News, Culture & Society

Major news in Australia in 2017, Jul-Dec


5 – Thousands of Australian steel industry jobs are saved after British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta buys into Whyalla-based Arrium’s steelworks in South Australia.

10 – Australian Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s third most senior official, arrives in Melbourne to fight historical sexual offence charges.

14 – Greens deputy leader Scott Ludlam quits federal parliament because he is a dual citizen of New Zealand citizenship as well as Australia.

18 – Larissa Waters becomes the second Greens senator to resign over dual citizenship after she discovers she is also a Canadian citizen.

25 – Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan quits cabinet as revelations surface that he had been registered for an Italian citizenship.


8 – Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull earmarks $122 million for a voluntary postal vote on same-sex marriage.

9 – One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts is referred to the High Court over dual citizenship, and is later disqualified for holding a UK citizenship at the time of the 2016 federal election.

14 – New Zealand authorities say deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is also a NZ citizen, putting the Turnbull government’s one-seat majority under threat.

17 – Deputy Nationals Leader Fiona Nash reveals she is a British citizen by descent, becoming the third cabinet minister and sixth MP to be referred to the High Court over dual-citizenship.

22 – The child abuse royal commission finds the Navy and Army failed in their duty of care to junior recruits and apprentices in Western Australia and Victoria, where some were sexually and physically abused from the 1960s to 1980s.


6 – A Victorian court approves a $70 million compensation payout for about 1400 current and former Manus Island detainees, who claimed physical and psychological injuries as result of their conditions.

13 – Australian-born actor Rebel Wilson wins a record $4.5 million defamation payout after suing Bauer Media over a series of articles that alleged she lied in order to make it in Hollywood.

22 – The high court rules One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts was a dual British and Australian citizen for six months after his election in 2016.

30 – The Richmond Tigers claw back their first AFL grand final win since 1980.


3 – The last Camry rolls off Toyota’s production lines in Altona, drawing to a close more than 90 years of Victorian car manufacturing.

5 – State and territory leaders agree to strengthen terror laws that include detaining suspected terrorists for up to 14 days without charge.

6 – Senator Nick Xenophon will quit federal politics to run in the South Australian state election in 2018.

18 – A red Commodore is the last to roll off the assembly line at the Holden plant in Adelaide ahead of the 20 October closure that ended car manufacturing in Australia following the earlier closures of Ford and Toyota.

24 – The Australian Workers Union denies destroying or tampering with documents as the federal police raid their Sydney and Melbourne headquarters for evidence related to donations made to GetUp! when Bill Shorten was in charge of the union.

25 – The AWU launches legal action in response to the police raids and an adviser to federal Employment Minister Michaelia Cash quits after admitting to tipping off the media to the raid.

27 – The High Court disqualifies five federal MPs including Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce from sitting in parliament. Matt Canavan and Nick Xenophon are declared safe, but Fiona Nash, Malcolm Roberts, Larissa Waters, Barnaby Joyce and Scott Ludlam are out.


1 – Liberal senator Stephen Parry quits the upper house after the British Home Office confirms he is a dual citizen by way of his English-born father.

6 – Federal MPs will be required to declare to parliament they are not a citizen of another country .

11 – Liberal MP John Alexander resigns from parliament for holding also British citizenship, sparking a by-election in his seat of Bennelong on December 16.

14 – Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie resigns for holding a British citizenship by descent from her Scottish-born father.

15 – The postal vote on same-sex marriage returns with a majority 61.6 per cent yes count.

22 – The citizenship crisis claims its ninth scalp following the resignation of Nick Xenophon team senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore whose mother was born in Britain.

25 – Queensland voters head to the polls and Annastacia Palaszczuk is later reinstated for a second term as leader of the Labor Party.

27 – TV gardener Don Burke is accused of sexually harassing women who worked on his popular gardening program that was broadcast by the Nine Network in the 1980s and 1990s.

29 – Voluntary assisted dying will be legal in Victoria from 2019 after the controversial scheme passed the state parliament.

29 – A landmark bill legalising same-sex marriage clears the Senate without any major changes.

30 – Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announces a royal commission into misconduct in the nation’s financial sector.


2 – Barnaby Joyce is reinstated as Nationals leader after claiming victory in the New England by-election.

5 – Nick Xenophon team member Rebekha Sharkie is among at least a dozen federal politicians whose jobs could be in doubt after citizenship disclosure documents are published online.

6 – Katy Gallagher is the first Labor senator referred to the High Court after it is revealed she received her formal citizenship renunciation document from the UK two months after the nomination date for the election in 2016.

6 – Decades of catastrophic and inexcusable failures by the Catholic Church to respond to pedophile clergy led to more children being sexually abused in the Victorian town of Ballarat, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse finds.

7 – A bill to allow seme-sex marriage in Australia is passed without amendment in the House of Representatives, with Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove signing it into law the following morning.

8 – The High Court orders recounts to replace former senators Jacqui Lambie and Stephen Parry but defers a decision on the NXT’s Skye Kakoschke-Moore until her case is better developed.

12 – Labor Senator Sam Dastyari quits parliament amid scrutiny of his his interactions with a Chinese businessman and political donor.

15 – The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse hands its final report to Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove, recommending a national strategy to prevent child sexual abuse in the future.

16 – The Turnbull government retains is slim majority in the federal parliament after John Alexander retains Bennelong in a by-election.

21 – One of Australia’s oldest naval mysteries is solved with the discovery of the wreck of the country’s first submarine more than 103 years after its disappearance in World War I.

27 – Sydney mother Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto escapes the death penalty after a Malaysian court finds her not guilty of attempting to import more than a kilogram of crystal methamphetamine into Kuala Lumpur. The 54-year-old had claimed she was the victim of a set-up after she was found with the drugs in her bag after arriving on a flight from China in 2014.

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