Sawtell Panthers teammates sadly farewelled Jake Kedzlie in an emotional April funeral.
Sawtell Panthers teammates sadly farewelled Jake Kedzlie in an emotional April funeral. Leigh Jensen

Corruption, drugs, and Opera House turns 40 in a big NSW year

January

7 - Eighteen anti-coal seam gas protesters arrested in the heat of a 48-day blockage outside a Metgasco site near Grafton. Majority of charges are later dropped.

Byron Shire Council mayor Simon Richardson takes some happy snaps at the CSG protest at Glenugie on Thursday. Photo: JoJo Newby / The Daily Examiner
Byron Shire Council mayor Simon Richardson takes some happy snaps at the CSG protest at Glenugie on Thursday. Photo: JoJo Newby / The Daily Examiner Jojo Newby

10 - Property and stock lost as five major fires burn across NSW.

February

4 - Former Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid fronts ICAC inquiry into allegations he and other NSW Labor ministers rigged the state's mining leases.

13 - Disgraced NSW state crime detective Tony Farrell is jailed for a minimum of 12 months after leaking confidential information to members of the Coffs Harbour community. His co-accused, local businessman and champion body-builder Andrew MacLeod, is later sentenced to nine months' jail.

19 - Police watchdog holds inquiry into the alleged bashing of young Aboriginal man Corey Barker in the Ballina watchhouse. Charges are later recommended against some of the officers.

28 - NSW Treasurer Mike Baird signals overhaul of state's accounting methods following auditor general's discovery of countless errors worth more than $3 billion in the 2011-2012 budget period.

March

1 - The biggest methamphetamine bust in Australia's history leaves three alleged drug kingpins behind bars and strips an international crime syndicate of almost half a billion in profits. Police allege drugs were being shipped from overseas to a Sydney factory.

2 - Rain does not deter hundreds of thousands from turning out to celebrate Sydney's annual Mardi Gras parade on Oxford St.

14 - Hundreds of supporters turn out to a rally outside NSW Parliament House to demand justice for the families of three Aboriginal children murdered at Bowraville in the early '90s.

19 - High profile NSW Nationals MP Richard Torbay ousted by his own party as the candidate to contest the federal seat of New England following an investigation by the ICAC. Corruption officials raid the MP's home and electorate office at Armidale.

April

4 - Three north coast prisoners spark a massive man hunt after breaking out of a prison at Glen Innes. Two are arrested soon after but one remains on the run until September.

8 - Jake Kedzlie , the teenage grandson of NRL great Tommy Raudonikis, is taken off life support following a freak weekend accident on the football oval at Coffs Harbour.

10 - Central Coast mum Allyson McConnell, who drowned her two infant sons in a bathtub while overseas, returns to Australia following her release from a Canadian psychiatric ward.

23 - NSW signs up to the Gillard Government's Gonski education reforms.

May

9 - Massive sea search begins for missing couple Paul Rossington and Kirsten Srhoder, who are believed to have gone overboard from a cruise ship off the NSW mid north coast.

13 - A colourful dispute between two of the country's biggest racing identities over the health of champion mare More Joyous ends with both owner John Singleton and trainer Gai Waterhouse being charged.

June

12 - NSW Treasure Mike Baird delivers the state budget and announces the sale of the Newcastle Port.

Malcolm Naden
Malcolm Naden

14 - Former bush fugitive Malcolm Naden jailed for life over the gruesome murders of two women at Dubbo in the NSW Central West.

27 - Police abandon search for the remains of anti-drug campaigner Donald Mackay. New information had suggested the former Liberal Party candidate, who disappeared from Griffith 36 years ago, may have been buried at a farm at Hay. A $200,000 reward for information remains in place.

July

18 - Kristi Abrahams jailed for a minimum of 16 years over the murder of her six-year-old daughter Kiesha Wieppeart whose burnt body was discovered in western Sydney bushland.

31 - Former NSW Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid and former resources minister Ian Macdonald are found guilty of corrupt conduct following a historic inquiry into the awarding of coal exploration licenses. Criminal charges are recommended.

August

1 - Nursing home killer Roger Dean sentenced to life without parole over the deliberately lit fire which claimed the lives of 11 elderly residents and left eight with horrific injuries in Sydney's west.

September

6 - Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie arrives in Sydney with her brood. The Oscar winner announces she is going to call Australia home for the next three months while she films Second World War drama Unbroken.

10 - NSW Government introduces bill to allow recreational shooting in national parks. The legislation passes and controlled shooting begins a month later.

October

3 - Thousands of sailors descend on Sydney, Prince Harry pays a visit and more than one million people flock to Darling Harbour to see a historic fireworks and laser light display as the Australian Navy celebrates its centenary with the International Fleet Review.

4 - Cop killer Michael Jacobs becomes the first person to be sentenced under new legislation which calls for a mandatory life sentence to be handed down for the murder of a NSW police officer. The 48-year-old was found guilty over the murder of much-loved highway patrol officer and father of six David Rixon.

7 - One Direction mania hits Australia as the world's most famous boy band arrives in Sydney. A group of teenage girls makes headlines after breaking into a Palm Beach apartment and stealing a pair of Calvin Klein boxing shorts belonging to band member Liam Payne.

MASSIVE EFFORT: Clarence Valley crews are on standby to head to the Blue Mountains. Photo: AAP
MASSIVE EFFORT: Clarence Valley crews are on standby to head to the Blue Mountains. Photo: AAP

18 - Whole towns in the NSW Blue Mountains are evacuated and more than 200 homes are lost as the state suffers through its worst bushfire crisis in more than a decade

26 - Crown Princess Mary and Prince Frederick of Denmark help celebrate the Sydney Opera House's 40th birthday.

November

8 - The parents of king-hit victim Thomas Kelly express outrage at the four-year sentence handed to their son's killer Kieran Loveridge. There is widespread community anger and DPP launches appeal.

23 - Popular teenage surfer Zac Young is killed by a 3m tiger shark at Campbell's Beach, north of Coffs Harbour.

27 - Following one of the most highly publicised murder trials in NSW, Justice Lucy McCallum finds Simon Gittany guilty over the balcony murder of his fiancée Lisa Harnum.

December

5 - A jury finds Central Coast stepfather Warren Ross guilty over the murder of two-and-a-half-year-old Tanilla Warrick-Deaves.

8 - Court documents reveal one of the worst cases of intergenerational incest in Australia. Twelve children are placed into care of state after being found living in appalling conditions on a farm in rural NSW.

11 - Mother and son Fiona and Mitchell Barbieri committed to stand trial over the stabbing murder of decorated Sydney police officer Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson.



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