Squiz Today / 28 September 2023

Squiz Today – Thursday, 28 September

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Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I had 2 mates ring me, Sleepy and Donny. Sleepy says to Donny ‘look at this big fish’, and Donny starts to have a look, and he goes ‘that’s a seal, man’.”

Said angler Kai Barba who, on Sleepy and Donny’s recommendation, took his boat out to find a long-nosed fur seal off the coast of Mackay in North Queensland. The creature who’s more at home in cooler waters has “had a very big swim”, an expert said…

A big day for the disability Royal Commission

The Squiz

Australia’s Governor-General David Hurley will be handed the final report from the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability this morning. But we’re unlikely to see Chair Ronald Sackville and the 6 other Commissioners’ findings just yet… Once Hurley receives the report, the Albanese Government will set the public release date once ministers and bureaucrats have had an opportunity to go through it. And, given this Royal Commission held 32 hearings, 1,785 private sessions and received 7,944 submissions, there’s a bit to get through

What’s this about?

The Disability Royal Commission wasn’t in the headlines much – something Justice Sackville has criticised. But long story short, former PM Scott Morrison launched it in 2019 after Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John, who lives with cerebral palsy, pushed him on it. The goal was to look into the mistreatment of people with a disability in Oz – and nothing brought that into sharper focus than the death of 54yo Adelaide woman Ann Marie Smith. She lived with cerebral palsy and died in April 2020 from septic shock, organ failure and malnourishment after being found living in squalid conditions despite having care provided under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). And since 2019, the Royal Commission has heard thousands of other distressing stories describing many disabled people’s daily reality. 

So when are we likely to see it?

There’s no set date, but word on the street is that Albanese might make the report public tomorrow, so let’s see… As for what it might contain, the recommendations are likely to be wide-ranging – reports say they will cover suggested improvements to health services, education, and our child protection systems. Justice Sackville took an early chance to push for action during his closing comments earlier this month, saying that “the abuses exposed by the Royal Commission demand an urgent and comprehensive response from all Australian governments”. And disability advocates agree – Disability Leadership Institute boss Christina Ryan says “it will be an incredible failure” if immediate change doesn’t happen. And now you’re primed for when it drops… 

AusPol Australian News Health

Squiz the Rest

Jacinta’s time to shine

Get used to a new name on the domestic political landscape – Jacinta Allan has become Victoria’s 49th Premier after Daniel Andrews upped stumps yesterday. It didn’t go quite to plan in the Labor caucus meeting, with Ben Carroll also nominating before settling for the deputy’s job, therefore avoiding a messy ballot. Allan’s been in the Victorian Parliament for 24 years, but it’s fair to say she is not widely known outside her home state. She turned 50yo a week ago, is married with a couple of kids, and was the minister responsible for the now-dumped Commonwealth Games… In her first presser as leader, she got emotional when asked about becoming the state’s second female premier – and said her policy priorities will be unveiled in the coming weeks. Note: ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr is now the longest-serving state/ territory leader at nearly 9 years, followed by Queensland’s Annastacia Palaszczuk at 7.5 years.

AusPol Australian News

… and now from the ‘Yes’ case

It’s been a pretty busy few weeks at the National Press Club, with campaigners from the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ cases on the Voice referendum taking the stage to make their pitches. Yesterday, it was Noel Pearson’s turn, and the lawyer/Indigenous leader from Queensland’s Cape York made a passionate plea for Aussies to vote ‘Yes’ “to recognise our mutually shared love for the land – because too many of us have grown up strangers”. Pearson says the Voice would be a “modest” advisory body and “the largest mirror we will ever look into as a nation”. It’s coming up to 2 weeks until voting day – and voting is already underway in remote communities. And come Monday, early voting will also begin in the Northern Territory, Tassie, Victoria and Western Oz. In the ACT, NSW, Queensland and South Oz, it’ll kick off on Tuesday cause they start the week with a public holiday.

AusPol Australian News

High-flyers in the hot seat

With her predecessor Alan Joyce unavailable due to “personal obligations” overseas, new Qantas boss Vanessa Hudson got her welcome to political first grade yesterday… She and the airline’s embattled chair Richard Goyder fronted a Senate inquiry into the Albanese Government’s rejection of Qatar Airways’ bid to increase its flights to Oz. Hudson said the industry “should be given the chance to recover” from the pandemic, but other airlines, the airports and competition experts say the government’s close relationship with the national carrier has led to the edging out of competitors and travellers paying higher prices. For his part, Goyder (who is also heading into a big weekend as chair of the AFL Commission) isn’t heeding calls for him to resign. He says it’s up to Qantas’ board and shareholders. Get ready for that to bubble over into their AGM in November…

AusPol Australian News Business & Finance

All the likely things that can end you…

Heart disease and dementia were the top 2 leading causes of death in Oz in 2022, according to new data from the Bureau of Statistics. That’s not new, but COVID taking out third place is the first time an infectious disease has been one of the top causes of death since an influenza outbreak in 1970. And it’s also a steep jump for COVID, which was the 33rd most-common cause of death in 2021… That’s down to 2022’s deadly Omicron wave, which accounted for one in 10 Aussie deaths that year. The top 5 causes of death were rounded out by lung cancer and cerebrovascular diseases, including stroke. Suicide was the leading cause of premature death in 2022, and while drug-induced deaths declined, alcohol-related deaths rose for the fourth year in a row.

Australian News Health

And the winner is…

Rugby League had its big awards last night, and it was all about the Newcastle Knights… Fullback Kalyn Ponga took out the NRL’s top individual honour – the Dally M. And in the NRLW, the Knights’ Tamika Upton also scored the top women’s award. But the real prize will be decided this Sunday… For the men, the grand final is between the Brisbane Broncos and the Penrith Panthers, but before that, we’ll see the Newcastle Knights take on the Gold Coast Titans in the women’s premiership game. Players would do well to take a tip from their rival code on how not to celebrate/commiserate with Sydney Swan Callum Mills needing surgery after a wrestle gone wrong… But it could be worse – you could be the Wallabies, who’ve now slipped to a historic low ranking of 10th in the world. PS if you were here for the Dally M’s red carpet, we are here to serve

Australian News Sport

Apropos of nothing

The Hollywood writers’ strike officially ended overnight, clearing the way for some talk shows to return to air. Also mulling a comeback is the US version of The Office, according to reports. This calls for celebratory mini cupcakes… 

If you’ve ever wondered what living like an ogre is like, you can now stay in Shrek’s swamp courtesy of Airbnb. Situated in the Scottish Highlands, it’s described as a “muddy slice of paradise”.

And if a sea change is more your style, a cliff-top home next to the Victorian lighthouse featured in iconic 90s Aussie TV show Round the Twist is up for sale. Don’t be surprised if strange things happen there…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

11.00am (AEST) – Second Republican Debate – California. Former US President Donald Trump will be giving a speech in Detroit at the same time

7.30pm (AEST) – Men’s Basketball – NBL Round 1 – Melbourne United v SEM Phoenix – Melbourne

The final report of the Disability Royal Commission will be handed to the

ABS Data Release – Retail Trade, August

International Right to Know Day

World Rabies Day

World Maritime Day

Anniversary of
• the release of Stevie Wonder’s 18th studio album Songs in the Key of Life (1976)
• the release of Olivia Newton-John’s single Physical (1981)
• SpaceX launching the first ever private spacecraft, the Falcon 1 into orbit (2008)

Squiz the Day

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