Squiz Today / 04 June 2024

Squiz Today – 4 June 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 10 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I am not rushing back.” 

Said former Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, extinguishing speculation that he was ready to roll into Kooyong as the Liberal’s candidate at the next election. As they say about politics, easy come, hard go…

Workers get a lift

The Squiz 

The Fair Work Commission has signed off on lifting minimum and award wages by 3.75% from 1 July – meaning 2.6 million Australians will get at least $33.10 extra in their pay each week. The Commission says the increase is “broadly in line with forecast wages growth” this year, and the rise is just ahead of inflation, which is currently sitting at 3.6%. There are 2 things about that… Productivity gains are hard to come by, so it’s a tough ask to get employers to give workers a significant pay jump if they aren’t getting more bang for their buck. And economists are concerned that any significant increase to Aussies’ pay packets this year – which the Reserve Bank considers a key driver of inflation – could be a factor in keeping inflation higher for longer. 

How’s it been received?

“Fair and prudent” is how some economists have described it… And Westpac economist Justin Smirk pointed out that the decision to raise the minimum wage by a lower amount than anticipated would slow wages growth to 3% by the end of the year, taking pressure off inflation. Also welcoming the increase was unions leader Sally McManus – she wanted a 5% increase but welcomed what was offered. But the decision didn’t please everybody… The Council of Small Business boss Luke Achterstraat said it comes on top of last year’s record wage increase – which had “broken many small businesses” struggling to meet increasing power, rent and running costs. He said the increase “does not add up or bode well for jobs”.

Anything else?

Well, while we have you on the topic of economics… The latest CoreLogic house price data released yesterday shows the value of homes is also going up. Property prices grew by 0.8% across the country in May – the largest monthly increase since October last year. CoreLogic’s Tim Lawless reckons the “common denominator remains a mismatch between housing supply and housing demand”. Here’s a good breakdown of how each city/state housing market is going, but the key takeaway is that Brisvegas has become the second-most expensive city for housing for the first time in 25 years, with a median house value of $937,479. It’s still a fair ways behind Sydney which continues its top-of-the-list position. In the Harbour City, the median value of a house is $1,441,957…


Squiz the Rest

Putting out fires

In a bit of a whoopsie, Immigration Minister Andrew Giles has had to admit he got it wrong when he said drones were being used to keep an eye on immigration detainees released into the community despite their criminal convictions. Giles initially made the claim during a Sky News interview last week, but yesterday said he’d been given dud info from his department. The whole drone thing had the Coalition pressuring Giles over privacy concerns for Aussies in the targets’ vicinity… And as the Albanese Government continues to cop flack over immigration, it has made peace with Australia’s pharmacists. After a falling out over changes to dispensing rules, the 8th Community Pharmacy Agreement chucks an extra $3 billion into the system over 5 years, taking the total to $26.5 billion. They call that a sweetener…


Flagging some big wins

In a couple of ‘watch this space’ moments, Mexico and India have held major elections that could shake up their political scenes this week. Over the weekend, Mexican voters turned out for the biggest election in the country’s history – and to elect their first female president. The preliminary results show 61yo Claudia Sheinbaum has won by a landslide, drawing at least 58-60% of the vote. That leaves Sheinbaum, a candidate from the leftist Morena party, with a lead of 30 percentage points over her main rival. “I won’t fail you,” she said in her victory speech yesterday. And in India, PM Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led alliance is tipped to win the nation’s massive general election. People have been casting their votes since 19 April, and the counting starts today. 

World News

Forming an orderly queue

If you’ve got fond memories of taking a ticket and waiting for your number to be called at the deli, you might appreciate the Flying Kangaroo’s new boarding system… Qantas says it will split people into 6 groups mirroring your flying class, frequent flyer status and seat location and board each group onto the plane separately. And if you think about trying to cut the line – the computer will say no. Qantas Domestic boss Markus Svensson said the goal is to get more planes departing on time with trials showing the system prevents the standing around/hustling to get in line and then jostling onboard for overhead cabin space. Consider it a win for those who like to stay seated for as long as possible… Brisbane Airport got on board yesterday, and it will be rolled out at Perth Airport (from 10 June), Melbourne (from 17 June) and Sydney (from 25 June).

Australian News

Aussie Aussie Aussie

Our last Aussie standing at the French Open, Alex ‘the Demon’ de Minaur, is through to the quarterfinals, clocking up a personal best to send Russian Daniil Medvedev packing. It’s the first time an Australian tennis player has made the tournament’s quarterfinals in 2 decades – after Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt – who, fun fact, is de Minaur’s mentor. And it’s only the second time the Aussie has made it this far in a grand slam after reaching the quarterfinals of the US Open in 2020. The Sydneysider, ranked 11th in the world, dispatched 5th-seeded Medvedev 4-6 6-2 6-1 6-3, and he’ll next face either German Alexander Zverev, who knocked out Rafael Nadal or Denmark’s 13th seed Holger Rune… And back on home soil, the Matildas’ preparations for the Paris Olympics ended on a high last night with a 2-0 defeat of China in front of nearly 77,000 fans in Sydney. Go, you good things!

Australian News Sport

C’mon Claude…

Claude the koala became an online hit after being filmed munching on/stealing eucalyptus seedlings at a nursery in Lismore, NSW, last year – and in good news for fans of the cheeky cutie, he’s back… Claude has been photographed brazenly partaking in some more daylight robbery – this time in the middle of the day and in front of staff at Eastern Forest Nursery. His past crimes were committed ​​at night or when no one was around… “I would never have believed it until I saw Claude sitting there on the pole,” nursery manager Humphrey Herington said. Koalas in that part of the world have had much to bear recently… Fires and habitat loss, amongst other challenges, have seen officials predict that koalas in New South Wales could be extinct by 2050. To head that off, the state has put in place a strategy and $190 million to double koala numbers in that time – so keep at it, Claude…

Australian News

Apropos of Nothing

What do you reckon King Charles and soccer star/prolific cleaner David Beckham have in common? And no, it’s not a mean curved free kick… Both men enjoy a spot of beekeeping. The pair buzzed about bees as the soccer star was named an ambassador for The King’s Foundation. 

If you’ve never tried “magnet fishing”, this might be your cue… A New York couple has found great success with the pastime, trawling through a murky lake in Queens to drag up a safe containing about $150,000 in cash. The notes were a touch water-damaged, they reckon…

What do you do with a Guinness World Record-holding collection of fossilised poo? Arizona man George Frandsen, who owns the “hilarious and fascinating” 8,000-piece haul, wants to share it with all – so he’s opened an appropriately named Poozeum.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

10.00am (AEST) – The Aussie women’s soccer team for the Paris Olympics will be announced at Sydney Olympic Park

The Indian election results are set to be announced tonight

Republican and Democratic primaries – New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota

ABS Data Release – Business Indicators, March; Retail Trade, April

Cannes in Cairns 

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression  

Celebrate with a toastie on National Cheese Day – it’s up there with International Potato Day for us

It’s also International Corgi Day, which makes us think of the late Queen and her beloved pets 

Birthdays for Angelina Jolie (1975), Russell Brand (1975), Evan Spiegel (1990) and Princess Lilibet (2021)

Anniversary of:

  • the creation of a stinky cheese in a cave near Roquefort, France (1040)
  • the US, Soviet Union, Britain and France agreeing to divide up occupied Germany (1945)
  • the patenting of the ATM (1973)
  • China’s Tiananmen Square Massacre (1989)
Squiz the Day

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