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Malcolm Fraser 11 Nov 1975 22nd Prime Minister
After the Governor-General Sir John Kerr dismissed the Labor government, Malcolm Fraser became ‘caretaker’ Prime Minister pending a general election.
Malcolm Fraser 13 Dec 1975 30th federal election - House of Representatives and Senate seats (all 64 seats – double dissolution)
Coalition under Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser retained government.
Malcolm Fraser 16 Jun 1976 Treaty of Friendship
The Australia-Japan Treaty of Friendship was signed, confirming the important trade relations between the two nations. By 1970 Japan had become Australia’s main overseas customer, with some 19.4 per cent of export trade while Britain’s share fell to 13.4 per cent.
Malcolm Fraser 16 Dec 1976 Land rights
Enactment of Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act
Malcolm Fraser 02 Feb 1977 A federal court
The first judges of the Federal Court were sworn in by the Attorney-General. The jurisdiction of the Court included the areas previously covered by the Industrial Court and the Bankruptcy Court. It also heard appeals from State and Territory courts in specific federal matters. The Federal Court is subject only to the High Court of Australia.
Malcolm Fraser 07 Mar 1977 Royal tourists
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh spent three weeks in Australia on a tour to celebrate the silver jubilee of the Queen’s reign.
Malcolm Fraser 21 May 1977 Referendum
Of the four proposals put to voters at this referendum, only three were carried. These related to Senate casual vacancies, giving residents of the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory the right to vote in constitutional elections, and retirement of federal judges. The rejected fourth proposal related to the introduction of simultaneous elections.
Malcolm Fraser 15 Jun 1977 Gleneagles agreement
At a meeting in Scotland, Commonwealth countries affirmed opposition to racial discrimination in sport and insisted that South Africa must lift apartheid to compete in the Commonwealth Games scheduled for Edmonton in Canada that year.
Malcolm Fraser 01 Jul 1977 Ombudsman
The first Commonwealth Ombudsman took office. The Ombudsman has responsibility to investigate complaints about administrative decisions and make recommendations for remedy.
Malcolm Fraser 23 Aug 1977 Uranium
The Fraser government approves the mining and export of uranium.
Malcolm Fraser 08 Dec 1977 19th Governor-General
Sir Zelman Cowen served as Governor-General until 29 July 1982.
Malcolm Fraser 10 Dec 1977 31st federal election - House of Representatives and 34 Senate seats
Coalition under Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser retained government.
Malcolm Fraser 01 Jan 1978 SBS begins
The Special Broadcasting Service came into operation under the Broadcasting and Television Amendment Act. It was established to provide multilingual broadcasting and television services. Regular transmissions began on 24 October 1980.
Malcolm Fraser 20 Jan 1978 Irian Jaya
Foreign Minister Andrew Peacock’s recognition of Indonesian sovereignty over East Timor made Australia the sole country to accept Indonesia’s military takeover in 1976.
Malcolm Fraser 26 Jan 1978 Land rights in the Northern Territory
The proclamation of the Northern Territory Land Rights Act in 1976 enabled traditional owners to claim unalienated land. The Act provided for a Commission to hear claims and with power to grant a limited title. This was the first Australian law enabling claims to traditional ownership to be judged.
Malcolm Fraser 01 Jul 1978 Northern Territory self-government
The Northern Territory achieved limited self-government, with a fully elected Legislative Assembly. This followed 67 years of federal administration, after 50 years of government by South Australia.
Malcolm Fraser 05 Apr 1979 Protecting our environment
An area of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory proclaimed the Kakadu National Park. In October the first stage of the Great Barrier Reef marine park proclaimed.
Malcolm Fraser 07 Oct 1979 Immigration advisors
An Australian Refugee Advisory Council was established. Its role was to advise the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs on the settlement of refugees. Large numbers of Indo-Chinese refugees had become a challenge for receiving countries like Australia.
Malcolm Fraser 19 Oct 1979 Federal Police
The Australian Federal Police force was formed. The AFP combined the Commonwealth Police, the Australian Capital Territory Police and the Federal Narcotics Bureau.
Malcolm Fraser 26 Jan 1980 Australian Institute of Sport
The Minister for Home Affairs announced the establishment of a national institute of sport. It began as a public company with 95 per cent funding from the government. In January 1987 the Institute became a statutory authority under the Department of Sport, Recreation and Tourism.
Malcolm Fraser 29 May 1980 Coastal Waters (State Powers) Act
The Commonwealth returned control of coastal waters to the States. The federal government had taken control of these waters in 1973.
Malcolm Fraser 06 Jun 1980 Saving the whale
Enactment of a Whale Protection Act, following strong lobbying for the end of whaling in Australian waters.
Malcolm Fraser 18 Oct 1980 32nd federal election - House of Representatives and 34 Senate seats
Coalition under Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser retained government.
Malcolm Fraser 01 Jan 1981 The desktop computer
The first personal computers went on sale. Thirty years earlier the first mainframe computer, UNIVAC, had come into use.
Malcolm Fraser 14 Apr 1981 Human rights
Human Rights Commission Act enacted, providing for a body to promote and protect human rights in line with all United Nations instruments ratified by Australia. Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act 1975 and later the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 are also covered by the Commission, renamed the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in 1986.
Malcolm Fraser 30 Apr 1981 Razor Gang report
The final report of a committee set up to review government function recommended the abolition of a number of agencies and reduction of others.
Malcolm Fraser 09 Mar 1982 Open information
Enactment of Australia’s first Freedom of Information Act
Malcolm Fraser 29 Jun 1982 Falklands War
Australia lifted a ban on imports from Argentina after Britain defeated Argentina in the 3-month war in the Falklands Islands.
Malcolm Fraser 29 Jul 1982 20th Governor-General
Sir Ninian Stephen served as Governor-General until 15 February 1989.
Malcolm Fraser 01 Jan 1983 TCP/IP enables the birth of the Internet
Adoption of the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) standard enabled the development of a supranational Internet. The first network of computers, ARPANET, had emerged in the United States in 1969.
Malcolm Fraser 03 Feb 1983 Double dissolution
Malcolm Fraser announced a double dissolution of parliament. The same day Bob Hawke was elected leader of the Labor Party after Bill Hayden resigned.
Malcolm Fraser 05 Mar 1983 33rd federal election - House of Representatives and Senate (all 64 seats - double dissolution)
Coalition under Prime Fraser Malcolm Fraser lost government.