2005 in Australia

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2005 in Australia
Monarchy Elizabeth II
Governor-General Michael Jeffery
Prime minister John Howard
Population 20,328,609
Elections WA, NT
See also:


Premiers and Chief Ministers[edit]

Governors and Administrators[edit]


  • 11 January – Nine people are killed in bushfires in South Australia, making them the worst fires seen in Australia since Ash Wednesday, and until the Black Saturday bushfires in February 2009.
  • 8 February - Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone announces a closed inquiry to be headed by former AFP commissioner Mick Palmer, to investigate how Cornelia Rau came to be held in solitary confinement at Baxter Detention Centre and why she did not receive treatment despite suffering from schizophrenia.
  • 9 February - Queensland Premier Peter Beattie releases an edited transcript of an interview between Cornelia Rau and officers at the Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre on July 5, 2003.
  • 10 February - Queensland Premier Peter Beattie apologises for the failure of his agencies to properly care for Cornelia Rau.
  • 11 February - Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone admits that criminals who have finished their prison sentences and are awaiting deportation are being held among asylum seekers at the Baxter Detention Centre.
  • 13 February - Federal Treasurer Peter Costello breaks ranks with Prime Minister John Howard and says he and the government are sorry for the way Cornelia Rau was treated.
  • 25 February – Parts of the Sydney suburb of Macquarie Fields erupt into rioting following the death of a 19-year-old in a police pursuit.
  • 26 February – The ALP government of Geoff Gallop is re-elected in Western Australia for a second term.
  • 27 February - Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone announces an extension of the Rau inquiry from original date of March 24. Neil Comrie, the former Victorian Police Commissioner, is recruited to help Mick Palmer in the inquiry investigations.
  • 22 March - Stuart Copeland, the Queensland Shadow Minister for Health, raises the issue of Doctor Jayant Patel's clinical practice during Question Time in the Queensland Parliament. Copeland had been alerted to Patel's inadequacies by Toni Hoffman, a nurse at the Bundaberg Base Hospital.
  • 25 March - Rob Messenger, the National Party Member of Parliament for Burnett, raises the matter of Doctor Jayant Patel in a speech to the Queensland Legislative Assembly. He calls for Patel's suspension.
  • 2 April – The Shark 02 Royal Australian Navy Westland Sea King helicopter crashes off the coast of Nias, killing nine people.
  • 9 April - Queensland Health Minister Gordon Nuttall announces an inquiry into patient safety at Bundaberg Base Hospital in the wake of the "Dr Death" controversy at the hospital.
  • 17 April – The Bali Nine are arrested for drug smuggling in Indonesia
  • 2 May – Douglas Wood is taken hostage in Iraq. He is later rescued on 15 June.
  • 6 May – The scandal concerning the 2001 deportation the Philippines of Australian resident Vivian Solon first comes to light.
  • 23 May - The Morris Inquiry into the Queensland public hospital system (headed by Tony Morris QC) begins in Brisbane.
  • 26 May – National Sorry Day is renamed National Day of Healing.
  • 27 May – Schapelle Corby convicted of drug smuggling by an Indonesian court, and sentenced to 20 years in prison (later reduced to 15 and then reverted to 20 years).
  • 1 June – The Indonesian embassy is subjected to a bioterrorism hoax.
  • 3 June - The COAG meeting between the State Premiers and the Prime Minister is held. The Premiers agree to disagree with the Prime Minister on industrial relations, but make a commitment to the establishment of a national system of apprenticeships to address the skills shortage.
  • 28 June - Three suspects in a 2002 gang rape in Hurstville finally arrested in dawn raids in New South Wales.
  • 29 June - Rain brings drought relief and flooding across New South Wales.
    • New South Wales Supreme Court finds no evidence of neglect against Westmead Hospital in the Rhiannon Richards brain damage suit, leaving her family to pay both sides' legal costs.
    • New South Wales health authorities warn parents of an outbreak of whooping cough across the state, urging parents to immunise their children.
    • Former Federal Labor Opposition Leader, Mark Latham's autobiography is released, causing uproar in the Labor Party.
  • 14 July - Following the release of the Palmer Inquiry report, Prime Minister John Howard and Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone apologise to Cornelia Rau, who was mistakenly held in detention for 10 months, and to Vivian Solon, who was deported to the Philippines. The 200-page report identified systemic weaknesses in the Department of Immigration which contributed to Ms Rau's detention, the failure to establish her identity, and to meet her mental health needs. The report says that those same mistakes were made in Vivian Solon's case.
  • 27 July – After ten years in power, Bob Carr resigns as Premier of New South Wales. He is replaced by Morris Iemma on 3 August.
  • 21 August – Michelle Leslie is arrested in Bali after being found with two ecstasy pills in her handbag at an open-air dance party just outside of Kuta. She is found guilty, and sentenced to three months in prison on 18 November, but is released on 20 November as she had already served her sentence.
  • 29 August – After describing Bob Carr's wife Helena as a "mail-order bride", NSW Opposition Leader John Brogden resigns. He attempts suicide on 30 August.
  • 12 October – The Bali Memorial, Melbourne commemorating the victims of the 2002 Bali bombings is officially opened.
  • 2 December – Van Tuong Nguyen is hanged in Singapore for drug offences. He is the first Australian to be executed since 1993.
  • 11–12 December – The 2005 Cronulla riots take place, with the rioting centred on Cronulla and other beachside suburbs. There is also rioting in the Greater Western Suburbs area of Sydney. Attacks on people of Middle Eastern appearance are also reported in Perth and Adelaide.
  • 31 December – Sections of the Trans-Australian Railway near Nurina on the Nullarbor Plain were washed away by flooding, halting passenger and freight services for up to five days.

Arts and literature[edit]