1998 in Australia
|1998 in Australia|
|Governor-General||Sir William Deane|
|Prime minister||John Howard|
|Elections||ACT, QLD, TAS, Federal|
- Monarch – Elizabeth II
- Governor-General – Sir William Deane
- Prime Minister – John Howard
- Chief Justice – Sir Gerard Brennan (until 21 May), then Murray Gleeson
State and Territory Leaders
- Premier of New South Wales – Bob Carr
- Premier of Queensland – Rob Borbidge (until 20 June), then Peter Beattie
- Premier of South Australia – John Olsen
- Premier of Tasmania – Tony Rundle (until 14 September), then Jim Bacon
- Premier of Victoria – Jeff Kennett
- Premier of Western Australia – Richard Court
- Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory – Kate Carnell
- Chief Minister of the Northern Territory – Shane Stone
- Chief Minister of Norfolk Island – George Smith
Governors and Administrators
- Governor of New South Wales – Gordon Samuels
- Governor of Queensland – Peter Arnison
- Governor of South Australia – Sir Eric Neal
- Governor of Tasmania – Sir Guy Green
- Governor of Victoria – Sir James Gobbo
- Governor of Western Australia – Michael Jeffery
- Administrator of the Australian Indian Ocean Territories – Ronald Harvey (until 30 October)
- Administrator of Norfolk Island – Tony Messner
- Administrator of the Northern Territory – Neil Conn
- January – Floods in Katherine in the Northern Territory kill 3 people.
- 8 January – Prime Minister John Howard declines an offer to meet with British pop band, The Spice Girls.
- 28 January – Prime Minister John Howard unveils a new plan for training, education and expansion of the Work for the Dole Scheme aimed at easing youth unemployment.
- 30 January – Prime Minister John Howard visits the flood ravaged town of Katherine in the Northern Territory as flood waters claim their first victim.
- 2 – 13 February – Constitutional Convention is held to decide which model of republic should be put before the people of Australia in a referendum. The model chosen is one where the president is chosen by a joint sitting of both houses of parliament
- 4 February – The Federal Government gives short-term credit insurance to exporters to Indonesia to counter-act the effect of Indonesia's economic problems.
- 5 February – High Court of Australia judge Ian Callinan is accused of bias in the High Court challenge of the Hindmarsh Bridge.
- 21 February – Elections in the ACT re-elect the Liberal Party government of Kate Carnell. It would be the last State or Territory election that the Liberal Party have managed to form government after until the Western Australia state election in September 2008.
- 23 February–March – After generator breakdowns at four major coal-fired power stations, rolling blackouts hit the city of Brisbane and much of South-East Queensland.
- 3 March – Federal Speaker of the House of Representatives Bob Halverson resigns.
- 8 March – New South Wales Premier Bob Carr opens the Olympic Park Station on the new rail link between Sydney and the site for the 2000 Olympics.
- 12 March –
- The Senate votes against the Federal Government's plans to sell off the second portion of Telstra with the tied vote of Mal Colston.
- The Federal Opposition alleges that Mining and Resources Minister Warwick Parer increased his ownership of a mining company during the first year of the Howard Government's office.
- 16 March – Prime Minister John Howard pledges a $50 million crime database investment if the Liberal Party is re-elected.
- 17 March –
- The Federal Government announces sweeping reforms to business rules to attract overseas companies to Australia.
- 2 April – Prime Minister John Howard pledges $270 million to keep the aged in their own homes and win back their support.
- 7 April – 3 June – Patrick Corporation sacks 2,000 dock workers to try to improve efficiency on the waterfront. In response, the Maritime Union of Australia stages possibly the largest industrial dispute Australia has ever seen. In the end, the jobs are restored to the workers in exchange for improvements in efficiency.
- 25 April – Prime Minister John Howard joins former prisoners of war in a ceremony at Hellfire Pass in Thailand, paying tribute to those who died building the Thai-Burma railway.
- 5 May – A gas leak aboard the replenishment ship HMAS Westralia kills four people.
- 14 May – Prime Minister John Howard cuts defence ties and suspends all but the most vital humanitarian aid to India after the country carries out two more nuclear tests.
- 18 May – The value of the Australian dollar slumps to 62 and a quarter US cents, its lowest level in 12 years. Prime Minister John Howard blames the fall in value on "poorly informed people on the other side of the world".
- 23 May – The Federal Court of Australia blocks construction of the Jabiluka uranium mine, granting to the traditional owners of the land a temporary injunction against work on the mine entrance.
- 24 May –
- Prime Minister John Howard opens the new Central Synagogue in Sydney to replace the former synagogue which burnt down in 1994.
- Christopher Skase's passport is seized by Spanish officials and cancelled. Mr. Skase applies for a renewal of his Spanish residency, which expired on 13 May and the Federal Government asks Spanish authorities to refuse the application, hoping it will force him home.
- 26 May – The first National Sorry Day is observed, on the first anniversary of the tabling of the report Bringing them Home which was the result of an inquiry into the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families (the Stolen Generation). The day was held annually until 2004. It was renamed National Day of Healing from 2005.
- 27 May – The Australian Labor Party criticises the Queensland Coalition Government for its decision to put Pauline Hanson's One Nation party ahead of the Labor Party on how to vote papers for the upcoming Queensland State Election.
- 31 May – Prime Minister John Howard expresses Australia's concern about Pakistan's nuclear tests.
- 1 June – The Terminus Hotel in Wodonga, Victoria, burns down.
- 13 June – The Queensland state elections depose the ruling National Party government of Rob Borbidge & elect a minority ALP government, led by Peter Beattie. Pauline Hanson's One Nation scored 23% of the vote & 11 seats, leading to anti-racism protests & four former Prime Ministers to sign an open letter rejecting racism.
- 30 June – The Mercy Hospital in Albury, New South Wales, closes down its maternity unit. From July 1, all babies are now born at the Wodonga Hospital in Wodonga, Victoria.
- 11 July – The Telstra sale bill is defeated in the Senate. Prime Minister John Howard states the full sale of Telstra is still on the agenda for the next election.
- 15 July – Prime Minister John Howard stands firm against a Coalition backbench revolt on the full sale of Telstra. Mr. Howard informs Parliament that the Government is committed to the Telstra sale.
- 21 July – Federal Treasurer Peter Costello admits he has been approached to challenge John Howard for the leadership of the Liberal Party. Talk of the challenge overshadows a Cabinet meeting in regional Victoria.
- 21 July – 5 September – The 1998 Sydney water crisis involved the suspected contamination by the microscopic pathogens cryptosporidium and giardia of the water supply system of Greater Metropolitan Sydney.
- 22 July – The Federal Government bows to the mounting pressure from backbenchers and rural voters by placing a 49% cap on the sale of Telstra.
- 26 July – Premier Bob Carr promises to help the victims of flooding in Narrabri, Wee Waa and Gunnedah. The damage bill is expected to top $100 million.
- 13 August – The Coalition Tax Reform Package is launched and includes a 10 percent GST with the proceeds to be distributed to the states. Income tax will be lowered and the wholesale sales tax abolished, along with certain taxes on financial transactions.
- 16 August – Silk-Miller police murders: Two Victoria Police officers, Gary Michael Silk, 34, and Rodney James Miller, 35, are murdered in Moorabbin, Victoria.
- 17 August – Illawarra floods
- 29 August – The Liberal Party government of Tony Rundle is voted out in Tasmania & replaced with an ALP government of Jim Bacon.
- 17 September - Prime Minister John Howard terminates a radio interview in Sydney after being asked whether a GST will affect the price of heroin.
- 23 September – Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley launches Labor's election policy at the Brisbane Convention Centre, promising funding to a new jobs plan. Prime Minister John Howard dismisses Mr. Beazley's job target as unrealistic.
- 25 September – A gas explosion at Esso's Longford plant killed 2, injured 8 & left most of Victoria without gas for two weeks. Hundreds of businesses were affected.
- 6 November – Queensland's Electric Tilt Trains enter service
- 12 November – State Premiers and Territory Chief Ministers meet in Canberra with Prime Minister John Howard to discuss the sharing of funds from a goods and services tax.
- 15 November – Prime Minister John Howard arrives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the APEC Conference.
- 20 November – The High Court of Australia decides to allow uranium mining to proceed at Jabiluka in the Northern Territory.
- 29 November – Prime Minister John Howard joins in celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the first Holden motor car.
- 1 December – The Federal Government rejects an attempt by UNESCO to suspend construction of the Jabiluka uranium mine pending a further environmental impact report.
- 2 December – The Linton bushfire kills five volunteer firefighters in Linton, Victoria.
- December – A man posts 28 mail bombs in a Canberra post office after losing a legal battle with the Australian Taxation Office which had been going since 1994. One of the bombs explodes, injuring two workers.
- 4 December – Colin Dunstan, aged 43, is arrested for the tax office mail bomb campaign.
- 14 December – New South Wales Premier Bob Carr opens extra lanes on the road the runs from Penrith to Strathfield.
- 19 December – A fire breaks out at the Country Comfort hotel in Albury, New South Wales, spreading up to the top floor.
- 20 December – Christopher Skase is rushed to a Majorca hospital just days after a Spanish court lifts an order preventing his deportation.
- 16 February – Long running British preschool series Teletubbies premieres on ABC.
- 27 March – Darwin finally gets a second commercial television station when TND-34 opens, taking a Seven Network affiliation.
- WIN Television WA is granted a licence to broadcast to regional & remote Western Australia.
- November – After 25 years, The Midday Show is axed by the Nine Network.
- December – The remote Central & Eastern Australia markets are aggregated, with Imparja taking a Nine Network affiliation & Seven Central (formerly QSTV) taking a joint Seven & Network Ten affiliation.
Australian Rules Football
- 26 September – The Adelaide Crows (15.15.105) defeat North Melbourne (8.22.70) to win the 102nd VFL/AFL premiership.
- The Brownlow Medal was awarded to Robert Harvey of St Kilda
- The Leigh Matthews Trophy was awarded to Wayne Carey of North Melbourne
- The Coleman Medal was awarded to Tony Lockett of Sydney Swans
- The Norm Smith Medal was awarded to Andrew McLeod of Adelaide Crows
- The AFL Rising Star award was awarded to Byron Pickett of North Melbourne
- The Wooden Spoon was 'awarded' to Brisbane
- 13 March – The NRL competition kicks off, with the South Sydney Rabbitohs upsetting the Auckland Warriors 24–18 at Ericsson Stadium.
- 15 March – In their first match, the Melbourne Storm upset the Illawarra Steelers 14–12 at WIN Stadium. The Storm go on to have a remarkable debut season, going within one game of the grand final.
- 24 April – The Kangaroos play their first 'full-fledged' international match in four years. The Kiwis spoil the party however, winning 22–16.
- 12 June – Rugby league rocked by drugs scandal. Three Newcastle Knights players test positive, as do one Melbourne player & a Western Suburbs player.
- 23 September – The St. George Dragons & the Illawarra Steelers announce they will form the game's first joint venture team, the St George Illawarra Dragons.
- 27 September – The Brisbane Broncos defeat the Canterbury Bulldogs 38–12 to win the 91st NSWRL/ARL/NRL premiership. It is the first premiership held under the NRL name & the last grand final to be played at the Sydney Football Stadium (now Aussie Stadium). It is also the second consecutive premiership for the Broncos, if you count their 1997 success in Super League
- 1 & 3 December – The Adelaide Rams & the Gold Coast Chargers are eliminated from the NRL competition for 1999.
- October – Mark Taylor equals Don Bradman's record of 334 in a test match against Pakistan. However, unlike Bradman, Taylor is not out & declares the innings closed when he reaches that score.
- Shane Warne & Mark Waugh confess to accepting money from an Indian bookmaker when the Australian cricket team was on tour in Pakistan & Sri Lanka in 1994.
- 8 March – Finnish driver Mika Häkkinen wins a controversial Australian Grand Prix ahead of McLaren teammate Scot David Coulthard after Coulthard moved over and allowed Häkkinen to take the race lead in the closing stages of the race.
- 4 October – Mick Doohan riding a Honda NSR500 won his third and final Australian motorcycle Grand Prix at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. The win secured Doohan's fifth consecutive World Championship victory.
- 4 October – Jim Richards and Swede Rickard Rydell win the Bathurst 1000 in their TWR prepared Volvo S40, defeating Richards' son Steven Richards and Brit Matt Neal in a Nissan Primera by the smallest competitive margin in the races history. It was Richards' sixth Bathurst victory.
- 8 November – Finnish driver Tommi Mäkinen won his second Rally Australia driving a Mitsubishi Lancer.
- 15 November – Jason Bright and Steven Richards in a Ford Falcon take victory in the Bathurst Classic, the first major victory for Stone Brothers Racing team.
- February – Zali Steggall wins bronze in the women's slalom at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. It is Australia's first ever individual Winter Olympic medal.
- 13 March – First day of the Australian Track & Field Championships for the 1997–1998 season, which are held at the Olympic Park in Melbourne, Victoria. The 10,000 metres was conducted at the Zatopek Classic, Melbourne on 18 December 1998. The men's decathlon event was staged at the Hobart Grand Prix on 21 – 22 February.
- 12 July – Greg Lyons wins the men's national marathon title, clocking 2:17:00 in Brisbane, while Lisa Dick claims her second women's title in 2:36:54.
- December – Six sailors die in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
- 1 January – Lara Robinson, actress
- 2 January – Jake Clifford, rugby league player
- 14 January – Maddison Inglis, tennis player
- 16 January
- 17 January – Sophie Molineux, cricketer
- 5 February – Sara Tomic, tennis player
- 12 February – Bilal Maarbani, rugby league player
- 17 February – Harry Grant, rugby league player
- 12 March – Jordan Jansen, singer
- 14 March – Victor Radley, rugby league player
- 30 March – Kalyn Ponga, rugby league player
- 1 April – Isabella Bliss, chef
- 3 April – Max Purcell, tennis player
- 16 April – Jordana Beatty, actress
- 22 April – Reed Mahoney, rugby league player
- 30 April
- 10 May – Priscilla Hon, tennis player
- 9 June – Moses Suli, rugby league player
- 24 July – Bindi Irwin, television presenter
- 1 August – Pasami Saulo, rugby league player
- 5 August – Adam Doueihi, rugby league player
- 15 August – Gulliver McGrath, actor
- 19 August – Salesi Junior Fainga'a, rugby league player
- 21 August – Sean O'Sullivan, rugby league player
- 2 September – Gehamat Shibasaki, rugby league player
- 9 September – Alexander Brimson, rugby league player
- 17 October – Manase Finau, rugby league player
- 19 October – Enari Tuala, rugby league player
- 29 October – Kotoni Staggs, rugby league player
- 3 November – Maddison Elliott, swimmer
- 18 November – Nick Cotric, rugby league player
- 16 January – Alphonse Gangitano, Melbourne gangster
- 28 April – Mum (Shirl) Smith, Aboriginal activist
- 17 July – Marc Hunter, lead singer of the band Dragon
- 2 September – Tommy J. Smith, trainer of thoroughbred racehorses
- 4 September – Elizabeth Kata, 85, novelist
- 9 October – Ian Johnson, Australian Test cricket captain
- 21 November – Sir Otto Frankel, geneticist
- McClennan, Peter (December 1998). "Sydney Water Inquiry: Final Report" (PDF) (Fifth Report ed.). Sydney: NSW Premier's Department. ISBN 0-7313-3073-0. Retrieved 16 March 2014.