2012 in Australia

The following lists events that happened during 2012 in Australia.

2012 in Australia
MonarchyElizabeth II
Governor-GeneralQuentin Bryce
Prime ministerJulia Gillard
ElectionsQLD, NT, ACT


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


State and Territory Leaders

Governors and Administrators


Whole year

  • Australian Year of the Farmer[1]


  • 12 January – Category 2 Tropical Cyclone Heidi battered Western Australia's Pilbara region bringing disruption to the local iron ore industry, damaging roofs, bringing down trees, and cutting power to at least 3,500 people.[2]
  • 26 January – Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott are evacuated by a security detail from a celebratory function when a protest by supporters of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy threatened to turn violent.[3]


3 February – The Mehi River at Moree, in northern New South Wales breaks its banks, flooding much of the town. Around 1,600 people are evacuated from their homes. Other towns affected by the flooding include Wee Waa, Pallamallawa and Biniguy.[4] In south west Queensland, the Maranoa River floods the town of Mitchell, inundating 100 homes and threatens to flood downstream Roma.[5]






  • 1 July – A carbon pricing scheme is introduced in Australia, which will charge a group of "liable entities" $23 per tonne of carbon emissions they produce in the 2012–13 financial year.[21]






  • 1 December –
    • The Federal Government's plain packaging laws for cigarettes come into force, meaning that cigarettes must be sold in olive-green packets with graphic health warnings.
    • 15-year-old Central Coast resident Nick Mitchell dies of an LSD overdose.
  • 2 December –
    • Prime Minister Julia Gillard announces a plan to cut the cost of electricity in Australian households.
    • West Australian Transport Minister Troy Buswell announces a $500 million road package for the northern suburbs which will include an extension to the Mitchell Freeway.
  • 3 December –
    • A disabled woman interrupts a speech by Prime Minister Julia Gillard to National Disability Services chief executives in Sydney to voice her frustration at eligibility criteria for the disability support pension.
    • Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury releases the interim response to the Federal Government's taskforce on whether the current GST threshold of $1,000 should be lowered on goods bought online from overseas and advises that lowering the threshold would not be cost-effective, particularly for with the volume of work for Customs and Australia Post.
    • Food company, Rosella, goes into receivership.
    • The South Australian Director of Public Prosecutions tells the Court of Criminal Appeal that his office will mount fresh criminal proceedings against a boy who was accused of murdering South Australian woman Pirjo Kemppainen in September 2010.
    • Former West Australian Premier Brian Burke is found not guilty of illegally obtaining confidential government information.
  • 4 December –
    • 2DayFM presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian make a prank call to the King Edward VII's Hospital, which was treating the Duchess of Cambridge, and pose as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles. Nurse Jacintha Saldanha answers the phone before transferring the call to a colleague, who divulged details of the Duchess's bout of acute morning sickness.
    • Senator John Faulkner calls for major reform within the New South Wales Labor branch, including electoral funding reform and the establishment of a parliamentary code of conduct.
    • The Reserve Bank of Australia cuts rates by 25 points back to the historic law of 3%. The Australian dollar remains firmly above $US 1.0472.
    • The Northern Territory Government reconfirms its promise to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on indigenous communities and then increase motor vehicle registration by $48 a year.
    • 17-year-old Brisbane resident, Harrison Kadell, dies in Fiji in a resort swimming pool while on an end-of-school holiday.
  • 5 December – Dame Elisabeth Murdoch dies in Melbourne aged 103.
  • 6 December –
    • The Federal Government secures a $6 billion funding deal with New South Wales to begin the National Disability Insurance Scheme in 2018.
    • Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson is stabbed in Oakville, Sydney while dealing with a dispute between neighbours. He later dies in hospital and Mitch and Fiona Barbieri are charged over his death.
  • 7 December –
    • A funeral for Daniel Morcombe is held at Sippy Downs.
    • The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Meeting is held. The governments agree to a plan to ease electricity costs, but are reluctant to commit funds to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. They also debated the issue of removing the gender bias from the monarchy succession rules.
    • An armed robber who led police on a high speed chase through the Valley Fiveways in 2011 and created 4 days of mayhem is arrested.
    • Jacintha Saldana commits suicide and 2 Day FM says that Michael Christian and Mel Grieg are "completely shattered".
  • 8 December –
    • Five people die after a horrific crash on the M1 at Coomera.
    • Five young friends travelling to Melbourne die when their car crashes during their journey from Geelong.
  • 10 December –
    • Mel Greig and Michael Christian give their first interviews since Jacintha Saldanha's death, telling Nine Network's A Current Affair and Seven Network's Today Tonight that they are still badly shaken over the tragedy
    • A boat shed near Jacobs Well, Queensland catches fire and 230 boats are destroyed.
  • 11 December –
    • Queensland Premier Campbell Newman promises that there will be no more public sector job cuts after the current target of 14,000 jobs is met.
    • Protective Services Officer James Vongvixay is brutally attacked with a hammer on the steps of Parliament House Melbourne, requiring him to undergo surgery to mend a fractured skull.
  • 12 December –
    • The Federal Court of Australia rules that the case brought against former House of Representatives Speaker Peter Slipper by James Ashby is an "abuse of process", declaring that its predominant purpose was to cause "significant public, reputational and political damage".[30]
    • Thousands attend the funeral for slain Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta.
    • Summer thunderstorms and once-in-100 year rains wreak havoc across the southern half of Western Australia affecting properties near the Collie River.
    • The Queensland Government offers to join the National Disability Insurance Scheme, with Premier Campbell Newman offering $1.77 billion to roll out the scheme in Queensland from 2018. The Federal Government says it is a step in the right direction but the offer is well short of what's required.
  • 13 December –
    • The Queensland Government announces a $5 million commission of inquiry to investigate the state's failed health payroll system. The inquiry will investigate what went wrong with the IT system.
    • The Administrative Decisions Tribunal orders that radio broadcaster Alan Jones apologise on-air next week for describing Lebanese Muslims as "vermin" and mongrels" seven-and-a-half years ago.
    • New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell announces the Government's New South Wales Long-Term Transport Master Plan, including Sydney's Light Rail Future, which commits the Government to commencing construction on a light rail line from Central to Randwick before the next election. Another rail crossing over Sydney Harbour will be built after the north-west rail link is finished at the end of the decade.
  • 14 December –
    • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees severely criticises the conditions and treatment of asylum seekers at the Nauru Detention Centre.
    • The South Australian Government releases another three cases of sex abuse allegations in public schools, but says it will not inform the parents at two schools until the new school year.
    • Two Queensland unions lose their legal battle with the Queensland Government over job security laws. The Queensland Government has amended the Public Service and Industrial Relations Acts, removing job security clauses in agreements for public sector workers.
    • A new report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development calls Australia the "Iron Man of advanced nations", but warns that the Federal Government should abandon its plan to return the budget to surplus this financial year if the global and local economies slow down further.
    • Gerard Baden-Clay is denied bail and the Supreme Court of Queensland releases the diary entries of his deceased wife Allison.
  • 17 December –
    • Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan meets with state and territory treasurers. The Commonwealth agrees to do more analysis on cutting the GST threshold for online purchases, but Wayne Swan maintains it will cost more than it delivers.
  • 19 December –
    • The Climate Change Authority recommends that the renewable energy target remain unchanged, despite falling electricity demand, but says the target will not be met if Tony Abbott is elected and abandons the carbon tax.
    • West Australian Premier Colin Barnett criticises the Federal Government for delaying a decision on what would be the state's first proper uranium mine, in the northern Goldfields.
    • SkyCity commits more than $300 million to transform the Adelaide Casino, including a huge increase in gambling operations. South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill praises the expansion on the basis that it will create a further 500 construction jobs and would make the Riverbank precinct "a world-class entertainment precinct".
    • The Federal Government confirms that Prime Minister Julia Gillard will formally apologise to children of forced adoptions at Parliament House on 21 March 2013.
    • Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott explains during a press conference that he has been too busy "doing very important things" in London to have read the week-old judgment dismissing a sexual harassment claim against former speaker Peter Slipper.
  • 20 December –
    • Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan releases the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) which reveals that a budget surplus in the 2012-13 financial year will be unlikely after new figures showed a $4 billion write down in cash receipts during the first four months of the financial year.
    • The Australian share market hits an 18-month high.
    • After almost six weeks in court, the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory finds Brownyn Buttery, Christopher Malyshko and Zac Grieve guilty of carrying out the contract killing of Katherine man Ray Niceforo in 2011.
    • The Wilderness Society launches legal action against the West Australian Government's proposed gas hub near Broome.
    • South Australian Treasurer Jack Snelling releases the state's 2012-13 Mid-Year Budget Review (MYBR) and announces that the Government is still on track for a Budget surplus in 2015-16, albeit reduced to $468 million from the $512 million surplus that was forecast in the 2012-13 Budget. Mr. Snelling also announces that the Government will axe another 2,000 public service jobs due to significant revenue write downs which include lower than projected GST collections and continued pressures on the Health Budget.
  • 21 December –
    • Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie announces an independent review into the evidence against Graham Stafford in the 1991 murder of schoolgirl Leanne Holland. The findings are to be released in early 2013.
    • West Australian Treasurer Troy Buswell delivers the state's Mid-Year Budget showing that the Government is expecting to post a modest surplus of $140 million for the 2012-13 financial year and an estimated debt level of $18.2 billion.
    • Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls announces that Cbus Property has been awarded the $653 million tender to construct the new government building at 1 William Street, Brisbane, to be 43 storeys, making it the tallest building in the city.

Arts and literature



See also


  1. Australian Year of the Farmer Archived 24 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Herald Sun: Cyclone Heidi, 12 January 2012.
  3. 26 January 2012.
  4. Gardiner, Stephanie (3 February 2012). "Thousands evacuated as floodwaters rise". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  5. Bartlett, Tony (3 February 2012). "State disaster declared as floodwaters rise in outback Queensland". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  6. Ryan, Peter (17 February 2012). "Air Australia grounded and placed into administration". ABC News. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
  7. presser
  8. Griffiths, Emma (27 February 2012). "Gillard wins leadership spill 73-29". ABC News. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
  9. "High winds described as a 'mini tornado' sweeps through Townsville on Tuesday morning". The Courier Mail. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  10. Hurst, Daniel (25 January 2012). "Bligh calls election amid flood cover-up claims". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  11. "New era as LNP takes power in Queensland". ABC News. 24 March 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  12. Brown, Malcolm (31 March 2012). "Jensen begs off as deputy consecrates woman bishop". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  13. Byrne, Elizabeth (2 April 2012). "First female Anglican bishop for NSW, ACT". ABC News. ABC. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
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  22. JT International SA v Commonwealth of Australia; British American Tobacco Australasia Limited & Ors v Commonwealth of Australia, High Court of Australia, 15 August 2012.
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