10 January – A farewell is held at Cairns Convention Centre for the eight Cairns children who were killed in December. Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten are among the mourners.
15 January – Federal Health Minister, Sussan Ley, announces that the proposed $20 cut to rebates for short consultations with GPs have been taken "off the table" four days before it was due to take effect.
19 January – Queensland Police confirm that part of a skull found near at McGregor Creek in north Queensland is that of schoolgirl Marilyn Wallman, who vanished at the age of 14 while riding to school from the Mackay suburb of Eimeo in March 1972.
24 January – The families of Bali Nine members Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran make a televised plea for clemency against the death penalty.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses the National Press Club (Australia) in Canberra, announcing that the Federal Government is abandoning its paid parental leave proposal. The Prime Minister also clarifies that all awards of the Order of Australia, including knighthoods and damehoods will in future be exclusively the province of the Council of the Order of Australia.
The Reserve Bank of Australia cuts the official cash rate for the first time since August 2013 by one quarter of a per cent to 2.25 per cent—an historic low—in an attempt to stimulate the economy amid concerns over a sharp fall in oil prices, rising unemployment and low consumer confidence.
Two electrical contractors die and two are badly burned in a Perth shopping centre explosion.
5 February – Journalist Peter Greste returns to Australia after 400 days in Egyptian detention having been freed on 1 February.
Social Services Minister Scott Morrison releases the final report of the Productivity Commission's Inquiry into Childcare and Early Childhood Learning which recommends that the current child care system be abolished and replaced with a single subsidy available to nannies "to better meet the needs and budgets of families".
23 February –
Prime Minister Tony Abbott delivers a statement on national security outlining proposals to strip Australian citizenship from dual nationals found to be involved in terrorist acts and suspending some citizenship rights for others.
Disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris is stripped of his Australian honours.
25 February – Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey announce the Government's planned response to increasing foreign investment, outlining plans to impose an application fee on foreign investors wishing to purchase established homes. The Prime Minister is criticised for using the VIP jet to fly from Canberra to Sydney for the 20-minute press conference during a Parliamentary sitting week.
26 February – Qantas posts a half year net profit of $203 million in massive turnaround for the airline. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce (executive) cites the repeal of the carbon tax as the main contributing factor.
28 February – Former Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce presents to the Premier of Queensland the report Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland which proposes the introduction of a specialised domestic violence court and a new criminal offence of non-lethal strangulation.
3 March –
Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley announces that the Government's plans to introduce a $5 GP co-payment have been abandoned due to lack of community support.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott announces that Australia will send another 300 troops to Iraq to help train the Iraqi army in its fight against Islamic State.
4 March –
Prime Minister Tony Abbott announces that Australian defence force personnel will receive a pay rise of two per cent per year – an increase on the Government's earlier below-inflation offer of 1.5 per cent.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announces tough new laws and a $45.5 million plan to address Victoria's ice epidemic, including a boost to police to crush ice drug labs, as well as better access to rehabilitation and needle exchange programs.
13 March – Australian jihadi Jake Bilardi, aged 18, dies carrying out a suicide-bombing attack in Iraq.
20 March – The Lindt café in Sydney opens three months after the siege in which two of 17 hostages and gunman Man Haron Monis were killed.
24 March – Two Australians are among 150 killed in the Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps.
26 March – Data retention laws require phone and Internet providers to store metadata for two years.
29 March – Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announces that the Member for Cook, Billy Gordon, has been expelled from the Labor Party over his failure to disclose elements of his past, including criminal convictions.
6 April – Prince Harry starts a month-long secondment at Royal Military College in Duntroon.
7 April – The Federal Court upholds a 'discovery application' by rights-holders of the film Dallas Buyers Club to obtain the contact details of ISP customers whose IP addresses were alleged to have downloaded or shared the film.
8 April –
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announces that she will not change Parliamentary rules, which were introduced by the Newman Government, to reject the vote of ex-Labor MP Billy Gordon, after he refused to quit Parliament and said he would support Labor as an Independent MP.
Three of four children die and their mother survives when a car driven by their mother plunges into a Melbourne lake.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott announces a national task force after revelations of ice use and related suicides in the Australian Navy.
15 April – Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announces that the Government has reached a deal with the East West Connect consortium to pay them $339 million in costs after cancelling the contracts for the East West Link, Melbourne road project.
The Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 is passed by the Parliament of Australia, abolishing the self-government arrangements of Norfolk Island.
Johnny Depp's wife, Amber Heard, brings pet dogs Pistol and Boo into Australia illegally. Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce says that the dogs should "bugger off" back to Los Angeles and suggests that they might be euthanased if they do not leave.
23 May –
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announces that the Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Adem Somyurek has been stood down over allegations of bullying and intimidating behaviour.
16 June – Chancey Luna, aged 17, is jailed for life for the shooting murder of Australian basketballer Chris Lane in Oklahoma.
17 June –
The Norfolk Legislative Assembly is abolished, ending self-government on the island. Transition arrangements are proclaimed by the Governor-General to an advisory council to administer the island until the establishment of the Norfolk Island Regional Council in July 2016.
30 June – Inmates riot at Melbourne's Metropolitan Remand Prison over the introduction of a smoking ban.
Early to mid July – Exercise Talisman Saber 2015 is conducted over 20 days in Central Queensland. It is the largest combined military exercise undertaken by the Australian Defence Force and involves up to 30,000 US and Australian troops.
6 July – Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten attend a summit of 40 Aboriginal leaders to discuss a possible 2017 referendum for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal people.
8 July – The Federal Government conditionally approves the Watermark open-cut coal mine near Gunnedah, New South Wales sparking intense opposition.
9 July – Iron ore prices plunge to a fresh six-year low as commodity gets caught up in the fallout from Chinese market volatility. The fall intensifies throughout the remainder of the year.
13 July – A Royal Commission into family violence begins hearings in Melbourne.
14 July – Indonesia cuts quarterly Australian cattle imports from 50,000 from 250,000.
16 July – Nigel Milsom is awarded the Archibald Prize for his portrait Judo house pt 6 (the white bird). The Wynne Prize was awarded to Natasha Bieniek for Biophilia and the Sulman Prize was awarded to Jason Phu for I was at yum cha when in rolled the three severed heads of Buddha: fear, malice and death.
19 July – Millions watch live as Australian surfer Mick Fanning escapes a shark during a competition at Jeffrey Bay, South Africa.
29 July – A 68-year-old man is arrested by Strike Force Reddan detectives at Campbelltown, New South Wales for the Family Court of Australia attacks of 1980 to 1985. In these attacks four people were killed: Judge David Opas and Stephen Blanchard were shot dead, Pearl Watson (the wife of Judge Ray Watson) was killed by a bomb, and Jehovah's Witness minister Graham Wykes was killed and 13 others injured when their hall was bombed. Judge Richard Gee was injured by a bomb that destroyed his house.
6 August –
The jobless figure tops 800,000 for the first time in 20 years.
A Commission of Inquiry finds that the 2011 flood in Grantham, Queensland, which killed 12 people, was a freak of nature.
21 October – The remains of a two-year-old girl was found in a suitcase on a South Australian roadside is identified as Khandalyce Pearce, five years after her mother's body was found in Belanglo State Forest, New South Wales.
28 October – Father and son prison escapees, Gino and Mark Stocco are arrested at a remote New South Wales property after eight years on the run.
21 November – Two Australians are among seven dead in a helicopter crash at Fox Glacier in New Zealand.
25 November – A bushfire kills two people trapped in a car north of Adelaide.
26 November – Australia moves to a new five-tier terrorism threat advisory system.
2 December – The Bureau of Meteorology falls victim to a major cyber attack on its computers and there are suggestions that China may be responsible.
3 December –
Former Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane announces that he will leave the Liberal Party to join the National Party.
A Queensland Parliamentary Ethics Committee report finds that Queensland Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller demonstrated a pattern of reckless conduct that was not of ministerial or Parliamentary standard. Ms. Miller resigns as Police Minister and from Cabinet the following day after the Government signals its intention to remove her.
The Federal Government strikes a deal with the Australian Greens to push multi-national tax-avoidance laws through Parliament.
4 December –
In a landmark case, the Melbourne Magistrates Court finds 54-year-old Uber driver, Nathan Brenner, guilty of operating as a commercial driver without proper accreditation and imposes a fine of $900.
Two die of drug overdoses at the Stereosonic music festivals in Sydney and Adelaide.
6 December – Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announces that the Federal Government will implement 38 recommendations from the National Ice Taskforce and will spend more than $300 million implementing a new strategy aimed at tackling ice drug addiction.
7 December –
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull unveils his Government's vision for a more innovative economy to create an "ideas boom", outlining plans to give generous tax breaks to Australians who invest in start-up companies and changes to the insolvency laws to inspire greater entrepreneurships.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announces a Queensland Cabinet reshuffle with the appointment of three new ministers, bringing total numbers from 14 to 17, and the splitting of a number of "super-portfolios" to lessen the workload on particular ministers. In doing so, the Premier is accused by the Opposition by breaking an election promise not to increase Cabinet numbers.
Mining magnate Clive Palmer loses a Supreme Court of Western Australia case to force his estranged Chinese business partner, CITIC Pacific, to pay his company, Mineralogy, $48 million. The court decision throws the future of Queensland Nickel into jeopardy as a result.
8 December –
The Queensland Court of Appeal downgrades Gerard Baden-Clay's charge from murder to manslaughter for the death of his wife Allison in 2012.
The Victorian Auditor-General reveals in a report that the true cost of abandoning the East West Link, Melbourne motorway is $1.1 billion, as well as finding that both the Napthine and Andrews Governments were poorly advised by public servants on matters such as costs.
Legislation to allow same-sex couples to adopt passes the Victorian Parliament, after the Government decides to accept Upper House amendments allowing religious organisations the right to refuse an adoption to gay couples.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visits Western Australia and meets firefighters who battled deadly bushfires near Esperance. Mr. Turnbull raises the possibility of improvements to communication infrastructure in fire-prone regions using federal funds.
11 December – At the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Meeting in Sydney, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the State Premiers agree to extend indefinite detention laws to convicted terrorists considered to be a continued risk, as well as agreeing on a timeframe for tax reform.
Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison delivers the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook which predicts a deficit of $37.4 billion for the 2015–16 financial year. The Federal Government has made cuts in the health and welfare budgets to pay for new spending on immigration, innovation and pharmaceutical subsidies.
BHP Billiton shares sink to a 10-year low as the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index drops below 5,000.
16 December – A tornado with record wind speeds of up to 213 km/hr. sweeps through Sydney's south-east, destroying dozens of houses.
18 December –
New South Wales Premier Mike Baird unveils plans for the forced amalgamations of local councils, with the number of councils being reduced by 40, from 152 to 112.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull meets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe during his one-day trip to Japan and announces a partnership between Australian and Japanese universities, as well as the possibility of joint military exercises, while expressing deep disappointment of Japan's resumption of whaling.
19 December – 12 houses are destroyed by a wildfire in Scotsburn.
20 December – West Australian Premier Colin Barnett announces that Perth's Children's Hospital would not be open until late 2016, a year later than originally planned. Mr. Barnett also reveals that he expects his next term to be his last in politics.
21 December – West Australian Treasurer Mike Nahan releases the State's mid-year Budget review, announcing that as a result of back-to-back deficits, this year's deficit will hit $3.1 billion as opposed to the $2.7 billion outlined in the Budget.
28 December – Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley announces that 23 tests and procedures, including ear, nose and throat surgeries and diagnostic imaging, have been recommended for removal from the Medicare Benefits Schedule as part of major reforms to Medicare.
29 December – Cities and the Built Environments Minister Jamie Briggs resigns from the federal ministry and admits being guilty of sexual assault against a female public servant in Hong Kong on November 27. Special Minister of State Mal Brough stands down from the ministry while the Australian Federal Police complete their investigations into his alleged involvement in the scandal over the diaries of former Federal Speaker Peter Slipper.