Squiz Today / 20 August 2018

Squiz Today – Monday, 20 August


“She heard the crowd. I heard it, and I'm sure she heard it because when the crowd erupted at the 250m mark, she just dropped and went."

Said supermare Winx’s jockey Hugh Bowman of her record-breaking gallop on Saturday to take out 26 wins on the trot. The win didn’t look like it was going to happen, but you can see her kick into gear. What a girl.


You’re at risk of getting whiplash while trying to keep up with federal politics at the moment. But think of The Squiz as your seatbelt keeping you in place as we navigate a remarkable couple of days of policy and political wheeling-and-dealing. So here we go…

It’s mostly about the ‘third rail’ of Australian politics – climate and energy policy.

• PM Malcolm Turnbull has backed down on his commitment to legislate the government’s target of reducing emissions by 26-28% on 2005 levels by 2030. The target remains, but it will be regulated by ministerial order. Former PM Tony Abbott agreed to the target when he signed Australia up to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, but has railed against it from the backbench.

• Reports say Turnbull and Scott Morrison flagged a cap on the price of electricity to help bring down power bills to the senior ranks of the government over dinner last night.

• And company tax cuts could be for the scrap heap too. Reports say Team Turnbull will introduce the legislation into the Senate this week knowing it will fail. And that would be that.

Where to start? In three points:

• Turnbull is trying to shore up his leadership and neutralise attacks from his own side. This morning’s Fairfax/Ipsos poll that has the Coalition’s primary vote down to 33% and trailing Labor 45:55 in the two-party preferred stakes won’t help.

• Home Affairs’ Minister Peter Dutton is being pegged as a contender for the top job and reports say Turnbull could face a challenge before the end of the year.

• The winner in all of this? Labor and leader Bill Shorten. All this instability in the government’s ranks only helps their case for change.

Strap yourself in with parliament resuming today.


FLOODS - Weeks of monsoon rains in the southern Indian state of Kerala have triggered the worst flooding there in a century, leaving more than 350 people dead and 800,000 displaced. Hundreds of troops have been called in to help, with thousands believed to be trapped on the rooftops of flooded homes.

EARTHQUAKES – Something’s angered the tectonic plates… Another earthquake was recorded yesterday in Lombok – there were no immediate reports of casualties. Quakes were also recorded in the ocean between Fiji and Tonga yesterday, and in Costa Rica on Friday.

FIRES – Strong winds made difficult work for firefighters in NSW and Queensland over the weekend. There are 76 fires burning in NSW, 31 are uncontained. And authorities say 717 fires have been recorded across Queensland in the last five days. Sadly helicopter pilot Allan Tull died while waterbombing near Ulladulla on Friday.

PM Turnbull would probably have preferred to have some clean air to big up the government’s additional $250 million to help farmers and communities get through the drought. The funding takes the government’s assistance to $1.8 billion. Retired Major-General Stephen Day was also announced as the national drought coordinator. He’ll be charged with coordinating drought assistance and will advise on funding gaps and risks.

Many Coles stores nationwide were out of action from 6am-9am yesterday with an “unforeseen technical issue” rendering their cash registers unusable. It was as ugly for the company as a real-life version of Homer Simpson is to the rest of us. Woolworths’ execs face the analysts and media today with their latest financial results and will have to keep their gloat reflex in check…

Kofi Annan, the first black African to hold the job as secretary general of the United Nations, died in Switzerland on Saturday. Having joined the UN in 1962, he was an insider who made it to the top job in 1997 and held the position until 2007. Known for his frank style, Annan was at the helm through the oil-for-food scandal and fell out with the US when he opposed America’s military action in Iraq in the early 2000s. He also had his supporters and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work. His home country, Ghana, has declared a week of national mourning.

Our occasional gathering of stories you might like...

HARD LABOUR - Kiwi government minister Julie Anne Genter has cycled to hospital to have her first baby. As the associate minister for transport, you’d think there’d be an easier way…

SUMMER PLANS? - You need a boat, and James Packer’s new one is for sale

MUSK A MESS - In the world of business, Tesla founder Elon Musk is an original. And he's been living dangerously of late, much to the dismay of his board. Musk's interview with the New York Times will do little to soothe their nerves as he "alternated between laughter and tears” while talking about his recent challenges. It's an interesting read.


ABS Data Release - Overseas Arrivals and Departures, June

Company Earnings Announcements - BHP; Fortescue Metals; NIB; Scentre Group; Woolworths

Start of three days of reunions for families separated in the Korean War

Greece exits the last of its three bailouts

World Mosquito Day 

Speech Pathology Week

Keep Australia Beautiful Week 

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