Warning: This resource may contain references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may have passed away.

Australia in the 1990s

Sydney Harbour Tunnel

The Sydney Harbour Tunnel was a four-year construction project begun in January 1988 and completed in August 1992. At 2.8 km in length, it runs 25 metres below sea level. The main underwater section is a central immersed tube structure 960 metres long. It is made from eight precast concrete units, which were cast at Port Kembla and towed to Sydney Harbour.

The tunnel was built with the intention of easing the traffic congestion on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The bridge was built in the 1920s and early 1930s, and since that time the amount of road traffic has increased exponentially. The tunnel cost an estimated $55.25 million to build, and currently conveys an average of 86,800 vehicles beneath Port Jackson each day.

Eastern Distributor tunnel entrance at Woolloomooloo, <br />Sydney

A snapshot of 1998

  • February
    • A Constitutional Convention was held in Old Government House, Canberra, and gave in principle support to Australia becoming a republic.

  • April
    • Patrick Stevedores sacked its workforce on the Australian waterfront, thus beginning the Waterfront Dispute with the Maritime Union of Australia.

  • May
    • The first Sorry Day was held on 26 May to commemorate the forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families.

  • June
    • In Queensland's state election, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party won 23 per cent of the vote and 11 seats.

  • July
    • The Senate passed the Native Title Act Amendment Bill 1998 (Cth) after a debate lasting 105 hours.


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