Return to home 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 Jan 30, In Australia
Malcolm Turnbull took office as Minister of the Environment and
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)
2007 Australia’s environment
minister Malcolm Turnbull (b.1954), gave the green light for a
liquefied natural gas project dubbed Gorgon.
(Econ, 11/26/16, p.37)
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, a 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 21, In Australia Ken
Wyatt (b.1952) took office as the country’s first indigenous member
of the House of Representatives. In 2017 he became Minister for
Indigenous Health, the country’s first aboriginal minister.
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 Jan, In Australia Lynette
Daley (33), an Aboriginal woman, was found bloodied and bruised on
Ten Mile Beach in northern New South Wales. An autopsy found she
died from blunt force genital tract trauma after allegedly being
subject to a violent sex act by a man assumed to be her boyfriend
Adrian Attwater and his friend Paul Maris. For five years
prosecutors refused to try Adrian Attwater and Paul Maris for her
(http://tinyurl.com/zej5sor)(SFC, 12/17/16, p.A4)
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. Obama also announced that US Marines
would begin rotating through Darwin as part of the US military pivot
(AP, 11/16/11)(SFC, 7/20/16, p.A2)
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. On May 15, 2015,
Jun Malban, a former Philippine policeman and cousin of one of the
nation's top Islamic militants, was deported from Malaysia back to
the Philippines for his role in the abduction.
(AFP, 12/5/11)(AP, 1/1/12)(AP, 1/5/12)(SSFC,
2/24/13, p.A3)(AFP, 5/18/15)
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 (SKA),
that would give mankind its farthest peek into the Universe, ended
with a Solomon-like judgement to split the $2 billion project
between two groups, Australia and New Zealand and South Africa.
(AFP, 5/25/12)(Econ, 6/2/12, p.94)(Econ, 1/7/17,
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)
2014 In Australia scientists
began using a solution made of salts from cattle bile to kill the
crown-of-thorns starfish, which have been chomping their way through
the Great Barrier Reef.
(Econ., 4/11/15, p.38)
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 26, Australia’s PM
Tony Abbott conferred an Australian knighthood on Prince Philip, the
husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth.
(Econ, 1/31/15, p.34)
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.
2015 Feb 9, In Australia a
Japanese citizen died after a shark tore off his legs while he was
surfing off the coast of New South Wales.
(SFC, 2/10/15, p.A2)
2015 Feb 10, In Australia two
men were arrested for planning to launch an imminent terrorist
attack. Police seized a homemade flag associated with the Islamic
State, a machete and a hunting knife in a counterterrorism raid.
2015 Feb 20, In Australia two
powerful cyclones pounded the Northern Territory and Queensland,
leaving a trail of destruction with houses ripped apart, trees
uprooted and electricity cut to thousands of people. Authorities
said there were no fatalities.
2015 Mar 3, Australia and
Switzerland signed an accord in Canberra aimed at cracking down on
2015 Mar 11, In Iraq Australian
suicide bomber Jake Bilardi (18), also known as Jihadi Jake, died in
a suicide bomb attack west of Baghdad.
2015 Mar 19, Australia said it
would introduce legislation next week to scrap the parliament of
Norfolk Island, which was effectively bankrupt, and temporarily
replace it by an advisory council before local government elections
2015 Mar 29, Australia
announced that it would join negotiations to establish a Chinese-led
Asian regional bank that has emerged as a potential challenge to US
(SFC, 3/30/15, p.A2)
2015 Mar 31, In Australia 55
dead greyhounds were found dumped and spent rifle cartridges seen
nearby in near Bundaberg, Queensland state. The grisly discovery
came on the heels of a live baiting scandal rocking the dog racing
2015 Apr 4, In Australia
thousands of anti-Islam and anti-racism protesters clashed in angry
rallies around the country.
2015 Apr 9, Australia reported
that second case of the so-called Tropical Race 4 strain of Panama
disease affecting banana plants has been confirmed, dashing hopes
that a recently confirmed outbreak would be isolated and threatening
the country's A$550 million ($423 million) sector.
2015 Apr 13, In Australia a man
(47) from Warwick, Queensland, was charged with 145 sex offences
against at least 28 children, including rape, after allegedly using
social media to groom them.
2015 Apr 18, Hundreds of
Australian police arrested five teens (18-19) planning an Islamic
State-inspired terrorist attack next week at an event to mark the
centenary of the landings at Gallipoli during World War One.
2015 Apr 20, A fierce storm
lashed southeast Australia destroying homes, stranding dozens of
people in swirling floodwaters. In Dungog three people were found
dead and at least one home was swept away.
2015 Apr 22, In Australia a
cyclonic storm lashing the east coast for a third day was declared a
catastrophe after destroying homes, cutting power to more than
200,000 homes and causing millions of dollars of damage in Sydney
and other cities. The confirmed death toll from the storm reached 4.
2015 May 2, Australian police
said flash floods killed 5 people in south-east Queensland when
their cars were swept away following a rain storm on the east coast.
2015 May 8, An Australian teen
(17) was arrested in a joint federal-state police counterterrorism
operation at his home in the Melbourne suburb of Greenvale where
three explosive devices were found.
2015 May 13, Bob Randall (81),
Aborigine teacher and campaigner, died. He was a victim of the
Australian policy (1910-1970) to place half-castes in institutions
to civilize and Christianize them.
(Econ, 6/13/15, p.90)
2015 May 20, Cambodia accepted
the first four people under an agreement it made with Australia nine
months ago to take in asylum-seekers rejected for residency there.
2015 May, Australia’s
government announced it would increase penalties for illegal
purchases to rigorously enforce rules under which foreigners are
only allowed to buy new dwellings, and not existing residential
2015 Jun 5, Australian
businessman Alan Bond (b.1938) died in Perth.
(Econ, 6/13/15, p.62)
2015 Jun 14, Australian PM Tony
Abbott refused again to deny allegations an official paid thousands
of dollars to turn back a boatload of asylum-seekers, despite calls
from Indonesia for answers.
2015 Jun 18, Australia’s
government under PM Tony Abbott published a white paper outlining
plans for developing northern Australia over the next twenty years.
(Econ, 7/4/15, p.33)
2015 Jun 23, The Australian
Broadcasting Corporation cited people close to the families of
Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar as saying the pair died in
fighting in Mosul in the past week. They were notorious for being
pictured holding severed heads.
2015 Jul 8, Australia
extradited Dragan Vasiljkovic, also known as Captain Dragan and
Daniel Snedden, to Croatia to face war crimes charges. He was a
former Serb paramilitary commander during the 1991-1995 Balkan wars.
2015 Jul 26, Australian nurse
Adam Brookman (39) was charged with terrorism offences for allegedly
supporting the Islamic State group in Syria. He had voluntarily
returned home from the war-torn country on July 24. Brookman told
Fairfax Media in an interview in the past week he carried out
humanitarian work in Syria and was forced to join the jihadist group
after being injured and sent to IS-controlled territory.
2015 Jul 27, Australia's Royal
Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse,
launched in 2013, heard that the local Jehovah's Witnesses Church
failed to report to police more than 1,000 cases of child sexual
abuse going back more than 60 years.
2015 Jul 29, In Australia
Leonard John Warwick (68) was arrested for a 1980-1984 series of
bombings and shootings in Sydney left four people dead. Warwick, a
former firefighter, had an extended dispute in the Family Court with
his estranged wife over the custody of their infant daughter in the
2015 Jul, Papua New Guinea’s PM
Peter O’Neill announced a ban on foreign, mostly Australian,
consultants. A ban on vegetable imports from Australia soon
(Econ, 9/12/15, p.39)
2015 Aug 2, Bronwyn Bishop, the
speaker of Australia's House of Representatives, resigned following
weeks of accusations that she used taxpayer money to pay for
extravagant and unnecessary travel. The travel row erupted with
reports on July 15th that Mrs. Bishop had spent A$5,227 ($3,800)
last November chartering a helicopter to fly from Melbourne to
Geelong, two cities little more than an hour’s car ride apart.
2015 Aug 11, Australian
lawmakers in PM Tony Abbott's conservative government agreed on a
target of curbing carbon gas emissions to at least 26 percent below
2005 levels by 2030.
2015 Aug 11, Australian PM Tony
Abbott's conservative coalition government blocked its members from
voting in favor of gay marriage, a politically risky move that
effectively rules out a marriage equality bill passing under his
2015 Aug 13, Australia’s Sidney
Morning Herald reported that the Islamic State has hacked the
personal information of Defense Force employees and their relatives,
New South Wales health employees and several other public servants.
It said the IS has bragged of gathering the names of some 1,400
people, most of whom are supposedly US military personnel.
(SSFC, 8/16/15, p.A4)
2015 Sep 6, PM Tony Abbott said
Australia will accept more refugees from camps bordering Syria and
Iraq and “is open" to providing more financial assistance.
2015 Sep 7, Australia's PM Tony
Abbott said that his country will resettle a "significant" number of
refugees from Syria this year, while the opposition called for an
additional 10,000 refugee places to help the world cope with a
2015 Sep 9, Australia’s PM Tony
Abbott said his country would take an additional 12,000 refugees
from Iraq and Syria and would join in an air campaign against the
(SFC, 9/10/15, p.A2)
2015 Sep 14, Australia will
have its fifth prime minister in eight years after the ruling
Liberal Party voted out Tony Abbott in favor of longtime rival
Malcolm Turnbull, following months of infighting and crumbling voter
support. Turnbull made a fortune in the 1990s by investing in
OzMail, an Australian internet-service provider.
(Reuters, 9/14/15)(Econ, 1/9/16, p.57)
2015 Sep 15, In Australia
multi-millionaire former banker Malcolm Turnbull (60) was sworn in
as the nation’s 29th prime minister and the fourth in just over two
(AFP, 9/15/15)(Econ, 9/19/15, p.35)
2015 Sep 20, Australia's new PM
Malcom Turnbull announced sweeping changes to his first Cabinet and
promoted more women, including Australia's first female defense
2015 Oct 2, In Australia an
Iran-born teenager (15) of Iraqi-Kurdish background shot a New South
Wales police finance worker with a handgun at close range as the man
left work in the western Sydney suburb of Parramatta. The teen then
fired at responding officers, who shot and killed him. Farhad Jabar
(15) was shot dead by police moments after he killed Curtis Cheng
(58) with a .38 Smith & Wesson as the accountant walked from the
New South Wales state police headquarters in central Sydney after
work. In 2018 Talal Alameddine (25), the man who provided the
revolver used to kill the state police employee, was sentenced to 17
years in prison.
(AP, 10/2/15)(AP, 5/18/18)
2015 Oct 5, Twelve Pacific rim
countries sealed the deal on creating the world's largest free trade
area (TPP), delivering President Barack Obama a major policy
triumph. The Trans-Pacific Partnership included Australia, Brunei,
Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru,
Singapore, the US and Vietnam.
2015 Oct 7, In Australia four
people were arrested over the terror-linked murder of a police
employee after coordinated raids by more than 200 officers on
properties across Sydney.
2015 Oct 10, In Australia
hundreds of protesters faced off with left-wing opponents in a
standoff over plans to build a mosque in the rural town of Bendigo,
2015 Oct 17, Australia
announced plans to legalize the growing of cannabis for medicinal
purposes, saying those suffering debilitating illnesses deserved
access to the most effective treatments.
2015 Oct 28, Australia’s Troy
Resources Limited said it plans to open a large gold mine in
upcoming weeks at the mine in the Puruni region in western Guyana.
2015 Nov 2, Australia’s PM
Malcolm Turnbull announced that Queen Elizabeth II had agreed to an
Australian Cabinet recommendation to remove knights and dames from
the Order of Australia.
(SFC, 11/3/15, p.A4)
2015 Nov 18, Australian
authorities said at least 4 people have died in bushfires raging out
of control in parts of Western Australia.
2015 Nov 25, Australian
officials said at least 2 people have been killed and several others
injured by huge wildfires that also destroyed homes near the
southern city of Adelaide and continue to burn out of control.
2015 Nov 26, Sixteen migrants
from India, Nepal and Bangladesh and their Indonesian skipper were
found stranded in Indonesia's part of Timor Island. The next day
Indonesia said Australian officials had destroyed a boat carrying
asylum seekers and then pushed them back to sea in another vessel.
2015 Nov 29, Environmental
activist group Sea Shepherd warned Japan against resuming "research"
whaling in the Antarctic and called on the Australian government to
2015 Dec 3, Australia's
parliament passed legislation to strip dual nationals of their
citizenship if they are convicted of terrorism offences or found to
have fought with banned groups overseas, despite concerns about
2015 Dec 5, A ship carrying 25
tons of radioactive waste arrived back in Australia, met by
activists who warned against the vast nation becoming a nuclear
dumping ground. Australia sent spent nuclear fuel to France for
reprocessing in the 1990s and early 2000s over four shipments, and
it has now been returned for long-term storage.
2015 Dec 9, Former Australian
PM Tony Abbott defended his comments suggesting that Western culture
is superior to that of Islam, and called for US-led assistance in
defeating the Islamic State group.
2015 Dec 25, In Australia more
than 100 homes burned down along parts of Victoria state's
picturesque Great Ocean Road in bushfires and the situation
continued to remain dangerous.
2015 Dec 27, In western
Australia a train was carrying around 200,000 liters (53,000
gallons) of the sulfuric acid when it derailed near the small town
of Julia Creek in Queensland state.
2016 Jan 10, Australian
authorities said 2 people have died and more than a hundred homes
have been destroyed in a huge bushfire, as firefighters battled to
tame the out-of-control blaze in Western Australia state.
2016 Jan, The feral cat
population of Australia, estimated at 4-20 million, was believed to
eat as many as 75 million animals a day.
(Econ, 1/16/16, p.42)
2016 Feb 1, In Australia 16
young kangaroos were found killed after being deliberately run down
by a driver. Another had to be euthanized because of its injuries.
2016 Feb 2, The Australian
government changed the rules to make politics more family-friendly
allowing lawmakers to now breastfeed in the Parliament. None of the
nursing mothers appeared keen to take up the opportunity.
2016 Feb 3, Australia's High
Court threw out a challenge to the country’s right to deport
detained asylum seekers to the tiny South Pacific island nation of
2016 Feb 10, Australian
lawmakers committed to legalize the growing of marijuana for medical
use within a part of the world renowned for zero-tolerance and harsh
penalties for illegal drugs.
2016 Feb 15, Australian
officials said law enforcement agencies have discovered 1.26 billion
Australian dollars ($900 million) worth of methylamphetamine hidden
in imported boxes of silicon bra inserts and art supplies in the
country's largest haul of the illicit drug in its liquid form. Four
Hong Kong passport holders were arrested in Sydney last month over
the import from China of 720 liters (190 gallons) of the drug.
2016 Feb 22, The Australian
government said it plans to start a register of foreign ownership of
water rights, redoubling its efforts to appease voters concerned
about the amount of farming assets being sold offshore.
2016 Feb 29, Australian
Cardinal George Pell, the highest-ranking Vatican official to
testify on systemic sexual abuse of children by clergy in the Roman
Catholic Church, said senior clergy lied to him to cover up abuse in
2016 Mar 1, Australian
scientists warned coral bleaching was occurring on the Great Barrier
Reef as sea temperatures warm, and it could rapidly accelerate
unless cooler conditions blow in over the next few weeks.
2016 Mar 7, In Australia a man
(33) who police say fatally shot one person and wounded two others
inside a western Sydney business was found dead inside the building
after a six-hour standoff.
2016 Mar 18, Australia’s PM
Malcolm Turnbull won approval from Parliament to simplify the
country’s convoluted system of proportional representation under
which the Senate is elected.
(Econ, 3/26/16, p.45)
2016 Mar 19, Cities on
Australia's east coast were among the first in the world to turn
lights out for the 10th annual Earth Hour, a global movement
dedicated to protecting the planet and highlighting the effects of
(Reuters, 3/19/16)(AP, 3/19/16)
2016 Mar 20, The Australian
government ended its push to log World Heritage-listed forests on
the southern island state of Tasmania, after the United Nations
cultural agency UNESCO issued a report calling for the area to
remain protected from logging.
2016 Mar 21, Elmer Funke
Kupper, the head of Australia's stock market operator, resigned amid
a police inquiry into bribery allegations at a gaming group he
2016 Mar 21, In Australia Paul
Whyte, a first officer on Qantas international flights, was
the only person aboard a rented Cessna 172 when it vanished from
radar late today over the Pacific Ocean 11 km (seven miles)
northeast of Byron Bay.
2016 Mar 23, In Timor-Leste
thousands of people rallied in front of the Australian embassy in
Dili in anger over Australia’s refusal to negotiate a permanent
boundary in the Timor Sea, which held untold quantities of oil and
(Econ, 4/9/15, p.42)
2016 Mar 24, Australian and
Malaysian officials said that two pieces of debris recently
discovered along the coast of Mozambique are "highly likely" to have
come from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
2016 Apr 4, Australia’s tax
agency said more than 800 wealthy Australians are under
investigation by the Australian Taxation Office for possible tax
evasion linked to their alleged dealings with a Panamanian law firm.
2016 Apr 19, Australian
scientists said coral bleaching has been detected in Sydney Harbour
for the first time, blaming the damaging phenomenon also found in
the Great Barrier Reef on warming sea-surface temperatures.
2016 Apr 20, Australian local
media said it will cost an estimated A$93 million ($72.68 million)
to begin the clean-up of environmental damage at the bankrupt Yabulu
nickel refinery in the country's northeast near the Great Barrier
2016 Apr 22, In Australia
Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham posted a video on Facebook showing him
set fire to the Condamine River in Queensland, to draw attention to
methane gas he says is seeping into the water due to fracking. The
dramatic video quickly attracted more than two millions views.
2016 Apr 26, Australian PM
Malcolm Turnbull announced that France has beaten Japan and Germany
to win a A$50 billion ($40 billion) deal to build a fleet of 12
submarines for Australia, one of the world's most lucrative defense
2016 Apr 26, Papua New Guinea's
Supreme Court ruled that Australia's detention of asylum seekers at
a facility on the Pacific nation's Manus Island is unconstitutional.
A day later PM Peter O’Neill announced the detention center would be
(AP, 4/26/16)(SFC, 4/28/16, p.A4)
2016 May 2, Craig Wright, an
Australian man long rumored to be associated with the digital
currency Bitcoin, publicly identified himself as its creator, a
claim that would end one of the biggest mysteries in the tech world.
BBC News said that Wright told the media outlet he is the man
previously known by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. The computer
scientist, inventor and academic said he launched the currency in
2009 with the help of others.
2016 May 6, Anglo-Australian
mining giant Rio Tinto announced the launch of the next stage of a
multibillion-dollar gold and copper mine in Mongolia following
delays and political tension over revenue sharing and the foreign
role in resource industries.
2016 May 6, In Iraq
Australia-born terrorist and former rapper Neil Prakash (24) was
killed in an American air strike in Mosul.
(SSFC, 5/8/16, p.A4)
2016 May 6, A Papua New Guinea
court ruled that a pregnant African woman, who says she was raped at
an Australia detention center for asylum seekers on the tiny South
Pacific island of Nauru, cannot be forced to have an abortion in
Papua New Guinea because it is unsafe and illegal.
2016 May 9, An Australian law
firm filed a compensation claim against Russia and President
Vladimir Putin in the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of
families of victims of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, shot down
over Ukraine on July 17, 2014. The application names the Russian
Federation and Putin as respondents and seeks $10 million in
compensation per passenger.
2016 May 12, In Australia the
4-day Sexpo, Sydney's adult entertainment and lifestyle show, opened
for its 20th year.
2016 May 15, Australians
cheered contestant and juries' favorite Dami Im for placing second
at the annual Eurovision song contest in Sweden.
2016 May 30, Scientists said
mass bleaching has killed more than a third of the coral in the
northern and central parts of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, though
corals to the south have escaped with little damage.
2016 Jun 5, In Australia
torrential rain and high winds battered the east coast, leaving up
to 26,000 homes without power while flooding forced hundreds of
people into evacuation centers.
2016 Jun 6, Australian
authorities said 3 people were killed in floodwaters from a strong
storm that pounded the east coast over the weekend.
2016 Jun 14, Australian
researchers said the Bramble Cay melomys, a rodent that only lived
on Bramble Cay in the Great Barrier Reef, has become the first
documented mammal to go extinct due to man-made climate change.
(SFC, 6/15/16, p.A4)
2016 Jul 2, Australia held
general elections. PM Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberal Party-led coalition
needed 76 of 150 seats to form a government. On July 10 Turnbull
finally claimed victory for his conservative coalition. The
incumbent Liberal/National coalition secured 76 seats in the
150-seat lower House of Representatives.
(AP, 7/2/16)(AP, 7/10/16)(AFP, 7/11/16)
2016 Jul 7, Australia's
greyhound industry was reeling after New South Wales, the country's
most populous, state banned the sport following a string of scandals
including "live baiting" and the slaughter of tens of thousands of
2016 Jul 12, In Australia
Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov (65) launched his 184-foot-tall
balloon in western Australia state in an effort to complete a
21,000-mile solo flight around the world in less than 13 days to
beat a 2002 record set by Steve Fossett.
(SFC, 7/13/16, p.A2)
2016 Jul 17, US Vice President
Joe Biden unveiled a series of agreements between the US and
Australia to create an "unprecedented" international research
database of cancer patients as he kicked off a three-day visit in
2016 Jul 26, Australia’s PM
Malcolm Turnbull said that he would launch a Royal Commission after
graphic footage emerged of teens being tear-gassed and stripped
naked at a youth detention center in the Northern Territory.
2016 Jul 28, Australian
officials confirmed that data recovered from a home flight simulator
owned by Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, the captain of Malaysia Airlines
Flight 370, showed that someone had used the device to plot a course
to the southern Indian Ocean, where the missing jet is believed to
2016 Aug 2, Australia's central
bank dropped interest rates to a new record low of 1.5% after a
recent run of soft inflation readings.
2016 Aug 2, Papua New Guinea's
Supreme Court ordered Australia to present a resettlement plan for
nearly 900 asylum seekers held in what it says is an illegal
detention center on Manus island. Detainees feared the move will
further delay their release.
2016 Aug 5, Australia said it
was suspending funding for relief group World Vision's operations in
the Palestinian Territories after allegations its Gaza
representative funneled millions of dollars to the Islamist militant
2016 Aug 9, In Australia
several cyberattacks and a hardware failure led to a census website
being shut down thwarting a first attempt to conduct the census
2016 Aug 11, Australia
announced that it plans to block Chinese bidders from leasing a
major Sydney electricity grid on national security grounds.
2016 Aug 23, In Australia
visiting Frenchman Smail Ayad (29) shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is
Greatest) as he stabbed a British woman to death and wounded two
people at a backpackers' hotel in in Home Hill, Queensland state.
The dead woman was identified as Mia Ayliffe-Chung (21) from the
English county of Derbyshire. On September 30 British backpacker
Thomas Jackson (30) died of wounds suffered while trying to stop the
attack on Chung.
(Reuters, 8/24/16)(AFP, 8/25/16)(Reuters,
2016 Aug 24, Australia’s New
South Wales parliament in Sydney banned greyhound racing in an
overnight session effective from July 1, 2017.
2016 Aug 28, In Australia
Sydney police allegedly found 95 kg (209 pounds) of cocaine in the
cabin luggage of Andre Tamine (63), Isabelle Lagace (28) and Melina
Roberce (22), all Canadian passengers on the MS Sea Princess cruise
ship. The haul was valued at 31 million Australian dollars ($23
2016 Aug 29, Australian
officials said aid worker Kerry Jane Wilson, kidnapped in
Afghanistan in April, has been freed by Afghan forces after four
months in captivity. Wilson was kidnapped on April 28 in the eastern
city of Jalalabad.
2016 Aug 31, Australia's PM
Malcolm Turnbull urged his political opponents to allow Australians
to endorse gay marriage through a popular vote instead of insisting
that the divisive issue be put into lawmakers' hands.
2016 Aug, Australia said it
would close an asylum seekers’ camp in Papua New Guinea, but did not
say when or where the refugees would go.
(Econ, 9/3/16, p.34)
2016 Sep 1, Australian
scientists unveiled fossils dating back 3.7 billion years. Tiny
structures called stromatolites were found in ancient rock along the
edge of Greenland's ice cap. The earliest evidence of life on Earth
ahead of the Greenland discovery came from near-3.5 million-year-old
stromatolites found in western Australia in 2006.
2016 Sep 19, The Australian
government said it has reached a 39.3 million Australian dollar
($29.6 million) settlement with the owners of Chinese coal carrier
Shen Neng1 to pay for environmental damage to the Great Barrier Reef
caused when the ship went off course in April 2010 and grounded on
2016 Oct, In China the head of
Crown's VIP International team, Jason O'Connor, was among three
Australian and 15 Chinese employees detained for suspected gambling
crimes. Jenny Chiang (33), a Shanghai-based Chinese citizen, was
released on Nov 11.
2016 Nov 7, Australia’s Senate
blocked a plebiscite on same-sex marriage.
(SFC, 11/8/16, p.A4)
2016 Nov 9, Australia's prime
minister beat other world leaders to an early call with
President-elect Donald Trump by getting his cellphone number from
Greg Norman, the golfing great. PM Malcolm Turnbull said he had a
warm and "very frank" 15-minute discussion with Trump within hours
of the Republican nominee claiming victory in the presidential
2016 Nov 18, In Australia a man
(21) injured 26 bystanders when he set himself on fire with gasoline
in a bank branch in the Melbourne suburb of Springvale. He was soon
identified as a Myanmar asylum seeker, known by his friends as Noor,
who had been waiting three years to be accepted as a refugee.
2016 Nov 23, Australian
researchers said daylight saving time could reduce the decline of
koalas in Queensland state, where the population has plunged by 80%
in less than two decades in great part due to road accidents.
(SFC, 11/24/16, p.A2)
2016 Nov 29, Airbus said it
wants to cut more than 1,100 jobs across Europe after presenting a
reorganization plan to the works council in Toulouse.
2016 Nov, The Obama
administration agreed to accept up to 1,250 refugees held at Nauru,
who have been refused entry to Australia. Most of the refugees were
from Afghanistan, Iran and Sri Lanka.
(SFC, 2/10/17, p.A2)
2016 Dec 1, Australia’s Senate
approved a law allowing convicted terrorists to be kept in prison
after the completion of their sentence if a court believes they
still pose a significant threat to the community.
(SFC, 12/2/16, p.A2)
2016 Dec 5, Mexico struck a
deal with Australia’s BHP Billiton to develop the Trion oil field in
Mexico with state-oil firm Pemex.
(Econ, 12/10/16, p.62)
2016 Dec 23, Australian
officials said they have detained five suspects who were allegedly
planning a series of Christmas day bombings in the heart of
(SFC, 12/23/16, p.A2)
2016 Dec 28, Oil company BP
said it has agreed to buy the fuel business of Australian
supermarket chain Woolworths Ltd for $1.3 billion as part of its
efforts to rebuild itself.
2016 Australian Historian James
Curran authored “Fighting with America: A Lowy Institute Paper:
Penguin Special: Why saying ‘No’ to the US wouldn’t rupture the
2016 Cal Flyn authored “Thicker
Than Water: History Secrets and Guilt." Here she covered the 19th
century massacres of Australian indigenous people.
(Econ, 6/25/16, p.74)
Wainw right authored “The Maverick Mountaineer:
The Remarkable Life of George Ingle Finch: Climber, Scientist,
Inventor." Australian chemist George Ingle Finch (b.1888) died in
(Econ, 1/16/16, p.91)
2016 Huge sections of
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef were killed this year by overheated
(SFC, 3/16/17, p.A2)
2016 Australia’s population was
about 24 million. Aborigines accounted for about 3% of the
(Econ, 6/18/16, p.41)(Econ 7/8/17, p.35)
2016 British firms owned
approximately 7% of Australia’s agricultural land.
(Econ, 9/10/16, p.34)
2017 Jan 5, An Indonesian
government minister clarified that the country was suspending only
part of its military cooperation with Australia, as that country
promised its investigation of an alleged insult of Indonesian
beliefs was nearly complete. Australian Defense Minister Marise
Payne said the issue began in November, after an Indonesian military
officer raised concerns about teaching materials and remarks made at
an army language-training facility in western Australia.
2017 Jan 13, Australia’s PM
Malcolm Turnbull accepted the resignation of Sussan Ley, his health
minister, after claims that she had misused taxpayers’ money.
(Econ, 1/21/17, p.31)
2017 Jan 14, The leaders of
Australia and Japan agreed to boost cooperation between their
militaries, as Japan tries to shore up security ties throughout the
Asia-Pacific region amid concern over China's growing military
2017 Jan 20, In Australia a man
(26) deliberately drove into pedestrians, killing four and injuring
more than 20, in the center Melbourne. Police eventually rammed the
car and shot the driver in the arm, before dragging him from the
vehicle and arresting him. Police said the incident was not
2017 Feb 2, US ties with ally
Australia were strained over a reported acrimonious phone call
between their two leaders. Australia's PM Malcolm Turnbull insisted
that a deal struck with the Obama administration that would allow
mostly Muslim refugees rejected by Australia to be resettled in the
United States was still on, despite President Donald Trump dubbing
the agreement "dumb" and vowing to review it.
(Reuters, 2/2/17)(AP, 2/2/17)
2017 Feb 6, Australian church
data showed that seven percent of Catholic priests working in
Australia between 1950 and 2010 were accused of child sex crimes but
few were pursued, as hearings began over allegations dating back
2017 Feb 7, A Thai court
sentenced Australian Antonio Bagnato (28) to death for the murder of
a countryman who was an alleged confederate in a drug smuggling
gang. He was found guilty of killing former Hells Angels member
Wayne Schneider in November 2015 after he and accomplices beat and
kidnapped the victim from his luxury villa in the Pattaya resort
2017 Feb 9, An Australian
minister said US officials have stopped screening refugees on Nauru
for potential resettlement in the US, but will return for “extreme
vetting," a process called for by Pres. Trump but not yet defined.
(SFC, 2/10/17, p.A2)
2017 Feb 19, In Abu Dhabi
Australia's Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne and Sheikh
Mohammed, who is also Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed
Forces, met on the sidelines of the biennial International Defence
Exhibition and Conference (IDEX). The two agreed to consider a
10-year defense plan that could include more than 1 billion
Australian dollars ($767 million) in sales to the UAE.
2017 Feb 21, In Australia a
light plane crashed into a shopping mall shortly after takeoff in
the city of Melbourne. The Australian pilot and four American
tourists were killed including Russell Munsch, a founding Texas law
firm partner who had litigated some of the most prominent bankruptcy
cases in the US.
2017 Feb 23, Australia's
highest-paid public servant announced his resignation, two weeks
after the revelation that he made 5.6 million Australian dollars
($4.3 million) last year sparked a public furor and created a
political headache for the government. Lebanese-born former banker
Ahmed Fahour said he was leaving because Australia Post had
transformed from a traditional mail service to a parcel and
e-commerce business during his seven years at the helm.
2017 Feb 26, Australia and
Indonesia said that full military ties between the two countries had
been restored, after Indonesia’s military suspended cooperation in
January because of "insulting" teaching material found at an
2017 Mar 22, Chinese Premier Li
Keqiang arrived in the Australian capital, Canberra, on a mission to
expand bilateral ties.
2017 Mar 25, Sydney's Opera
House and Harbour Bridge plunged into darkness to mark Earth Hour,
as global landmarks began dimming their lights to draw attention to
climate change. Conservation group WWF started Earth Hour in 2007.
2017 Mar 25, China prevented
Feng Chongyi, an associate professor at the University of Technology
Sydney, from returning to Sydney because he's suspected of
endangering national security. Feng had been wrapping up a
three-week trip researching human rights lawyers. Chinese
authorities have staged a wide-reaching crackdown on human rights
lawyers across the country since July 2015. On April 1 Feng Chongyi
was allowed to return to Australia.
(AP, 3/26/17)(AP, 4/2/17)
2017 Mar 28, In Australia
Tropical Cyclone Debbie hit the far north of Queensland as a
category 4 storm. It was soon downgraded to category 2.
2017 Mar 31, Credit Suisse
issued a brief statement saying that local authorities had made
"visits" to its offices in Amsterdam, Paris and London in connection
with unspecified client tax issues. The European Union judicial
agency Eurojust said it had helped coordinate cross-border
investigations in a major tax evasion investigation involving
millions of euros and spanning several European countries and
(AP, 3/31/17)(Reuters, 3/31/17)
2017 Apr 1, Tens of thousands
of Australians were stranded by floodwaters after the remnants of
Cyclone Debbie swept along the country's east coast, cutting roads,
destroying bridges. The storm left three people dead.
(Reuters, 4/1/17)(Reuters, 4/2/17)
2017 Apr 3, Australia’s PM
Malcom Turnbull and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani signed an aid
agreement at the Australian Parliament House worth 320 million
Australian dollars ($240 million) over four years. Hundreds of
protesters demanded a better deal for the Hazara ethnic minority.
2017 Apr 17, In Australia
surfer Laeticia Brouwer (17) died following a shark attack off
Esperance, Western Australia state. She was the 3rd such fatality
(http://tinyurl.com/y7trnozf)(Econ 5/20/17, p.33)
2017 Apr 18, Australia’s PM
Malcolm Turnbull announced plans to replace the 457 visa for
temporary foreign workers in particular occupations with two new
temporary visas requiring better English-language and work skills.
(SFC, 4/19/17, p.A2)
2017 Apr 22, In Australia US
Vice President Mike Pence and PM Malcolm Turnbull swept aside any
lingering tensions over an Obama era agreement on the resettlement
of refugees, joining forces to urge China to take a greater role in
pressuring North Korea to scuttle its nuclear weapons and missile
2017 Apr 24, Six people were
awarded the annual Goldman Environmental Prize. They included Mark
Lopez of southern California for work focusing on contamination from
a battery recycling plant; Rodrigue Mugaruka Katembo of Congo DRC
for efforts to protect the Virunga National Park from oil
extraction; Prafulla Samantara of India for efforts to halt an
open-pit bauxite mine in Odisha state; Uros Maceri of Slovenia for
efforts to halt pollution by the Lafarge Cement Co.; Wendy Bowman of
Australia for her efforts to halt coal mining and pollution in the
Hunter Valley; and Rodrigo Tot of Guatemala for efforts to halt
evictions and government corruption related to nickel mining in El
Estor and Agua Caliente.
(SFC, 4/24/17, p.A10)
2017 May 23, Sources said US
Homeland Security officials have begun "extreme vetting" interviews
at Australia's offshore detention centers, as Washington honors a
refugee swap that U.S. President Donald Trump had called "a dumb
2017 May 27, Indonesia deported
Australian drug smuggler Schapelle Corby, whose trial and
imprisonment on the tourist island of Bali mesmerized her homeland
following her arrest in 2004.
2017 May 30, Australia’s
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she would cancel the passports of
around 20,000 pedophiles on the national child sex offender register
under legislation that will be introduced to Parliament soon.
Australian pedophiles have been notorious for taking inexpensive
vacations to nearby Southeast Asian and Pacific island countries to
abuse children there.
2017 Jun 5, In Australia a
shootout left two men dead, three police officers wounded and a
female hostage freed in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton. Yacqub
Khayre (29), a man of Somali background was killed in the gun battle
with police. Khayre had first murdered a Chinese-born Australian man
working as a receptionist. In 2010 Khayre was one of two men
acquitted of plotting a suicide attack in Sidney.
(AP, 6/5/17)(AFP, 6/6/17)(SFC, 6/7/17, p.A5)
2017 Jun 16, A federal minister
said Australia will allow gun owners to hand in illegal firearms
without penalty from next month in a three-month nationwide amnesty
as concerns grow over gun crimes involving such weapons.
2017 Jun 23, Australia agreed
to send two surveillance planes to help the Philippines tackle
Islamist rebels, as jets and artillery pounded militant positions in
a southern town held for more than a month by Islamic State
2017 Jun 25, Australian police
fired pepper spray to break up clashes between right-wing
nationalists and anti-racism protesters on the streets of Melbourne,
the latest protest held by anti-immigration groups in the country.
2017 Jun 26, A Chinese court
sentenced 16 Australian and Chinese employees of a casino company to
nine to 10 months in prison after they pleaded guilty to
gambling-related charges. This included three Australians from the
sales and marketing team of Australia's Crown Resorts Ltd. On July
12 China released 10 employees of Australia's Crown Resorts Ltd.,
including two Australian citizens, after they completed nine months
in prison. This included time served prior to trial.
(AP, 6/26/17)(AP, 7/12/17)
2017 Jun 29, Cardinal George
Pell (b.1941), a top adviser to Pope Francis, took a leave of
absence as the Vatican's financial chief to fight criminal charges
in his native Australia that alleged he committed sexual assault
2017 Jul 2, Australian former
schoolteacher Jeff Horn (29) stunned world champion Manny Pacquiao
(38) of the Philippines to win the World Boxing Organization
welterweight crown with a controversial unanimous points decision in
2017 Jul 13, In Australia an
unidentified man (58) became the 18th death worldwide due to
exploding Takata air bag inflators. The man died in a crash in a
Sydney suburb after he was hit in the neck by a metal fragment after
air bags deployed in a crash.
2017 Jul 19, In China 30 to 50
people entered the Shanghai office of Sydney-headquartered
brokerage, Union Standard Group Forex (USGFX), and prevented 20
staff members from leaving in protest against losses made on
currency trades. Those being held were released on July 24.
(Reuters, 7/21/17)(Reuters, 7/25/17)
2017 Jul 21, Australia said it
plans to allow fishing across 80% of tis protected maritime
sanctuaries. The plan required approval by Parliament.
(SFC, 7/22/17, p.A2)
2017 Jul 25, A Sydney lawyer
announced a class action lawsuit against Toyota, Honda and Mazda
seeking refunds for cars fitted with faulty air bags from Takata
that have been linked to 18 deaths around the world.
2017 Jul 25, In Australia
aboriginal blind singer Dr. Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu (b.1970),
the most beautiful voice in the country, died.
2017 Jul 26, Australian police
fatally shot a man in Sydney's main train station who was suspected
of attempting to rob a florist. The man was armed with a pair of
scissors. The man was armed with a pair of scissors.
2017 Jul 29, Australian police
foiled "Islamic-inspired" plans for a bomb attack on an aircraft
during counter-terrorism raids in which two Lebanese-Australian
fathers and their sons were arrested in several Sydney suburbs.
Police later said one man sent his unsuspecting brother to Sydney
airport to catch an Etihad Airways flight carrying a home-made bomb
disguised as a meat-mincer built at the direction of a senior
Islamic State commander. On August 8 Khaled Merhi (39) one of the
four arrested men, was charged with possession of a prohibited
weapon and granted bail.
(AP, 7/29/17)(Reuters, 7/30/17)(SFC, 8/1/17,
p.A2)(Reuters, 8/4/17)(AP, 8/6/17)
2017 Jul 29, In Indonesia a
six-nation summit co-hosted by Indonesia and Australia agreed to set
up a forum to strengthen cooperation between intelligence services
to counter extremist threats in Southeast Asia. Security ministers
and officials from Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, Brunei, the
Philippines and New Zealand held a one-day meeting in Manado.
2017 Aug 3, Australian police
charged two men with planning a terrorist act, over their role in a
foiled "Islamic-inspired" plot to bring down an airplane.
2017 Aug 5, Three US Marines
were missing after their Osprey aircraft crashed into the sea off
the east coast of Australia while trying to land. 23 others were
2017 Aug 17, A third Australian
government minister revealed she might have been unlawfully elected
to Parliament because of a constitutional ban on dual citizens that
has snared six lawmakers since July in an unprecedented political
crisis. Fiona Nash, deputy leader of the Nationals junior coalition
party, told the Senate she had been advised that she may be British
because of her Scottish father.
2017 Aug 18, Australia's
widening citizenship crisis entangled a seventh politician, a key
independent senator whose support is critical for PM Malcolm
Turnbull to pass legislation through a hostile Senate. Senator Nick
Xenophon said he may hold dual citizenship, Australian and British,
which would make him ineligible to sit in parliament.
2017 Aug 26, In Australia
thousands of people rallied for marriage equality in Melbourne ahead
of a postal survey on same-sex marriage which could lead to its
2017 Sep 2, It was reported
that Australia and East Timor have reached a breakthrough agreement
on a maritime border, ending a decade-old row between the two
nations that has stalled a $40 billion offshore gas project.
2017 Sep 8, Australia’s Defense
Minister Marise Payne said troops will be sent to assist Philippine
forces in the ongoing battle against Islamic State fighters in the
southern city of Marawi.
2017 Sep 8, In Samoa at the
Pacific Island Leaders Forum PM Malcolm Turnbull said Australia will
extend its Pacific Islands migrant labor program and fly aerial
surveillance missions to protect valuable Pacific fisheries.
2017 Sep 10, In Australia more
than 20,000 people rallied in Sydney urging the legalization of
same-sex marriage, days ahead of a contentious postal survey on the
issue that has divided the country.
2017 Sep 13, Hollywood actress
Rebel Wilson (37) won Aus$4.5 million ($3.6 million) in damages
following a lengthy defamation case against a publisher that
portrayed her as a serial liar. Bauer Media argued the
allegations made in Woman's Day, Australian Women's Weekly and OK
Magazine in 2015 were true and denied they had damaged her
2017 Sep 24, In Australia
hundreds of people attended rallies in major cities to protest an
advertisement the Indian community described as "highly insulting"
in its depiction of the Hindu deity Lord Ganesha. The ad featured
various religious figures including the Hindu god, considered
vegetarian by followers, sitting down to a meal of lamb.
2017 Sep 24, Refugees left one
of Australia's offshore detention centers for the United States, as
part of a swap brokered by former US president Barack Obama last
year. About 25 men left the Manus Island detention center in Papua
2017 Sep 25, PM Malcolm
Turnbull announced that Australia will create its own space agency
to increase its share of the $330 billion space economy.
(SFC, 9/26/17, p.A2)
2017 Sep 30, Australia
dispatched a naval vessel to Vanuatu to help the South Pacific
nation evacuate all 11,000 inhabitants from the northern island of
Ambae as an erupting volcano threatens to shower down burning ash
and acid rain.
2017 Oct 8, It was reported
that Australia’s pet and feral cats are killing more than 1 million
birds every day.
(SSFC, 10/8/17, p.C14)
2017 Oct 15, In Australia
hundreds of protesters marched through Sydney to call for detainees,
being held in controversial centers for asylum seekers on remote
Pacific islands, to be allowed to stay in Australia as a
resettlement deadline approaches.
2017 Oct 21, In Australia
thousands of people rallied around the country urging the
legalization of same-sex marriage, one week before final ballots can
be submitted in a contentious postal survey on the issue that has
divided the country.
2017 Oct 29, Sir Ninian Stephen
(94), former Australian Governor-General (1982-1989), died. He had
worked on the Northern Ireland peace talks and served on the
International Court of Justice.
2017 Nov 3, The UN human rights
office called on Australia to restore food, water and health
services to about 600 interned refugees and asylum seekers in Papua
New Guinea, which Canberra cut off three days ago.
2017 Nov 11, In Australia
lawmaker John Alexander (67) announced his resignation over a
constitutional ban on dual citizens sitting in Parliament,
triggering a second by-election that could cost the government its
fragile grip on power.
2017 Nov 19, In Australia
Malcolm Young (64), AC/DC guitarist and co-founder, died after
suffering from dementia for several years.
2017 Nov 23, Australia warned
against American disengagement from Asia at a time of rising Chinese
power as Canberra outlined its approach to the "Indo-Pacific" region
in a 136-page document.
2017 Nov 30, The Australian
government bowed to growing pressure by announcing a high-level
inquiry into misbehavior in Australia's financial sector.
2017 Dec 1, In Australia Tesla
Inc switched on the world's biggest lithium ion battery in time to
feed the country’s shaky power grid for the first day of summer,
meeting a promise by Elon Musk to build it in 100 days or give it
2017 Dec 2, In Australia
Geoffrey Rush announced he's stepping down as president of the
country’s screen industry academy, days after a theater company
revealed it had received a complaint against the Oscar-winning actor
of "inappropriate behavior."
2017 Dec 5, Australia’s PM
Malcolm Turnbull said that foreign interference in politics would be
outlawed under updated treason and espionage laws.
2017 Dec 7, Australia's
Parliament voted to allow same-sex marriage across the nation,
following a bitter debate settled by a much-criticized government
survey of voters that strongly endorsed change.
2017 Dec 8, Gay marriage in
Australia became a law as PM Malcolm Turnbull gained a final
signature on a bill hours after it was overwhelming endorsed by
2017 Dec 8, An Australian judge
sentenced Adrian Attwater to at least 14 years in prison for the
slaying of Lynette Daley, an Aboriginal woman, who bled to death
from a violent sexual assault on a remote beach, closing a six-year
battle for justice by the woman's family in a case that exposed
Australia's deep racial divide. His co-defendant, Paul Maris, was
sentenced to nine years in prison.
2017 Dec 15, The Australian
government won a crucial by-election that restored its tenuous grip
on power that was threatened by a constitutional ban on dual
citizens sitting in Parliament.
2017 Dec 15, An Australian
inquiry into child abuse recommended that the Catholic Church lift
its demand of celibacy from clergy and that priests be prosecuted
for failing to report evidence of pedophilia heard in the
2017 Dec 16, Australian police
arrested Chan Han Choi (59), accused of working on the black market
to sell missile components and coal on behalf of North Korea. Choi
had been living in Australia for more than 30 years and was of
2017 Dec 16, In Australia two
female couples were married in Sydney and Melbourne after being
granted permission to waive a 4-week period in the first same-sex
weddings under new legislation allowing gay marriages.
2017 Dec 21, In Australia a
white Suzuki SUV ran a red light in central Melbourne and sped up to
slam into pedestrians crossing the road before crashing into a
traffic barrier. 19 people were injured. Police said the driver was
an Australian citizen (32) of Afghan decent who has a history of
drug use and mental health issues.
2017 Dec 23, In Australia
Afghan refugee Saeed Noori, accused of deliberately plowing into
Christmas shoppers on Dec. 21 on a street in Melbourne, was charged
with 18 counts of attempted murder and one count of conduct
2017 Dec 31, In Australia the
chief executive of British catering giant Compass Group Plc and four
members of his family were killed when the seaplane they were flying
in crashed into the Hawkesbury River in Sydney. All six people on
board were killed.
(AP, 12/31/17)(Reuters, 1/1/18)
2017 Tim Winton authored “The
Boy Behind the Curtain: Notes from an Australian Life."
(Econ 5/20/17, p.77)
2017 In Australia a British
backpacker (22) was kidnapped and repeatedly raped during a
monthlong ordeal in the country's Outback. In 2019 Marcus Allyn
Keith Martin (25) pleaded guilty in the District Court of Cairns, in
the far north of Queensland state, to charges of rape and
deprivation of liberty against the woman from Liverpool.
2018 Jan 5, Australia’s Great
Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority said Crown-of-thorns starfish are
feasting on parts of the reef system, which is already threatened by
rising ocean temperatures.
(SFC, 1/6/18, p.A2)
2018 Jan 6, In Australia
bushfires destroyed buildings and threatened lives as a heatwave in
three states brought temperatures strong enough to melt the bitumen
on a highway.
2018 Jan 17, Serbian police
reported the arrest of three Australian citizens suspected of being
part of an international drug-smuggling group. The men were linked
to the discovery of 1,280 kg (2,822 pounds) of cocaine that was
seized last April on a Chinese boat docked in Sydney, Australia.
2018 Jan 18, A pair of
Australian swimmers became the first people to be rescued in the
ocean by a drone when the aerial lifesaver dropped a safety device
to distressed teens caught in rough seas.
2018 Jan 29, Australia’s
government announced a strategy to create high-tech jobs and become
one of the top 10 defense-industry-exporting countries within a
decade through arms sales to liked-minded nations while also keeping
those weapons from rogue regimes.
2018 Jan 30, Australia's
military said that a fitness tracking application did not breach
security despite revelations that an interactive, online map using
its data can show troop locations around the world.
2018 Feb 1, Australian secret
service officers seized hundreds of classified documents from
Australian Broadcasting Corp. bureaus in three cities as part of a
probe into how top-secret government papers were mistakenly sold
along with two discarded filing cabinets through a secondhand
2018 Feb 4, Australia’s South
Australia state government said some 50,000 homes will receive solar
panels and Tesla batteries, in a landmark plan to turn houses into a
giant, interconnected power plant.
2018 Feb 12, Israel arrested an
Australian woman accused of sex crimes against children in her home
country. Australia wants Malka Leifer (54) extradited for sexually
abusing children while she was a teacher at a local school. An
Israeli court had previously stopped extradition proceedings against
Leifer after determining she was not fit to stand trial.
2018 Feb 14, Australia's deputy
prime minister Barnaby Joyce was under mounting pressure to resign
as his party's leader over revelations of a relationship with a
2018 Feb 14, An Israeli court
ordered Malka Leifer (54), an Australian woman accused of sex crimes
in Australia, be placed under psychiatric evaluation until further
2018 Feb 15, Australia’s PM
Malcolm Turnbull banned government employees from having sex with
staff as deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce battled for his
political survival following revelations of a relationship with a
(SFC, 2/16/18, p.A2)
2018 Feb 17, Australia accepted
the family of a murdered Cambodian political activist as refugees.
Kem Ley's wife and five children arrived in Melbourne, from
Thailand. Kem Ley was shot dead in a convenience store in Phnom
Penh, in July 2016, and his family escaped to a Thai refugee camp.
Australia continues to pay Cambodia to accept refugees that
Australia holds in the Pacific island nation of Nauru.
2018 Feb 18, Tropical Cyclone
Kelvin hit the resource-rich north coast of Western Australia,
lashing it with strong winds and causing floods that could cut the
main highway for up to two weeks.
2018 Feb 22, A Serbian court
ruled that Australians Tristan Waters and Rohan Arnold, arrested
over a $390 million cocaine haul, can be extradited to Australia. A
case against a third man in the case, Australian David Campbell, was
2018 Feb 23, Barnaby Jones,
Australia’s beleaguered deputy prime minister, resigned from the
Cabinet over allegations that he sexually harassed a woman, but said
he would not resign from parliament.
(SFC, 2/24/18, p.A2)
2018 Feb 23, In Australia the
yacht Finistere was taking part in the 70th Bunbury and Return Ocean
Race and had six people aboard when it overturned off Mandurah,
south of the state capital Perth just before midnight. Two sailors
2018 Feb 27, An Israeli court
says Malka Leifer (54), an Australian woman accused of sex crimes,
will not be extradited for reasons of mental illness.
2018 Feb 28, Australia issued a
compulsory recall for all 2.7 million cars fitted with defective
Takata air bags in an effort to lift the auto industry's mixed
efforts to fix the fault blamed for at least 23 deaths around the
world, including one in Australia.
2018 Mar 2, Australian health
authorities said three people have died and 12 others have fallen
ill in a national listeria outbreak linked to contaminated
rockmelons, also called cantaloupes, and that more cases are
2018 Mar 3, In Australia about
half a million people lined Sydney's streets to celebrate the 40th
anniversary of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, the first time the
annual parade has taken place since Australia legalized same-sex
2018 Mar 3, Australia's
smallest state Tasmania began voting in a local assembly election,
with the incumbent conservative Liberal Party stirring controversy
by promising softer regulations for gun ownership if it is returned
2018 Mar 6, Australia and East
Timor signed a historic treaty drawing their maritime boundary,
ending years of bitter wrangling over billions of dollars of oil and
gas riches lying beneath the Timor Sea and opening a new chapter in
2018 Mar 8, In Chile 11 nations
signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific
Partnership, dropping tariffs and establishing sweeping new rules in
markets representing about a seventh of the world's economy. members
included Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico,
New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
(SFC, 3/9/18, p.C5)
2018 Mar 14, A father testified
in an Australian court that his son said he was sexually abused by
Vatican Cardinal George Pell during a waterskiing outing years ago.
(AP, 3/15/18)(SFC, 3/15/18, p.A4)
2018 Mar 17, In Australia
Southeast Asian leaders (ASEAN) said they will sign an agreement on
regional cooperation against violent extremism as the risk to the
region grows due to militants fleeing Islamic State group losses in
the Middle East.
2018 Mar 18, Australia's prime
minister and Southeast Asian leaders meeting in Sydney called on
North Korea to end its nuclear program and urged UN countries to
fully implement sanctions against the country.
2018 Mar 18, In northern
Australia about 25,000 homes were without power in the city of
Darwin after a tropical cyclone felled trees, canceled flights,
closed schools and delayed shipping. Bush and grass fires sweeping
across Australia's southeast destroyed homes, killed cattle and
forced hundreds to flee as dry, hot winds fanned the flames.
2018 Mar 18, In Australia a
fire began in southern New south Wales and over the next 24 hours
consumed 69 homes.
(SFC, 3/20/18, p.A2)
2018 Mar 19, An Australian
court ruled that food giant Heinz's misled consumers about the
health value of Little Kids Shredz products for toddlers, adding
that the US firm should have been aware the claims were deceptive.
The Shredz products contained over 60 percent sugar, significantly
higher than fruit and vegetables.
2018 Mar 21, In Australia a
helicopter carrying American tourists crashed at a coral-viewing
site on the Great Barrier Reef, killing two passengers from Hawaii
and injuring two others from Colorado.
2018 Mar 22, US Pres. Donald
Trump authorized initial exemptions for the EU, Australia,
Argentina, Brazil, South Korea, Canada and Mexico from looming steel
and aluminum tariffs.
2018 Mar 23, In western
Australia more than 150 whales were found stranded in Hamelin Bay,
and only 15 of them were still alive. The mammals are believed to be
short-finned pilot whales. Volunteers managed to rescue only five of
150 short-finned pilot whales.
(AP, 3/23/18)(AP, 3/24/18)
2018 Mar 25, The maiden flight
of a new non-stop regular passenger service between Australia and
Britain touched down at London's Heathrow Airport. The new link with
Perth, a 14,498-km (9,009-mile) journey, is around three hours
quicker than routes that involve stopovers in the Middle East to
change planes or refuel.
2018 Mar 27, Australia and
Ireland joined more than 20 other nations in expelling Russian
diplomats in response to the nerve agent attack on a former Russian
military intelligence officer and his daughter in Britain.
2018 Mar 30, Russia ordered new
cuts to the number of British envoys in the country, escalating a
dispute with the West over the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain.
Scores of foreign ambassadors streamed into the Russian Foreign
Ministry in Moscow to receive the notices given to 23 nations:
Albania, Australia, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark,
Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia,
Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland,
Romania, Spain, Sweden and Ukraine.
2018 Apr 5, An Australian judge
ruled that Frenchman Smail Ayad will not be tried for killing two
British backpackers at a hostel in Home Hill, Queensland state, in
August, 2016, because of mental illness.
2018 Apr 28, The Australian
Olympic Committee awarded a posthumous Order of Merit to Peter
Norman, a record-holding sprinter who supported two Americans in
their famous Black Power salute at the 1968 Mexico Olympics.
2018 Apr 29, Australia pledged
half a billion dollars to restore and protect the
Great Barrier Reef in what it said would be a game-changer for the
embattled natural wonder, but conservationists were not convinced.
2018 May 1, An Australian court
ruled that Vatican Treasurer George Pell must face trial on charges
of historical sexual offences, making him the most senior Catholic
official to be tried on such allegations. He pleaded not guilty.
2018 May 1, French Pres.
Emmanuel Macron arrived in Australia on a rare visit, with the two
sides expected to agree on greater cooperation in the Pacific to
counter a rising China.
2018 May 4, In Australia Moutia
Elzahed (50), the wife of an Islamic State group recruiter, gave the
militants' single-finger salute outside a Sydney court after
becoming the first person convicted under a new state law
criminalizing the refusal to stand for a judge. Her husband Hamdi
Alqudsi was sentenced in 2016 to eight years in prison for helping
young Australians reach Syria to fight for extremists.
2018 May 8, Australia's
conservative government pledged tax cuts for low and middle earners,
cheaper beer, and billions of dollars for new roads and rail lines
in a pre-election budget.
2018 May 10, In Switzerland
David Goodall, a 104-year-old Australian man, cheerily sang a few
bars of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as he told reporters that
medically assisted suicide should be more widely available and not
only viewed as a last resort for the terminally ill. His death soon
2018 May 11, In Australia a
family of seven including four children was found dead with gunshot
wounds at a rural property in Osmington village, Western Australia
state, in what could be the country's worst mass shooting in 22
years. Farmer Peter Miles (61) was suspected of killing his wife,
daughter and four grandchildren before turning the gun on himself.
(AP, 5/11/18)(SFC, 5/15/18, p.A2)
2018 May 14, Australian Steve
Plain (36) became the fastest climber to scale the highest peaks in
seven continents, taking 117 days for a feat popularly called the
"Seven Summits", after he scaled Mount Everest.
2018 May 21, Australia's New
South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro said his state government
has decided to legally protect rather than kill thousands of wild
horses, known as brumbies, infuriating scientists who argue the
feral species is doing severe environmental damage to the country's
iconic Snowy Mountains alpine region.
2018 May 22, In Australia
Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson (67) became the most senior
Roman Catholic cleric in the world to be convicted of covering up
child sex abuse.
2018 May 25, The Netherlands
and Australia announced they were holding Moscow legally responsible
for its role in the July 17, 2014, missile attack and downing of
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine nearly four years ago.
2018 May 31, Australia's Social
Services Minister Dan Tehan said four in five victims of child
sexual abuse in Australian institutions will be eligible for
compensation after three churches, the Scouts movement and the YMCA
joined a federal government redress plan.
2018 May 31, A cargo ship lost
83 containers over-board during heavy seas off Australia. Items
including nappies and sanitary pads soon began washing up on beaches
amid fears the ill-fated containers will pose a hazard for shipping
2018 Jun 3, Pope Francis
nominated Gregory O'Kelly, the Bishop of Port Pirie, as special
administrator to the Australian archdiocese of Adelaide after its
head was found guilty last month of concealing child sex abuse by a
2018 Jun 4, The Commonwealth
Bank of Australia, the nation's largest bank, said it has agreed to
pay a 700 million Australian dollar ($531 million) fine for failing
to comply with measures to prevent money laundering and terrorism
2018 Jun 5, Australia laid
cartel charges against banking companies Citigroup, Deutsche Bank
and ANZ plus six bank executives over the sale of 2.5 billion
Australian dollars ($1.9 billion) in ANZ shares to institutional
investors three years ago.
2018 Jun 5, Renowned Australian
playwright David Williamson (76) said that he is disappointed
Chinese censors have canceled a production of his play "The
Removalists" for the official reason that it contains bad language
and violence. He said some involved in the production suspect the
true reason the classic Australian play was banned was its depiction
of police abusing their authority.
2018 Jun 6, In Australia the
body of Wachira "Mario" Phetmang (33) of Thailand was discovered by
a truck driver bound, gagged, wrapped in plastic and covered in a
mattress protector. In 2019 Alex Dion (38) was extradited from the
US and charged with murder.
2018 Jun 9, Australia said it
has established a security task force to guard against cyber attacks
and interference in elections, amid concerns foreign powers are
meddling in domestic affairs and ahead of five elections next month.
2018 Jun 21, Australia's Senate
passed personal income tax cuts worth 144 billion Australian dollars
($106 billion) over a decade. The tax cuts for most of Australia's
workforce were a centerpiece of PM Malcolm Turnbull's annual budget
plans revealed in May.
2018 Jun 21, Australian
developer Sebastian Monsour was charged with investment fraud.
Monsour is CEO of the Majella Group, which is buying Maine's
Saddleback Mountain ski resort. He was arrested after a raid on his
offices in his home country.
2018 Jun 25, Australia said
that it would negotiate a security treaty with Vanuatu, weeks after
the Australian prime minister warned China against building a
military base in the South Pacific island nation.
2018 Jun 26, Australia's House
of Representatives overwhelmingly approved national security
legislation that would ban covert foreign interference in domestic
politics and make industrial espionage for a foreign power a crime.
2018 Jun 28, Australia's
Parliament passed sweeping national security legislation that bans
covert foreign interference in domestic politics, makes industrial
espionage for a foreign power a crime and offends China, the
nation's most important trading partner.
2018 Jun 29, Pope Francis
accepted the resignation of Melbourne's Archbishop Denis Hart (77),
who said he'd prefer jail to telling civil authorities about any sex
abuse of children that might be revealed to him in the confessional.
2018 Jul 3, In Australia
Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson was sentenced to 12 months in
detention for covering up child sex abuse and ordered to serve at
least six months before being eligible for parole.
(SFC, 7/3/18, p.A2)
2018 Jul 12, Western Australia
state Police Commissioner Chris Dawson made an historic apology to
indigenous people who are overrepresented in prisons and vowed to
improve race relations.
2018 Jul 19, Australia's PM
Malcolm Turnbull called on Pope Francis to fire Adelaide Archbishop
Philip Wilson (67), who is the most senior Roman Catholic cleric
ever convicted for covering up child sexual abuse.
2018 Jul 27, Australian
researchers said thousands of aborigines are estimated to have been
murdered in 500 massacres across Australia from European settlement
in 1788 until the mid-20th century.
2018 Jul 28, Australia's
conservative government failed to win any of five by-elections,
defeats widely seen as an indication PM Malcolm Turnbull faces an
uphill battle to be re-elected in a national poll due by May 2019.
2018 Jul 30, The Vatican
accepted the resignation of Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson
(67), the most senior cleric found guilty of concealing child sex
abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. The archbishop of Adelaide was
convicted in May of failing to disclose to police abuse by a priest,
Father James Fletcher, after being told about it in 1976.
2018 Jul 31, In Australia Agim
Kruezi (25), an extremist who planned a suicide attack with Molotov
cocktails after he was prevented from flying to Syria to fight, was
sentenced by an judge to 17 years and four months in prison, with a
non-parole period of 13 years.
2018 Jul, In Australia
Priscilla Brooten (46), a keen computer gamer from California, was
last seen in the Brisbane suburb of Bracken Ridge, but was not
reported missing until December.
2018 Aug 4, Indonesian police
arrested Australian Brandon Johnson (43) and his Indonesian
girlfriend at a rented room in the tourist hotspot of Kuta on Bali
Island. Police reportedly found 11.6 grams of cocaine packed into 13
plastic bags. Johnson faced between five and 20 years in prison if
2018 Aug 5, Australia announced
a A$190 million ($140.56 million) aid package for drought-afflicted
farmers as much of east coast suffers the worst dry spell in living
2018 Aug 9, An Australian
minister said five former dual nationals have been stripped of their
citizenship due to their involvement with the Islamic State group
overseas. A total of six people have now lost their Australian
citizenship since the law was changed in 2015 to enable dual
nationals to lose their citizenship rights for actions contrary to
their allegiance to Australia.
2018 Aug 14, In Australia
Newcastle Magistrate Robert Stone ordered former Adelaide Archbishop
Philip Wilson, most senior Roman Catholic cleric convicted of
covering up child sex abuse, to be detained at his sister's house
for at least 6 months before he is eligible for parole.
2018 Aug 15, Australian senator
Fraser Anning was condemned for his speech in Parliament advocating
reviving a white-only immigration policy and using the term "final
solution" in calling for a vote on which migrants to admit into the
2018 Aug 16, In Australia Paul
Bradshaw (74), a man with terminal cancer, said he could die happy
after reaching a 1 million Australian dollar ($727,000) landmark
settlement against the Catholic Irish Christian Brothers for sexual
abuse he suffered more than 50 years ago at the hands of Brothers
Lawrence Murphy, Bruno Doyle and Christopher Angus, who are all
2018 Aug 21, Australian PM
Malcolm Turnbull called on his government to unite behind him after
he survived an internal leadership challenge.
2018 Aug 24, In Australia
disgruntled government lawmakers forced PM Malcolm Turnbull from
office, arguing that most had lost faith in his leadership. New PM
Scott Morrison promised a stable government. The push to oust
Turnbull, led by fellow lawmaker Peter Dutton over four chaotic
days, was inspired by a feud between hard-right conservatives and
2018 Aug 31, Former Australian
PM Malcolm Turnbull resigned from Parliament, triggering a
by-election that could bring down the unpopular conservative
2018 Aug 31, The Catholic
church in Australia said it would oppose laws forcing priests to
report child abuse when they learn about it in the confessional,
setting the stage for a showdown between the country's biggest
religion and the government. Two of Australia's eight states and
territories have introduced laws making it a crime for priests to
withhold information about abuse heard in the confessional.
2018 Aug 31, In Cambodia
Australian filmmaker James Ricketson, arrested after flying a drone
to photograph an opposition party rally last year, was convicted of
spying and sentenced to six years in prison.
2018 Aug 31, In Indonesia
Australia's new PM Morrison met President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in
his first trip overseas since becoming leader. Morrison said they
would sign an agreement by the end of the year that aims to boost
trade and investment.
2018 Sep 3, Scientists in
Australia warned that a superbug resistant to all known antibiotics
that can cause "severe" infections or even death is spreading
undetected through hospital wards across the world. The bacteria,
known as Staphylococcus epidermidis, is related to the better-known
and more deadly MRSA.
2018 Sep 9, Australian police
found up to five dead people including a woman and children in a
suburb of the western city of Perth. In 2019 Robert Harvey (25)
pleaded guilty to murdering his three children, wife and
mother-in-law in Perth.
(Reuters, 9/9/18)(AP, 4/24/19)
2018 Sep 15, The Australian
state of Queensland offered a A$100,000 ($71,500) reward for
information leading to the arrest of those responsible for
sabotaging strawberries with sewing needles.
2018 Sep 15, In Australia a man
(23) and a woman (21) died after collapsing at the Defqon.1 music
festival in Sydney. A dozen more were hospitalized and hundreds
others sought medical assistance after suspected drug overdoses.
2018 Sep 17, Public fears about
sewing needles concealed inside strawberries on supermarket shelves
spread across Australia and New Zealand. Needles were reported found
in strawberries in all six Australian states.
2018 Sep 21, Cambodia granted a
royal pardon to Australian filmmaker James Ricketson, who was
sentenced last month to six years in prison on spying charges in a
trial widely criticized as unfair.
2018 Sep 23, In Australia a
Fisheries Queensland spokesman said four large sharks have been
killed after a woman and a 12-year-old girl were attacked in
separate incidents just a day apart last week at the Whitsunday
Islands of the Great Barrier Reef.
2018 Sep 27, The chairman of
the Australian Broadcasting Corp. resigned over allegations that he
pressured the independent national broadcaster to fire two political
journalists because the ruling conservative government disliked
2018 Sep 28, A US diplomat said
the United States, Japan and Australia are cooperating on a domestic
internet cable proposal for Papua New Guinea as an alternative to an
offer by Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant that the
United States regards as a cybersecurity threat.
2018 Oct 12, In Australia
Chinese property developer Xu Longwei was sentenced to at least
two-and-a-half years in jail by a court for non-consensual
intercourse with a woman after a Sydney dinner party hosted by
billionaire JD.com-founder Richard Liu.
2018 Oct 20, Australia's ruling
coalition was forced into minority government after a massive swing
against its senior partner, the Liberal Party, in a by-election for
the seat of the prime minister the party itself had dismissed.
2018 Oct 22, Australia's PM
Scott Morrison delivered a formal apology to the victims of child
sex abuse, saying the nation must acknowledge their long, painful
journey and its failure to protect them.
2018 Oct 27, In Australia
protesters rallied in Sydney and Melbourne calling for an end to the
country's controversial South Pacific detention centers which house
refugees who try to reach Australia by boat. Particular focus was
directed toward the wellbeing of children on the tiny island nation
of Nauru. More than 1,400 people are being held on the
Australian-run detention centers on Nauru and Papua New Guinea, some
2018 Oct 31, In Greece John
Macris (46), a Greek-Australian married to a model who appeared on a
Greek reality TV show, was shot and killed as he left his home in
Voula in his car this evening in a seaside suburb of Athens.
Australian media have described Macris as having been involved in
Sydney's organized crime scene.
2018 Nov 1, Australia announced
it will invest in redeveloping a Papua New Guinea naval base as
concerns mount over increasing Chinese influence in the South
2018 Nov 1, Australia said it
aims to remove all asylum seeker children from Nauru within two
months as concerns escalate about their deteriorating health after
languishing on the tiny Pacific atoll nation for up to five years.
2018 Nov 5, In Australia a
shark killed Daniel Christidis (33) near Cid Harbor on Whitsunday
Island on the Great Barrier Reef where two tourists were mauled on
consecutive days in September.
2018 Nov 8, Australia launched
a multi-billion dollar fund to counter China's rising influence in
the region. PM Scott Morrison said Australia would invest in
telecommunications, energy, transport and water projects in the
2018 Nov 8, In Australia former
New South Wales (NSW) state Labor party leader Luke Foley resigned
after being accused of sexually harassing an ABC journalist, four
months before a state election he had been in a position to win.
Foley denied the allegations and said he has hired lawyers to sue
for defamation over the claims.
2018 Nov 8, Tesla's board named
one of its own as chairman to replace Elon Musk, complying with
terms of a fraud settlement with US securities regulators. The
company's board named Australian telecommunications executive Robyn
Denholm (55) as chairman, effective immediately.
2018 Nov 9, In Australia
Somali-born Hassan Khalif Shire Ali (30) set fire to a pickup truck
laden with gas cylinders in the center of Melbourne and stabbed
three people, killing one, before he was shot by police in a rampage
they called an act of terrorism. Police said he was radicalized and
inspired by the militant group's propaganda.
(Reuters, 11/9/18)(Reuters, 11/10/18)
2018 Nov 11, In Australia My Ut
Trinh (50), a former strawberry farm supervisor, was arrested and
charged with seven counts of contaminating goods after a "complex"
investigation into a strawberry scare where needles were found stuck
into the fruit. She was accused of retaliating over a workplace
(AP, 11/11/18)(SFC, 11/12/18, p.A2)
2018 Nov 16, In Australia
Shinzo Abe became the first prime minister of Japan to visit Darwin
since the northern city was bombed by Japanese forces in World War
II, as he and PM Scott Morrison spoke of strengthening defense and
other ties between their countries ahead of the APEC meeting in
Papua New Guinea.
2018 Nov 17, An Australia man
went into cardiac arrest at Lauderdale Beach, east of Hobart in
Tasmania, after he suffered a stingray puncture wound to his lower
2018 Nov 17, Speaking in Papua
New Guinea US Vice President Mike Pence said the United States will
join Pacific ally Australia to build a naval base on Papua New
Guinea's Manus Island.
2018 Nov 18, At the
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Papua New Guinea,
Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the US and Papua New Guinea signed an
electrification agreement to bring electricity to 70 percent of
Papua New Guinea's people by 2030.
2018 Nov 19, In Australia
shareholders gave final approval to the merger of television network
Nine Entertainment and newspaper publisher Fairfax Media into an
Australian media giant to be known only as Nine despite one
shareholder's late bid to stop the deal.
2018 Nov 20, In Australia three
men were charged with planning a mass-casualty attack in Melbourne.
Hanifi Holis (21), and brothers Samed (26) and Ertune (30)
Eriklioglu were arrested in a pre-dawn raid on their homes.
(SFC, 11/21/18, p.A2)
2018 Nov 27, Thailand detained
soccer player Hakeem al-Araibi, who held refugee status in
Australia, upon his entry at Bangkok's airport on a holiday with his
wife. He was held legally following a request from Bahrain's
government. He had fled Bahrain four years ago.
2018 Nov 28, Large swaths of
northeast Australia endured unprecedented fire danger with 138
wildfires across Queensland state forcing schools to be closed and
thousands of homes to be evacuated.
2018 Nov 30, Thousands of
Australian students skipped school to join nationwide protests
demanding government action on climate change.
2018 Nov, In Australia two
conjoined girls from Bhutan were separated by a team of 25 surgeons,
nurses and anesthetists in an operation at Melbourne's Royal
Children's Hospital that lasted almost six hours. Twenty-month-old
Nima and Dawa returned to Bhutan after a 22-hour flight from
Melbourne with their mother, four months after their operation.
2018 Dec 5, The Australia-based
Institute for Economics and Peace recorded nearly 19,000 deaths last
year in its annual Global Terrorism Index. That is a decrease of 27
percent from a year earlier and down 44 percent from a peak in 2014.
2018 Dec 6, An Australian
appeal court overturned a conviction against Adelaide Archbishop
Philip Wilson (68), the most senior Roman Catholic cleric ever found
guilty of covering up child sex abuse.
2018 Dec 7, ABC News reported
that a 28-year-old Australian man will spend five months in prison
for brutally killing a kangaroo in an attack filmed and posted on
social media. Ricky Ian Swan was one of four men charged in
September with using weapons to torture and kill two kangaroos.
2018 Dec 8, Australian school
children led thousands of demonstrators nationwide calling for a
halt on plans for Indian mining firm Adani to construct a
controversial coal mine in the country's northeast.
2018 Dec 9, The Australian
government called for Hakeem al-Araibi, an Australian-based refugee
soccer player, to be immediately released from detention in
2018 Dec 9, Iran state media
said Australian-based academic has been detained on charges of
trying to "infiltrate" Iranian institutions. Hosseini-Chavoshi, a
population expert, is affiliated with the Melbourne School of
Population and Global Health.
2018 Dec 11, An Australian
court sentenced a Sydney teenager (18) to at least 12 years in
prison for planning an attack inspired by the Islamic State group in
2018 Dec 11, An Australian
court found Cardinal George Pell (77), one of the highest ranking
Vatican officials and a former top adviser to Pope Francis, guilty
on five charges of child sexual offences committed more than two
decades ago against 13-year-old boys. The verdict was only made
public on Feb. 26, 2019.
2018 Dec 15, Australia's PM
Scott Morrison said his country now formally recognizes West
Jerusalem as Israel's capital, reversing decades of Middle East
policy, but will not move its embassy there immediately. The
Palestinian leadership described as "irresponsible" Australia's
recognition of west Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying it
violated international law.
(Reuters, 12/15/18)(AFP, 12/15/18)
2018 Dec 22, Human rights
groups along with current and former soccer players on called on
FIFA and the Australian government to intervene to stop the
extradition of Hakeem al-Araibi, a Melbourne-based refugee and
semi-professional soccer player, from Thailand to Bahrain.
2018 Dec 24, In Australia some
3,000 people were evacuated from a 36-story Sydney high-rise when
cracking was heard and an internal support wall failed at the newly
opened Opal Tower overlooking Olympic Park.
2018 Dec 29, Australia said it
stripped Neil Prakash, a suspected militant held in Turkey, of
citizenship because he fought for the Islamic State group. He became
the 12th person to be stripped of Australian citizenship because of
militant links, based on a 2007 law.
2018 Former Hutu rebels
Leonidas Bimenyimana and Gregoire Nyaminani spent more than a decade
in a Virginia state jail before Australia accepted them.
2019 Jan 4, An Australian man
(24) rammed his four-wheel drive into a Sydney police car, hijacked
a supermarket delivery truck and taxi, rammed other cars and stabbed
and wounded a passerby before killing himself in front of police.
2019 Jan 7, It was reported
that injury has forced Australian activist Mina Guli (48) to stop
her effort to complete 100 marathons in 100 days as a way to
highlight the importance of conserving water. Guli had run and
walked 62 marathons on several continents, but in South Africa she
was diagnosed with multiple stress fractures in her right femur.
2019 Jan 9, Australian police
late today arrested Savas Avan (48) after 38 packages allegedly
containing asbestos were sent to foreign consulates in the cities of
Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.
2019 Jan 15, An Australian
state government announced plans to mechanically pump oxygen into
lakes and rivers after hundreds of thousands of fish died in
heatwave conditions. Up to a million dead fish were found floating
last week in the Darling River in western New South Wales. 1,800
more rotting fish had since been found in Lake Hume in the state's
2019 Jan 16, In Australia Aiia
Maasarwe (21), an exchange student from Shanghai University in
China, was attacked shortly after stepping off from a tram in the
suburb of Bundoora. Codey Herrmann (20), an aspiring rapper, was
soon charged with murder and rape in the death of the Israeli
2019 Jan 17, In Australia the
body of Monika Billen, a 62-year-old German tourist, was found
beneath a tree in the searing heat of the central Outback, eight
days after she was reported missing.
2019 Jan 19, Yang Hengjun (53),
a Chinese-Australian writer and visiting scholar at Columbia
University in New York, was detained upon at Guangzhou Airport.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying later said that Yang, a
former Chinese diplomat and critic of China's Communist Party, was
"suspected of engaging in criminal activities endangering China's
2019 Jan 23, The Australian
government said it is seeking information about Yang Hengjun, a
Chinese-Australian novelist and influential online commentator, who
has been reported missing in China.
2019 Jan 24, Adelaide sweltered
through the the hottest day ever recorded by a major Australian city
as the tempereature peaked at 115.9 degrees F.
(SFC, 1/25/19, p.A2)
2019 Jan 24, China said it has
detained Yang Hengjun, a Chinese-Australian writer, for allegedly
"endangering China's national security," a vague charge frequently
leveled at critics of the ruling Communist Party.
2019 Jan 25, Melbourne,
Australia, recorded its hottest day in five years. The temperature
reached 42.8 C (109 F) with the airport recording 46 C (114.8 F).
2019 Jan 26, In Australia
Japan's Naomi Osaka battled past Czech eighth seed Petra Kvitova 7-6
(7/2), 5-7, 6-4 to win her first Australian Open crown and become
the new world number one.
2019 Jan 26, Tens of thousands
of people rallied across Australia calling for the abolition of the
Jan. 26 national holiday in protests showing a deep division over a
festivity intended to celebrate the birth of modern Australia. The
anniversary marks the 1788 arrival of the "First Fleet" of British
ships at Sydney Cove. Many indigenous Australians regard it as
2019 Jan 29, Australian company
TPG Telecom said it had abandoned the rollout of what would have
been the country's fourth mobile network because of a ban on Chinese
giant Huawei, which would have been the main equipment vendor.
2019 Feb 3, Australia announced
that the last four child refugees held on the Pacific atoll of Nauru
will soon be sent to the United States, ending the banishment of
children under the government's harsh asylum-seeker policy.
2019 Feb 4, In northern
Australia emergency workers used boats and helicopters to rescue
people from flooded areas where forecasts call for more heavy
2019 Feb 5, In Australia
floodwater receded in Townsville, but overnight monsoonal rain
created flash-flooding in communities to the north where authorities
have warned residents to move to higher ground. Two bodies were
reportedly found near a drain in the flood-stricken city of
2019 Feb 8, Australian police
said they have arrested six people over the last 24 hours after what
authorities said was the largest single seizure of methamphetamine
in the United States and the biggest drug haul bound for Australia.
US Customs and Border Protection said 1,728 kg (3,800 pounds) of the
drug were seized mid-January at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port
complex along with smaller amounts of cocaine and heroin.
(AP, 2/8/19)(SFC, 2/9/19, p.A5)
2019 Feb 8, In Australia a
cyberattack on Parliament's computing network also affected the
network used by major political parties. PM Scott Morrison later
said a "sophisticated state actor" was behind the attack.
2019 Feb 11, Australia's PM
Scott Morrison described his government as stronger on national
security than the opposition after signing an agreement with the
French government to deliver a fleet of submarines and ahead of
federal elections expected to be held in May.
2019 Feb 13, The Australian
government said it would reopen the mothballed Christmas Island
detention camp in anticipation of a new wave of asylum seekers
arriving by boat after Parliament passed legislation that would give
sick asylum seekers easier access to mainland hospitals.
2019 Feb 15, The Pacific island
nation of Nauru posted a new rule not allowing doctors to remotely
recommend the medical transfer of asylum seekers to Australia. The
new rule could thwart an easing of Australia's hardline immigration
2019 Feb 27, In Australia
George Pell, the most senior Catholic cleric ever convicted of child
sex abuse, was sent to prison and will wait two weeks to learn his
sentence for molesting two choirboys in a Melbourne cathedral two
2019 Feb 27, A court in Bali
has sentenced Australian Brandon Johnson and his Indonesian
girlfriend Remi Purwanti to five years and four months in prison
each for possessing cocaine.
2019 Mar 3, In Australia
firefighters battled 25 blazes across the state of Victoria as a
record-breaking heatwave delivered the hottest start to March on
record for the southern third of the country.
2019 Mar 4, Indonesia and
Australia signed a free trade agreement in Jakarta that will
eliminate many tariffs, allow Australian-owned hospitals to operate
in the giant Southeast Asian country and increase work visas for
2019 Mar 13, In Australia
Cardinal George Pell, who in past years attended the retreat as
Francis' finance minister, was sentenced to six years in prison for
sexually abusing two youths in the 1990s. Pell must serve a minimum
of 3 years and 8 months before he is eligible for parole. He planned
2019 Mar 23, Cyclone Trevor
made landfall along a remote stretch of the northern Australian
coast, bringing fierce winds and heavy rains amid safety fears for a
small number of residents who've stayed in the area. Meanwhile
Cyclone Veronica, another category 4 system, was expected to cross
the northwest Australian coast late today.
2019 Mar 27, Australia's top
cyberwarrior revealed that his country actively participated in the
electronic war against the Islamic State group in Syria, degrading
their communications during military operations and actively
stopping people seeking to join the extremist group.
2019 Mar 28, In Australia Saeed
Noori (37), an Islamic State group sympathizer, was sentenced to
life in prison. He had rammed a car into pedestrians on a busy
Melbourne sidewalk on Dec. 21, 2017, killing one person and injuring
2019 Mar 30, In Australia two
Japanese teenagers were found dead in Lake McKenzie after being
reported missing from a school tour.
2019 Apr 3, Australian Sen.
Fraser Anning was censured by his colleagues for seeking to blame
the victims of last month's mosque shootings and vilify Muslims.
2019 Apr 3, Australian
scientists said the world's southernmost coral reef has been hit by
bleaching this summer, as they warned rising sea temperatures from
climate change were affecting even the most isolated ecosystems.
2019 Apr 4, Australia's
Parliament passed legislation that could imprison social media
executives if their platforms stream real violence such as the New
Zealand mosque shootings.
2019 Apr 7, In Australia
Dutchman Wiebe Wakker completed an epic 95,000 km (59,000 mile)
journey by electric car in Sydney in a bid to prove the viability of
such vehicles in tackling climate change.
2019 Apr 8, Australian police
arrested 38 animal rights activists after they blocked peak hour
traffic in Melbourne in protests to mark the first anniversary of a
film, Dominion, about factory farming.
2019 Apr 11, Australia's PM
Scott Morrison called a May 18 election that will be fought on
issues including climate change, asylum seekers and economic
2019 Apr 11, In Australia
Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush won his defamation case against a
Sydney newspaper publisher and journalist over reports he had been
accused of inappropriate behavior toward an actress.
2019 Apr 14, In Australia a
drive-by shooting outside a popular Melbourne nightclub early today
left one man dead, another critically wounded and two others
2019 Apr 21, Two rescuers
drowned off the coast of Australia's Victoria state when their boat
flipped over during an attempt to help a man who was swept into the
ocean from a rock ledge.
2019 Apr 24, In Australia
Anthony Robert Harvey (25) pleaded guilty to murdering his three
children, wife and mother-in-law in the west coast city of Perth
2019 May 1, An Australian jury
convicted Khaled Khayat (51) of plotting to blow up an Etihad
Airways airliner on a flight in 2017 from Sydney to the United Arab
Emirates with a bomb hidden in a meat grinder.
2019 May 3, In Australia the
Victoria state Supreme Court Justice Michael Croucher ordered
Islamic State group sympathizer and firebrand preacher Robert "Musa"
Cerantonio to serve at least five years and three months in prison
before becoming eligible for parole. Cerantonio and five other men
had plotted in 2016 to take a 7-meter (23-foot) half-cabin
fiberglass power boat off the northeast Queensland coast to
encourage others to overthrow the government in the southern
Philippines and install Sharia Law.
2019 May 9, In Australia three
Sunni Muslim men were convicted of engaging in a terror act by
burning down a Shiite mosque in the city of Melbourne on Dec. 11,
2019 May 9, Australia's central
bank took responsibility for typos on 46 million bank notes after a
radio station posted an image of the microscopic error on social
media. The word “responsibility" appears three times on the note and
the third "i'' is omitted every time.
2019 May 13, A group of
islanders off Australia's north coast filed a human rights complaint
to the United Nations against the Australian government over
inaction on climate change, which they say is threatening their
homes. Torres Strait Islanders are part of Australia's indigenous
2019 May 16, Bob Hawke )89),
Australia's longest-serving Labor Party prime minister, died. He won
four terms as prime minister, serving from 1983 to 1991 before being
ousted by his own center-left party when the economy soured. His
charisma and powers of persuasion earned him near-folk hero status
among many Australians.
2019 May 18, Australia held
general elections. The ruling conservative coalition appeared on its
way to a surprise win, defying opinion polls that had tipped the
center-left opposition party to oust it from power. Former PM Tony
Abbott, infamous for once calling the science behind climate change
"crap", became the first big scalp in the country's elections,
losing his seat of Warringah in Sydney's northern suburbs. PM Scott
Morrison’s Liberal-led conservative coalition won or led in 76
seats, the number needed to form a majority government.
(AP, 5/18/19)(AFP, 5/18/19)(Reuters, 5/19/19)
2019 May 20, In Australia
figures from the Electoral Commission showed that with around 84% of
votes counted, the conservative coalition of PM Scott Morrison was
on target to win 78 seats — an increase of five after going into the
election as a minority government.
2019 May 23, In Australia
Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush was awarded an Australian record
of 2.9 million Australian dollars ($2 million) damages by a Sydney
judge in defamation case against a newspaper publisher and
journalist over reports he had been accused of inappropriate
behavior toward actress Eryn Jean Norvill.
2019 May 23, International
police group Interpol said that nine people had been arrested in
Thailand, Australia and the US and 50 children had been rescued
after investigators took down an online pedophilia ring.
2019 May 29, Australian
teenager Will Connolly )17), who cracked an egg on the head of Sen.
Fraser Anning for his remarks about the New Zealand mosque massacre,
donated almost $70,000 to people affected by the killings.
2019 May, Rugby star Israel
Folau, a devout Christian, was fired after a Rugby Australia
tribunal found him guilty of "high-level" misconduct for posting on
social media that "hell awaits" gay people and others he considers
sinners. On June 24 a crowdfunding campaign for his legal fees was
2019 Jun 4, In Australia a man
who was out on parole was arrested after fatally shooting four men
and wounding a woman in an hour-long downtown rampage in the
northern city of Darwin.
2019 Jun 5, Australia's Federal
Police raided the offices of the national public broadcaster in
connection to a 2017 story based on leaked military documents that
indicated the country's military forces were being investigated for
possible war crimes in Afghanistan.
2019 Jun 7, Australian
officials said they have seized the nation's largest haul of
methamphetamine at the Melbourne waterfront, nearly 1.6 metric tons
(1.8 tons) of the illegal drug hidden in stereo speakers shipped
2019 Jun 14, New Hampshire's
highest court ruled that a Christian Science church in Australia
cannot sue trusts created following the 1910 death of Christian
Science movement founder Mary Baker Eddy.
2019 Jun 19, In Australia new
laws went into effect in the state of Victoria making voluntary
euthanasia legal under closely specified circumstances.
2019 Jun 25, A Christian group
crowdfunded more than Aus$l.0 million ($700,000) in a single day for
former Australian rugby star Israel Folau's legal battle to appeal
against his sacking over homophobic comments.
2019 Jun 26, Australia's three
largest media organizations joined forces to demand legal reforms
that would prevent journalists from risking imprisonment for doing
2019 Jul 1, In Australia former
soldier David Hurley was sworn in as governor-general, a day before
Parliament resumes for the first time since the May election.
2019 Jul 2, Australia's central
bank cut its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage
point to a record low of 1% in a bid to boost the economy.
2019 Jul 2, In Australia three
men were arrested over an Islamic State group-inspired plot to
attack a variety of Sydney targets including police and defense
buildings, courts, churches and diplomatic missions.
2019 Jul 4, Australian student
Alek Sigley (29), released after a week in detention in North Korea,
arrived in Tokyo after telling reporters he was in "very good"
condition, without saying what happened to him.
2019 Jul 6, North Korea said
that Australian student Alek Sigley, who it detained for a week, had
spread anti-Pyongyang propaganda and engaged in spying by providing
photos and other materials to news outlets with critical views
toward the North.
2019 Jul 19, The US Department
of Transportation (DOT) granted American Airlines Group Inc and
Qantas Airways Ltd final approval to operate a joint venture after a
prior effort was rejected in 2016.
2019 Jul 23, Australia-based
BHP, a leading resources company, said it will invest $400 million
over five years to reduce emissions, becoming the first miner to
pledge to tackle pollution caused when customers use its products.