1982 in Australia

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The following lists events that happened during 1982 in Australia.

1982 in Australia
Monarchy Elizabeth II
Governor-General Sir Zelman Cowen, then Sir Ninian Stephen
Prime minister Malcolm Fraser
Population 15,184,247
Elections VIC, TAS, SA

Flag of Australia.svg

See also:


State Leaders

Governors and Administrators



  • 5 January – Sir William McMahon announces his retirement from politics after 32 years. His resignation comes at an awkward time for the Federal Government, not keen to test its mid-term popularity in so vulnerable a seat as Lowe.


  • 2 February – Lindy Chamberlain is committed for trial for the murder of her daughter Azaria.
  • 5 February – A Cessna 411A aircraft crashes into a building at Archerfield Airport. The pilot and four people within the building are killed.



  • 3 April – After almost 27 years in power, the Liberal/National coalition government is voted out in Victoria & is replaced by the ALP
  • 6 April – Sir Phillip Lynch steps down as Liberal Party Deputy Leader after 10 years in the position, leaving the way clear for " a younger man".
  • 8 April –
  • 11 April – Business entrepreneur and adventurer Dick Smith makes a record solo helicopter flight from Sydney to Bundaberg.
  • 16 April – Archbishop John Grindrod is appointed as Anglican Primate of Australia, succeeding Sir Marcus Loane.
  • 19 April – Federal Health Minister Michael MacKellar and Customs and Excise Minister John Moore resign over Michael MacKellar's failure to declare and pay duty on a colour television set in October 1981.



  • 5 June – The Premiers and the Commonwealth agree to abolish appeals from the State Supreme Courts to the Privy Council, thus making the High Court of Australia the final court of appeal. Several of the few remaining constitutional links with Britain are also to be severed.
  • 18 June – The South Australian Government passes legislation authorising the development of the Roxby Downs copper-uranium deposit, despite controversy over the issue.
  • 21 June – The Queensland Art Gallery within the Queensland Cultural Centre is opened. The cost had blown out from the original estimate of $10 million to $28 million.



  • 2 August – The Daily Sun newspaper begins publication in Brisbane.
  • 8 August – The Dalai Lama visits Australia to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Buddhism in the country.
  • 15 August – Queensland Government workers, including railway employees, walk out for two days in support of shorter working hours and a general strike results.
  • 24 August –
    • The fourth interim report of the Costigan Royal Commission into the Ships Painters and Dockers' Union begins a series of revelations about tax fraud which implicates senior public servants and members of the Liberal Party. The report highlights tax-avoidance schemes, including "bottom of the harbour" plans. The resulting furore ends speculation about an early election.
    • The strike in Queensland ends when unions capitulate before the government's adamant attitude on the issue.


  • 30 September – A Cessna 210-5 vanishes on a flight from Atherton to Mount Isa. The five people aboard are presumed to have perished.



  • 6 November – Elections in South Australia see the voting out of the Liberal/National coalition, led by David Tonkin & the election of the ALP, led by John Bannon.
  • 10 November – Tasmania's most infamous murder case occurs when lawyer Randall Askeland beats his wife, Wendy Mold, to death with an iron bar whilst she is asleep.


  • 1 December – The Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act becomes operative.
  • 14 December – The Tasmanian Wilderness Society, led by Bob Brown, stages a blockade of the Franklin Dam site in Tasmania which continues into 1983. On the same day, UNESCO agrees to list the Tasmanian Wild Rivers as a World Heritage Site.
  • 17 December – Random Breath Testing is introduced in New South Wales.
  • 31 December – The Australian Women's Weekly is first published as a monthly magazine.
  • One of Australia's worst ever droughts strikes the country.

Arts and literature




^-Scored under outdated scoring system.



See also

External links


  1. ^ Cornish, Selwyn, "Randall, Sir Richard John (Dick) (1906–1982)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, archived from the original on 19 April 2013
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