1990 to 1999
26 Mar 1994: 1st elected to Federal Parliament
Abbott was elected as Member of Parliament for the seat of Warringah (NSW), in a by-election.
2010 to 2019
18 Sep 2013: 28th Prime Minister
Following victory in the 44th federal election on 7 September, the new Coalition government was sworn in, with Tony Abbott as Prime Minister.
18 Sep 2013: Operation Sovereign Borders
Immediately upon entering office, the Abbott government policy of zero tolerance towards illegal maritime arrivals was implemented. The policy involved the tow-back of vessels which arrived illegally.
8 Mar 2014: Flight MH370 missing
While flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, Malaysian Airlines flight 370 went missing with 239 passengers aboard, including 6 Australians. Australian authorities led the search for the missing aircraft in the southern Indian ocean. The plane has not been found.
17 Jul 2014: MH17 shot down over Ukraine
298 passengers and crew, including 38 Australians, were killed when flight MH17 is shot down over Ukraine. A Netherlands-led investigation concluded in October 2015 that the airliner was downed by a missile launched from pro-Russia separatist-controlled territory in Ukraine. Australia supported the investigation and the trial of the 4 Russian military personnel deemed responsible. Abbott announced plans for a memorial service to be held on Thursday 7 August 2014.
15 Dec 2014: Lindt Café siege
A lone gunman held hostages at the Lindt Café in Martin Place, Sydney, and 2 were killed. Abbott foreshadowed modifications to the balance between measures for community safety and personal liberties, and received support from the Opposition in their goal to protect the safety of Australians.
12 Apr 2015: ‘No jab, no pay’
Abbott government announced new policy on immunisation in response to concern over the children's health repercussions of the 'anti-vax' movement. The policy withheld certain childcare payments and tax benefits to parents of unvaccinated children.
17 Jun 2015: Free trade agreement with China
After a trade mission during which Abbott signed trade agreements with Japan and Korea, a free trade agreement was signed by Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb and Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng.
23 Aug 2015: Respect paid to Mabo
At the start of Abbott's August 2015 week ‘on country’, he became the 1st prime minister to visit and pay respects at the grave of Indigenous land rights champion, Eddie Mabo.
14 Sep 2015: Lost office
Abbott had faced internal criticisms and division since a failed motion of ‘no-confidence’ in his leadership in February. He was defeated by former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull in a Liberal Party leadership ballot, 54-44. Turnbull became the new leader of the Liberal Party and 29th Prime Minister.
18 May 2019: Left Parliament
Abbott lost the seat of Warringah to independent candidate Zali Steggall in the 46th federal election. Warringah had been held uninterrupted by Liberal Party members and their predecessors since 1922.