Squiz Today / 30 October 2020

Squiz Today – Friday, 30 October


A great turnaround story.”

Is Tupperware boss Miguel Fernandez’s description of the iconic food storage company’s rally this year - all thanks to COVID. With more people cooking at home, its sales are going gangbusters, and its share price has increased from $1.15 in mid-March to $28.80 yesterday. That's a lot of leftover spag bol sauce…


...in that it's going to be a thriller. The polls and the pundits say it's too close to call with the coronavirus adding to the uncertainty. Queensland’s Electoral Commission yesterday said one million of the anticipated 3.3 million votes have already been cast, and more expected to come through today at pre-polling centres across the state and the mail. All we know is it’s the biggest election in Australia in 2020 - and it’s here.

Roger that.

• Queensland has a unicameral parliament (is it too soon to recycle our ‘that doesn’t mean it has one camera’ joke?) with all 93 Legislative Assembly spots up for grabs. The Labor Party goes in with 48 seats - one more than the required 47 to hold majority government.

• Led by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, she will become Australia’s first female party leader to win three elections if she steers her side to glory. And if she hangs on to the middle of next year, she will pass the record to become Australia's longest-serving female head of government.

• Queensland has one conservative party - the Liberal Nationals (LNP) - which hopes to add to its 39 seats. It’s led by Deb Frecklington who represents Nanango - the first seat occupied by the state’s former czar… sorry… premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

• As for the minor parties: Katter's Australian Party goes in with three seats, One Nation and the Greens have one seat each, and Noosa has an independent MP.

• The issue: the state's "enhanced border control measures" that have kept people from designated hotspots (aka most of NSW and Victoria) out of the state. The ABC's election expert Antony Green says Palaszczuk’s position on the border could see “variations in the pattern” of support for Labor highlighting tourism-dependent areas that want to see restrictions lifted.

History is on Labor’s side. Since 1989, it’s won every election but one, and has been in government for 26 of the last 31 years. But it’s close with a swing of just 0.7% potentially Labor into minority government. Who that coalition partner would be is tricky because the Katter Party is polling strongly, and it opposes Labor’s position on social issues like assisted dying laws. For the LNP to secure a majority, it would take a swing of about 3.5% against the government. So kick back and enjoy the first big Aussie election with two women leading the major parties. And if you're in the Sunshine State, enjoy your democracy sausage...



Thousands of troops are being deployed to protect churches and schools across France as it lifted its security alert status to the highest level after three people were killed in a knife attack at Nice’s Notre Dame Basilica overnight. Two women and a man were killed by a male suspect who was shot and detained by authorities. One of the female victims was “virtually beheaded”, reports say. And two other attacks also took place overnight. A man was shot dead in Montfavet near Avignon after threatening police with a gun, and a guard was attacked outside the French consulate in Saudi Arabia. A link between the attacks has not been confirmed. Police have not suggested a motive for the attack in Nice, but President Emmanuel Macron said the "Islamist terrorist attack" would not see France surrender its core values. It follows protests and boycotts of French goods in some Muslim-majority countries over Macron's recent statements defending freedom of expression in the wake of the murder of school teacher Samuel Paty outside Paris earlier this month.


Yesterday was a tough one for France… As coronavirus cases surge across the continent, it’s reinstating nationwide lockdowns as Germany moves towards business closures. President Macron yesterday said that a second COVID wave has already “overpowered” the country with 58% of the nation’s intensive care beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a four-week shutdown of hospitality and entertainment businesses. “We must act, and now, to avoid an acute national health emergency,” she said. Globally, more than 2 million new coronavirus cases have been reported in the past week - the shortest time taken for an increase of that scale during the pandemic. And 46% of those cases were in Europe, with the US also seeing a worrying increase in infections.


The extent of damage from Typhoon Molave, which made landfall in Vietnam on Wednesday in the central province of Quang Nam (which takes in the beautiful town of Hoi An), became clear yesterday. At least 19 people are dead, 64 people are missing, and more than a million people have been affected by flooding and landslides. Molave was one of the strongest typhoons to hit the region in decades, bringing winds reaching 165 kilometres/hour, torrential rain, flash flooding and landslides. Last week, the country was struck by twin storms that left more than 100 people dead or missing and 90,000 more displaced. At least 150,000 people are facing food shortages in the aftermath of last week’s storms due to crop destruction. Now, Molave has left millions without power and destroyed 56,000 homes, with the poor weather hampering rescue efforts. And if that weren’t enough, a third storm event is still to come - potentially the fifth big one to hit Vietnam this month.


Getting ready to front shareholders at its annual general meeting yesterday, Myer's chairman Garry Hounsell resigned. He said “it has become apparent that Myer’s two largest shareholders are not supporting my re-election and I will not allow my ongoing tenure as chairman to be a distraction to the hard work of the executive team.” Those shareholders include retail veteran Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments which owns about 10% of Myer's shares and has long called for Hounsell to go over the retailer’s failing strategy, poor sales and high management turnover. Its shares were priced at $4.10 when it floated in 2009 - yesterday they were $0.24. Premier Investments yesterday described Hounsell’s departure as a “green shoot” for the company. But acting chair JoAnn Stephenson said “What Myer needs, more than ever, is stability."


Mining magnate Gina Rinehart topped the Australian Financial Review’s Rich List (paywall) for the ninth time. Coming in at a cool $28.9 billion, Rinehart saw her wealth more than double over the past year as the price of iron ore surged. Similarly, Fortescue Metals Group founder Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest jumped from eighth place last year to second with $23 billion this year, up from nearly $8 billion in 2019. Clive Palmer makes a Top 10 appearance for the first time with his wealth doubling to $9.18 billion thanks to iron ore royalties. Falling two places from the previous year was cardboard king Anthony Pratt and his family - they are third with $19.75 billion. After that, there's Hong Kong's real estate mogul Hui Wing Mau ($18.06 billion) and Atlassian co-founders Mike Cannon-Brookes ($16.93 billion) and Scott Farquhar ($16.69 billion).


ABC TV’s Gruen this week tracked down Trevor Hilton - the man who can lay claim to coming up with the jingle for Bunnings Warehouse. And his story of how he came up with it “on a sunny afternoon in January 1995” is delightfully simple.

The internet can be a dark, mean place, but there are some corners of salvation. That was what members of the Crock Pot Heaven Facebook group found until some self-appointed ‘crockstars’ ruined it and the group’s administrator had to issue a few stern words

On the recipe front, one of our all-time favourite contributors is Jill Dupleix. Her masterclass recipes to nail the classics are great. If you haven’t done her spag bol, OMG you’re in for a treat. For us this weekend, we’ve never been pleased with our scone game, so we’re getting into that. “Surprisingly fast and easy to make,” she says…


World Teachers Day

National Bandanna Day to support young people affected by cancer

Day for Daniel (Morcombe) to raise awareness of child safety, protection, and harm prevention

Mischief Night (as distinct to ‘every night’ if you’ve got young kids…)

ABS Data Release - Producer Price Indexes, September

Anniversary of:
• the Communist Party of Australia was founded in Sydney (1920). It was dissolved in 1991
• Italian dictator Benito Mussolini formed government (1933)
• the radio broadcast of HG Wells The War of the Worlds, narrated by Orson Welles, allegedly causing a mass panic when listeners thought that Earth was being attacked by Mars (1938)
• Clarence Birdseye selling the first frozen peas (1952)
• Kashmir lost its autonomous status, flag and constitution, as India brings it under federal control (2019)

7.45pm (AEDT) - Bledisloe Cup Rugby - New Zealand vs Australia - ANZ Stadium

Queensland state election


World Cities Day

Birthdays for director Peter Jackson (1961), rapper Vanilla Ice (1967), actress/singer Willow Smith (2000)

Anniversary of:
• Michelangelo completing the painting of The Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel (1541)
• the "last successful cavalry charge in history" by the 4th Australian Light Horse during the Battle of Beersheba in WWI (1917)
• the completion of the Mount Rushmore Monument (1941)
• the deaths of magician Harry Houdini (1926), actor River Phoenix (1993)

National Days for Algeria, and Antigua and Barbuda

All Saints’ Day

Day of the Dead (until 2 November) - Mexico

Healthy Hips Day

Let your lip-hair run free… It’s the start of Movember

World Vegan Day

Birthdays for Apple CEO Tim Cook (1960), rocker Anthony Kiedis (1962), singer Tina Arena (1967) and actor Toni Collette (1972)

Anniversary of:
• the premieres of William Shakespeare's play Othello (1604)
• John Adams becoming the first US President to live in the White House (1800)
• the deployment of the first aerial bomb during the Italo-Turkish War (1911)
• the first use of the Motion Picture Association film rating system (G, M, R, X)(1968)
• the premier of blockbuster film Titanic (1997)

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