1990 in Australia

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1990 in Australia
Monarchy Elizabeth II
Governor-General Bill Hayden
Prime minister Bob Hawke
Population 17,065,128
Elections Federal, NT
See also:


Premiers and Chief Ministers[edit]

Governors and administrators[edit]



  • 2 January – A battle by the major creditors to the Bond Group of companies to gain control of the best assets begins in the Victorian Supreme Court.
  • 3 January – Prime Minister Bob Hawke and New South Wales Premier Nick Greiner meet to discuss the reconstruction of Newcastle.
  • 16 January – Andrew Peacock launches the Federal Opposition's Family Action Plan.
  • 17 January – Prime Minister Bob Hawke is heckled by pilots while on the campaign trail.
    • The National Australia Bank buys out Britain's Yorkshire Bank.
  • 18 January – The Victorian Supreme Court grants Alan Bond permission to sell an oilfield to raise cash.
    • A fateful outback trip in scorching conditions claims the lives of seven Aboriginal people from the Punmu community in the Great Sandy Desert.
  • 19 January – A fire breaks out in the historic Wool Store building in Brisbane.
    • A man is charged over an alleged plan to fire-bomb Parliament in Canberra.
    • Queensland Premier Wayne Goss announces an independent inquiry into the logging industry on Fraser Island.
  • 22 January – Tram dispute talks break down in Melbourne.
    • A gas leak causes the evacuation of a Melbourne building.[1]
  • 23 January – The industrial tram dispute continues as 250 trams blockade the city of Melbourne.[2]
  • 24 January – An Australian is shot dead in Bougainville.
    • A fireworks explosion occurs at an amusement park on the New South Wales Central Coast.
  • 25 January – In an embarrassing turnaround, the Federal Opposition abandons its Medicare policy.
    • The International Olympic Committee President arrives in Melbourne, giving a massive boost to Melbourne's Olympic Games bid.
  • 26 January – Allan Border is honoured in the Australia Day Honours.
  • 27 January – A riot breaks out at a Brisbane jail.
  • 28 January – Prime Minister Bob Hawke pledges millions for a new Melbourne sports stadium.
    • Police arrest a man in Melbourne alleged to be the infamous loaded note bandit.
  • 30 January – An inquiry into the Grafton bus crash begins.
  • 31 January – A freak storm tears a path of destruction across Mount Isa, Queensland.


  • 2 February – Cyclone Nancy hits the town of Maryborough in Queensland.
  • 7 February – Commonwealth Games athletes are welcomed home with a parade through the city streets of Melbourne.
  • 8 February – An oil slick pollutes Victoria's Ninety Mile Beach.
  • 12 February – Carmen Lawrence becomes the Premier of Western Australia, and Australia's first female premier, after the resignation of Peter Dowding.
  • 14 February – A report is released which condemns the police rescue effort during the Newcastle earthquake.
  • 15 February – The Reserve Bank of Australia cuts official interest rates by half a percent – a move which Federal Opposition MP John Hewson described as "blatantly playing politics".
  • 16 February – Prime Minister Bob Hawke announces a March 24 election date.


Arts and literature[edit]


  • 20 September – The Big Steal is released. Directed by Nadia Tass, the film will go on to be nominated for nine AFI awards, of which it will win three.
  • Blood Oath



  • 1 January – The VFL is renamed as the AFL (Australian Football League).[3]
  • 22 January – John McEnroe is thrown out of the Australian Open Tennis Championships.[4]
  • 27 January – Steffi Gras wins the Australian Open Tennis Championship.
    • Hayley Lewis wins her fourth gold medal at the Auckland Commonwealth Games.
  • 28 January – Lisa Curry wins a gold medal at the Auckland Commonwealth Games.
  • 30 March – First day of the Australian Track & Field Championships for the 1989–1990 season, which are held at the Olympic Park in Melbourne, Victoria. The men's 10,000 metres event was conducted at Canberra on 24 February 1990.
  • 22 May – New South Wales (13.8.86) upsets Victoria (10.16.76) in a State of Origin match at the SCG.
  • 22 July – Allan Carman wins the men's national marathon title, clocking 2:15:17 in Brisbane, while Trudy Fenton claims the women's title in 2:44:38.
  • 23 July – Players' draft adopted at board meeting of NSWRL.
  • 8 September – Collingwood draws its elimination final with the West Coast Eagles. The AFL finals schedule is thrown into chaos and the Grand Final is rescheduled to be played a week later than usual. Extra time is subsequently introduced for future finals matches.
  • 6 October – Collingwood (13.11.89) defeats Essendon (5.11.41) to win the 94th VFL/AFL premiership. It is the first premiership won under the AFL banner and Collingwood's first premiership since 1958, thereby symbolising the end of the "Colliwobbles".
  • 10 November – Mal Meninga scores a stunning last-minute try to win the second Ashes rugby league test at Old Trafford.




  1. ^ GTV 9 News Melbourne
  2. ^ GTV 9 News Melbourne
  3. ^ Chronology of Australian Football, It's More Than A Game!.
  4. ^ GTV 9 News Melbourne