The Land Of Oz

January - March, 1968

January :  Australia’s population reaches 12 million. The search for Harold Holt is abandoned. The Liberal Party elect John Gorton as leader and announce plans for Gorton to move from Senate as replacement for Holt in the Melbourne seat of Higgins. Members of English rock groups The Who and Small Faces are escorted by police from a plane at Melbourne's Essendon Airport, after the pilot diverts the flight citing the bands' behaviour.


February : Gorton wins Higgins by-election by record margin. A Naval Booard of Enquiry clears Captain Stevens, ex-commander of H.M.A.S. Melbourne when she collided with H.M.A.S. Voyager in 1964 with the loss of 82 lives of charges that he was affected by alcohol at the time.   Lionel Rose wins the Bantamweight world boxing championship after defeating Masahiko "Fighting" Harada in Tokyo.


March : Entertainer Don Lane is arrested in Sydney on charges of importing marijuana. Later acquitted after spending several nights in jail.  N.S.W. introduces breathalyser testing. Labour and Liberal Country League win 19 seats each in South Australia with one independent.