Squiz Today / 01 September 2017

Squiz Today – Friday, 1 September


"The claims requesting a special massage are untrue. I requested a normal massage as people on holidays will often do.”

A politician talking about a "special massage" = something has gone terribly wrong. NSW pollie Gareth Ward says his New York relaxer went south (so to speak) when two men arrived and tried to turn it into something more unseemly, then tried to blackmail him. He was able to raise the alarm and is lucky a touch up in the media is where the incident ended.


The Australian Electoral Commission yesterday announced it will make changes to the boundaries of the federal electorates in Victoria, South Australia and the ACT. Given population shifts in those states, it reckons Victoria and the ACT should get an extra seat each, and South Australia should lose one. That would take the number of seats in the federal Parliament’s House of Reps from 150 to 151 seats. None of these states are strong for the Liberal Party, the upshot being the Turnbull Government could go into the next election notionally behind.

Hang in there and you’ll reap so much glory for so little work. Trust us. Between now and the next federal election, if you find yourself in conversation about what might go down, drop these words - “but remember, there’s the redistribution in Victoria, SA and ACT” - and you will totally own it. So a cheat sheet on how it works:

• The number of seats in the House of Reps is determined by the population – each electorate has about 80,000-90,000 voters.

• A redistribution is held where the population has changed (up or down) by 10% in more than a third of the seats in a state. And seven years has to have lapsed since the last one.

• This is done independently of government by the AEC. They will go away and fiddle with the electoral boundaries. Then, political parties and individuals can make comments and submissions. And then the new boundaries are finalised in good time for the next election (due early/mid-2019). 

Well, you can be sure the Liberal Party in Victoria, South Australia and the ACT will be getting their thoughts together by going through the voting data seat-by-seat. Just as Labor, Greens and others will. But because the Coalition is hanging onto government by just one seat, they will be all over it as they have everything to lose. And given their current poor showing in the polls, starting the race from behind is really bad news. So, in all, just one more thing for PM Malcolm Turnbull to worry about…


Following Wednesday’s meeting between PM Turnbull and the power retailers, the government will today receive a report from the Australian Energy Market Operator on the looming gaps in baseload power. Baseload power is what we need day-in-day-out to turn the lights on. The report is important because it will help the government decide what commitment they make to renewable energy/a Clean Energy Target v the need for (and potential investment in) new coal-fired plants. And there was a ray of sunshine with Labor’s Energy spokesman Mark Butler telling Sky News yesterday they want to be constructive in the debate. Wait, what? A bi-partisan position on an issue vital to the welfare of the country? What an interesting concept!

Victorian Senator Derryn Hinch isn’t called the ‘Human Headline’ for nothing. He says a “close friend” who “doesn’t like me” (hmmm) leaked news he has a US social security number thus putting his eligibility to be in Parliament in doubt. Hinch says he obtained a US social security number when he spent some years in the States working for the Sydney Morning Herald. But he does not believe it gives him the 'rights and privileges of a foreign power' that would put him in breach of section 44 of the Constitution. It’s a new spin on the citizenship riff that might make Hinch the eighth referral to the High Court. He’ll get advice from the Solicitor General and go from there. It’s the rolling maul that never ends.

Bryan Pereira, a 63yo senior exec at Coca-Cola Amatil (the Aussie bottler and distributor of the black gold) was yesterday jailed for six years. He was found guilty of paying for luxury trips and prostitutes with his corporate card. Sounds like a fail-proof plan and he was just unlucky to be sprung… He’d also received kickbacks from logistics company Orix Australia (including a Mercedes-Benz) for awarding them lucrative contracts. In total, CCA says they lost $3.3 million over many years.

Qantas wants to continue its alliance with Emirates for another five years but drop Dubai as its stopover point for London-bound flights. Instead, they want to send their Sydney-London A380 services via Singapore from late-March next year (when they also start flying to London via Perth). They say it’s what passengers want. But some analysts say now they’re back on track financially they can try to get the best of both worlds – an alliance with the big Middle Eastern airline and a connection with the important Asian hub. We like strong Aussie businesses (and we’re quite partial to Shanghai Tang at Changi) so good luck to them!

On the subject of Shanghai Tang… the iconic Hong Kong store’s founder Sir David Tang died this week. The businessman/philanthropist/man-about-town was the embodiment of old-school Honkers. Tang split his time between London and Hong Kong where he mingled, partied and did business with the hoi polloi. His friendship group was wide as evidenced by Russell Crowe’s tribute; "Witty, charming, intellectual, salacious, hilarious, loving and funny as f***." And Stephen Fry’s tribute is lovely (this is from the Financial Times so if you answer a few questions you should get through the paywall). A bit more colour gone from the world.

A word on the AFL and NRL footy finals - we’ve recruited two specialists to keep you up to date. Now, you might not be a footy fan yourself, but we’ll give you the talking points to sound like a pro.

Here’s Gibbo’s NRL wrap (note she's a Raiders fan...) for the last round before the finals:
Two matches this weekend are a must to watch. Saturday: silvertails Manly v Penrith Panthers - both are vying for a top eight spot and it should be a cracker. Then all eyes will be on the St George-Illawarra Dragons on Sunday who should beat the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs to make the top eight. Melbourne people don’t worry that there's no AFL this weekend – you can go and watch the Canberra Raiders flog the unbeatable Melbourne Storm. 

So there you go. The AFL is having the weekend off before they start finals next weekend. In other sports news:

Winx is after her 19th win on the gallop in Saturday’s Chelmsford Stakes at Randwick. She’ll be wearing earmuffs to help calm her starting nerves.

• In the tennis, Aussies Daria Gavrilova and Ash Barty have progressed to the next round of the US Open. And Nick Kyrgios said after his defeat by fellow Aussie John Millman that he’s just not dedicated to tennis. Ugh.

• The Diamonds (our Aussie netball side) are undefeated in the Quad Series. This Sunday they face the cranky NZ Silver Ferns (who lost their last match to England). We’re looking pretty good for the series win. Come on Aussie!

US cooking/lifestyle/crafty genius Martha Stewart is a longtime favourite. This is a day in the life account of ‘how she gets it done’. She has 30 canaries!

We've long been fans of US Elle magazine's advice columnist E Jean. She's quirky, smart and hilarious. And she has a different take on things, which makes for appealing reading. Her latest is a classic – is it easier to find a mate when you have a long list of desired attributes or a shorter one? 

There’s something quite mesmerising about online makeup tutorials. This is a good one – how to go from desk to dinner in under a minute. (Check out this model's cheekbones - OMG...)



CoreLogic House Price Data for August

ABS Data Releases - Consumption of Alcohol, 2015-16

National Wattle Day

Start of the Royal Adelaide Show (on until 10 September)


Legacy Badge Day

Birdsville Cup


Father's Day

2.00pm (AEST) - Australia v New Zealand in the Netball Quad Series - Invercargill, NZ

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