1970 in Australia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
1970 in Australia
Monarchy Elizabeth II
Governor-General Paul Hasluck
Prime minister John Gorton
Population 12,263,014
Elections Senate, SA, VIC
Flag of Australia.svg
See also:



  • 1 January - Newcastle, New South Wales suffers a fierce hailstorm.
  • 3 January - Police in Liverpool, Sydney conduct a high speed car chase after Wally Mellish, a central figure in the July 1968 Glenfield siege.
  • 4 January - The Victorian Government appoints William Kaye, QC to investigate allegations that some senior police officers took bribes from abortionists.
    • 1,000 New South Wales state powerhouse operators go on strike.
  • 5 January - Federal Opposition Leader Gough Whitlam tells a meeting of Wewak Councillors in Port Moresby that the Territory House of Assembly was a "rubber stamp" for policies formulated in Canberra.
  • 7 January - The U.S. seismic survey vessel Polaris catches fire at Port Adelaide, causing $750,000 worth of damage.
    • Federal Opposition Leader Gough Whitlam announces in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea that a New Guinean would be appointed as Administrator of the Territory immediately if Labor won the next election.
    • The Australian Wheatgrowers' Federation recommends a national wheat quota reduction for the 1970-71 season.
  • 8 January - The Army Minister Andrew Peacock denies the statement made the previous day by Dr. Cairns of the Victorian Labor Party that Australian officers in Vietnam had suggested to troops that they would be home by June.
    • Queensland Labor Senator G. Georges rejects oil company assurances that drilling in the Great Barrier Reef area could be done in such away that the reef would be preserved in an untouched state.
  • 12 January - Prime Minister John Gorton announces the number of cannons to be distributed and the locations of these cannons for the Captain Cook celebrations. New South Wales, Canberra and Queensland will each receive one of the six cannons jettisoned by Captain Cook from the Endeavour on the Great Barrier Reef in 1770.
    • National Development Minister R.W.C. Swartz announces that an Australian team is in San Francisco drawing up specifications for Australia's first nuclear power station to be stationed at Jervis Bay.
    • Three-year-old Cheryl Grimmer vanishes from Fairy Meadow Beach near Wollongong.
  • 13 January - US Vice-President Spiro Agnew arrives in Canberra. 14 are arrested during protests outside Parliament House over Mr. Agnew's visit on 14 January.
  • 14 January - Prime Minister Gorton announces that Ampol Exploration Ltd. is not proceeding with its intention to drill for oil in the Great Barrier Reef pending a thorough examination of whether there might be damage to the reef.[1]
  • 15 January - Sydney police receive a $10,000 ransom note for the return of missing three-year-old Cheryl Grimmer.
    • Canberra police investigate possibly dangerous chemicals thrown into the swimming pool of the Prime Minister's Lodge which appeared to be eating into the tiled walls of the pool in which Prime Minister Gorton swims every morning.
  • 17 January – Cyclone Ada hits Central Queensland, killing 14.
  • 19 January - Queensland Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen agrees to a Commonwealth-State inquiry into oil-drilling on the Great Barrier Reef.
    • Prime Minister John Gorton announces that Federal Cabinet has accepted the recommendation of a Senate select committee for Australia to adopt the metric system of weights and measures.
    • The six Premiers unanimously agree in Adelaide to approach Prime Minister John Gorton with a long-range plan aimed at States levying their own income-tax.
  • 21 January - A thunderstorm in Brisbane causes damage to 1,000 homes, widespread power blackouts and peak-hour traffic chaos.
    • Dr. R.E.Klugman, Labor MP for Prospect, reveals that a middle-aged Ukrainian migrant, Mr. Bronislaw Chyrzynski, had been held in Long Bay Gaol for nearly four weeks because he could not speak English.
  • 22 January - Seven men, including high-ranking Victorian police officers are named in connection with an alleged abortion protection racket at the Victorian Government's Board of Inquiry into allegations of police corruption over abortions.
    • Federal Cabinet reaches a final agreement on the introduction of common health fees acceptable to the Australian Medical Association.
    • Primary Industry Minister Mr. J.D. Anthony, announces at Casino that Australia has agreed to sell about 30,000 tons of meat - worth about $25 million- to Russia within the next six months.
  • 21 April – The Hutt River Province Principality is established.
  • 3 May – A new international terminal is opened at Sydney Airport
  • 1 July – Melbourne Airport is officially opened.
  • 15 October – A portion of the West Gate Bridge in Melbourne collapses, killing 35
  • Pope Paul VI visits Australia.[citation needed]
  • Elizabeth II and other members of the royal family tour Australia.

Science and technology[edit]

Arts and literature[edit]






  1. ^ "P.M., Premier clash over reef proposal". Sydney Morning Herald. 15 January 1970.