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See also: 1930 in Australia, other events of 1931, 1932 in Australia and the Timeline of Australian history.
- 7 January – Guy Menzies flies the first solo non-stop trans-Tasman flight (from Australia to New Zealand) in 11 hours and 45 minutes, crash-landing on New Zealand's west coast.
- 10 January – The Beef Riot takes place in Adelaide. Seventeen people are injured when unemployed men clash with police while protesting the decision to remove beef from the dole ration.
- 21 January – Isaac Isaacs becomes the first Australian-born Governor-General.
- 22 January – The Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration announces a 10% reduction in the basic wage, in addition to reductions made in accordance with the fall in the cost of living index, effective from 1 February.
- 4 February – Joseph Lyons resigns from the federal cabinet of James Scullin, after Scullin re-appoints Ted Theodore as Treasurer.
- 18 February – The Royal Australian Navy light cruiser HMAS Pioneer is scuttled off Sydney Heads.
- 4 March – Holden's Motor Body Builders is purchased by General Motors, and is renamed General Motors–Holden's Ltd.
- 10 March – The first Apex Club is formed in Geelong, Victoria.
- 21 March – The Australian National Airways aircraft Southern Cloud, carrying 8 persons, disappears on a flight between Sydney and Melbourne. The wreckage is not located until 1958.
- 7 May – Joseph Lyons forms the United Australia Party, through the amalgamation of ALP defectors, Nationalists and anti-Labor citizens' groups.
- 9 May – A general election is held in Tasmania, which implements compulsory voting clauses of the Electoral Act for the first time. The Nationalist Party led by John McPhee defeats the Australian Labor Party, and substantially increasing its majority.
- 15 August – The two ends of the Sydney Harbour Bridge are joined in the middle.
- 25 November – The Lang Labor group led by Jack Lang votes with the Opposition on a motion of no confidence against James Scullin's government, triggering an early election.
- 19 December – A federal election is held. The incumbent Australian Labor Party led by James Scullin is defeated by former Labor MP Joseph Lyons and the United Australia Party.
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