The following lists events that happened during 1981 in Australia.

1981 in Australia
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor-GeneralSir Zelman Cowen
Prime ministerMalcolm Fraser
Australian of the YearJohn Crawford


See also:

Incumbents edit

Sir Zelman Cowen
Malcolm Fraser

State and territory leaders edit

Governors and administrators edit

Events edit

January edit

February edit

March edit

April edit

  • 15 AprilMinister for Industrial Relations Andrew Peacock resigns from cabinet accusing the prime minister of gross disloyalty.
  • 16 April – The New South Wales Government's controversial election funding Bill is introduced into Parliament, provoking strong Opposition criticism. The Bill imposes stringent declaration conditions with political donations of more than $200, requiring a statement giving the name and address of donors.
  • 26 April – First tethered flight of Defence Science and Technology Group's Hoveroc rocket is carried out at Port Wakefield, South Australia.[8] It was the world's first practical hovering rocket.
  • 29 April – A fire at the Pacific Nursing Home kills 16 in Sylvania, a suburb of Sydney.
  • 30 April
    • The Federal Government's Committee of Review into Government Functions, nicknamed "The Razor Gang", releases its final report and begins a series of cuts in spending on public services and instrumentalities.
    • Graham Potter, aged 23, is charged with the murder of a woman found decapitated near Kiama on 8 February. He is refused bail after denying the allegations.

May edit

  • 7 May
    • Alleged crime boss, Robert Trimbole, leaves Australia.
    • Three engineering companies make agreements for shorter working weeks with metal trade union representatives in Sydney, giving a major boost to the ongoing campaign for a 35-hour week.
  • 9 May – Assisted passage to Australia is now restricted to refugees.
  • 26 May – Foreign Affairs Minister Tony Street announces that the United States has asked Australia to send peacekeepers to the Sinai Desert.

June edit

July edit

  • 17 July – A truck drivers' strike in most states causes the Queensland Government to declare a state of emergency.
  • 24 July – The Queensland Government declares a state of emergency over a threat to food supplies caused by the transport workers' strike.
  • 30 July – The ALP National Conference rewords its Socialist Objective and endorses affirmative action.
  • 31 July – The Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission decides to end wage indexation, a system which has been established in April 1975. President Sir John Moore stated that the guidelines indexing wage adjustments to inflation would no longer be applied to cases before the commission. Each case will now be decided on individual merit.

August edit

  • 24 August – The Church of England in Australia is renamed the Anglican Church of Australia.

September edit

October edit

November edit

December edit

  • 12 December – A referendum is held in Tasmania to vote for whether or not the Franklin Dam should be built. 47% vote for the original proposal, 8% vote for the compromise solution & 45% vote informally. It is estimated that up to one-third of all votes were for 'no dams', which was not a sanctioned option.
  • 31 December – New South Wales abolishes death duties.

Unknown dates edit

  • Public funding of election campaigns introduced in New South Wales
  • Victoria decriminalizes homosexual acts between consenting adults

Arts and literature edit

Film edit

Television edit

Sport edit

†=Scored under outdated scoring system.

Births edit

Michael Clarke

Deaths edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Boccabella, Lorenzo; Wilson, Nigel (30 January 1981). "Gibbs is new Chief Justice". The Age. p. 1. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  2. ^ "Headless, fingerless body found". The Sydney Morning Herald. 9 February 1981. p. 1. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  3. ^ Auerbach, Taylor; Morri, Mark (10 May 2015). "Australia's Most Wanted: How 'head and fingers killer' Graham Gene Potter gave police and mafia the slip". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  4. ^ "Queensland 1981 - background document", Queensland State Archives, 1981, On 10 February, Townsville's new international airport terminal was officially functional when it welcomed the arrival of a Qantas Boeing 747 flight direct from Honolulu. Townsville was the first regional, non-capital city in the country to operate its own international airport.
  5. ^ "Azaria died swiftly in dingo attack, SM finds". The Sydney Morning Herald. 21 February 1981. p. 4. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  6. ^ Kelly, Paul (12 March 1981). "What bomb guarantees on B-52s?". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 1. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  7. ^ "Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Rights Act 1981 (SA)". Agreements, Treaties and Negotiated Settlements Project. University of Melbourne. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  8. ^ Crozier, Mal (2013). Nulka: A compelling story (PDF). Canberra: Defence Science and Technology Organisation. pp. 39–40. ISBN 9780987544704.

External links edit