Squiz Today / 04 March 2019

Squiz Today – Monday, 4 March


“Ian has been suspended for a combination of things, including not playing the right type of music.”

Said Albany Community Radio boss Harold Simmons of the dismissal of on-air host Ian Alexander. He played a couple of contemporary tracks on a station that is known for its love of Bing Crosby, Dean Martin - and three hours of Dutch music every Friday night. Alexander also found himself out of favour with the management committee at a meeting that was attended by police last week. Everyone’s a music critic…


Two more government ministers will not contest the upcoming federal election. South Australian Christopher Pyne (Defence) and Queenslander Steve Ciobo (Defence Industry) both hold traditional Liberal-voting seats, and they join serving ministers Nigel Scullion, Michael Keenan and Kelly O'Dwyer who have also called time on their political careers. Ciobo vacated his ministerial job effective immediately and was replaced by Western Australian Senator Linda Reynolds.

• Team Morrison’s critics say there’s a “stampede for the exit” with the Coalition facing an uphill battle to hold on to power.

• PM Scott Morrison said; "I don't get flapped by things like this, I just keep on going.” Even so, as this picture shows, a lot of the Coalition’s frontline have departed since it won the last election.

• Reynolds’ appointment gives Morrison bragging rights for having the most women in Cabinet ever - something he said he would retain if successful at the election. The Liberals are facing criticism the party has a ‘woman problem’ with female representation almost a quarter of the party’s MPs compared to Labor’s almost 50%.

Mmm hmm... Outgoing former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told News Corp’s Sunday papers she could have beaten Labor leader Bill Shorten at the coming election if her colleagues had backed her in as prime minister in last August’s leadership spill. Bishop, who received just 11 votes from her colleagues, said she entered the ballot believing she would beat Morrison. But she says “Christopher Pyne and others" took votes away from her in the belief that Morrison would ultimately be better able than she to beat conservative Peter Dutton. That account has been disputed today. Maybe Bishop should have been on Pyne WatchThere was something in the air, alright…



After more will-they-won’t-they tension than an episode of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Australia and Indonesia will today sign a landmark free trade agreement. It seeks to address a couple of things. First is increasing trade between us and our big neighbour (population 260 million). The trading relationship between us is just a 10th of what we have with China. Second is to reinforce a strategic alliance with the fast-growing nation which is expected to emerge as an economic power in the coming decade. Today's ceremony will feature Trade Minister Simon Birmingham and his counterpart Enggartiasto Lukita, not the nations' leaders. Indonesia’s Joko Widido faces an election in April and reports say Morrison didn’t want to risk inflaming tensions over the location of our embassy in Israel again.


Two big fires are burning east of Melbourne. The Bunyip fire was started in a state park on Friday night by lightning strikes and has gone on to burn 11,000 hectares and several homes. Residents around Tonimbuk have been evacuated and more than 20 schools will be closed today. And further east near Morwell, homes were also lost in a 1,500-hectare fire at Yinnar South near Morwell. Both are proving difficult to bring under control and were just two of 30 fires burning across the state on the weekend spurred on by high winds and hot conditions.


Her name is Nicola Gobbo, and she is from a family that has a high profile in the legal world. She is the niece of Sir James Gobbo - a former Victorian Governor and Supreme Court judge who quickly moved to distance himself from the scandal. To recap: Gobbo is at the centre of what’s considered Victoria’s biggest legal scandal in history. She was a barrister whose client list reads like a who’s who of gangland crime figures and was recruited by police to inform on them. A Royal Commission into the practice is expected to put hundreds of convictions of some seriously bad people in doubt. Just six months ago, Gobbo was honoured by the Premier for her work at a childcare centre. Ponder that if you’re doing the school/childcare drop off this morning...


The latest home price data shows it’s no longer just a predominantly Sydney/Melbourne problem. All capitals registered price falls in February, except Hobart which keeps defying gravity. Collectively the capitals were down 0.9% (including Darwin -1.7%, Perth -1.5%, Sydney and Melbourne -1%) while regional markets went backwards by 0.3% for the month. Sydney and Melbourne’s housing markets have experienced the worst falls over the past year, down 10.4% and 9.1% respectively. Analyst CoreLogic said the banks’ caution on lending was making the market damp-to-soggy for buyers to jump in and buy.


#RF100 - As if we needed more proof of how good tennis legend Roger Federer is… Yesterday morning he won the 100th ATP title of his career taking out the Dubai Tennis Championships. He has a few wins to go before he takes the record, currently held by American Jimmy Connors with 109 titles to his name. Connors humble-bragged, welcoming the Swiss champ to the triple-digit club saying he's been a bit lonely at the top…

GO WINXY - Geez she’s good. The supermare’s win in the Chipping Norton Stakes in Sydney on Saturday made her the world record holder of Group One wins with 23. It was her 31st consecutive win. And again she came from behind

ELON MUSK’S SPACE LAUNCH BREAKTHROUGH - The highly anticipated launch of the Crew Dragon, SpaceX’s first spaceship built to fly astronauts, went off without a hitch. It’s made it to the International Space Station with a dummy (not derogatory…) named Ripley at the helm. The voyage is about demonstrating to NASA that the company can safely send people to the ISS. US astronauts have relied on Russia to get them there and back since 2011 when the US space shuttle program ended.


Tributes from the good and great were plentiful after news broke on Friday afternoon that 76yo Mike Willesee had died. The confident young newspaperman got his TV break in 1967 as a reporter at the ABC’s This Day Tonight. He shifted to Nine in 1971 - legend has it he went into Clyde Packer's office at 29yo and demanded his own show (and so A Current Affair was created). He also hosted flagship shows on Seven. Willesee became known as an interviewer with a killer pause which “drove many interviewees into calamitous admissions," said former colleague Jana Wendt. One casualty was then Liberal leader John Hewson who came unstuck in 1993 over a simple question about how his proposed GST would be applied to a birthday cake. He discovered Paul Hogan who had a spot on the show as an ‘everyday man' commentator. It was also well documented that Willesee had his battle with alcohol, and became a strong Catholic later in life. He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2016 and is survived by six children.


Labour Day Public Holiday - Western Australia

ABS Data Releases - Business Indicators, December; Building Approvals, January

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