1980 in Australia

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1980 in Australia
Monarchy Elizabeth II
Governor-General Zelman Cowen
Prime minister Malcolm Fraser
Population 14,515,729
Elections Federal, WA, NT, QLD
Flag of Australia.svg
See also:


Premiers and Chief Ministers[edit]

Governors and administrators[edit]









  • 1 July - Women are allowed to join surf clubs as full members.
  • 4 July - Newcastle's Sun newspaper cease publication.




  • 1 October - The Costigan Royal Commission begins, with the purpose of inquiring into the activities of the Federated Ship Painters and Dockers Union.
  • 9 October - The standard-gauge railway from Tarcoola to Alice Springs is opened.
  • 16 October - Violet Roberts, 52, and Bruce Roberts, 22, are released from prison after serving almost five years of their sentence for murdering their husband and father, Eric Roberts. The mother and son are "released on licence" just 24 hours after the New South Wales Attorney-General Frank Walker recommended the action to the Department of Corrective Services, following sustained pressure from supporters who argued that the sentences were unduly harsh. The Attorney-General had publicly described them as a miscarriage of justice.
  • 18 October – The Australian federal election, 1980 takes place and sees Malcolm Fraser's Liberal/National coalition government re-elected for a third consecutive term, albeit with an almost halved majority.



  • 2 December - The Federal Government lifts controls regulating the interest rates offered by banks on customer deposits.
  • 15 December - The Azaria Chamberlain inquest begins in Alice Springs.
  • 17 December - Turkish Consul-General, Sarik Ariyak, and his bodyguard, Engin Sever, are shot dead in the street outside the consulate in Dover Heights, Sydney, becoming the victims of Australia's first olitical assassinations. The obscure international terrorist army, the "Justice Commandoes of Armenian Genocide", claim responsibility for the deaths only 20 minutes after the shootings.
  • 19 December - The Woolworths Maitland store, near Newcastle, New South Wales is bombed, suffering more than $300,000 worth of damage.
  • 20 December - The Woolworths Orange store receives a call from a man threatening to bomb a Woolworths store unless he is paid $1 million.
  • 23 DecemberVictoria decriminalises homosexual acts between consenting adults, with the Royal Assent of the Crimes (Sexual Offences) Act 1980.
  • 24 December - Woolworths' Town Hall store in the centre of Sydney is devastated by a bomb blast - the chain's third store to be targeted in nine days. Authorities received only 10 minutes' warning of the bombing, which miraculously caused no serious casualties after 2,000 shoppers and staff were evacuated from the area.
  • 26 December - Police offer a $250,000 reward for information relating to the recent Woolworths bombings. The reward is the largest ever offered in Australian history.

Arts and literature[edit]






  • 7 January – Eddie Scarf, 71, boxer and wrestler
  • 11 November – Vince Gair, 79, Premier of Queensland (1952–1957)
  • 20 November – John McEwen, 80, 18th Prime Minister of Australia

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kerin, Lindy (23 June 2010). "First IVF baby turns 30". ABC News. Retrieved 31 March 2012.