|Ben Chifley||13 Jul 1945||
16th Prime Minister
New Prime Minister Ben Chifley was sworn in after being chosen the day before as the new leader of the Labor Party.
|Ben Chifley||06 Aug 1945||
The first atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. On 15 August Japan surrendered, ending the war in the Pacific.
|Ben Chifley||17 Oct 1945||
Peace time intelligence
The Commonwealth Investigation Service was formed. It combined the wartime Security Service and the Investigation Branch.
|Ben Chifley||10 Jul 1946||
Parliament at home
Proceedings in the House of Representatives were broadcast for the first time. Legislation required the ABC to relay the parliamentary sessions on the interstate radio network. Senate broadcasts began a week later.
|Ben Chifley||15 Aug 1946||
Under an agreement with the New South Wales government, a Joint Coal Board was established. It enabled the government to continue the regulation of coal production, distribution and prices managed during the war by the Commonwealth Coal Commissioner. Coal production tripled in the next 25 years. In 2002 the Board was replaced by a private company, Coal Services Pty Ltd.
|Ben Chifley||28 Sep 1946||
National social security
A referendum to alter Section 51 of the Constitution was successful. It granted the Commonwealth power to provide maternity allowances, widows pensions, child endowment, unemployment, pharmaceutical, sickness and hospital benefits, medical and dental services, and student and family allowances. Two further proposals related to marketing and industrial employment were not carried. The referendum was held with the 18th federal election.
|Ben Chifley||28 Sep 1946||
18th federal election
74 House of Representatives seats and 19 Senate seats
|Ben Chifley||13 Dec 1946||
Papua New Guinea
The United Nations granted Australia trusteeship of New Guinea and Papua. The two regions were administered jointly, with the capital at Port Moresby.
|Ben Chifley||11 Mar 1947||
Sir William McKell served as Governor-General until 8 May 1953. Lord Northcote was acting Governor-General from 19 July to 14 December 1951.
|Ben Chifley||01 Apr 1947||
The Woomera rocket range was established as a joint facility for testing British and Australian short and long-range missiles. The range was sited within the 127,000 square kilometre Woomera Prohibited Area in the northwest of South Australia. From 1957 the facility has also been used for Australia’s space program.
|Ben Chifley||01 Jul 1947||
At 7 pm, the first ABC news broadcast under amendments to the Broadcasting Act was aired. The changes aimed at removing bias by requiring all news to be produced by ABC journalists, rather than gathered from commercial sources.
|Ben Chifley||21 Jul 1947||
Displaced persons accepted
Australia’s Minister for Immigration Arthur Calwell signed an agreement with the United Nations Refugee organisation to accept displaced persons from European countries ravaged by war.
|Ben Chifley||18 Nov 1947||
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
Australia applied the reduced tariffs under the GATT, signed in Geneva that year. The agreement established an international forum to encourage free trade between members by reducing tariffs on traded goods and by providing a means for resolving trade disputes.
|Ben Chifley||26 Dec 1947||
Britain transferred Heard and MacDonald Islands in Antarctica to Australia. The Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (ANARE) was established in August. Scientific stations were set up on Heard Island in December, and on Macquarie Island the following May, using the small vessel Wyatt Earp.
|Ben Chifley||01 Jan 1948||
Workers covered by Commonwealth awards began the reduced 40-hour week. The date for the change had been set by the Conciliation and Arbitration Court in September 1947.
|Ben Chifley||29 May 1948||
A proposal to give the Commonwealth Parliament ongoing power to make laws with respect to rents and prices was not carried.
|Ben Chifley||24 Jun 1948||
National sea and air lines
The Qantas Empire Airways Act meant Australia’s only overseas airline was now publicly owned. In 1948 the government also re-established a Commonwealth shipping line.
|Ben Chifley||21 Sep 1948||
United Nations president
Australia’s Minister for External Affairs, HV Evatt, was elected president of the United Nations General Assembly.
|Ben Chifley||29 Nov 1948||
Prime Minister Ben Chifley launched the first Holden ‘family motor car’ off the assembly line. Ten years later, 500,000 Holdens had been produced.
|Ben Chifley||26 Jan 1949||
Australia’s first citizens
The Nationality and Citizenship Act came into operation, creating Australian citizenship. Although Australians remained British subjects, they were now citizens of their own country as well. The Act retained the definition of ‘aliens’ as those not British subjects. Irish citizens and ‘protected persons’ within the British Commonwealth were excepted.
|Ben Chifley||16 Mar 1949||
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation was established to protect the Commonwealth from espionage, sabotage and subversion.
|Ben Chifley||11 May 1949||
More seats in parliament
The 1948 Representation Act was enacted. It increased the the House of Representatives from 75 to 122 seats, including a new member for the Australian Capital Territory, and the Senate from 36 to 60 seats. The Commonwealth Electoral Act introduced proportional representation for Senate elections.
|Ben Chifley||12 Sep 1949||
Planting the national garden
Prime Minister Ben Chifley planted a eucalypt at the entrance of the National Botanic Gardens during a visit by international foresters. The gardens had been established at Black Mountain in Canberra four years before.
|Ben Chifley||17 Oct 1949||
Work began on the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric scheme to divert water from the upper Snowy River through tunnels and dams. The scheme aimed to generate electricity for New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, and provide water for irrigation along the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers. This major postwar development project employed many immigrant workers and was completed in 1972.
|Ben Chifley||10 Dec 1949||
19th federal election
House of Representatives and 42 Senate seats