Squiz Today / 30 May 2023

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 30 May

%%=Format(@localdatetime, “dddd, d MMMM yyyy”)=%%

Squiz Today Podcast

Get up, get down, just get it.

Today’s listen time: 9.00 minutes

7 / 23
11 / 16
9 / 24
12 / 17
7 / 19
13 / 17
18 / 31
0 / 16

Squiz Sayings

“The prefect has called an urgent meeting with the police to investigate the origin of the liquid.”

Said Luca Zaia, president of the Veneto region of Italy that takes in Venice. And what they’re investigating is why a patch of the city’s Grand Canal has turned a bright colour that Kermit would be jealous of. As the famous frog sang, it’s not easy being green…

McGowan’s done and almost dusted

After more than 6 years in Western Australia’s top job and 26 years in the state parliament, Premier Mark McGowan resigned yesterday, saying this week would be his last. It has been “an absolute privilege to serve” as Labor’s leading politician in the West, he said, but the role was “all-consuming” and “relentless”, and he is “extremely tired”. He said the decision to resign “built up over time”, and he wanted to let someone else take the reins ahead of the next state election in 2025.

Much of Australia became familiar with McGowan during the pandemic when he oversaw some of the toughest restrictions in Oz and the world, closing Western Oz’s borders for 697 days. Not that it did him any political harm with his party winning 2nd consecutive 4-year term in a historic landslide victory in 2021 that reduced the Liberals to 2 seats in the lower house. But there’s more to him than that, and he rattled off his achievements in his statement yesterday. PM Anthony Albanese said “his final election victory earned him a place in Australian political history”, but McGowan has “always been about delivering for people,” he said. Nationals leader Shane Love (who is the Opposition leader in WA) said McGowan’s dual role as Premier and Treasurer was likely behind his burnout and unnecessary given Labor’s dominance in the parliament.

McGowan’s resignation was a shock, but his colleagues don’t have much time to digest the news given his hard-finish Friday… Insiders say Deputy Premier Roger Cook and Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson are 2 names to watch to replace him. And there will also be a by-election in his seat of Rockingham, with ABC election guru Antony Green noting that as the safest Labor seat in the state, the party will likely retain it. As for McGowan, he says he wants to take some time off before looking for his next role. TBC if that includes trading in his suit and tie for a bandana


Squiz the Rest

Consequences rain down on PwC

The fallout from PwC’s tax advice scandal continued yesterday, with 9 unidentified senior team members put on leave pending the result of an investigation. Their names haven’t been made public, but reports say they are partners involved in using confidential information gleaned from the Treasury to win work from corporate clients. PwC also announced that its governance board chair Tracey Kennair and risk committee head Paddy Carney have stepped down from their roles. That all led acting boss Kristin Stubbins to apologise on behalf of the firm “for sharing confidential government tax policy information and for betraying the trust placed in us.” About 3 weeks ago, PwC’s local boss Tom Seymour announced he would go in September. And last week, the Treasury referred the matter to the Federal Police to consider criminal charges. But the latest moves haven’t silenced the critics

Australian News

Kochie calls time

Sunrise’s David Koch yesterday told viewers that it was “now time to work some business hours, I reckon, and have a bit of flexibility”. That includes carving out time to focus on his business/finance publishing business Pinstripe Media and his role as chairman of the AFL’s Port Adelaide Football Club. After 21 years of 3am starts, he said “I’m frankly finding it harder to get off the ground to take those … marks, and I think it’s time to bring through the next generation.” Seven West Media boss James Warburton wished him well, but didn’t announce a replacement for ‘Kochie’ as speculation heats up. He will finish up on Friday next week. And a former brekkie host who will stay off the air for a bit longer is Lisa Wilkinson while inquiries and legal cases involving her reporting of accusations made by Brittany Higgins are ongoing.


Another debt brick in the wall

If you’ve seen something about HECS/HELP debt and indexation – or you’re one of the 3 million Aussies who had a debt – you might want to understand what’s happening before Thursday… Student debts are set to increase in line with Australia’s inflation rate, which is a whopping 7.1% this year. The inflation-linked increase applied to the government’s student debt scheme was less remarkable when inflation hovered at around 2%, but our recent inflation spike has meant that, to give one reported example, someone who has been paying their debt since 2018 could owe more than when they graduated. Enter a group of crossbench MPs and senators who have written to PM Anthony Albanese and Education Minister Jason Clare, offering to help pass laws to stop the rise. If they’re serious, they’d better act fast with Thursday’s deadline looming. But as any dedicated uni student will tell you, there’s nothing like an all-nighter to meet a deadline…


Rich kid issues…

Have no fear – we’ll not drop any Succession finale spoilers, no matter how twitchy our typing fingers are… But if you’ve watched the cluster drama and wondered ‘how could a family be like this?’ – according to a Swiss luxury rehab centre, the behaviour of the uber-wealthy kids in the show isn’t too far from the truth. The researchers say there is something they’re calling “Succession syndrome”, which sees the children of the superprivileged hold “a deep-rooted fear of weakness and failure”. As for its prevalence, nearly 40% of the patients reviewed struggled with mental health problems specific to wealthy families. As they say – money won’t buy you happiness (but it sure would buy a lot of excellent Champagne…).


Another music catalogue bites the dust

Well, maybe… Speculation is rife that Queen’s music catalogue will be sold to Universal Music Group by Disney Music Group for an eyewatering sum. Some industry insiders say the deal would be worth more than US$1 billion, which would see Queen become the champions (my friends…) by quite some margin thanks to 2018’s Oscar-winning film putting the superband’s music back into the mainstream. Bruce Springsteen holds the record for arguably the highest amount paid for a music catalogue when his was sold in late 2021 for about US$500 million. We’re no maths wizards, but $1 billion is twice as much as $500 million and would see Queen reign all over the Boss… In recent years, Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks and Justin Bieber have sold their music as Taylor Swift has hustled to get control of hers.


Apropos of nothing

In the time you’ve been reading this excellent news update, a Spanish village could have voted dozens of times after setting a new record of 29.52 seconds (down from their previous PB of 32 seconds). Sure, Villaroya only has 7 voters, and they’ve been electing the same mayor since 1973, but credit where it’s due…

According to a study from Indiana University Bloomington, you should avoid watching the clock if you struggle with sleep. “Time-monitoring behaviour” can aggravate insomnia and increase frustration. Note: sheep-counting is still in the clear…

Disney execs might choose to count their dollars after the live-action Little Mermaid remake took in US$95.5 million in its first weekend. It bumped Fast X into second place, followed by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 and the still-going-strong Super Mario Bros film.

Australian News Quirky News

Squiz the Day

ABS Data Release – Building Approvals, April

Elizabeth Holmes begins her 11-year prison sentence

World MS Day

Birthdays for Tom Morello (1964), Idina Menzel (1971), and Cee-Lo Green (1974)

Anniversary of:
• Joan of Arc being burned at the stake in France after being condemned as a heretic (1431)
• the publication of Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967)
• Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s divorce (1996)

Squiz the Day

The Squiz Archive

Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.