2002 in Australia

The following lists events that happened during 2002 in Australia.

2002 in Australia
MonarchyElizabeth II
Governor-GeneralPeter Hollingworth
Prime ministerJohn Howard
ElectionsSA, TAS, VIC


  • 1980s
  • 1990s
  • 2000s
  • 2010s
  • 2020s
See also:


State and Territory Leaders

Governors and Administrators




  • 9 February – The last remaining Liberal/National coalition state government is voted out in South Australia and replaced by a Labor one, led by Mike Rann. It would be the last such Coalition state government until September 2008.
  • February onwards – The worst drought in 100 years affects most of Australia, with water restrictions being put in place in Sydney, Melbourne and many other areas, and farmers being devastated by crop failures.
  • 19 February – An independent inquiry is ordered into claims that Governor-General Peter Hollingworth ignored sexual abuse claims.
  • 27 February – Governor-General Peter Hollingworth greets Queen Elizabeth II upon her arrival in South Australia for the Golden Jubilee tour.


  • 1 – 5 March – The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2002 takes place in Coolum, Queensland.
  • 4 March – Bankrupt airline Ansett Australia formerly ceases all operations, with its final flights that had been operating on a scaled-down version of the once major carrier, flying for the last time. The airline's remaining 3,000 staff members are made redundant and the company falls into the history pages permanently after 66 years of operation.
  • 8 March – Prime Minister John Howard is criticised for entertaining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Chairman Geoff Clark, who is being investigated on rape allegations.
  • 9 March – Amnesty International's Secretary, Irene Khan, criticised Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock for not allowing access to the Woomera Detention Centre after two detainees are injured in protests.
  • 12 March – Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan alleges that High Court judge Michael Kirby trawled the streets of Sydney looking for underage rent boys.
  • 15 March – Prime Minister John Howard goes to London to meet the Presidents of South Africa and Nigeria, as the Commonwealth decides whether to suspend Zimbabwe.
  • 31 March – Janelle Patton becomes Norfolk Island's first murder victim in 150 years.



  • 1 May – Prime Minister John Howard and Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi agree to strengthen trade and security links between Australia and Japan.
  • 23 May – Queensland police investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of 70-year-old Gold Coast widow Nancy Crick, who took her own life on 21 May in the company of 20 friends and family, after a long battle with immense pain brought on by an inoperable bowel condition.
  • 27 May – Victorian Premier Steve Bracks defends his government against criticism by the Catholic Church over stem cell research.
  • 30 May – The Victorian Government announces a package of reforms to address the public liability insurance crisis.



  • 3 July – Prime Minister John Howard is questioned about mandatory detention during a visit to Germany to discuss economic and trade issues.
  • 7 July –
  • 8 July – Prime Minister John Howard makes a pilgrimage to the Greek-Australian War Memorial in Crete.
  • 17 July – Prime Minister John Howard confirms that paid maternity leave is under active consideration by the Federal Government.
  • 20 July – The ALP government of Jim Bacon is re-elected for a second term in Tasmania.


  • 2 August – Prime Minister John Howard announces that Australia will be asked to help in an imminent American attack in Iraq.
  • 6 August – Clothing manufacturer Pacific Brands grants female staff 12 weeks' maternity leave on full pay in a landmark workplace deal.
  • 12 August – Wheat farmers blame the Federal Government for causing the cancellation of $820 million in wheat contracts with Iraq.
  • 16 August – The Federal Government appoints a cotton farmer, Dick Estens, to investigate the sale of Telstra. Federal Treasurer Peter Costello tours outback Queensland where he advocates for the full sale of Telstra.
  • 19 August – Tasmanian Premier Jim Bacon urges the Victorian Government not to abandon the Baselink development which will link Tasmania to the mainland electricity grid.


  • 20 September – A matter involving allegations of a serious criminal offence against Queensland Chief Magistrate Di Fingleton is referred to the Crime and Misconduct Commission for investigation.
  • 22 September – Former Liberal Leader Andrew Peacock marries former Texan beauty queen Penne Percy Korth in the United States.
  • 24 September – Prime Minister John Howard is out-voted during a meeting with African leaders about the future of Zimbabwe in the Commonwealth.



  • 5 November – Damien Oliver wins the Melbourne Cup on board Media Puzzle, a few days after his brother died in a riding accident
  • 14 November – Bali bomber Amrozi smiles and laughs about the 2002 Bali bombings in an Indonesian court, creating outrage in Australia.
  • 30 November – In Victoria, the Labor government of Steve Bracks is re-elected for a second term.


  • 11 December – Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward recommends a 14-week fully paid maternity leave scheme for Australian working women.
  • 12 December – The High Court of Australia hands down its decision in the case of Yorta Yorta Aboriginal Community v. State of Victoria, dismissing the native title claim made by the Yorta Yorta peoples to land and waters covering 2,000 square kilometres along and around the Murray and Goulburn Rivers. The Yorta Yorta peoples sought recognition that they are the Indigenous peoples belonging, by tradition, to that country.

Arts and literature






See also

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