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2009 in Australia
The following lists events that happened during
2009 in Australia
Premiers and Chief Ministers
Governors and Administrators
3 February – Justice
Virginia Bell is sworn in as a puisne judge of the High Court of Australia, replacing Justice Michael Kirby who retired the previous day.  3 February – Prime Minister
Kevin Rudd unveils a second economic stimulus package to the value of A$42 billion.  4 February – Heavy rain causes major flooding at
Ingham in north Queensland.  7 February –
Bushfires in Victoria kill 173 people in what are not only the nation's worst ever bushfires, surpassing the record set by Ash Wednesday in 1983. Also the nation's worst peacetime disaster since Cyclone Mahina in 1899.   13 February - The Federal Government's $42 billion economic stimulus package is passed in the Senate, paving the way for promised cash bonuses for workers around the country.
22 February – Australia observes a National Day of Mourning in remembrance of the 209 (later revised downwards to 173) people who perished in the
Victorian bushfires.   25 February – Pacific Brands announces it is ceasing manufacturing operations in Australia, at a cost of 1,850 jobs. 
5 July – An Australian mining executive for the
Rio Tinto Group, Stern Hu, is detained in Shanghai, China facing accusations of stealing state secrets.  14 July – The
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett, announced that the Australian Government had approved the development of the Four Mile uranium mine in South Australia.  18 July – Five members of the
Lin family are murdered in their North Epping home. A relative, Robert Xie, is arrested in 2011, and found guilty of the murders in 2017 after numerous retrials. 25 July – 108-year-old Perth man Claude Choules, who moved to Australia from Britain in 1926, becomes his birth nation's last known surviving World War I veteran on the death of 111-year-old Harry Patch in Somerset, England. Mr Choules, who was born in Worcestershire, England, joined the Royal Navy as a seaman in 1916. 
11 November – Claude Choules becomes the world's oldest first-time author at the age of 108 when his autobiography
The Last of the Last is published.  16 November – Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull apologise on behalf of Australia to the "Forgotten Australians": people who suffered neglect and abuse as children in state care, in particular, thousands of Home Children – British child migrants forcibly emigrated to Australia until the 1960s. 
Arts and literature
Science and technology
10 January –
Peter Overton takes over as the anchorman of Sydney's 6pm Nine News on weeknights after Mark Ferguson is suspended indefinitely after poor ratings, losing to Seven News. 7–14 February – All three commercial networks in Australia take extensive news coverage of the
2009 Victorian Bushfires, in which 181 people lost their lives, including former Nine newsreader Brian Naylor and actor Reg Evans. 9 February – The premiere of
sets the ratings record of the highest-rating Australian television series launch since the introduction of the Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities OzTAM people meter system in 2001.  The launch attracted 2.58 million viewers,   and is also the highest rating non-sporting program in television history.   26 March –
One HD launches. 26 April –
Talia Fowler wins the second season of . So You Think You Can Dance Australia  3 May –
Rebecca Gibney wins the Gold Logie Award for the Most Popular Personality on Australian Television at the 2009 Logie Awards.   12 May – The
ABC receives an extra $136.4 million over three years from the 2009 federal budget to develop an advertising-free digital children's channel ( ABC3), and increase its production of local drama to 90 hours a year,  a similar level to the amount required by the commercial networks.  The budget also allocated  SBS an extra $20 million over the same period to produce up tp 50 hours of new Australian content each year. This figure is significantly below the extra $70 million SBS were seeking per year.   13 May – Former
rugby league football player and presenter, The NRL Footy Show Matthew Johns, is suspended indefinitely from the program by the Nine Network following reports of his involvement in a group sex act with other Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks players in 2002. The incident was first reported on  ABC1's current affairs program, , on 11 May 2009. Four Corners  3 June – A skit involving terminally ill children and the fictional 'Make a Realistic Wish Foundation' (a
parody of the Make-a-Wish Foundation) causes public outrage after airing on an episode of on The Chaser's War on Everything ABC1. The skit involved The Chaser members Chris Taylor (as the foundation spokesperson) and Andrew Hansen (as a doctor). The premise of the skit was that if the terminally ill children are only going to live for a few more months before dying, it is not worth spending money on lavish gifts for them. It portrayed the children requesting extravagant items such as a trip to Disneyland and the chance to meet Zac Efron, with Taylor and Hansen instead giving them a pencil case and a stick respectively. The skit concluded with Taylor stating "Why go to any trouble, when they're only gonna die anyway". Following public criticism of the skit, both The Chaser and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation issued statements of apology. The ABC subsequently suspended the series for two weeks following the controversy. The series returned on 24 June. 8 June –
Gordon Ramsay called Tracy Grimshaw a "pig" in an interview for . A Current Affair 10 June – The
Nine Network announces the third series of will be titled Underbelly , Underbelly: The Golden Mile and will focus on  Kings Cross in Sydney, beginning in 1989, and also include the  Wood Royal Commission into police corruption.  19 July –
Julie Goodwin wins the first series of MasterChef Australia, beating Poh Ling Yeow. 9 August – The
Nine Network launches a new free-to-air digital channel named Go!, with the expansion of programing launched on 4 October. 7 October –
The Jackson Jive, one of the acts in the Red Faces segment in the second of two reunion specials, causes international outrage when they appear in Hey Hey It's Saturday blackface parodying the Jackson Five. 1 November – The
Seven Network launches a new free-to-air digital channel named 7Two. 22 November –
Stan Walker wins the grand final of . Australian Idol 2009  4 December – The Australian Broadcasting Corporation launches ABC3, a digital television channel aimed at children.
7 January –
Australia defeats South Africa by 103 runs in the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.  11 January –
Australia defeats South Africa by 52 runs in the first Twenty20 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.  25 January –
Melbourne Victory wins the premiership of the A-League 2008–09 season, beating Adelaide United on goals scored, after the two teams were tied on points and goal difference.  31 January –
Serena Williams wins the women's singles title at the 2009 Australian Open, defeating Dinara Safina (6–0, 6–3).  2 February –
Rafael Nadal wins the men's singles title at the 2009 Australian Open, defeating Roger Federer in five sets (7–5, 3–6, 7–6(3), 3–6, 6–2).  3 February – Cricketers
Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke are named joint winners of the Allan Border Medal.  28 February –
Melbourne Victory wins the championship of the A-League 2008–09 season, defeating Adelaide United 1–0 in the Grand Final at Telstra Dome. 1 March –
Noriyuki Haga and Ben Spies win the two races of the Australian Superbike Grand Prix held at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.  14 March –
Hazem El Masri of the Bulldogs becomes the highest point scorer in the NRL, surpassing Andrew Johns. 29 March – British driver
Jenson Button wins from pole position at the 2009 Australian Grand Prix.  7 May –
Racing Victoria suspends jumps racing in Victoria following the deaths of three horses over two days at a racing carnival in Warrnambool.  7 June – The
Socceroos draw (0–0) against Qatar in an away match at Doha, qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.  30 June –
Hazem El Masri announces his retirement from the NRL, taking effect at the end of the 2009 season.  11 July – Fremantle kick only 1.7 (13) against Adelaide at Football Park. This constitutes:
the first score of fewer than three goals since
1991 the lowest AFL/VFL score since Richmond kicked 0.8 (8) against St Kilda in 1961
12 July –
Mark Webber wins his first Formula One Grand Prix at the 2009 German Grand Prix in his eighth year in Formula One. He was the first Australian to win a Grand Prix since 1981. Webber also set a new record for most Formula One race starts prior to his first win, at 130. 31 July –
Ricky Ponting became the highest Australian aggregate run-scorer in Test cricket, surpassing Allan Border's total of 11,174 during the third Test of the 2009 Ashes at Lord's Cricket Ground in London.  23 August – The
Australian cricket team loses cricket series, 2 Tests to 1 in England. Australia drop from the first-ranked Test team to behind South Africa, Sri Lanka and India. The Ashes  6 September – Finnish driver
Mikko Hirvonen and his co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen driving a Ford Focus win Rally Australia, the first to be held at its new venue on the northern coast of New South Wales. 21 September –
Gary Ablett, Jr. of the Geelong Football Club wins the 2009 Brownlow Medal.  26 September –
Geelong wins the 2009 AFL Grand Final, beating St Kilda 12.8 (80) to 9.14 (68).  4 October – The
Melbourne Storm become premiers of the National Rugby League season 2009, defeating the Parramatta Eels 23-16 at ANZ Stadium, although they would be subsequently stripped of this award, leaving the position of premiership winners vacant.   11 October –
Garth Tander and Will Davison win the 2009 Bathurst 1000 for the Holden Racing Team, finishing just 0.8 seconds ahead of Brad Jones Racing pairing of Jason Richards and Cameron McConville. It was Tander's second win at the Bathurst 1000, Davison's first and HRT's sixth. 24 October –
So You Think ridden by Glen Boss wins the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley. 3 November –
Shocking wins the 2009 Melbourne Cup.  21 December – Television ratings show that
rugby league was the most watched sport on Australian television in 2009.  28 December – takes line honours in the Alfa Romeo II 2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. 
3 January –
John Grindrod, 89, Anglican Primate of Australia (1982–1989) and Archbishop of Brisbane (1980–1989) 8 January –
Deborah Riedel, 50, operatic soprano 13 January –
Nancy-Bird Walton, 93, aviation pioneer 18 January -
Luke Borusiewicz, 2, murder victim (born 2006) 21 January –
Ernie Bourne, 82, actor 21 January –
Pat Crawford, 75, Test cricketer 31 January –
Sir John Fuller, 91, NSW government minister 1 February –
Anna Donald, 42, epidemiologist 1 February –
Peter Howson, 89, politician 7 February –
Reg Evans, 80, actor 7 February –
Brian Naylor, 78, newsreader 8 February –
Neil McNeill, 87, politician 11 February –
Penny Ramsey, actress 13 February –
Julius Patching, 92, Olympic administrator 19 February –
Colin Rattray, 77, Tasmanian politician 20 February –
Fine Cotton, 31, racehorse 23 February –
Frank Gallacher, 65, actor 23 March –
Peter Wherrett, 72, motoring journalist 24 March –
Laurie Short, 93, trade union leader 1 April –
Margreta Elkins, 78, mezzo-soprano opera singer 5 April –
George Tribe, 88, Test cricketer 6 April –
Shawn Mackay, 26, rugby union footballer (died in South Africa) 7 April –
Jobie Dajka, 27, track cyclist 8 April –
James Allen Keast, 86, ornithologist (died in Canada) 11 April –
Rob Dickson, 45, film-maker and Australian rules footballer (died in South Africa) 13 April –
John Armitage, 88, politician 13 April –
Frank Costigan, 78, lawyer and royal commissioner 14 April –
Max Lake, 84, winemaker and surgeon 14 April –
Sir Marcus Loane, 97, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Primate of Australia 24 April –
Michael Parsons, 48, Australian rules footballer 28 April –
Richard Pratt, 74, businessman 1 May –
George Hannan, 98, politician 1 May –
Sunline, 13, racehorse 13 May –
Don Cordner, 87, Australian rules footballer 15 May –
E. Beatrice Riley, 112, oldest person in Australia 15 May –
Bud Tingwell, 86, actor 17 May –
Dame Patricia Mackinnon, 97, President of the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne 18 May –
Jerzy Zubrzycki, 89, sociologist 20 May –
Paul Vinar, 69, Australian rules footballer 4 June –
Chris O'Brien, 57, oncologist and surgeon 19 June –
Stan Sismey, 92, cricketer 3 July –
Victor Smorgon, 96, industrialist 3 July –
Frank Devine, 77, newspaper editor 8 July –
Edward Kenna, 90, recipient of the Victoria Cross 11 July –
Robert 'Dolly' Dunn, 68(?), convicted sex offender 6 August –
Sam, koala made famous in the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires 7 August –
John Harber Phillips, 75, Chief Justice of Victoria (1991–2003) 21 August –
Dean Turner, 37, bass player in rock group Magic Dirt. 29 August –
Frank Gardner, 78, racing driver and driving safety advocate 8 September –
Ray Barrett, 82, actor 14 September –
Mike Leyland, 68, one of the Leyland Brothers 17 September –
Virginia Chadwick, 64, politician 20 September –
Ken Hough, 80, Australian-born New Zealand cricket and football international 22 September –
Bruce McPhee, 82, racing driver and Bathurst winner 27 September –
John Youl, 77, racing driver and prominent grazier 2 October –
Jack Evans, 80, former Senator 6 October –
Jimmy Bates, 99, oldest living VFL/AFL footballer ( Essendon) 8 October –
Gordon Boyd, 86, television personality 13 October –
Leo Williams, 68, rugby union official 14 October –
Fred Cress, 71, artist 22 October –
Don Lane, 75, television presenter and entertainer 22 October –
Paul Andrews, 53, West Australian politician 27 October –
Alex Harris, 34, paralympic swimmer 9 November –
Clen Denning, 98, oldest living VFL/AFL footballer ( Carlton, Fitzroy) 16 November –
Jack Wong Sue, 84, RAAF officer and war hero 19 November –
Pat Mackie, 95, miner and trade unionist 23 November –
Richard Meale, 77, composer 30 November –
Brent Green, 33, Australian rules footballer 14 December –
Jack Denham, 85, horse trainer 22 December –
Mick Cocks, rock guitarist ( Rose Tattoo) 30 December – Rowland S. Howard, musician ( The Birthday Party)
Year of the Blood Donor 2009, Australian Red Cross. Archived 31 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
Demolition ordered for Rosemeadow estate, The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 January 2009.
Floods cut off north-west Qld towns, , 4 January 2009. The Sydney Morning Herald
Father to front court in May over Melbourne bridge tragedy, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 30 January 2009.
Justice Bell sworn in as High Court judge, ABC News, 3 February 2009.
Rudd's $42 billion 'nation building' plan, Canberra Times, 3 February 2009 Archived 7 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
Flood damage in Ingham 'horrendous', Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 4 February 2009.
Australia bushfires kill 14, more feared dead, Michael Perry, Reuters, 8 February 2009
Victorian bushfires kill 181, Victorian Police, 11 February 2009 Archived 13 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
Barrowclough, Anne (22 February 2009). "Australia mourns victims lost to bushfires of Black Saturday". London: Times Online . Retrieved . 23 February 2009
Davies, Julie-Anne (23 February 2009). "PM declares 'sacred day' for the dead". The Australian . Retrieved . 23 February 2009
Pacific Brands axes 1850 jobs, via Australian Associated Press , 25 February 2009 The Sydney Morning Herald
Central Queensland braces as Cyclone Hamish looms as 30-year storm, The Australian, 8 March 2009
Pacific Adventurer oil spill 10 times worse, couriermail.com.au, 14 March 2009
It's over: Victorian fires contained, www.news.com.au, 14 March 2009
Einfeld v R  NSWCCA 87 (5 May 2010), Court of Criminal Appeal (NSW, Australia).)]
ir Charles Kingsford Smith's final resting place found, says film crew Archived 23 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine., www.news.com.au, 21 March 2009
Anna Bligh claims victory in Queensland election, www.news.com.au, 22 March 2009.
Dylan Welch, Les Kennedy and Ellie Harvey (23 March 2009). "Bikie killed in Sydney Airport brawl". Sydney Morning Herald . Retrieved . 11 September 2011
Floods leave thousands stranded, www.news.com.au, 1 April 2009.
Australia to build broadband network, Reuters, 6 April 2009.
Asylum-seekers 'dead, missing' in explosion on way to Christmas Island, www.news.com.au, 16 April 2009.
Three crushed to death as V/Line bus overturns in Heathmere, Victoria, www.news.com.au, 16 April 2009.
First case of Human Swine Influenza detected in Australia, Department of Health and Ageing, 9 May 2009. Archived 20 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
Ferguson, Sarah (11 May 2009). "Code of Silence". Four Corners. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 15 May 2009 . Retrieved . 2009-05-21
Australia prepares for Budget 09, news.com.au, 12 May 2009.
"SE Qld flooding 'worst since 1974. '" Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 21 March 2009. Archived from the original on 22 May 2009 . Retrieved . 2009-05-21
^ Rodgers, Emma:
Fitzgibbon resigns as Defence Minister, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 4 June 2009.
Des Moran shot dead in Melbourne's Ascot Vale, The Age, 15 June 2009.
^ Pepper, Daile:
WA man dies from swine flu, The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 June 2009.
^ Daley, Gemma:
Rio's Stern Hu May Face Life in Chinese Jail, Australian Says, Bloomberg L.P., 23 July 2009.
"World's best environmental practice for new mine" (Press release). Australian Government. 14 July 2009 . Retrieved . 2009-07-20
Tedmanson, Sophie (26 July 2009). "Former Royal Navy seaman Claude Choules is now the last Briton standing". The Times. London . Retrieved . 13 October 2010
Arrests in Vic counter-terrorism raids, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 4 August 2009. Archived 6 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
Adventure turns to tragedy for PNG trekkers, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 13 August 2009.
^ Calacouras, Nick:
Henderson holds on, , 14 August 2009. Northern Territory News Archived 5 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
Holding found alive on Mt Feathertop, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 1 September 2009.
Clennell, Andrew (1 September 2009). "Della Bosca quits after sex scandal: 'I've taken my medicine. '" Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Archived from the original on 5 October 2009 . Retrieved . 2009-09-01
Sydney breathes again as dust covers Brisbane, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 23 September 2009.
Baby survives after being run over by train, , 16 October 2009. BBC News
"Indonesia gives Oceanic Viking another week". The Australian (AFP). News Limited. 30 October 2009 . Retrieved . 2009-10-30
"Perth WWI veteran Claude Choules, 108, publishes The Last of the Last". Perth Now. 11 November 2009 . Retrieved . 18 August 2012
^ Rodgers, Emma:
Australia says sorry for 'great evil', Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 16 November 2009.
"Shock win for Abbott in leadership vote". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 1 December 2009 . Retrieved . 2009-12-01
Keneally first female NSW Premier, , 3 December 2009. The Sydney Morning Herald
Higgins, Bradfield by-elections announced, ABC News, 26 October 2009.
Liberals escape voter backlash, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 6 December 2009.
^ McLaren, Oscar:
Archibald prize winner announced, ( PM Radio National), 6 March 2009.
Winton wins Franklin, The Age, 19 June 2009.
New DVD Which Can Hold Thousands Of Films, , 21 May 2009. Sky News
Star Trek world premiere in Sydney, , 7 April 2009. The Daily Telegraph
^ a b c
"Underbelly breaks ratings record". . 10 February 2009 The Australian . Retrieved . 16 May 2009
^ a b
Knox, David (10 February 2009). "2.58m: Underbelly sets new record". tvtonight.com.au. Archived from the original on 29 September 2009 . Retrieved . 16 May 2009
Knox, David (26 April 2009). "Dance: It's Talia!". tvtonight.com.au. Archived from the original on 29 April 2009 . Retrieved . 16 May 2009
Knox, David (3 May 2009). "Rebecca Gibney wins Gold Logie for Packed To The Rafters". . Archived from The Daily Telegraph the original on 6 May 2009 . Retrieved . 16 May 2009
Knox, David (3 May 2009). "Gold Logie: It's Rebecca!". tvtonight.com.au. Archived from the original on 6 May 2009 . Retrieved . 16 May 2009
^ a b c d e
Knox, David (12 May 2009). "Budget: $136m for ABC3, $20m for SBS, Community TV unhappy". tvtonight.com.au. Archived from the original on 15 May 2009 . Retrieved . 16 May 2009
^ a b
Knox, David (13 May 2009). "Nine stands down Matty Johns". tvtonight.com.au. Archived from the original on 15 May 2009 . Retrieved . 16 May 2009
^ a b c
Knox, David (11 June 2009). "Underbelly 3: The Golden Mile". tvtonight.com.au. Archived from the original on 14 June 2009 . Retrieved . 11 June 2009
'Stan-tastic' Walker wins Australian Idol, , 22 November 2009. ABC News
South Africa in Australia Test Series – 3rd Test, Cricinfo, 7 January 2009.
South Africa in Australia Twenty20 International Series – 1st T20I, Cricinfo, 11 January 2009.
Melbourne the premier, set for finals, , 26 January 2009. The Age
^ Niall, Jake:
Knockout blow to take the title, and many more, , 1 February 2009. The Age
^ Baum, Greg:
Rafa in five sets, just after midnight, , 2 February 2009. The Age
^ Saltau, Chloe:
Ponting, Clarke share the Border medal, , 4 February 2009. The Age
worldsbk.com Archived 4 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine., 1 March 2009.
^ Silkstone, Dan:
Button wins but it could have been his undoing, , 30 March 2009. The Age
^ Reed, Ron:
'Bool party loses its splash, , 8 May 2009. Herald Sun
^ Lynch, Michael:
Mission accomplished, The Age, 8 June 2009.
Hazem El Masri confirms his retirement | The Daily Telegraph
"From Charles Bannerman to Ricky Ponting". 5 August 2009 . Retrieved . 2009-08-06
Pandaram, Jamie (24 August 2009). "Farewell to all that: Australia say goodbye to Ashes and top ranking". The Age. Melbourne: Fairfax. Archived from the original on 2 October 2009 . Retrieved . 2009-08-23
^ Gleeson, Michael (22 September 2009)
Ablett wins the Brownlow; The Age
Cats crowned 2009 AFL premiers, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 26 September 2009.
Gould, Russell (4 October 2009). "Melbourne Storm wins NRL grand final 23-16 over Parramatta Eels". Herald Sun. News Limited. Archived from the original on 14 October 2009 . Retrieved . 2009-10-04
Munro, Ian (23 April 2010). "Melbourne Storm stripped of everything". The Age. Melbourne: Fairfax . Retrieved . 22 June 2011
Shocking wins Melbourne Cup, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 3 November 2009.
Newstalk ZB (2009-12-21). "League becomes Australia's top sport". TVNZ. New Zealand: Television New Zealand Limited . Retrieved . 2009-12-24
Alfa ends Wild Oats' Sydney-Hobart reign, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 28 December 2009.