1975 in Australia
|1975 in Australia|
|Governor-General||Sir John Kerr|
|Prime minister||Gough Whitlam, then Malcolm Fraser|
- Monarch – Elizabeth II
- Governor-General – Sir John Kerr
- Prime Minister – Gough Whitlam (until 11 November), then Malcolm Fraser
- Chief Justice – Sir Garfield Barwick
State and Territory Leaders
- Premier of New South Wales – Sir Robert Askin (until 3 January), then Tom Lewis
- Premier of Queensland – Joh Bjelke-Petersen
- Premier of South Australia – Don Dunstan
- Premier of Tasmania – Eric Reece (until 31 March), then Bill Neilson
- Premier of Victoria – Rupert Hamer
- Premier of Western Australia – Sir Charles Court
- Majority Leader of the Northern Territory – Goff Letts
Governors and Administrators
- Governor of New South Wales – Sir Roden Cutler
- Governor of Queensland – Sir Colin Hannah
- Governor of South Australia – Sir Mark Oliphant
- Governor of Tasmania – Sir Stanley Burbury
- Governor of Victoria – Sir Henry Winneke
- Governor of Western Australia – Sir Hughie Edwards (until 2 April), then Sir Wallace Kyle (from 24 November)
- Administrator of Norfolk Island – Edward Pickerd (until 31 August), then Charles Buffett
- Administrator of the Northern Territory – Jock Nelson (until 12 November)
- High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea – Tom Critchley (until 16 September)
- 5 January – Tasman Bridge disaster: The Tasman Bridge in Hobart is struck by the ore carrier MV Lake Illawarra. The bridge partially collapses onto the vessel, which sinks. Seven crew and five motorists are killed.
- 7 January – An Executive Council Minute authorising the raising of a "temporary loan" of US$4,000 million for 20 years is reversed before it becomes public knowledge. The move to bypass the Loans Council - to become known as the "Loans Affair" – had been initiated a month earlier by several Labor Ministers without consulting Cabinet.
- 19 January – 2JJ, the predecessor of youth radio Triple J, commences broadcasting in Sydney.
- 26 January – The Workers' Party is launched at a banquet at the Sydney Opera House. The WP is libertarian in principle, demanding less government intervention, as well as being virulently anti-Socialist. The name is subsequently changed to the Progress Party in 1977.
- 9 February – Lionel Murphy resigns to become a High Court judge (a move for which Garfield Barwick's appointment had set a precedent).
- 11 February – New South Wales Premier Tom Lewis decides to replace Lionel Murphy in the Senate with a non-Labor nominee. Cabinet unanimously endorses his decision. Albury's 77-year-old mayor, Cleaver Bunton, is selected, thus reducing Labor to 28 in the Senate. The move is seen as breaking constitutional convention and was against the advice of senior Liberals and most Premiers.
- 27 February – Prime Minister Gough Whitlam's failure to support Speaker Jim Cope in a ruling involving Clyde Cameron (Hindmarsh) led to the Speaker's resignation and his replacement by Gordon Scholes. Cope had been having difficulty with the Opposition's increasing larrikinism.
- 18 March – The Victorian Government appoints the Beach Board of Inquiry to report on allegations of misconduct against the police force.
- 21 March – Malcolm Fraser replaces Billy Snedden as leader of the Liberal Party of Australia, winning the party room ballot 37:27. Phillip Lynch retains the deputy leadership.
- 8 April – After 21 hours of bitter debate in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, a Bill to abolish the death penalty is passed 36:30, with 5 abstentions. To this end, Labor Council leader J. Galbally had brought in 21 private members Bills in some 15 years. The abolition Bill must now pass the Legislative Council where lengthy debate and an even closer vote is expected.
- 25 April – The Australian Embassy in South Vietnam is closed and staff evacuated prior to the Fall of Saigon.
- 20 May – The Executive Council revokes approval it had given on 28 January for a US$2,000 million overseas loan. Henceforth, all negotiations are to be conducted through the Treasury.
- 5 June – Lance Barnard's resignation to become Ambassador to Sweden leads to a reorganisation of the Federal Ministry. Social Security Minister Bill Hayden (Ipswich) replaces Jim Cairns as Treasurer, and Cameron is demoted from the Labour and Immigration Ministry to Science and Consumer Affairs (amid his own and union protests).
- 15 June – The South Australian Australian Labor Party conference gives Prime Minister Gough Whitlam a mixed reception. The Australian Workers' Union, in particular, is offended by his recent demotion of Clyde Cameron, for decades a leading figure in South Australia's Labor and Industrial Affairs.
- 28 June – The 1975 Bass by-election is held. Malcolm Fraser and Gough Whitlam campaign against each other for the first time as leaders. A swing of about 16% against the Australian Labor Party gives the seat to the Liberal candidate Kevin Newman, and the Opposition sees this as the green light for its strategy of forcing a second premature election.
- 30 June – Queensland Senator Bert Milliner dies, leaving a Senate vacancy. The filling of this vacancy and the controversy surrounding it becomes one of the key events of the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis.
- 1 July – Medibank is introduced, Australia Post and Telecom are formed from the Postmaster-General's Department (PMG).
- 2 July – Prime Minister Gough Whitlam has Jim Cairns' commission as Environment Minister terminated for misleading Parliament. Mr Cairns had denied having written a secret letter to a loans broker in March, but a signed letter was produced in June.
- 4 July – Sydney newspaper publisher Juanita Nielsen disappears from her Kings Cross home where she published attacks on inner-city development. Edward Trigg and Shayne Martin-Simmonds are later found guilty of conspiring to murder her.
- 3 September – Convention is breached when the Queensland Parliament rejects Australian Labor Party nominee Mal Colston to replace the deceased Senator Bert Milliner, choosing instead Pat Field (automatically expelled for having nominated against the endorsed candidate.
- 16 September – Papua New Guinea gains its independence from Australia.
- 20 September – Thirteen miners are killed in an underground coal mine explosion at the Kianga Mine at Moura, Queensland.
- 1 October – Senator Albert Field (now an Independent) is granted a month's leave of absence while his eligibility to take his seat is tested in the High Court of Australia, sitting as a Court of Disputed Returns. There has been doubting as to whether he resigned in the correct way from the Public Service at the time he was appointed.
- 8 October – Prime Minister Gough Whitlam denied in Parliament that any of his senior ministers were still involved in trying to raise overseas loans in defiance of the 20 May revocation. Press reports based on information from the loan intermediary, Tirath Khemlani, suggest that Rex Connor is still involved.
- 10 October – The High Court of Australia upholds the validity of the territorial Senators legislation. In any half-Senate election, four senators, plus replacements for Bunton and Field, would take their places in the Senate at once, thus giving Labor the chance to win back control there.
- 15 October – At a Brisbane Chamber of Commerce annual luncheon, Queensland Governor Sir Colin Hannah associated himself with the criticism of the Federal Government. In the ensuing row, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam persuades Queen Elizabeth II to revoke his dormant commission to act as Governor-General.
- 16 October – The Balibo Five are killed by Indonesian troops in Portuguese Timor.
- 1 to 31 October – Averaged over Victoria, this stands as the wettest month since at least 1900 with a statewide average rainfall of 154.53 millimetres or 6.08 inches.
- 11 November – 1975 Australian constitutional crisis: The Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, dismisses the government of Gough Whitlam. Malcolm Fraser is installed as caretaker Prime Minister.
- 19 November – Two staff members of the Queensland Premier's Department are injured when they open a letter-bomb addressed to the Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen.
- 9 December – New South Wales Country Party Leader Sir Charles Cutler retires and Deputy Leader Leon Punch replaces him with J.C. Bruxner as his deputy.
- 13 December –
- The 1975 Australian federal election is held. After a bitter campaign in which Labor tried to keep constitutional matters to the fore and the Coalition concentrated on inflation, unemployment and Labor's errors in office, the Fraser Government is confirmed in power, securing 54% of the vote, 91 of the 127 House seats, and 35 Senate seats.
- The Victorian Government forms a committee to examine some of the recommendations from the Beach Board of Inquiry.
- 25 December – Fifteen persons are killed in an arson attack at the Savoy Hotel in Kings Cross, New South Wales.
- Scientist John Cornforth is announced as Australian of the Year.
Arts and literature
- 1 March – "C-Day." Full-time colour broadcasting is launched.
- April – Graham Kennedy said the crow call "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck!" during a live ad on The Graham Kennedy Show. The studio operators complied, and the show immediately pulled the plug and went to a black screen saying the network had "technical difficulties". In Sydney, the show went to a commercial break and Kennedy never came back, with Bert Newton remaining during the airtime. The same happened in Adelaide, with the exception that it was succeeded by Don Lane starting the host his variety show with Newton. Kennedy was immediately fired and banned for life from GTV-9.
- 16 March – Australia is represented by twelve long-distance runners (eight men, four women) at the third IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Rabat, Morocco. Bill Scott is Australia's best finisher, claiming the 22nd spot (36:28.0) in the race over 12 kilometres.
- 9 August – John Farrington wins his fourth men’s national marathon title, clocking 2:17:20 in Point Cook.
- 23 August:
- Glenelg kick the all-time record score for a major Australian football competition, kicking 49.23 (317) to Central District’s 11.13 (79). Fred Phillis kicked eighteen goals and Peter Carey eight.
- Eastern Suburbs set a record NSWRL/ARL/NRL winning streak of their last nineteen home-and-away games before losing the major semi-final.
- 20 September – Eastern Suburbs set a record NSWRL Grand Final winning margin, beating St. George 38 points to nil.
- 27 September – North Melbourne become the last of the then-extant VFL clubs to win a premiership, beating Hawthorn 19.8 (122) to 9.13 (67) in the 1975 VFL Grand Final.
- Think Big wins the Melbourne Cup Jockey Harry White.
- Western Australia wins the Sheffield Shield
- Kialoa takes line honours in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Rampage is the handicap winner
- Czechoslovakia defeats Australia 3-0 in the Federation Cup
- 2 January – Chris Cheney, singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer
- 19 January – Natalie Cook, beach volleyball player
- 4 February – Natalie Imbruglia, singer and actor
- 19 April – Jason Gillespie, cricketer
- 13 May – Nathan Green, golfer
- 21 May – Anthony Mundine, rugby league footballer and boxer
- 27 May – Michael Hussey, cricketer
- 7 June – Leigh Colbert, footballer
- 9 June – Andrew Symonds, cricketer
- 23 June
- 2 July – Daniel Kowalski, swimmer
- 7 July – Michael Voss, Australian footballer and coach
- 17 July – Loretta Harrop, triathlete
- 7 August
- 12 August – Taryn Woods, water polo player
- 21 August – Simon Katich, cricketer
- 25 August – Petria Thomas, swimmer
- 1 September – Natalie Bassingthwaighte, singer and actor
- 18 September – Don Hany, actor
- 25 September – Scott Westcott, long-distance runner
- 28 September – Stuart Clark, cricketer
- 9 October – Mark Viduka, football (soccer) player
- 23 October – Phillip Gillespie, cricket umpire
- 31 October