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history:h_australia_c20d

Australian history 1975-2000

Introduction

Timeline

  • 1975:
    • colour TV arrives in Australia; racial discrimination act;
    • Malcolm Fraser becomes PM after GovGen Kerr dismisses Whitlam govt.
    • Liberal Party formally abandons assimilation as an Aboriginal Policy. ACTU bans uranium mining;
    • Tasman Bridge, Hobart collapses after being rammed by a freighter;
    • skateboard riding becomes popular;
  • 1976:
    • Family Court established & concept of no-fault divorce, based on 12 months' separation as evidence of irretrievable break-down of marriage, was introduced
    • tobacco advertising banned on TV, radio; smoking banned on public transport;
    • Adelaide's Rundle St Mall is opened by premier Don Dunstan.
  • 1977:
    • Aboriginal Lands Act (1976) promulgated
    • Granville train disaster kills 83; Aust. Democrats Party founded; Fraser re-elected PM; Packer starts World Series cricket;
  • 1978:
    • Northern Territory (self-government) Act came into force & territory flag raised for 1st time.
    • Vietnamese refugees arrive by boat; Aust's 1st commercial diamond discovery (Argyle deposit WA);
    • Melbourne's Westgate Bridge opens after 13yrs construction;
  • 1979:
    • post-WWII refugee immigration results in 11.8% Australians with no British descendency (2% in 1939)
    • Joh Bjelke-Petersen becomes longest term as Qld premier of 10yrs, 5mths
    • 1st stage of Brisbane rail electrification completed.
    • rock/pop: Christie Allen; Jon English; LRB; Mi-Sex;
  • 1980:
    • Aust's 1st woman commercial airline pilot; Aust. joins US in protest of USSR invasion of Afghanistan & withdraws official & financial support from Aust. competitors at Olympic Games.
    • Aust's 1st test tube baby (world's 3rd) born at RWH;
    • Sydney's Centrepoint Tower opens;
    • Azaria Chamberlain, a 9wk baby, allegedly taken by a dingo at Ayer's Rock;
    • Gordon-below-Franklin Dam Project protests;
    • Royal Commission into the Federated Ship Painters and Dockers Union commences with report tabled in 1982 which resulted in 11 criminal convictions and found evidence of 15 murders in which members were involved.
    • world's oldest (3.5b yr old) bacteria discovered near Marble Bar, WA;
    • world's oldest fossil fish found (480 million yrs old)
    • oz rock/pop: Christie Allen; Australian Crawl; Cold Chisel; Split Enz;
  • 1981:
    • Aust's pop. reaches 14.9m incl. 159,600 Aborigines in the Census; Aboriginal land rights succeed in SA;
    • Fraser's “razor gang” of Lynch, Howard, et al attempt to cut public services & promote private sector;
    • oz rock/pop: Sharon O'Neill; Australian Crawl; Cold Chisel; Mental As Anything; Mondo Rock; Men At Work; Air Supply;
  • 1982:
    • Howard replaces Lynch as Treasurer;
    • Premiers & C'wealth agree to abolish all appeals to Privy Council in England, making the High Court of Aust. the final court of appeal; Brisbane hosts C'wealth Games; Lindy Chamberlain found guilty of murdering her daughter & sentenced to life imprisonment; Brisbane's city mall opens;
    • Bank of NSW & Commercial Bank of Aust. merge to become Westpac Banking Corp., Aust's largest trading bank & 3rd largest savings bank; heavy drought caused by El Nino causes damage $2.5b, dust storms & bush fires killing 73 people;
    • Melbourne's Art Centre & Concert Hall opens;
    • oz rock/pop: Christina Amphlett; Split Enz; Goanna; Men At Work;
  • 1983:
    • Ash Wednesday bush fires in Vic, SA kill 68 & destroy hundreds of homes
    • drought which had hit eastern Australia since 1979, christened “The Great Dry”, affected 64% of nation's sheep & 60% of nation's cattle causing overall farm production to decline by 46%;
    • Hawke replaces Fraser as PM, Fraser resigns from politics & Peacock becomes leader of Liberal Party with Howard as deputy; Medicare introduced.
    • an immense dust storm covering 77,000 sq. miles hits Melbourne
    • Aust. Govt prevents construction of Tasmania's Franklin Dam creating constitutional problems;
    • proposed 30% tax levy on lump sum superannuation payments sparks pilot strikes forcing treasurer Keating to make concessions.
    • Alan Bond's Australia II yacht wins the America's Cup - the 1st non-US contender to do so in 132yrs.
    • Aust. Women's Weekly becomes a monthly magazine; 65yr old farmer Cliff Young wins Sydney-Melbourne marathon;
    • oz rock/pop: Sharon O'Neill; Australian Crawl; Midnight Oil;
  • 1984:
    • world's 1st frozen embryo baby (Zoe Leyland) born in Melbourne;
    • Advance Australia Fair again replaces God Save The Queen as Aust's anthem;
    • 1st stage of NW Shelf oil-gas project completed;
    • Costigan Royal Commission into the Fed. Ship Painters' & Dockers' Union set up in 1980 was released; Hawke re-elected;
    • Melbourne's smog problems revealed: 24 days (cf 18days Sydney) - 4th worst in world behind Tokyo, Mexico City & LA;
  • 1985:
    • despite high inflation & unemployment levels, falling $A, Aust's stock market and property markets boom in tandem with global markets, on the back of “yuppies” and the “Baby boomers”
    • Jupiter's Casino on the Gold Coast opens. Licence granted for Adelaide's 1st casino;
    • Melbourne's diocese of Anglican Church the 1st in Australia to pass legislation sanctioning ordination of women as deacons.
  • 1986:
    • Brisbane's Gateway Bridge opens; Brisbane loses bid for 1992 Olympic Games, beaten by Barcelona;
  • 1987:
    • global (& Australian) stock markets collapse ushering in several years of low economic growth / recession
    • Australia loses the America Cup yacht race held in WA
    • Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen resigns as Qld premier after 19yrs following him being dramatically unseated as ruler of the National Party.
  • 1988:
    • Bicentennial celebrations;
    • Brisbane hosts World Expo '88.
  • 1989:
    • Vic. divided into 210 municipalities
    • reported that south-east Qld was about to overtake Melbourne as Australia's 2nd largest population centre.
    • Newcastle earthquake kills 11
    • extensive flooding in Sth Aust. fills Lake Eyre & Lake Torrens for the 1st time this century
  • 1990:
    • Melbourne loses its bid for 1996 Olympic Games;
    • extensive flooding in Qld, the worst since white settlement, hit Charleville hard
    • Adelaide Grand Prix lost $4.4m in past 5yrs;
    • Dr Carmen Lawrence becomes premier of WA, the 1st female state premier in Australia
    • Aboriginal reconciliation becomes high on the political agenda.
    • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) formed to represent the Aboriginal people & given advisory power in the administration of govt programs & control of govt Aboriginal expenditure.
  • 1991:
    • John Cain resigns as Vic. Premier after a series of financial blunders caught up with him - Joan Kirner becomes Australia's 2nd female premier;
    • the final report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody investigating the 99 who had died in the 1980's and the prison custody rates of 12x the general population, resulted in fed. govt committing $40m over 5yrs to implement the recommendations.
  • 1992:
    • Melbourne's Swanston St closed to form Swanston Walk, a controversial pedestrian mall;
    • Royal Commission into Victoria's $2.5b Tricontinental merchant bank collapse;
    • Jeff Kennett as leader of the Victorian Liberal Party is swept into govt with a 34 seat majority, the largest in Victoria's history.
    • 100,000 in protest march against Kennett's proposed industrial reform legislation.
    • Sydney's $560m Harbour Tunnel opens.
    • Melbourne's exclusive men's club, the Naval & Military opens its doors to women for 1st time in 110yrs.
    • Mabo Aboriginal land case in High Court decision results in Native Title Right to recognise the traditional rights of Aboriginals to use & occupy their lands & recognised that Australia was not terra nullius - empty land - & that it had belonged to the Aboriginal peoples.
  • 1993:
    • record flooding in north-east Victoria;
    • Victoria wins 5yr contract to host the Australian Formula One Grand Prix motor racing from 1996.
    • Sydney wins bid to host 2000 Olympic Games, narrowly beating Beijing
    • the backpacker murders are investigated - the biggest serial murder case on record in NSW
    • NSW is 1st state to ban vilification of homosexuals.
    • Native Title Act 1993 passed.
    • Wik High Court controversial decision on Native Title allows native title rights & pastoralists rights to co-exist, but in any conflict, the pastoralist's rights would prevail. This controversy resulted in the Native Title Act 1998 being passed which sought to limit the circumstances in which stakeholders such as govts, pastoralists & miners would have to deal with native title holders with the intention of giving certainty to miners & pastoralists.
  • 1994:
    • following refusal by Tas. govt to reform its laws, Federal legislation was used to override Tasmania's anti-gay laws which had made homosexual acts between consenting adults illegal.
    • warrant issued for arrest of Quintex entrepreneur Christopher Skase living in Majorca, Spain.
    • fire storms ravish 600,000ha of NSW bush in 10 days, destroying 185 homes & killing 4 while 12,000 were evacuated
    • Royal Commission into corruption with NSW police force established
    • Melbourne's Crown Casino opens in its temporary quarters at the World Trade Centre.
    • Vic. 1st major privatisation when Totalisator Agency Board floated to public as Tabcorp.
    • Vic. State Electricity Commission restructured with creation of 8 state-owned bodies.
    • 98% of NSW declared drought
  • 1995:
    • 6th World Police & Fire Games held at MCG - the largest sporting event in Melbourne since 1956 Olympic Games.
    • Vic. govt signs agreement for CityLink Tollway.
    • Vic. govt sells off a number of the newly created electricity supply companies.
    • Sydney's 1st legal casino opens at Darling Harbour.
    • NT govt is 1st in the world to make voluntary euthanasia under restricted conditions legal.
  • 1996:
    • Port of Portland sold by govt to Scott Corp. - the 1st privatisation of port facilities in Australia
    • $129m Melbourne Exhibition Centre (“Jeff's shed”) on south bank of the Yarra opens
    • 1st Grand Prix in Vic. for 40yrs is held at Albert Park despite residents' protests
    • Vic. premiere Kennett's Liberal Coalition is re-elected with loss of only 3 seats
    • Melbourne's 1st privatised prison, the 125 bed Women's Correctional Centre in Deer Park is opened
    • State Govts ban semi-automatic weapons following the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania where 35 were killed and 21 injured by Martin Bryant.
  • 1997:
    • Aust. govt releases white paper on international relations focussing on US, China, Japan & Indonesia, thus sparking increasing, almost subservient relationship with US to shore up support for US defence of Australia which has considerably waned, as well as develop closer economic ties and free up trade.
    • electronic gaming machines (Pokies) proliferate in pubs and sporting clubs as well as the new casinos create social crisis from gambling addictions while substantially contributing to state govt revenue.
    • Pauline Hanson launches One Nation political party
    • Tas. finally repeals its anti-gay laws.
    • urban real estate prices start to move upwards after some 7 years of flat or negative growth
    • Thredbo alpine village landslide kills 18
    • Vic. govt announce state's public transport system would be completely privatised by end of 1998.
    • Crown Casino opens on south bank of the Yarra.
    • Sydney's Star Casino opens.
    • singer Michael Hutchence (INXS) found dead in hotel room.
    • 1st 500cc motorcycle Grand Prix in Victoria was held at Phillip Island.
    • govt inquiry into past laws, practices & policies which resulted in the “stolen generation'.
  • 1998:
    • Victoria's Metcard automated public transport ticketing system begins operation.
    • Victorians without gas in winter for 2wks after explosion at the Esso Longford Gas Plant in Sale, Gippsland.
    • govt approves 1st clinical trial of heroin detoxification treatment using naltrexone
    • Sydney public health crisis as drinking water contaminated with giardia & cryptosporidium
    • The Great Australian Bight is named a marine park to protect its unique marine plants & animals.
  • 1999:
    • Y2K computer issues cause much anxiety & corporate contingency planning issues
    • Melbourne wins right to stage the 2006 Commonwealth Games after its only rival, Wellington NZ withdraws.
    • disastrous hailstorm in Sydney causes $1b damages in April, leaving many homes & businesses severely damaged for months.
    • Sydney's Stadium Australia opens.
    • Vic. Liberals lose state election when ALP win 42 seats to Liberals 43, but Labor able to form minority govt with support of 3 independents, forcing Kennett to resign as leader of Liberal Party.
    • yachtsman Jesse Martin becomes youngest person to circumnavigate the globe non-stop & unassisted.
    • The 1990s were Australia's warmest decade in the ninety years for which high-quality records are available since 1910.
history/h_australia_c20d.txt · Last modified: 2020/06/14 15:24 by gary1