1999 in Australia

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1999 in Australia
Monarchy Elizabeth II
Governor-General William Deane
Prime minister John Howard
Population 18,925,855
Elections VIC, NSW
See also:


Premiers and Chief Ministers[edit]

Governors and Administrators[edit]


  • 27 March – The ALP government of Bob Carr is re-elected in New South Wales.
  • 14 April – A massive hailstorm hits Sydney, with most of the damage being centred on the Eastern Suburbs. It is the second most costliest natural disaster in Australian history, causing $1.7 billion in insured damages.
  • 11 May – The biotechnology industry receives a record $800 million in the federal budget.
  • 21 May – Eight decaying bodies are found in barrels in a disused bank vault north of Adelaide, marking the beginning of the Snowtown murders case, which were Australia's worst ever serial killings. More bodies were found underneath a house in Adelaide on 26 May.
  • 28 June – The GST bill is passed through the Senate, with the help of most of the Australian Democrats, in exchange for exemptions on fresh food.
  • 30 June – Tim Fischer retires as federal leader of the National Party & is replaced by John Anderson the next day.
  • 27 July – A canyoning disaster at Saxetenbach Gorge near Interlaken in Switzerland. 21 tourists, 14 of them Australian, are killed.
  • 26 August – The Prime Minister creates a controversy when he avoids the use of the word 'sorry' when a motion was tabled in Parliament expressing 'deep & sincere regret that indigenous Australians suffered injustices under the practises of past generations'.
  • 30 August – East Timor votes for independence from Indonesia. In the violence that follows, Australia is a major contributor of peacekeeping forces.
  • 18 September – In a shock result, Steve Bracks & the Labor Party form a minority government with three rural independents to oust the ruling Liberal/National coalition government of Jeff Kennett in Victoria.
  • 3 November – The Reserve Bank announce an interest rate increase of 0.25%, the first since 1994.
  • 6 November – A referendum is held to determine whether Australia should become a republic & whether a preamble is inserted into the constitution recognising the Aborigines as Australia's first people. The 'no' vote scores 54% on the republic question & 60% on the preamble question.
  • 14 November – In response to the growing number of illegal immigrants, most of whom arrived by boat, the government allows police to board vessels in international waters. On 23 November, refugees were barred from seeking asylum in they had lived somewhere else for more than seven days or had the right to live somewhere else.

Arts & Literature[edit]




Unknown Dates[edit]



  • 6 February – Don Dunstan, former Premier of South Australia (born 1926)
  • 24 April – Arthur Boyd, painter (born 1920)
  • 10 May – Eric Willis, Premier of New South Wales (born 1922)
  • 21 May – Colin Hayes, champion trainer of thoroughbred racehorses (born 1924)
  • 6 June – Anne Haddy, actress (born 1930)
  • 25 June – Sir Peter Abeles, businessman (born 1924)
  • 28 July – Doris Carter, athlete (born 1912)
  • 23 September – Ivan Goff, screenwriter (born 1910)
  • 27 October - Harry Kadwell, rugby league footballer (age 96)
  • 29 October – Eric Reece, Premier of Tasmania (born 1909)
  • 30 December – Des Renford, Marathon Swimmer (born 1927)