1991 in Australia
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|1991 in Australia|
|Prime minister||Bob Hawke, then Paul Keating|
- Monarch – Elizabeth II
- Governor-General – Bill Hayden
- Prime Minister – Bob Hawke (until 20 December), then Paul Keating
Premiers and Chief Ministers
- Premier of New South Wales – Nick Greiner
- Premier of Queensland – Wayne Goss
- Premier of South Australia – John Bannon
- Premier of Tasmania – Michael Field
- Premier of Victoria – Joan Kirner
- Premier of Western Australia – Carmen Lawrence
- Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory – Trevor Kaine (until 6 June), then Rosemary Follett
- Chief Minister of the Northern Territory – Marshall Perron
Governors and Administrators
- Governor of New South Wales – Peter Sinclair
- Governor of Queensland – Sir Walter Campbell
- Governor of South Australia – Sir Donald Dunstan (until 5 February), then Dame Roma Mitchell
- Governor of Tasmania – Sir Phillip Bennett
- Governor of Victoria – Davis McCaughey
- Governor of Western Australia – Sir Francis Burt
- Administrator of the Northern Territory – James Muirhead
- Administrator of Norfolk Island – Herbert Bruce MacDonald
- The Gulf War In 1991 Australia sent troops to assist the United Nations with the Gulf War.
- 10 January – The State Government of South Australia was forced to bail out the State Bank of South Australia with A$944 million. The bailout is increased to $2.4 billion in August.
- 17 April – The bulk carrier MV Mineral Diamond disappears of the coast of Western Australia. The vessel is believed to have been sunk during adverse conditions caused by Cyclone Fifi.
- 9 May – The report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody is released. No criminal charges were recommended, nor was compensation for victims' families, but changes were recommended to the way that Aboriginal people were dealt with in police custody.
- 25 May – The state election in New South Wales produces a hung parliament. The ruling Liberal/National coalition government of Nick Greiner manages to form a minority government with the support of four Independent MPs.
- 30 May – A television report reveals that Prime Minister Bob Hawke made a secret deal in 1988, known as the "Kirribilli agreement", to hand over the ALP leadership at a suitable time after the 1990 federal election to Paul Keating.
- 3 June – After the secret deal emerged, Paul Keating makes his first challenge against Bob Hawke for the Australian Labor Party leadership. Hawke wins 66–44, and Keating resigns as Treasurer the same day.
The Federal Government's monthly deficit blew out to more than 1.2 billion dollars. ACTU President Martin Ferguson says Labor Party should get on with the job of governing and stop petty leadership disputes.
- 2 August – The Palm Grove Hostel fire kills 12 people in Dungog, New South Wales.
- 5 August – Former Queensland Police Commissioner Terry Lewis is sentenced to 14 years in prison for corruption.
- 17 August – Strathfield massacre: Wade Frankum kills seven people, mostly women, in a killing spree in Strathfield Plaza in Sydney.
- 19 October – The perjury trial of former Premier of Queensland Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen ends in a hung jury. Prosecutors decide against a retrial on the basis of Joh's advancing age and divided public opinion.
- 23 October – The first general strike in Australia in 65 years takes place in New South Wales.
- 19 December – Paul Keating makes his second Labor leadership challenge. This time, he wins 56-51 and becomes Australia's 24th Prime Minister the next day.
- 20 December – Barely a year after starting up, Compass Airlines Mk I is shut down. The shutdown is somewhat controversial, coming shortly before the peak Christmas travelling period and partially coming about as a result of debts owed to a government authority.
Arts and literature
- Cloudstreet adapted for the stage by Nick Enright and Justin Monjo, the theatrical adaptation opened in Sydney under the direction of Neil Armfield. Seasons followed in Perth, Melbourne, London, Dublin, New York and Washington, D.C., with the Company B cast touring the production until 2001 with minimal recasting. A lengthy adaptation at 5 and a half hours, the play attracted rave reviews around the world. The adaptation is published by Currency Press. There are plans to produce a TV miniseries version of Cloudstreet.
- David Malouf's novel The Great World wins the Miles Franklin Award
- January - Network Ten relaunches with a new logo, which is still in use to this day.
- 31 December - The Northern New South Wales television market is aggregated, with Prime Television taking a Seven Network affiliation, NBN taking a Nine Network affiliation & NRTV (now Southern Cross Ten) taking a Network Ten affiliation.
- 22 February – First day of the Australian Track & Field Championships for the 1990-1991 season, which are held at the Sydney Athletic Field in Sydney, New South Wales. The combined events were conducted in Perth on 22 and 23 March, while the relays were conducted at Hobart on 6 January 1991.
- 22 March – The Adelaide Crows play their first game in the AFL. In front of a sellout crowd at Football Park (now AAMI Stadium), they defeat the Hawthorn Hawks 24.11.155 to 9.15.69
- May – South Melbourne, managed by legendary Hungarian Ferenc Puskás, defeat Melbourne Croatia on penalties after a thoroughly entertaining 1-1 draw in the National Soccer League Grand Final at Olympic Park.
- 2 June – Carlton go within thirty seconds of becoming the first goalless team in the VFL/AFL since 1961 and only the second since 1921. Mark Arceri kicks a goal from a free kick with 33 seconds remaining.
- 3 June England soccer team scored one-nil victory over Australia.
- 21 July – Sean Quilty wins the his first men's national marathon title, clocking 2:14:59 in Brisbane, while Karen Gobby claims the women's title in 2:36:42.
- 22 September – The Penrith Panthers defeat the Canberra Raiders 19-12 to win the 84th NSWRL premiership. It is the first premiership for Penrith, who have been trying since 1967 to win one.
- 28 September – The Hawthorn Hawks (20.19.139) defeat the West Coast Eagles (13.8.86) to win the 95th VFL/AFL premiership. It is the most recent grand final that was not played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, it was played at Waverley Park instead as the MCG was being renovated.
- 7 January – Michael Walters, Australian rules footballer
- 17 April – Tessa James, actress
- 25 May – Joe Robinson, musician
- 1 June – Sally Peers, tennis player
- 7 June – Olivia Rogowska, tennis player
- 23 July – Lauren Mitchell, gymnast
- 17 August – Michael Hepburn, cyclist
- 19 September – Demelza Reveley, model
- 17 October
- 20 October – Mitchell Marsh, cricketer
- 10 December – Thomas Oar, soccer player
- 27 December – Sam Reid, Australian rules footballer
- 24 March – Sir John Kerr (born 1914), Governor-General of Australia (1974–1977)
- 23 May – Manning Clark (born 1915), historian
- 14 June – Vladimir Petrov (born 1907), defected Soviet spy
- 29 June – Russ Hinze (born 1919), Queensland politician
- 4 July – Victor Chang (born 1936), heart surgeon
- 7 October – Darren Millane (born 1965), Australian rules footballer
- 28 December – Cassandra Harris (born 1941), actress