Squiz Today / 28 March 2023

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 28 March

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Squiz Today Podcast

Fitting into the way you do your news day. 

Today’s listen time: 9.40 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I’ve probably got one cycle of every state election and a federal election in me.”

Said ABC’s elections guru Antony Green who set hares racing when he mentioned his retirement during the NSW state poll count on Saturday night. That leaves plenty of time to clone him…

Labor and Greens clinch a climate deal


The Albanese Government’s revised plan to cut Australia’s carbon emissions by 43% in the next 7 years will go ahead after Labor struck a deal with the Greens yesterday. The ‘safeguard mechanism’ will see limits imposed on 215 facilities that produce the most pollution in Oz – they’ll need to cut emissions by 4.9% annually up until 2030. If they can’t meet that target, they will need to pay for offsets (aka carbon reductions/removals others have made), but under the deal, the ‘absolute’ volume of carbon must come down. The Greens also won more transition support for the steel, cement and aluminium industries, with funding rising from $600 million to $1 billion. Implementing the scheme was Labor’s central climate change commitment at last year’s federal election, but with the Coalition and several Senate crossbenchers opposed to it, Team Albanese needed the Greens’ support to pass the bill and had to make a few compromises for it to happen. 


It’s complicated… The Greens initially said the deal didn’t go far enough, and there were concerns that their all-or-nothing approach would derail it entirely. They got there in the end – although the 2 parties still aren’t exactly on the same page… Yesterday, Greens leader Adam Bandt said talks with Labor were “like negotiating with the political wing of the coal and gas corporations”. But, he says the Greens are now on board because although they want to ban new coal and gas projects altogether, the agreed hard cap on emissions means at least half of the 116 upcoming coal and gas projects probably won’t go ahead. To explain that a bit, the ‘hard cap’ will restrict how much emissions mining and gas projects can produce before they become unviable. For the government’s part, Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen said they’ve only agreed to amendments that are in line with Labor’s policies/goals.


The mining/gas exploration companies aren’t happy. The Minerals Council says it’s worried about jobs evaporating for not enough environmental gain. And the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association says the plan ignores that gas is “critical” as the nation decarbonises and transitions to clean energy. “Decisions that take emissions reductions options – such as natural gas – off the table make reaching net zero significantly harder and more costly,” said boss Samantha McCulloch. That’s something the Coalition also questioned, with Climate Change and Energy Minister spokesman Ted O’Brien saying “to decarbonise our economy, we have to get the balance right between cutting emissions and allowing the economy to grow”. But PM Anthony Albanese isn’t fazed – he says the plan was drafted in consultation with industry experts and that it won’t create instability in the energy market or raise power prices. 

AusPol Environment & Science

Squiz the Rest

No latitude for data-hacked customers

Early this month, consumer finance provider Latitude Financial said its systems had been hacked and about 330,000 identification documents were stolen. It also warned that the number would grow, but there was a gasp yesterday when the company provided an update… There are 14 million customers who accessed finance via retailers including Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys and Apple caught up in the hack. The driver’s licence numbers of 7.9 million Aussie and Kiwi customers have been stolen, along with 53,000 passport numbers. An additional 6.1 million records were also taken, most of which were over a decade old. Latitude boss Ahmed Fahour says the company will reimburse customers who replace their stolen ID documents and they’re working with the government on an investigation, but reports say a fine of up to $50 million is on the table if negligence is proven. Fahour, who is in his last week in the job, again apologised to customers.  

Australian News Business & Finance

Big protests against Netanyahu’s plan

Tens of thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets in protest after the nation’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu sacked Defence Minister Yoav Gallant for speaking out against a plan to overhaul the judiciary. Gallant’s dismissal cleared the way for a parliamentary vote this week to give the government power over judicial appointments and enable parliament to overturn Supreme Court decisions. Gallant said the move was “a clear, immediate and tangible threat to the security of the state”, and critics noted Netanyahu’s conflict of interest given he is on trial for corruption. But this morning, Netanyahu said he would hit the pause button to get Israelis onside while condemning an “extremist minority” that he says is ready to divide the nation. That has headed off an all-worker strike that had been called in protest over the reforms. Yesterday Israel’s opposition leader Yair Lapid said the PM could fire Gallant, but “he can’t fire reality or fire the people of Israel who are fronting up to resist the coalition’s madness.”

Australian News

Not-so-lucky losers

Australians support greater restrictions and bans on gambling advertising, according to new research from the Australian Institute of Family Studies and the Australian Gambling Research Centre. A survey of 1,765 people aged +18yo in July last year found that more than 75% of survey respondents had gambled at least once during the past year, and 46% were classified as being at some risk of harm from gambling. Asked what they felt about ads promoting betting platforms, 69% said they’re “too common”, and 60% said they make sport “less family-friendly”. And at the pointy end, seeing or hearing wagering advertising was found to influence risky behaviour, especially among young people. No one likes to be called a loser, but Aussies are the world’s biggest gambling losers per capita, with over $25 billion lost in 2021. The federal government will be interested in the study – a House of Reps committee is currently considering restrictions on wagering ads.

Australian News

Slowly slowly catch a tiger

Tasmanian tigers may have lived much later than previously believed – and there’s a teeny tiny chance some are alive today. That’s the conclusion Professor Barry Brook and his team at the University of Tasmania have come to after re-examining a database of 1,237 Tasmanian tiger sightings from 1910 and later, finding that extinction likely occurred within 4 decades of the last capture, so around the 1940s-70s. However, the team found that extinction might have been as recent as the late 1980s to early 2000s. Brook says it’s possible some are around now but says the Tassie tiger “was a large, wide-ranging predator, and there have been enough cameras out there, especially over the last 10 years, to say it’s just not there. Wildlife biologist Nick Mooney says relying on sightings is difficult because there are “the possibilities of the person being right, the person being wrong, the person having some strange delusion, or the person lying.” Just like a session with our mates, then…

Australian News Environment & Science

Beer lovers won’t say cheers to that

If a life of monastic contemplation isn’t something that you would, well, contemplate, you may not have heard about Belgium’s Trappist monks and nuns. They produce beer and use the profits to support their religious community and charities, but their popular enterprises face an uncertain future as fewer people sign up for the non-alcoholic parts of life. In January, Achel beer lost its Trappist status after being taken over by a private entrepreneur. Westmalle, Belgium’s oldest Trappist brewery, is one of 5 remaining in the country, along with Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, and Westvleteren. These aren’t small cutesy undertakings – they are brands you can order via Aussie retailers like Dan Murphy’s… Looking ahead, Philippe Van Assche from Westmalle says there are few signs that people will want to become monks in the future. There’s got to be an easier way to become a notable drinks executive… 

Business & Finance Quirky News

Apropos of nothing

If you struggle with Australia’s multi-time zones, Lebanon was not the place for you after a breakdown between the government and influential Maronite church led to 2 times in the one zone. The government folded overnight and will bring clocks forward on Wednesday night to start daylight saving.

Elon Musk has valued Twitter at US$20 billion, less than half the US$44 billion he paid to acquire it, according to reports on a memo he’s sent to staff. That fits with Musk reportedly views that Twitter is an “inverse startup”…

Former US President Barack Obama arrived in Sydney yesterday – he’s swinging through the Harbour City and Melbourne on the lucrative speaking circuit. Although, from his pic with PM Anthony Albanese, you could be forgiven for thinking they were launching a new production of Singin’ in the Rain… 

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – Michele O’Neil, President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

7.30pm (AEDT) – Men’s Soccer Friendlies – Australia v Ecuador – Sydney

ABS Data Release – Retail Trade, February

Birthdays for Michael Parkinson (1935), Vince Vaughn (1970), Julia Stiles (1981) and Lady Gaga (1986)

Anniversary of:
• the Lourve being opened to the public (1794)
• the end of the Spanish Civil War (1939)
• the death of Virginia Woolf (1941)
• the world’s largest dinosaur footprint found in Western Australia (2017)
• North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. It was Kim’s first trip outside of North Korea since coming to power in 2011 (2018)
• Cyclone Debbie making landfall in northeast Queensland (2017)

Squiz the Day

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