1999 in Australia

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1999 in Australia
Monarchy Elizabeth II
Governor-General William Deane
Prime minister John Howard
Population 18,925,855
Elections VIC, NSW
1999
in
Australia
Decades:
See also:

Incumbents[edit]

Premiers and Chief Ministers[edit]

Governors and Administrators[edit]

Events[edit]

  • 1 February - An unprecedented rush for Telstra shares helps vault Australian share prices to a record high, as investors focus on the continued strong performance of the local economy. The all ordinaries index surges 29.9 points. [1]
  • 3 February - An industry review into Queensland's diving industry is released and prompts the Queensland Government to announce its plans to impose jail time or hefty fines on operators falling short of safety requirements. [2]
  • 19 March - John Brumby resigns as leader of the Victorian Labor Party.
  • 21 March - Channel Nine's 60 Minutes programme airs a controversial report which claims that former Prime Minister Paul Keating lied to Parliament about when he divested himself of his joint share in a Darling Downs piggery, as well as accusing him of fleecing his business partner Al Constantinidis of the majority of the profits.
  • 22 March - Victorian Shadow Treasurer Steve Bracks becomes leader of the Victorian Labor Party.
    • Tropical Cyclone Vance hits the West Australian coast with winds of 230km/h. The small coastal town of Exmouth is badly damaged.[3]
    • Dick Smith (entrepreneur) chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority resigns, followed by board member Janine Shepherd the following day.
  • 23 March - Prime Minister John Howard is criticized by the Opposition and Democrats for his proposal that the concept of "mateship" be introduced into a preamble to the Australian Constitution. He also creates controversy by proposing that Aborigines should be referred to in the preamble as having "inhabited" the land rather than being "custodians" of it.
  • 24 March - Media mogul Kerry Packer publicly endorses views that the Federal Government should deregulate the media and abolish cross-media ownership rules which stop Packer from taking over the Fairfax newspaper group, as well as calling for foreign ownership restrictions to be lifted.
  • 27 March – The ALP government of Bob Carr is re-elected in New South Wales.
  • 9 April - The Premiers' Conference results in the signing of a new agreement on Commonwealth-State financial relations which offers the states a guaranteed share of tax revenue in the event that the Senate votes for a GST, thereby negating the need for annual negotiations over how tax revenue should be shared.
  • 14 April – A massive hailstorm hits Sydney, with most of the damage being centred on the Eastern Suburbs. It is the second most costliest natural disaster in Australian history, causing $1.7 billion in insured damages.
  • 11 May – The biotechnology industry receives a record $800 million in the federal budget.
  • 21 May – Eight decaying bodies are found in barrels in a disused bank vault north of Adelaide, marking the beginning of the Snowtown murders case, which were Australia's worst ever serial killings. More bodies were found underneath a house in Adelaide on 26 May.
  • 21 June - Senator Mal Colston joins fellow Independent Brian Harradine in supporting the Federal Government's $17 billion sale of the second portion of Telstra (constituting another 16 per cent), allowing the proposed sale to pass through the Senate and become finalised. After the sale, the Government now owns only 50.1 per cent of Telstra.[4][5]
  • 28 June – The GST bill is passed through the Senate, with the help of most of the Australian Democrats, in exchange for exemptions on fresh food.
  • 30 June – Tim Fischer retires as federal leader of the National Party & is replaced by John Anderson the next day.
  • 2 July - Liberal for Forests, a breakaway single-issue political party, is established in response to the turmoil in the West Australian Liberal Party on the issue of stopping logging in old-growth forests.
  • 5 July - The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions decides to drop the 28 fraud charges against former Senator Mal Colston after receiving two medical specialists' reports which both state that Mr Colston is too ill to face trial, either now or in the future. The decision draws criticism from the Federal Opposition for its timing, due to the fact that Mr Colston was well enough to vote in favour of the Telstra sale the week before.
  • 6 July - Prime Minister John Howard meets Japan's Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi in Tokyo for trade talks and publicly expresses his disappointment over Indonesia's July 4 attack upon an international aid convoy which he says has placed Indonesia in the international spotlight.
    • The trial of Federal MP and former West Australian Premier Carmen Lawrence begins in the Perth District Court where she pleads not guilty to three charges of giving false testimony to the Marks Royal Commission.
  • 13 July - ABC-TV's Media Watch programme reveals that radio announcer John Laws had accepted a sponsorship worth $1.2 million from the Banker's Association in return for favourable comments, thereby igniting the cash for comment scandal.
  • 22 July - A landmark ruling by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission forces Telstra to make its telephone network available to competitors such as Optus.
  • 23 July - A Perth District Court jury finds former West Australian Premier Carmen Lawrence not guilty of each of the three charges of giving false testimony to the Marks Royal Commission in 1995.
  • 27 July – A canyoning disaster at Saxetenbach Gorge near Interlaken in Switzerland. 21 tourists, 14 of them Australian, are killed.
    • The Sisters of Charity and St Vincent's Hospital reach agreement with the New South Wales Government to run an 18-month clinical trial of a medically supervised heroin injecting room to be established in King's Cross, New South Wales.
  • 18 August - The Supreme Court of Queensland rules that One Nation (Australia) was improperly registered at the 1998 Queensland State Election because it did not have the 500 members needed to register as a political party and the Court also finds that the registration was obtained by fraud and deception.
  • 26 August – The Prime Minister creates controversy when he avoids the use of the word 'sorry' when a motion was tabled in Parliament expressing 'deep & sincere regret that indigenous Australians suffered injustices under the practises of past generations'.
  • 30 August – East Timor votes for independence from Indonesia. In the violence that follows, Australia is a major contributor of peacekeeping forces.
  • 1 September - Jailed Care Australia workers, Steve Pratt and Peter Wallace, are freed from jail in Belgrade after being granted clemency by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. [6] [7]
  • 18 September – In a shock result, Steve Bracks & the Labor Party form a minority government with three rural independents to oust the ruling Liberal/National coalition government of Jeff Kennett in Victoria.
  • 3 November – The Reserve Bank announce an interest rate increase of 0.25%, the first since 1994.
  • 6 November – A referendum is held to determine whether Australia should become a republic & whether a preamble is inserted into the constitution recognising the Aborigines as Australia's first people. The 'no' vote scores 54% on the republic question & 60% on the preamble question.
  • 14 November – In response to the growing number of illegal immigrants, most of whom arrived by boat, the government allows police to board vessels in international waters. On 23 November, refugees were barred from seeking asylum in they had lived somewhere else for more than seven days or had the right to live somewhere else.

Arts & Literature[edit]

Film[edit]

Television[edit]

Sport[edit]

Unknown Dates[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

  • 6 February – Don Dunstan, former Premier of South Australia (born 1926)
  • 24 April – Arthur Boyd, painter (born 1920)
  • 10 May – Eric Willis, Premier of New South Wales (born 1922)
  • 21 May – Colin Hayes, champion trainer of thoroughbred racehorses (born 1924)
  • 6 June – Anne Haddy, actress (born 1930)
  • 25 June – Sir Peter Abeles, businessman (born 1924)
  • 28 July – Doris Carter, athlete (born 1912)
  • 23 September – Ivan Goff, screenwriter (born 1910)
  • 27 October - Harry Kadwell, rugby league footballer (age 96)
  • 29 October – Eric Reece, Premier of Tasmania (born 1909)
  • 30 December – Des Renford, Marathon Swimmer (born 1927)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Telstra rush lifts shares to new peak". The Australian. 2 February 1999. 
  2. ^ "Sea dive industry in safety shake-up". The Australian. 4 February 1999. 
  3. ^ "Vance Blasts West Coast". The Courier-Mail, p.1. 23 March 1999. 
  4. ^ "Telstra sale clears the Senate / Colston backs $16bn sell-off". The Australian. 22 June 1999. 
  5. ^ "COLSTON VOTE RINGS UP $16 BILLION TELSTRA SALE". The Courier-Mail. 22 June 1999. 
  6. ^ "Aussie care workers out of prison". The Courier-Mail. 2 September 1999. 
  7. ^ "Pratt and Wallace freed". The Australian. 2 September 1999.