisbane unit two years ago, has turned up dead after
fighting alongside ISIL rebels in Syria.
(SSFC, 3/23/14, p.A4)
2014 Mar 22, In eastern
Australia 5 people were killed after a light plane used for
skydiving crashed at an airfield in Queensland.
2014 Mar 28, Australian
officials moved the search area for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370,
that disappeared March 8, 1,100 km (680 miles) to the
northeast following a new analysis of radar data, and planes quickly
found multiple objects in the new zone.
2014 Apr 3, In Australia a
large shark killed Christine Armstrong (63) near her terrified
husband and friends as they took their daily morning swim off a
popular east coast beach near the village of Tathra.
2014 Apr 6, The Australian navy
ship Ocean Shield picked up two separate signals late last night and
early today in seas far off the west Australian coast. Confirmation
that the signals belong to Malaysia’s Flight 370's black boxes could
2014 Apr 7, Japan and Australia
clinched a basic trade deal to cut import tariffs. US and Japanese
officials stepped up efforts to reach a parallel agreement that
would re-energize stalled talks on a broader regional pact.
2014 Apr 11, Australian PM Tony
Abbott said search and rescue officials are confident they know the
approximate position of the black box recorders from Malaysia
Airlines Flight MH370, missing since March 8.
2014 Apr 14, Australian search
crews sent a robotic submarine deep into the Indian Ocean for the
first time to begin scouring the seabed for the missing Malaysian
Flight MH370 after no signals from its black boxes were detected for
six days. The submarine aborted its first mission after only six
hours, surfacing with no new clues when it exceeded its maximum
depth along the floor of the Indian Ocean.
(AP, 4/14/14)(AP, 4/15/14)
2014 May 31, Australia said
that it has banned Thailand's coup leaders from visiting and
downgraded their military ties.
2014 May 31, Some flights
between Australia and southeast Asia and all domestic flights
operating out of Darwin airport in the country’s north were canceled
after the eruption a day earlier of Sangeang Api in Indonesia’s
south produced a large cloud of ash.
2014 May, Scientists reported
that a zircon crystal discovered in Western Australia in 2010 has
been determined to be 4.374 billion years old, making it the oldest
rock ever discovered on Earth.
(SSFC, 1/4/15, p.C12)
2014 Jun 5, Kenyan gunmen shot
and killed an Australian media executive Carey Eaton, a co-founder
of the online marketplace One Africa Media. This was the second such
attack on an Australian citizen in the past year in the crime-ridden
2014 Jun 8, Australian police
found human remains inside a large crocodile that is believed to
have snatched a man from a boat in a popular national park. Police
found the remains inside a 4.7-meter (15-foot, 5-inch) saltwater
crocodile that park rangers shot while searching for a 62-year-old
man who was attacked a day earlier in Kakadu National Park.
2014 Jun 11, Japanese and
Australian ministers meeting in Tokyo agreed to jointly develop
stealth submarine technology. They agreed to begin the research next
2014 Jun 29, Australia seized
157 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers near Christmas Island, an
Australian territory in the Indian Ocean.
(Econ, 7/26/14, p.36)
2014 Jun 30, Australia’s
Catholic church said Bishop Max Davis has stepped down after being
accused of sexually abusing a teenage student decades ago. Davis
denied the charges.
(SFC, 7/1/14, p.A2)
2014 Jul 5, In Australia six
Taiwanese men were arrested for importing Aus$42 million ($39
million) worth of methamphetamine into Australia. They faced
2014 Jul 7, Australia's
government confirmed that it had handed over a boatload of asylum
seekers to Sri Lankan authorities in a transfer at sea, drawing
outrage from human rights groups who fear those on board could be
persecuted in their home country.
2014 Jul 8, In Australia
Japan's PM Shinzo Abe met with Australian PM Tony Abbott to sign
agreements bolstering defense and trade ties between the countries.
2014 Jul 15, In Australia a
class-action settlement against electricity provider SP AusNet
awarded survivors of a 2009 wildfire nearly 500 million Australian
dollars, the largest such compensation in the nation's history. The
wildfire killed 119 people and was the biggest in a series of blazes
that tore through the southern Australian state of Victoria.
2014 Jul 17, Australia's
government repealed a much-maligned carbon tax on the nation's worst
greenhouse gas polluters, ending years of contention over a measure
that became political poison for the lawmakers who imposed it.
2014 Jul 17, Malaysia Airlines
flight MH17 with 298 people on board was shot down over eastern
Ukraine. Officials strongly suspected the Boeing 777 was downed by a
missile fired by Ukrainian separatists backed by Moscow. More than
half of the dead passengers, 189 people, were Dutch. Twenty-nine
were Malaysian, 27 Australian, 12 Indonesian, 9 British, 4 German, 4
Belgian, 3 Filipino, one Canadian, one New Zealand and 4 as yet
unidentified. All 15 crew were Malaysian.
2014 Jul 20, An Int’l. AIDS
opened in Melbourne, Australia, with a tribute to delegates killed
in the July 17 shoot down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over
(SFC, 7/21/14, p.A2)
2014 Jul 29, Australian media
reported that arrest warrants have been issued for a pair of
Australian citizens, Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar, believed to
be fighting in Syria, after images emerged of the two holding the
severed heads of Syrian soldiers.
2014 Aug 2, Australia officials
said some 157 asylum-seekers, thought to be mostly ethnic Tamils
from Sri Lanka and detained at sea for weeks, have been sent to the
island of Nauru after rejecting a return to India.
2014 Aug 17, Australia said it
will offer to resettle some 4,400 people fleeing violence in Iraq
2014 Aug 27, Australia’s
intelligence chief David Irvine said 15 Australians, including two
suicide bombers, are believed to have died fighting in Syria and
Iraq and warned that espionage and foreign intervention threats were
2014 Aug 28, Australia and
Indonesia signed a new security agreement to mend a relationship
badly damaged by allegations last year that Australia was listening
to the telephone conversations of Pres. Susilo Bambang.
2014 Aug 31, PM Tony Abbott
said Australia will drop military equipment and aid to Kurdish
forces fighting Islamic State militants in northern Iraq in response
to a request from the United States.
2014 Sep 1, Australia ratcheted
up sanctions against Russia in line with the United States and EU in
response to Russian soldiers openly violating Ukraine sovereignty.
2014 Sep 3, Australia banned
uranium sales to Russia over its actions in Ukraine while announcing
it will set up an embassy in Kiev and may offer military assistance.
2014 Sep 5, Australian PM Tony
Abbott and India’s PM Narendra Modi signed a long-awaited uranium
nuclear. Modi also announced $20 million in funding for further
India-Australian scientific projects.
2014 Sep 10, Australian police
arrested two men for allegedly preparing to fight in Syria,
recruiting jihadists and raising money for an al-Qaida offshoot
2014 Sep 12, The Australian
government raised its terrorism threat level to the second-highest
warning in response to the domestic threat posed by Islamic State
2014 Sep 18, Australia’s PM
Tony Abbott said militants connected with radical group Islamic
State were planning to behead a member of the public, after hundreds
of police raided homes in a sweeping counter-terrorism operation.
2014 Sep 20, In Australia
finance chiefs from G20 nations held talks, confident they can
"change the destiny of the global economy" despite rising world
political tensions and mounting fears of financial instability.
2014 Sep 21, Australians
rallied for climate action, from protesters chanting "Green energy"
outside G20 talks to forming a human chain message in Sydney as part
of an international day of action.
2014 Sep 21, In Australia
finance chiefs from the 20 largest economies said they are close to
reaching their goal of boosting world GDP by more than $2 trillion
over the next five years, and will focus on infrastructure
investment to help reach the target.
2014 Sep 23, In Australia a man
(18) was shot dead in Melbourne and two counterterrorism police were
stabbed in a confrontation.
2014 Sep 26, Australia and
Cambodia signed an agreement for asylum-seekers, who are refused
residency in Australia and currently held in Nauru, to instead be
resettled to Cambodia criticized for its deteriorating human rights
(AP, 9/26/14)(Econ, 10/4/14, p.48)
2014 Oct 1, Australia’s
Parliament passed a raft of counterterrorism laws that extend secret
service powers despite concerns about its impact on press freedom.
(SFC, 10/2/14, p.A2)
2014 Oct 2, Australia
authorized the deployment of special forces to advise and assist
Iraqi forces alongside British, Canadian and US advisers already on
2014 Oct 3, Australia’s
government said it will investigate sexual abuse claims at its
refugee detention center on Nauru, while removing 10 aid workers
from the South Pacific island following reports of coaching
detainees to commit self-harm protests.
2014 Oct 15, Australian
literature-lovers cheered after Richard Flanagan won the prestigious
Booker Prize with a visceral story of wartime brutality and its
aftermath. Flanagan drew on his father's experiences as a World War
II prisoner of the Japanese for "The Narrow Road to the Deep North,"
which centers on the Burma Death Railway.
2014 Oct 19, Australia's
foreign minister said she had reached a deal with Baghdad for the
deployment of about 200 special forces to assist Iraqi troops in
their fight against jihadists.
2014 Oct 21, Former Australian
PM Gough Whitlam (98) died at a nursing home in Sydney. His
government (1972-1975) was credited with instituting lasting social
reforms during a short tenure that ended in a bitter constitutional
(AP, 10/21/14)(Econ, 11/1/14, p.86)
2014 Oct 28, It was reported
that Australia is suspending entry visas for people from
Ebola-affected countries in West Africa in an attempt to keep out
2014 Oct 29, Australian
scientists said they have successfully tested a vaccine against
chlamydia in wild koalas, in what they believe is a breakthrough in
combating the sexually-transmitted disease ravaging the native
2014 Oct 31, In Australia the
Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources
(CCAMLR) wound up a 10-day meeting in Hobart without the consensus
needed for a deal to conserve and manage the marine ecosystems in
the Southern Ocean. China and Russia thwarted an international
attempt to create the world’s largest ocean sanctuary in Antarctica.
2014 Nov 13, In Australia more
than 400 protesters stuck their heads in the sand on Bondi Beach,
mocking the government's reluctance to put climate change on the
agenda of a G20 summit this weekend.
2014 Nov 15, In Australia the
G20 summit opened in Brisbane. Western leaders warned Vladimir Putin
that he risked more economic sanctions if he failed to end Russian
backing for separatist rebels in Ukraine.
2014 Nov 16, In Australia
leaders from the G20 group of nations agreed to boost flagging
global growth, tackle climate change and crack down on tax
avoidance. Leaders completed a plan to boost global GDP by more than
$2 trillion over five years. Russian President Vladimir Putin left
summit in Brisbane early as US President Barack Obama accused Russia
of invading Ukraine and Britain warned of a possible "frozen
conflict" in Europe.
(Reuters, 11/16/14)(SFC, 11/17/14, p.A6)
2014 Nov 17, Australia and
China signed a preliminary free-trade deal that would give
Australia's service industry unsurpassed access to the Chinese
market and Australian agriculture advantages over competitors from
the United States, Canada and the European Union.
2014 Dec 4, Australia for the
first time exercised sweeping new security powers allowing it to
block citizens from traveling to overseas conflict zones such as
those in Iraq and Syria, where dozens of Australians have joined
Islamist militant groups.
2014 Dec 6, Australian court
documents revealed that a boy (18) raped his best buddy’s sixty-two
year old mom at knife point after she invited him into her home in
Sydney. The boy pleaded guilty last week to aggravated sexual
2014 Dec 15, In Australia at
least five hostages were released or escaped after being held in
Sidney’s Martin Place Lindt Chocolate Cafe by Man Haron Monis, an
Iranian refugee and self-styled sheikh. Heavily armed officers
stormed the cafe after a 16 hour stand-off. Monis and 2 hostages of
17 were left dead. Monis shot manager Tori Johnson (34) in the back
of the head. An inquest revealed that hostage Katrina Dawson was
killed by police bullet fragments.
(Reuters, 12/15/14)(SSFC, 12/21/14, p.A10)(SFC,
2014 Dec 19, In northern
Australia the bodies of 8 children, aged 2-14 years, and a wounded
woman, Mersane Warria (37), were discovered in a home in Cairns,
Queensland state. On Dec 21 Warria was charged with eight counts of
murder. She was the mother of seven of them; the eighth was her
(AP, 12/19/14)(AP, 12/21/14)
2014 Dec 26, Syrian forces
killed Mohammed al-Ghazzawi, a former Sidney resident and the latest
Australian jihadist to be killed fighting for the Islamic State.
(SSFC, 1/4/15, p.A4)
2014 Iain McCalman authored
“The Reef: A Passionate History: the Great Barrier Reef from Captain
Cook to Climate Change."
(Econ, 5/31/14, p.77)
2015 Jan 3, In Australia
thousands of people fled their homes as wildfires raged across the
nation's south, with firefighters struggling to contain the blazes
fanned by strong winds.
2015 Jan 4, Australian PM Tony
Abbott made an unannounced visit to Baghdad, meeting with top
officials to discuss ways his country can aid Iraqi forces in their
fight against the Islamic State group.
2015 Jan 5, Southern Australia.
State Premier Jay Weatherill said that hundreds of fire fighters
have taken advantage of milder conditions in recent days to attempt
to contain the fire which has razed 12,500 hectares (31,000 acres)
of countryside in hills northwest of Adelaide.
2015 Jan 29, Australian
best-selling author Colleen McCullough (b.1937) died on Norfolk
Island after a long illness. Her 25 novels included "The Thorn
Birds" (1977), which sold 30 million copies worldwide.
2015 Feb 1, Egypt deported
Al-Jazeera reporter Peter Greste to his native Australia after
holding him for more than 400 days despite global condemnation.
Colleagues, Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and an Egyptian
producer, Baher Mohamed, remained in prison.