CABINET finally stood up for Advance Australia Fair, declaring it the national anthem.
The old anthem, God Save the Queen, would only be used on royal occasions.
Advance Australia Fair had been floating in a sort of limbo since 1976 after Malcolm Fraser overthrew it as the Whitlam government's chosen song and restored God Save the Queen for royal, vice-regal, defence and loyal-toast occasions.
A plebiscite to choose a national song was conducted as part of a referendum in 1977 and Advance Australia Fair, composed by a Scottish-born composer, Peter Dodds McCormick, and first performed in 1878, easily defeated Waltzing Matilda, attracting more than 43 per cent of the vote.
The new national anthem was to be used at all official and ceremonial occasions, including the vice-regal salute.
The anthem was the slightly altered version proposed by the Australia Day Committee in 1980.
Cabinet also recognised green and gold as Australia's national colours but drew back from changing too many national symbols.