Australia in the 1970s


In 1975, colour television was introduced to Australia. Pocket calculators and touch phones also became affordable and accessible in the 1970s.

The Intel 8080 microprocessor chip and a follow-on clone, the Zilog Z80, led to the first wave of small business computers in the late 1970s. The rapid advancement of home computers in the 1970s and 1980s gave rise to simple computer games. The computer game Pong was released in 1972 for Atari. In 1974, Atari brought out a home version of Pong that could be hooked up to any TV set.

In 1975, the term 'personal computer' was coined and in 1977 the Apple Computer Corporation was founded. The Apple II was one of three personal computers launched in 1977.

CPU Intel D8080

A snapshot of 1978

  • January
    • The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment Act 1978 (Cth) was proclaimed in federal parliament.
    • The Special Broadcasting Service, also known as SBS, was established.

  • April
    • The Migrant Services and Programs Report, also known as 'The Galbally Report', was presented to the prime minister.

  • August
    • The Malcolm Fraser conservative government announced the end of maternity allowances.

  • November
    • The West Gate Bridge over the Yarra River and Port Melbourne was opened. It is the second-largest single span bridge in Australia.
    • The Ranger Uranium Agreement was signed by the Northern Land Council and ratified by the traditional owners, allowing uranium mining in Arnhem Land.


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