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Download a PDF of the entire AUSTRALIAN Timeline
- February 23: One of Australia’s finest opera singers, Dame Nellie Melba, passes away.
- March 22: The Australian National Airways airliner, the ‘Southern Cloud’, disappears on a flight from Sydney to Melbourne. It was last heard 5 miles north of Wangaratta.
- February 7: The Minister for Local Government introduces new bathing costume regulations; “the costume shall have legs at least three inches long, it shall completely cover the chest and the front of the body from the armpits to the waist. Below the waist, the trunk must cover front, back and sides.”
- October 4: Luna Park opens in Sydney. The construction, on 5 acres, takes 800 employees 3 months to complete and uses 60,000 bags of cement and 1,000,000 yards of timber. Luna Park features the Big Dipper, the River Caves and Penny Arcade slot machines.
- March 25: Prime Minister Joseph Lyons opens the new telephone and telegraph cable link from mainland Australia to Tasmania.
- August 22: The ACTU declares a two minute national strike to secure a 40 hour working week, after earlier attempts at negotiating failed.
- September 8: The last Tasmanian Tiger in captivity dies at the Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart. In 1888, the Government introduced a bounty to help reduce the amount of sheep being killed by Tasmanian Tigers (1 pound for an adult and 10 shillings for a pup). Up until 1912, the Government paid out 2,148 bounties.
- July 23: Dr. Cecil Madigan, a lecturer in geology at Adelaide University, returns from an expedition in north-eastern Australia with the news of a giant meteorite crater discovery. He reports it to be as big as the famous Henbury crater - the largest known crater in Australia. Dr. Madigan also reports a number of meteorites, some weighing as much as 3 tonnes.
- November 19: Hubert Opperman rides his bicycle across Australia in 13 days, 10 hours and 11 minutes shattering Bill Read's record by more than 5 days.
- January 13: Victoria is devastated by bushfires, leaving 70 people dead and hundreds seriously injured. Long droughts, a heat wave and strong winds are blamed for the disaster known as Black Friday.
- September 4: Prime Minister Robert Menzies announces at 9.15pm that Australia is at war. He states, "It is my melancholy duty to inform you officially that, in consequence of a persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her, and that, as a result, Australia is also at war.”
- October 20: Conscription is introduced for all single men who turn 21 in the year ending July 1, 1940. Conscripted men are called up for 3 months of training to ensure numbers in the country's Armed Forces are acceptable.