1985 in Australia

The following lists events that happened during 1985 in Australia.

1985 in Australia
MonarchyElizabeth II
Governor-GeneralSir Ninian Stephen
Prime ministerBob Hawke
Australian of the YearPaul Hogan
ElectionsVIC, SA


  • 1960s
  • 1970s
  • 1980s
  • 1990s
  • 2000s
See also:


State and Territory Leaders

Governors and Administrators



  • 1 January Australia commences a two-year term as a member of the United Nations Security Council.
  • 19 January A hailstorm accompanied by severe winds sweeps through Brisbane and surrounding areas, causing an estimated $110 million of property damage. Subsequently, around 95,000 insurance claims are lodged.
  • 28 January Victorian Premier John Cain's support for reforms to the Upper House rather than its abolition defuse this as an election issue.
  • 29 January Federal Cabinet endorses an earlier decision to provide refuelling facilities to United States aircraft monitoring MX missile tests in the Pacific. Strong anti-American and anti-nuclear reaction soon forces Prime Minister Bob Hawke to withdraw the offer.





  • 14 May Federal Treasurer Paul Keating releases a mini-Budget aimed at reducing Government spending, with cuts falling mainly on defence and the unemployed.
  • 20 May Queensland police raid the Greenslopes Fertility Clinic, Brisbane and seize the patient files of 20,000 women. The search warrant is later ruled invalid and the files returned. Other raids are carried out on clinics in Brisbane and Townsville.[2]
  • 30 May At the Premiers' Conference, the Grants Commission makes cuts, especially to the Northern Territory and Queensland. Business and conservative interests praise Federal Treasurer Paul Keating as a result.



  • 1 July 4 July A Tax Summit is held. Federal Treasurer Paul Keating abandons his preferred Option C (a 12.5% retail sales tax) after a public outcry.




  • October Network Seven drops Neighbours after seven months on air, only for it to be continued by Network Ten.
  • 3 October Victorian Premier John Cain announces the resignation of Victorian Governor Sir Brian Murray over his acceptance of discounted air fares from Continental Airlines. The issue dragged on for several years, causing much embarrassment and recrimination.
  • 9 October Victorian Police investigate complaints from the Nuclear Disarmament Party on bogus how-to-vote cards issued during the 1985 Nunawading Province state by-election, authorised by Australian Labor Party state secretary Peter Batchelor.
  • 12 October Canon Arthur Malcolm becomes the first Aboriginal Bishop in Australia.
  • 24 October South Australian Ombudsman Mary Beasley resigns over much publicity over travel concessions for her partner Susan Mitchell. Her successor Grant Edwards resigns on the same day, subject to an inquiry, with Eugene Biganovsky thus becoming the third to hold the office within the one day.
  • 26 October The Mutijulu Aboriginal community is given freehold title to Ayers Rock and the Uluru National Park.


  • 13 November Mr. Justice Paul Brereton introduces amendments to the Darling Harbour Bill, stating that the intransigence of the SSC had forced the New South Wales Government to exempt the controversial Sydney Monorail from normal planning controls and claiming that the casino planned for the site would spell the end to illegal gambling.
  • 25 November A man wearing a chicken suit walks into the House of Representatives and sits on the government front bench. He is later removed.


  • 2 December Federal Parliament passes the Australia Act, cutting the nation's last legal and constitutional ties with Britain.
  • 4 December Retiring New South Wales Local Government Minister Kevin Stewart sacks Warringah Shire Council for negligence and granting favours to a developer.
  • 5 December The Royal Commission into British atomic tests in Australia (McClelland Royal Commission) severely criticises Britain for violating safety standards and recommends that Britain clean up contaminated areas and pay compensation.
  • 7 December The Labor government of John Bannon is re-elected for a second term in South Australia.
  • 15 December Rural discontent at soaring interest rates and falling commodity prices is symbolised by the rally in Canberra of 9,000 farmers for the court appearance of a farmer who had dumped 35 tonnes of wheat on the steps of Parliament House.
  • 16 December New South Wales Premier Neville Wran is charged with contempt of court by the Federal Department of Public Prosecutions in relation to remarks he had made on November 28 when the Appeal Court had ordered a new trial for Mr. Justice Lionel Murphy.
  • 22 December The new Victorian Governor is announced as academic and Uniting Church minister, Rev. Davis McCaughey, to be sworn in on February 18, 1986.

Unknown dates

Arts and literature






See also


  1. Morri, Mark (1 August 2016). "Bondi Beast: Police reveal secret investigation links him to at least 27 attacks on women over 15 years". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  2. "Abortion clinics raided". The Telegraph, p.1. 20 May 1985.
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