Squiz Today / 08 December 2020

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 8 December


"It was like being hit by a truck."

Said an unnamed 29-year-old surfer yesterday after he was attacked by a shark in waters off Kangaroo Island, South Oz on Sunday arvo. A truck with teeth and a taste for surfboards…

Squiz Shortcut Tip: add one to the number of shark attacks in Australian waters. Sheesh, our episode on Shark Attacks hasn't even been out for a week…


Like a high schooler that's left their end of year assessments to the last possible moment, our federal pollies are sprinting through an action-packed schedule this week. And there's something for everyone: from foreign affairs to industrial relations, from welfare to the future of the news media.

Onya, Sonya. Attorney-General/Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter yesterday outlined the government's overhaul to workplace relations with a focus on Australia's 2.3 million casual workers. Their hands could be strengthened if they have a regular work schedule. Meanwhile, employers could avoid paying higher rates to casuals while also providing entitlements usually reserved for permanent staff, like annual leave and sick pay. ACTU boss Sally McManus says the plan would "entrench casual work". But Porter says it's "very consequential change" that would "create jobs by removing barriers to job growth". Next steps: the legislation will be introduced this week, and consultation/debate will go into 2021.

• The Foreign Relations Bill that will give the Commonwealth the power to override state and local governments if they make agreements with other nations will pass the parliament this week. It comes as China beef with Australia escalates after the sixth meat supplier was suspended last night. No reason has been given.

• A plan to make the cashless debit card scheme a permanent feature needs to be passed this week. Just as a report put a cloud over whether its reduced drug/alcohol abuse in communities where it's been trialled...

• And a code of conduct that would see Google and Facebook pay for Australian-produced news content shared on their platforms? If Coalition MPs and Senators wave it through today, we could get a look at it tomorrow.



Residents from all Australian states and territories except South Oz can now enter Western Australia without having to quarantine with NSW and Victorian residents allowed in from this morning. The decision came despite a couple of setbacks in the last week like 2 German travellers who were mistakenly allowed to travel to Melbourne after arriving in Sydney. Yesterday, they tested negative to COVID-19 for the second time, and that saw 176 of their 'close contacts' ending their self-isolation. Phew… As for Victoria - it's recorded 38 days without a new locally-acquired case. And South Oz? Well, it's had 9 days with no new cases which will see WA ease restrictions on its neighbour on Thursday, but they'll have to undergo 14-days of quarantine. Feeling a bit more welcoming is Queensland - it will reopen its border to Adelaide residents on Saturday. An update on all state/territory border restrictions is here.


The township of Happy Valley has been saved from bushfires. Residents had been told to leave amid "very dangerous" conditions, but many stayed to defend their homes after preparing for severe bushfires for 18 months. Cue criticism over the way the fire has been managed since it started in mid-October... Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday defended the actions of authorities and said a review would be done by March next year. It comes as a final report from the World Wildlife Fund on the extent of losses from the Black Summer bushfires that raged across the country. While it's unclear how many animals died in total, it determined that 3 billion animals were caught in the fires' paths, including 61,000 koalas and 143 million native mammals. Reptiles were the worst hit with 2.46 billion killed, the report says.


Labour shortages, trade tensions with China, and getting past the drought are factors that will see fruit and veg prices to jump by 25% this summer, officials say. Apples, pears, grapes, stone fruits, and summer veggies are expected to be among those affected. While a new report by the Department of Agriculture concluded this year's production - worth more than $65 billion - is up by 7% on last year, fresh food exports are expected to decline to $44.7 billion. About $19 billion worth of Aussie commodities are in the lurch after China slapped tariffs on Aussie barley and wine this year. It also highlights wheat and wool as other Aussie crops that could soon feel the sting. Geez farming's a tough game…


Australia's Olympic Committee yesterday said it's getting behind a bid for Brisbane to host the 2032 Olympic Games. Plans had been put on ice earlier this year after everyone's favourite pandemic kicked off, but AOC boss John Coates says Brissie has a "very strong" chance of winning the hosting role. "With our strong health response, we virtually became the sporting capital of Australia during the COVID pandemic," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said. Remember: last month's State of Origin decider saw the 52,000-strong crowd become the largest sporting event in the world since the start of the coronavirus crisis. The city will also be assessed on its ability to hold sporting events and how it will use the Games to boost its economy. Coates said 4 or 5 other parties were also making a bid, including Indonesia's capital Jakarta. Palaszczuk says she'll talk to PM Morrison about it during Friday's National Cabinet meeting.


But what's the question? How much did Universal Music Group pay for Bob Dylan's music… Reports this morning say the famed singer-songwriter has sold his entire back catalogue to UMG for an undisclosed sum that will see it collect all future income from his songs. That includes what Dylan made as a songwriter and from his master recordings. "Brilliant and moving, inspiring and beautiful, insightful and provocative, his songs are timeless," said UMG boss Sir Lucian Grainge of the company's biggest-ever acquisition. Dylan's the latest artist to sell their stake in their work with news on the weekend that Stevie Nicks has sold a majority stake in her publishing catalogue for US$100 million, including some songs performed by Fleetwood Mac. Meanwhile, modern-day pop icon Taylor Swift is refusing to lay lady lay and is fighting to get control of her former work by re-recording her early songs.

Get the background on this one with our Squiz Shortcut on Who Owns The Music...


Sadly, a Netflix remake will likely lose the iconic phrase from teen angst classic Heartbreak High. "I suspect we will go a bit tougher on our language," said executive producer Chris Oliver-Taylor. And by that, we hope he means "rack right off"...


7.10pm (AEDT) - T20 Cricket - Australia vs India - Sydney

WA border to be eased to allow NSW and Victorian residents to enter without quarantining

V-Day to start in the UK

ABS Data Release - Residential Property Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities, September

A birthday for Nicki Minaj (1982)

Anniversary of:
• the birthdays of Mary, Queen of Scots (1542), singer/actor Sammy Davis Jr (1925) and rocker Jim Morrison (1943)
• John Lennon’s death (1980)
• SpaceX becoming the first private company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft, after the second launch of the SpaceX Dragon (2010)

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.