Squiz Today / 11 July 2019

Squiz Today – Thursday, 11 July


“Triple Antarctic blast.”

Is the gloriously dramatic description weather types have given the series of cold fronts that have prompted severe weather warnings in South Australia, Victoria and Tassie. Get your hot chocolates out…


Newly minted Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt says the Morrison Government is hopeful a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the constitution can be held in the next three years - but only if it has a good chance of success. And he says there is a lot of work to do to reach a “consensus option” for the addition of a national Indigenous ‘voice’ to our constitution.

• Hundreds of Indigenous representatives met in 2017 and in their Uluru Statement from the Heart, they called for “constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country.”

• But then PM Malcolm Turnbull rejected the idea citing concerns the constitutionally enshrined ‘voice’ would in effect become a “third chamber of the parliament” which would fundamentally change the workings of our system of government - and in his view that wouldn’t receive the support of Australians.

• Fast forward to yesterday and Wyatt says the Coalition's approach has changed. Having said that, defining what that ‘voice' is still has to be worked through. Not a fan of an elected representative body, Wyatt said his take on the Uluru Statement was that it is a “cry to all tiers of government to stop and listen to the voices of Indigenous Australians."

A lot more talking. Wyatt is the country’s first Aboriginal man to be appointed to lead the portfolio overseeing government policy for Indigenous people, and he said he needs bipartisan political support to take this forward. On that front, one of the first hurdles he faces is getting support from his own side. And Wyatt wants agreement from Indigenous leaders and communities as well. That drive for consensus is born of a fear that the cause of Indigenous rights will be taken significantly backwards if the main players are divided and, as a result, the Australian people reject it when it comes time to vote. Keep in mind, just eight of 44 referendums have succeeded since federation.



At least 24 people have died in one of the worst outbreaks of tribal violence in Papua New Guinea for years. At least 16 of those killed were children and women, including some who were pregnant. The violence between rival tribes took place in the village of Karida in the Highlands province of Hela, and it’s thought to be payback from a previous dispute. Prime Minister James Marape said it was “one of the saddest days of my life,” and vowed to increase the police presence and come down hard on the perpetrators, including the use of the death penalty.


Keeping you up-to-date on some notable recent stories.

LOOKING FOR A FRIEND - In the latest escalation of tensions that are simmering between America and Iran, General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff (so he’s pretty senior then…) says he’s on the hunt for military partners to safeguard the waters near Iran via 'freedom of navigation' patrols. The US recently blamed Iran for targeting tankers in the sea passage that carries 30% of the world’s sea-borne crude oil.

AMBASSADOR QUITS - Sir Kim Darroch, the UK Ambassador to the US, quit last night after leaked confidential emails emerged last weekend where Darroch had called the Trump administration "clumsy and inept". Trump responded, calling him "a very stupid guy”. Caretaker PM Theresa May said it was “a matter of deep regret”.

HEALTH CONCERNS FOR MERKEL DEEPEN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been seen shaking for the third time in a month. She said again that she is fine, but the German media are asking for more information on her health.


When it comes to positive self-talk, Aussie consumers are not feeling it. Afraid of being bitten in a way that not even this chair could help, we’re worried about the state of the economy, according to the latest figures, and not even the recent interest rate or tax cuts have lifted our spirits. And if we’re not feeling great about these things, it’s harder to get us to hit the shops - something Treasurer Josh Frydenberg thought we’d do with last week's $15 billion in tax cuts. One bit of good news is the Housing Industry Association yesterday said record low interest rates, recent house price falls, and some improvements in wages growth mean someone earning average wages buying a median-priced property will see their mortgage repayments consume the smallest proportion of their earnings since 1999. Which is something to be a bit cheery about…


ORIGIN FEVER BREAKS – The NSW Blues triumphed over the Queensland Maroons last night, winning the State of Origin decider 26-20 and clinching the series. It was one for the ages with the winning try coming just 30 seconds to full-time. Cue the home crowd mania...

CRICKET CRUNCH - It’s all happening in our battle against the English for cricket supremacy… The Aussie women start three days of play against England’s Women’s Academy as part of their Ashes Tour. And for the men - a win in tonight’s One Day World Cup semi-final against the Poms would see us take on New Zealand (who beat India in a thriller overnight) in Sunday’s final. Fingers crossed…

SERENA’S TURMOIL - Last year’s outburst at the US Open continues to be a thing for the women’s tennis great Serena Williams. She’s put down her thoughts in Harpers Bazaar going into how she’s putting it behind her. Maybe a win at Wimbledon would help? She made light work of Ash Barty’s vanquisher Alison Riske and heads into tonight’s semi-final against Barbora Strýcová.


It’s the end of an era. The last Volkswagen Beetle rolled off the production line in Puebla, Mexico last night. Launched initially as a project in Nazi Germany, the Beetle was abandoned after WWII and then resurrected by the British. As well as bringing a cheap car to the people, the brand famously lowballed its appeal with groundbreaking advertising campaigns like "Think small" and "Live below your means". The iconic car hasn't been produced in Germany since the 70s, but the original Beetle continued to be churned out at the Puebla factory until 2003, and later editions were exclusively produced there too. But it's not all over yet for vee-dubs - an updated Kombi van is scheduled to be released in 2022.


7.30pm (AEST) - Cricket World Cup - Australia v England - Birmingham

8.00pm (AEST) - Women’s Ashes Tour - Australia v England Women’s Academy - Marlborough

ABS Data Releases - Lending to households and businesses, May; Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 to 2031; Energy Use and Electricity Generation, 2017-18

World Population Day

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was first published (1960)

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