List of political controversies in Australia

This is a list of major political controversies in Australia:

Controversy "name"
People involved
Rum Rebellion 1808 NSW Pre federation Deposition and arrest of NSW Governor William Bligh by Major George Johnston, John Macarthur
Hopetoun Blunder 1900 Federal Edmund Barton Appointment of the first Prime Minister: Edmund Barton, William Lyne and John Hope, 7th Earl of Hopetoun
Nevanas affair 1915 Western Australia Scaddan Actions leading to the downfall of John Scaddan's W.A. government
Mungana affair 1929 Queensland Theodore Corrupt actions by Qld. Premiers Ted Theodore and William McCormack
1932 New South Wales constitutional crisis 1932 NSW Lang Dismissal of NSW Premier Jack Lang by governor Philip Game
Attempted exclusion of Egon Kisch from Australia 1934 Federal Lyons Egon Kisch, Joseph Lyons, Robert Menzies, Herbert Evatt and many others The government failed to stop a member of the German Communist Party from entering Australia.
Playmander 1936-1968 South Australia Playford South Australian Electoral "gerrymander" favouring the Liberal and Country League and Sir Thomas Playford
Petrov Affair 1954 Federal Menzies Vladimir Petrov and others
Bjelkemander 1972 -1987 Queensland Bjelke-Petersen Joh Bjelke-Petersen
Gair Affair 1974 Federal Whitlam Vince Gair, Gough Whitlam, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Lionel Murphy, Ron Maunsell, Magnus Cormack, Billy Snedden
Morosi Affair 1974-1977 Federal Whitlam Jim Cairns, Junie Morosi
Loans affair 1975 Federal Whitlam Jim Cairns, Rex Connor
1975 Australian constitutional crisis 1975 Federal Whitlam Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser, Sir John Kerr Kerr dismissed the sitting government of the day [1]
Combe-Ivanov affair 1983 Federal Whitlam David Combe, Valery Ivanov, Mick Young
Fitzgerald Inquiry 1987 Queensland Bjelke-Petersen Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Terry Lewis, Leisha Harvey, Don Lane, Brian Austin
Edmund Rouse bribery scandal 1989 Jim Cox, Robin Gray, Gunns
State Bank of Victoria collapse 1990 Victoria Kirner These events were a key factor in the defeat of the Labor government of Joan Kirner and the election of the Liberal Party, led by Jeff Kennett, at the 1992 Victorian state election
State Bank of South Australia collapse 1991 South Australia Bannon It caused the resignation of premier John Bannon in 1992, and the crushing electoral defeat of the South Australian Labor government at the 1993 election.
WA Inc royal commission 1992 Western Australia Burke Brian Burke, Alan Bond, Laurie Connell
Easton affair 1992 Western Australia Court Carmen Lawrence
Metherell affair 1992 NSW Greiner Nick Greiner, Tim Moore, Terry Metherell
Sports rorts affair 1994 Federal Keating Ros Kelly
Tampa affair 2001 Federal Howard John Howard
Children Overboard affair 2001 Federal Howard John Howard, Peter Reith Howard claimed that asylum seekers were throwing their children into the water so the navy would be forced to rescue them. The claim was false. [2]
Motorola affair 2001 South Australia Olsen John Olsen
Orange Grove affair 2004 NSW Carr
Unlawful detention of Cornelia Rau 2005 Federal Howard Philip Ruddock
Unlawful deportation of Vivian Solon 2005 Federal Howard Philip Ruddock
AWB oil-for-wheat scandal 2006 Federal Howard AWB Limited
Muhamed Haneef affair 2007 Federal Howard Philip Ruddock, Kevin Andrews
Lindsay pamphlet scandal 2007 Federal Howard Jackie Kelly
Utegate or OzCar affair 2009 Federal Rudd Malcolm Turnbull, Godwin Grech
Pink Batts scandal 2010 Federal Rudd Kevin Rudd, Peter Garrett
Health Services Union expenses affair 2010 Federal Gillard Craig Thomson, Health Services Union, Kathy Jackson, Fair Work Australia, Julia Gillard, Michael Williamson
Peter Slipper affair 2012 Federal Gillard Peter Slipper, James Ashby
Eddie Obeid corruption scandals 2012 NSW Iemma,



Eddie Obeid, Ian Macdonald
Scott Driscoll corruption scandals 2013 Queensland Newman Scott Driscoll
Offshore detention crisis 2013-2019 Federal Abbott Turnbull
Grangegate 2014 NSW O'Farrell Barry O'Farrell O'Farrell received a $3,000 bottle of Grange Hermitage and did not declare it.
Choppergate 2015 Federal Abbott Bronwyn Bishop Bishop was found to have chartered a helicopter to a Liberal Party fundraiser. This was charged at over $5,000 for what would have been a 1 hour drive.
2017–18 Australian parliamentary eligibility crisis 2017 Federal Turnbull Scott Ludlam, Larissa Waters, Matt Canavan, Malcolm Roberts, Barnaby Joyce, Fiona Nash, Nick Xenophon and others Parliamentarians of various parties were found to be in breach of Section 44 of the Constitution which prohibits dual citizens from sitting in parliament
Robodebt 2018-19 Federal Turnbull,


Scott Morrison, Stuart Robert, Christian Porter Centrelink were issuing automated debts that had not been incurred by the individuals concerned.
2019–20 Australian bushfire season 2019-20 Federal Morrison Scott Morrison A decision by the New South Wales Government to cut funding to fire services based on budget estimates, as well as a holiday taken by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, during a period in which two volunteer firefighters died, and his perceived apathy towards the situation, resulted in controversy.
Sports grants 2019 Federal Morrison Bridget McKenzie The government were providing grants for sports projects for communities in marginal electorates. Many of these projects were considered low priority or previously rejected, and were seen as a way to defend the marginal electorates.
Climate Change Denial 2019-2020 Federal Morrison Scott Morrison The government continues to deny the effects of climate change in Australia despite the worst bushfires ever experienced in the country and temperature records falling in many cities and towns. [3]


  1. ^ Twomey, Anne. "Australian politics explainer: Gough Whitlam's dismissal as prime minister". The Conversation. Retrieved 2019-12-01.
  2. ^ Marr, David (2014-02-11). "Burnt hands, children overboard, it all seems the same to Peter Reith | David Marr". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-12-01.
  3. ^