Squiz Today / 14 September 2017

Squiz Today – Thursday, 14 September


"I don't know about forever in our hearts it's more like forever in our eternal nightmares after seeing this."

Mark Patrick’s Facebook comments encapsulate what locals are thinking about Chesterfield Borough Council’s tribute to Princess Diana. Unveiled last week, it needs to be seen to be believed


The issue that’s obsessing Canberra this week is what the Turnbull Government might do on setting a Clean Energy Target. That basically means what portion of our electricity that will be generated by renewable energy. Why?

• It’s understood PM Malcolm Turnbull is looking at proposing a Clean Energy Target below Labor’s preferred 50% and lower than the 42% recently nominated by the Chief Scientist Alan Finkel.

• That’s going to require a balancing act to ensure Australia meets its carbon emission reduction targets agreed under the Paris Climate Agreement.

• And bringing Turnbull’s internal negotiations into sharp focus, there are reports that five Coalition MPs would cross the floor in protest if he nominates a target of 42% or higher.

We have an energy crisis on our hands. Power prices have spiked significantly in the last few months for a few (and somewhat complicated) reasons. But long story short, we’re potentially going to be short of electricity for ‘peak’ periods (when it’s very hot or very cold) from as early as summer 2018-19. On top of that, there’s concern that as coal-fired power generators close down without replacing their output, we’ll have longer term problems turning on the lights on any given day. We're in this position largely due to the ongoing politicking on issues like a Clean Energy Target. And that means it's a problem PM Turnbull and political parties of all shapes and sizes need to tackle. ASAP.

The Clean Energy Target issue is newsy because it’s the last matter for the Coalition to resolve amongst itself before it can move ahead and put something to Parliament to vote on. And it’s in focus this week because Parliament is due to rise tonight for a month. It would be a good thing for Turnbull to move this issue on – but only if his team is united behind him. It might also be a good time with the PM’s arch-climate-policy-nemesis and former PM Tony Abbott away in Sydney fighting fires. #justsayin’


It’s taken months of negotiations and political wrangling but the government finally has enough of the Senate crossbench over the line to move forward with media law reform. Gone is the ‘two out of three’ rule, which means our media companies will now be able to own newspapers, radio and TV stations in the same media market. And the ‘reach rule’ is also on the scrapheap – it prevented a single TV broadcaster from reaching 75% of the population. Nick Xenophon was key to getting it done. He’s secured more than $60 million in funding for regional and small publisher cadetships and an ACCC inquiry into the impact of Google and Facebook on the media industry for his support. And the government’s previous deal with Pauline Hanson’s One Nation stands, including the agreement to hold an inquiry into the ABC’s ‘competitive neutrality’. Or as Communications Minister Mitch Fifield puts it; "whether a government organisation is using its status in a way to compete in a way that isn't reasonable with commercial organisations.”

Power outages in Florida caused by Hurricane Irma are thought to be responsible for the deaths of six aged care residents. The nursing home where they resided had been without air conditioning for several days, and the temperatures have been getting into the 30Cs. More than 100 other residents were moved to hospitals and other facilities. Florida’s Governor Rick Scott said an investigation would take place and that; “Every facility that is charged with caring for patients must take every action and precaution to keep their patients safe — especially patients that are in poor health."

Rebel Wilson’s lawyer said yesterday “she’ll probably say we crushed it.” And crush it they did – she will receive more than $4.5 million in a record for a defamation case. The court yesterday awarded the actress $650,000 in general damages and almost $4 million in special damages relating to work she had lost after articles published in Bauer Media mag Woman’s Day questioned her truthfulness about “almost every aspect of her life.” Wilson was going for more than $7 million but her lawyers yesterday said she had previously offered to settle the case with Bauer for $200,000. Oops! Wilson has said she would put any win towards “charity, scholarships or invested into the Aussie film industry to provide jobs.” Might we see a Wilson-led Aussie film production in the future perhaps?

Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday cancelled a trip to New York this month to visit to the United Nations citing the escalating situation in Rakhine state. However, many will read it as another sign of retreat by Suu Kyi. She has been under pressure to respond to the mounting humanitarian crisis that has seen 370,000 Rohingya Muslims flee over the border to Bangladesh. And diplomatic leaders are dismayed by reports that Myanmar troops have laid landmines to prevent their return. 

How does anyone really replace firecracker White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci – the bloke who was fired after just 10 days in the job? By keeping their head down and maintaining a low profile we suspect. So it’s good luck to Hope Hicks - a Trump Organisation employee since 2015 and President Donald Trump’s campaign press secretary. She’s 28yo and many believe (after snidely noting she is a former Ralph Lauren model) she’s in over her head. But one thing is widely acknowledged – she’s close to the President and that makes her an asset in a White House full of staffers who have little rapport with the boss. Her memoirs are going to be fascinating…

If you’re a facts and figures junkie, yesterday’s release of the Bureau of Statistics’ latest Household Expenditure Survey will be right down your alley. The latest survey takes a look at what +10,000 households spent their hard-earned on between July 2015 and June 2016. The key take-outs are:

• Average household debt doubled to $169,000 since 2003-04, mostly due to mortgages. And paying for housing (rent or mortgage repayments) is the biggest item in the budget.

• The average family spent about $1,425 a week. Food and transport are the biggest ticket items after housing. And education costs made the biggest increase when compared to spending in 2009-10.

• We spent about as much on ‘communication’ (ie phones and internet access) as on clothing and footwear.

Lady Gaga is one of the top performers of her generation. Interesting, quirky, passionate – and talented. She appeals to a wide audience with her pop-tastic tunes. We reckon the film clip to Telephone with Beyonce from a few years ago is one of the best of all time – it’s a bit gritty and very commercial, and it’s a standout. But Gaga has had a tougher time of late. Reports yesterday say a Netflix doco out at the end of next week tells us she is a sufferer of chronic pain via fibromyalgia. We’re right into music docos at the moment (think Amy, Eight Days a Week, Whitney: Can I Be Me) so it’s in the diary.


ABS Data Release - Labour Force, August

R U OK Day

35th anniversary of the death of Princess Grace of Monaco. She was just 52yo. 

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