(Australian Associated Press)
THE BIG AUSTRALIAN NEWS EVENTS OF 2018
1 – A Sydney Seaplane crashes in Jerusalem Bay on New Year’s Eve, killing its Canadian pilot Gareth Morgan, British businessman Richard Cousins, his sons William and Edward, his fiancee Emma Bowden and her daughter Heather.
3 – Amy “Dolly” Everett, once the smiling face of Australian hat maker Akubra, takes her own life after being “overwhelmed” by vile bullies, setting in train a national conversation on cyber bullying.
8 – Actor Craig McLachlan, 52, star of TV’s Doctor Blake Mysteries, is accused by several actresses of the 2014 run of The Rocky Horror Picture Show of sexual misconduct, the first of several allegations that cause him to pull out of the stage show.
9 – Same-sex couples across Australia tie the knot on the first official day of marriage equality.
16 – An adventurous wallaby stops traffic as it hops along the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
21 – Perth’s new $1.6 billion Optus Stadium opens, with 110,000 free tickets snapped up for the community day.
25 – Pioneering physicist Michelle Yvonne Simmons is named Australian of the Year.
4 – Robert Doyle quits as Melbourne Lord Mayor over sexual harassment and indecent assault allegations.
8 – Actor Geoffrey Rush sues The Daily Telegraph and journalist Jonathon Moran for defamation, following articles alleging he behaved inappropriately to a colleague during a Sydney Theatre Company production of King Lear in 2015.
12 – The royal commission into misconduct in the financial sector gets underway.
13 – Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce denies breaching the ministerial code of conduct and apologises to his estranged wife, daughters, pregnant partner and voters after his extra-marital affair is revealed.
13 – Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declares there is “zero” chance of Australians agreeing to an indigenous representative body as parliament marks the 10th anniversary of the Apology.
26 – Veterans Affairs Minister Michael McCormack becomes deputy prime minister after being elected Nationals leader, following Barnaby Joyce’s resignation.
8 – NRL player Jarryd Hayne formally denies raping a woman in the United States in 2015, saying she “consented to all actions that took place”.
17 – The Liberals return to power in South Australia after 16 years in the political wilderness.
18 – A fast-moving bushfire ravages the NSW coastal town of Tathra, destroying almost 100 properties.
21 – Billionaire James Packer steps aside as a director of Crown Resorts for mental health reasons.
24 – Captain Steve Smith, his deputy David Warner and bowler Cameron Bancroft are caught tampering with the ball during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town. As a result, Smith and Warner are given 12-month bans and Bancroft cops a nine-month ban. Smith loses his captaincy and coach Darren Lehmann resigns in tears.
26 – AAP reveals Peter Dutton used his powers of discretion as home affairs minister to grant visas on public interest grounds to two au pairs in 2015.
4 – The Commonwealth Games kicks off on the Gold Coast and Prince Charles makes his 16th visit to the country. Almost 200 athletes and officials remain in Australia after the games, applying for protection, with another 50 staying on illegally.
11 – Thermomix is fined $4.6 million for knowingly selling kitchen appliances that had the potential to injure users, lying about the safety of its products, and refusing refunds.
13 – The Seven Network and Foxtel secure Australian cricket media rights in a blockbuster $1.182 billion deal that ends the Nine Network’s four-decade hold on the sport.
20 – Former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce and his partner Vikki Campion welcome a baby boy, Sebastian.
20 – AMP chief executive Craig Meller quits, the first major casualty of the financial services royal commission, following two days of inquiries about fees-for-no-service issues.
27 – All governments agree at a COAG meeting to ensure all Australian packaging is recyclable or reusable by 2025 or earlier, as China changes its standards for imported waste.
1 – Cardinal Pell is committed to stand trial over historical sex offences.
10 – Australia’s oldest scientist David Goodall dies by assisted suicide in Switzerland.
11 – Melbourne artist Yvette Coppersmith becomes the 10th woman to win the Archibald Prize, for her self-portrait.
11 – Peter Miles, 61, shoots dead his 58-year-old wife Cynda, their daughter Katrina, 35, and her children – daughter Taye, 13, and sons Rylan, 12, Arye, 10, and Kadyn, eight – at their farm in Osmington, Margaret River, in a murder-suicide.
22 – Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson, the most senior Catholic official in the world to be charged with covering up child sexual abuse, is found guilty by a NSW court and is sentenced to 12 months in home detention. He later appeals his conviction.
29 Veteran actress Cornelia Frances, who portrayed some of Australian television’s most iconic characters, dies after a battle with cancer.
4 – The Commonwealth Bank agrees to pay $700 million, the largest fine in Australian corporate history, to settle the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism case brought by AUSTRAC.
6 – The $70 million in compensation under Australia’s largest human rights class action settlement is paid to former Manus Island detainees.
13 – The Catholic Church maintains the seal of confession cannot be broken even to reveal child sexual abuse.
13 – Comedian Eurydice Dixon, 22, is raped and killed, her body left on an inner-Melbourne soccer pitch a short distance from her home, prompting a national debate about safety on the streets.
20 – Telstra announces it will cut 8,000 jobs over the next three years as it tries to save $1 billion while tackling the cost of investing in new technology and increased competition from rivals.
20 – Woolworths and Coles end single-use plastic bags.
20 – Toys R Us and Babies R Us announce stores around Australia will shut down, putting 700 people out of work, after administrators fail to find a buyer for the business.
28 – The Queensland government officially apologises to Palm Islanders for the violence and discrimination they were subjected to by police before, during, and after riots on the island in 2004.