Squiz Today / 22 December 2023

Squiz Today – 22 December 2023

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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11 / 19
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8 / 25

Squiz Sayings

“Our Test squad WhatsApp group has been going off to say it’s our shout to get dinner next.”

Said Mitchell Starc after the Kolkata Knight Riders paid a record $4.42 million during an auction to buy players for the 2024 Indian Premier League, a T20 tournament that begins in March. Fellow Aussie Pat Cummins was bought for $3.66 million, so maybe he’ll chip in for dessert…

Ho ho ho no my flight is late again…

Ho ho ho no my flight is late again…

The Squiz 

If you’re one of the millions of people heading to an airport over the next couple of weeks, our thoughts are with you… We say that because it’s not just in your head – all things flight-related are more headache-inducing this year. Data from the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE) shows Australia’s major airlines – Qantas and Virgin – are ending 2023 with fewer on-time flights recorded than this time last year. 

I knew it… 

Yep, and these are numbers that probably won’t make you feel very jolly, particularly when it comes to the “long-term average performance” of flights. BITRE says that pre-pandemic, 81.1% of domestic flights in Oz were departing on time. To break that down, in 2019, 76.2% of Virgin flights left on time, 84.3% of Rex flights, and 71.3% of Qantas flights. But in late 2023, those figures are “significantly lower” – on average, 64.1% of flights were on time in November. And that’s if they took off at all… Consumer group Choice released results this week from a survey it conducted with 9,000 Aussies – it found 2 out of 5 people had their flight either delayed or cancelled entirely in the 12 months leading up to October. If your head is in your hands and you’re looking for a route that’s mostly on time, it’s the Port Lincoln-Adelaide flight where 95.2% of flights are lifting off on time

What’s the government say?

Transport Minister Catherine King isn’t angry – just disappointed… She says it’s “no wonder so many Australians remain fed up with our major airlines”. The Albanese Government is currently reviewing air travel in Oz – it’s due to deliver an aviation white paper outlining proposed reforms to the industry mid-next year. King says the goal is to “better protect the interests of consumers, whether that be a stronger ombudsman model or other measures implemented in overseas jurisdictions”. Translation: they’re toying with introducing a mandatory compensation scheme for delayed/cancelled flights… Qantas criticised that idea in its submission last week – it says “what will effectively be mandatory travel insurance for all passengers” could lead to higher airfares. Until 2024, then…

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Fast fires in the West

There’s been another bushfire emergency in Western Oz weeks after homes were lost in Perth’s northern suburbs. The fire in Parkerville in the Perth hills about 30kms east of the city centre – started yesterday morning and quickly escalated with aerial footage showing several homes destroyed. It’s the same place where 57 houses were destroyed in 2014. It was one of 4 major bushfires burning in southern WA yesterday – a separate blaze near the town of Northcliffe south of Bunbury also caused problems – but all have since been downgraded. Premier Roger Cook has also furiously called out a drone operator who disrupted aerial water bombing efforts at a fire at the fishing village of Lancelin. Cook says it was an “idiotic thing to do” and has threatened big fines once police find them. 

Australian News

Mega-case wrapping up

The judge overseeing the defamation case brought by Bruce Lehrmann has suggested he’s struggling with the credibility of the key witnesses. Justice Michael Lee said both Lehrmann and Brittany Higgins “have real credit issues” and “various parts” of their evidence “simply can’t be accepted”. The judge also said journo Lisa Wilkinson’s Logies speech was affecting her “credit” because he couldn’t accept it was cleared in advance by lawyers. Network Ten summed up its case yesterday with barrister Matt Collins arguing Higgins never “wavered in any material respect” while Lehrmann was “revealed to be a fundamentally dishonest man”. Collins has also argued Lehrmann shouldn’t receive damages if he wins the case – given the vast majority of The Project’s audience wouldn’t have known he was the unnamed accused. Lehrmann’s lawyers will sum up his case next, and then it will be over to the judge to make a ruling.

Australian News

A tragedy in Prague

At least 16 people are dead and 24 are injured after a gunman opened fire at the Charles University in Prague in what reports are calling the Czech Republic’s worst shooting in modern history. Not much is known publicly about the 24yo gunman’s identity at this stage, but local police say his father was found dead earlier in the day, and the shooter was also later found dead. He was a student at the university and authorities say it’s not being considered a terror incident. The attack began around 3pm local time on Thursday, with reports of gunfire in the uni’s arts faculty. Footage shows panicked students and staff fleeing – with some jumping off building balconies to escape. Czech PM Petr Fiala has cancelled his upcoming engagements in light of the “tragic events”, and the uni is offering students psychological support.

World News

Show me the money

Two women have made the cut in the latest Financial Review list of Australia’s 50 highest-paid CEOs (paywall). Women are few in number, but Macquarie Group’s Shemara Wikramanayake claimed the top spot – she’s now been the country’s highest-paid CEO for 3 years, taking home $30 million (up 30% on last year). It’s worth noting Wikramanayake was out-earned by another senior executive at Macquarie who pocketed a sweet $57.6 million last year. The only other female CEO on the list is Meg O’Neill at Woodside – she came in at #25 with a salary of $6.7 million. Another observation is that it’s been a tough year for our corporate top dogs – CEO pay has fallen for the top 300 companies for the first time since 2019. But don’t feel too sorry for them – if you’re last on the list in the #50 spot, you’re still earning more than 50 times the average worker…

Australian News

Boxing day bonanza

If you’re still hunting for that perfect late Chrissy pressie, how about giving a mate a shot at $90 million? That’s right, the Oz Lotto jackpot has hit a whopping $90 million – and will be drawn on Boxing Day evening after no one claimed the top prize in a recent draw. This is the second-biggest prize in the game’s 30-year history – falling just short of Powerball’s $100 million prize in August. About a third of adult Aussies are expected to buy a ticket, according to spokesperson Anna Hobdell who reckons “unboxing this life-changing jackpot… just days before 2024 arrives is sure to get Aussies dreaming big this week”. But a teeny tiny reality check: the odds of winning are about 1 in 62 million. Entries for the jackpot close at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 26 December- May all your dreams come true, with or without a cash injection…

Australian News

Apropos of Nothing

We’ve thought hard about this moment in recent weeks – what would we want from a trusted friend as we set off into the Christmas and New Year sunset for a couple of weeks’ break? We settled on relaying 3 things that made life better in 2023… 

First – you have to watch Jury Duty. Made by some of the team behind the US version of The Office, it’s a look at the legal system through the eyes of juror Ronald Gladden – except he’s unaware that everyone in the courtroom aside from him is an actor. Hilarity ensues… Catch it on Amazon Prime

Second – nothing makes us happier than a clean bathroom. Except maybe having a potato gratin in the oven… A bathroom reno has left us with a great result, but the grout on the tiled floor can get gunky. Long story short, Sards Super Power Stain Remover is the answer. And please tell us we’re not the only ones cleaning up a storm over the break… 

And third – our pick for recipe of the year… This miso/macadamia/white choc cookie recipe has been on repeat and turned into gifts this Chrissy. To say we dream of these cookies wouldn’t be an inaccurate statement…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

9:00am (AEDT) Rugby Union Australia set to make an announcement  

The Squiz clocks off for the holidays

It’s the Summer Solstice aka the longest day of the year

Birthdays for Ralph Fiennes (1962) and Jennifer Hawkins (1983)

Anniversary of:

  • Thomas Edison inventing the first string of Christmas tree lights (1882)
  • the premiere of Doctor Zhivago (1965) and The Graduate (1967)
  • the birthdays of the Bee Gees’ Maurice and Robin Gibb (1949)
Squiz the Day

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