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Incumbents [ edit ]
Premiers and Chief Ministers [ edit ]
Governors and Administrators [ edit ]
9 January – Yachtsman
Tony Bullimore is found alive five days after his boat capsized in the Southern Ocean. [1 ] 11 February - Prime Minister
John Howard admits he approved a requested pay rise for one of Labor defector Mal Colston's staff shortly before last year's crucial Senate vote on the partial sale of Telstra. [2 ] 14 February - Arnott's Biscuits begins withdrawing its biscuits from supermarket shelves as authorities issue a health alert over an extortionist's poison threat. A pesticide strong enough to kill a small child had been found in some of the biscuits.
[3 ] 23 February - Federal Independent Senator
Mal Colston denies new allegations that he had rorted his parliamentary expenses, saying the claims by a former employee were "malicious". [4 ] 25 February - The Minister for Administrative Services,
David Jull, announces a departmental investigation into Independent Senator Mal Colston's use of chauffeur-driven Commonwealth cars and warns he would have no hesitation referring the matter to police. [5 ] 26 February - Arnott's Biscuits restocks Queensland supermarket shelves with its biscuits three weeks after it was rocked by an extortion threat. The threat has cost the company at least $10 million.
[6 ] 6 March - In Cairns, Paul Streeton is sentenced to life imprisonment for setting fire to school boy
Tjandamurra O'Shane. 24 March - Senator
Mal Colston admits he's guilty of claiming an extra $7,000 for travel expenses, but blames sloppy book-keeping. 14 April - Prime Minister John Howard announces that the Government will no longer accept the vote of Senator
Mal Colston. 1 May –
Tasmania becomes the last state in Australia to decriminalise homosexuality. 1 May –
Melbourne's HM Prison Pentridge is closed. 5 May – The position of
Chief Minister of Norfolk Island is restored. 6 May -
Mal Colston resigns as Deputy President of the Senate. 20 May – A
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission report calls for an apology for an early government policy of removing Aboriginal children from their parents and placing them in institutions. 1 July – The
telecommunications market is deregulated, allowing the entry of competitors other than Telstra and Optus. 13 July – A crowd of over 100,000 people watches the
Royal Canberra Hospital implosion. A 12-year-old girl, Katie Bender, is killed instantly and nine others are injured when debris from the site travels across Lake Burley Griffin. 15 July - Senator
Mal Colston and former West Australian Liberal MP Noel Crichton Brown are charged with fraud. 30 July – The
Thredbo landslide occurs, killing 17 people. 2 August –
Stuart Diver, a ski instructor, is rescued as the sole survivor of the Thredbo landslide. 30 August – Elections in the
Northern Territory re-elect the Country Liberal Party government of Shane Stone. 31 August – The head of
Yagan, a Noongar warrior, is repatriated to Australia 164 years after being taken to the United Kingdom. [7 ] 11 October – A
state election is held in South Australia. The Liberal/ National coalition government of John Olsen is re-elected, albeit with a substantially reduced minority. 15 October –
Cheryl Kernot, leader of the Australian Democrats, defects to the Australian Labor Party.
Arts and literature [ edit ]
Television [ edit ]
27 February – First day of the Australian Track & Field Championships for the 1996–1997 season, which are held at the
Olympic Park in Melbourne, Victoria. The 5,000 metres was conducted at the Nike Classic, Melbourne on 20 February. The men's decathlon event was conducted at the Hobart Grand Prix on 15–16 February 1997. 1 March – The Australian
Super League competition commences with 2 matches, with the Brisbane Broncos defeating the Auckland Warriors 14-2 in Brisbane & the North Queensland Cowboys defeating the Adelaide Rams 24-16 in Townsville. 2 March – Greg Blewett and
Steve Waugh bat the whole day during the first test match at Johannesburg against South Africa. 7 March – The
ARL competition kicks off with the Parramatta Eels defeating the North Sydney Bears 10-8 at Parramatta Stadium. 19 May – In the one and only
Super League Tri-series, New South Wales defeat Queensland 23-22 in the longest (104 minutes) & one of the most exciting games of representative rugby league ever played. 25 May –
Brisbane Strikers create history by winning the NSL Grand Final, a 2–0 victory over Sydney United. The achievement was the first NSL title in their history, the first time a Queensland side had won the title, and all in front of a record crowd of 40,446 at Suncorp Stadium. 13 July –
Patrick Carroll wins his second men's national marathon title, clocking 2:11:21 in Brisbane, while Susan Hobson claims her second women's title in 2:32:43. 22 August – The
Melbourne Phoenix defeat the Adelaide Thunderbirds 58-48 in the inaugural Commonwealth Bank Trophy netball grand final 17 September – The
Melbourne Storm rugby league team is founded. 20 September – The
Brisbane Broncos defeat the Cronulla Sharks 26-8 at ANZ Stadium (now Elizabeth II stadium) to become premiers of the Super League (Australia) season 1997. It is the first night grand final played in rugby league. 27 September – The
Adelaide Crows (19.11.125) defeat the St Kilda Saints (13.16.94) to win the 101st VFL/AFL. It is the first premiership for Adelaide & the first time the AFL flag has left Victoria since 1994. 28 September – In one of, if not the most exciting grand final ever played, the
Newcastle Knights defeat the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 22-16 to win the 90th NSWRL/ARL premiership. It is the first premiership for Newcastle & it was the third consecutive grand final appearance for Manly. 29 November – In what has come to be known as
the Iran game, the Socceroos draw 2–2 with Iran at the Melbourne Cricket Ground after leading 2–0. The game is interrupted when serial pest Peter Hore cut up Iran's goal net. Iran qualifies for the 1998 FIFA World Cup on the away goals rule. 19 December – After a series of meetings at the
Sydney Football Stadium (now Aussie Stadium), the Super League war is declared over. The ARL & Super League agree to form the National Rugby League, and the Perth Reds, Hunter Mariners & South Queensland Crushers are shut down to give a 20-team competition for 1998. The NRL is to be reduced to 14 teams for 2000 after reform.
17 January –
Bert Kelly (born 1912), Federal politician 31 January –
John Panizza (born 1931), Senator 16 March –
Harry Holgate (born 1933), Premier of Tasmania (1981–1982) 10 April –
Clinton Haines (born 1976), computer hacker 25 April –
Brian May (born 1934), composer 2 May –
John Carew Eccles (born 1903), psychologist (died in Switzerland) 21 May –
William Arthur (born 1918), Federal politician 21 May –
William Aston (born 1916), Federal politician 15 June –
Jaidyn Leskie (born 1996), murder victim 11 July –
Jock Sturrock (born 1915), Olympic yachtsman and 1962 Australian of the Year 14 July –
Sir Garfield Barwick (born 1903), Chief Justice of the High Court 6 August –
Lance Barnard (born 1919), Federal politician 18 August –
Burnum Burnum (born 1936), Aboriginal activist and actor 5 September –
Brian Grieve (born 1907), botanist 12 September –
Archer Denness (born 1914), soldier 16 September –
Anne Kerr, Lady Kerr (born 1914), wife of Sir John Kerr 5 November –
Peter Jackson (born 1964), rugby league footballer 6 November –
Jane Thurgood-Dove, murder victim 22 November –
Michael Hutchence (born 1960), musician
Unknown date [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
^ Tony Bullimore is rescued by the Navy
^ "Denial of Telstra vote buy". The Courier-Mail, p.2. 12 February 1997.
^ "Poisoned biscuits could kill children: health chief". The Courier-Mail. 15 February 1997.
^ "Colston to sue over rorts allegation". The Australian, p.2. 24 February 1997.
^ "Minister investigates Colston's use of cars". The Australian, p.2. 26 February 1997.
^ "Arnott's back in biscuit business but down $10m". The Courier-Mail, p.2. 26 February 1997.
^ McPhee, Lindsay (2008). " Reburial of Yagan head is delayed". The West Australian, 19 November 2008.