Squiz Today / 10 April 2019

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 10 April


“Why be the passenger when you can be the pilot?”

That’s the best bit of advice CareerCEO Andrea Clarke’s mum gave her. That attitude is evident in Andrea’s career path to date, going from a Washington DC-based journalist to building her own business that helps others get to the next stages of their careers. And she’s also an author with a book on the future of work just out. Please welcome Andrea (and her fab practical advice) to this week’s Three Minute Squiz.


Nine years after the process started, Indian miner Adani yesterday cleared the last of the federal government’s environmental hurdles for the development of the Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. Specifically, Environment Minister Melissa Price announced the development's groundwater management plans met the scientific requirements of an independent assessment by the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia. But it's not party time at Adani HQ quite yet with some black-throated finches to take care of…

The project can't move to the development stage without the Queensland Government giving its final approval. It will now review the groundwater reports. And then there's the protection of a colony of black-throated finches around the mine site that's occupying minds. Some environmental researchers say the mine site covers the last remaining healthy habitats of the colour-coordinated aves, and they have criticised Adani’s plans to protect their feathered friends.

Let's say the Queensland Government are happy with the tweety-bird situation; there will be more federal and state government approvals required before mining can commence, much to Adani’s frustration. But that's down the track. The most immediate thing to point to is how this now plays out in the federal election campaign:

• With the mine's development expected to create 1,500 jobs, there are some marginal seats in the area where yesterday's approval will be a positive for the Coalition (which supports the mine) but tricky for Labor (which hasn’t been clear one way or another).

• That situation is reversed in urban seats for inner-city voters concerned about the environment and climate change.

• And for the next few weeks, there's bound to be more anti-Adani protests at events featuring PM Scott Morrison and Labor leader Bill Shorten. That'll keep their protection agents on their toes…



It was an extraordinary blast from our most recently deposed prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, but we live in extraordinary times… Monday’s ABC TV Four Corners/Nine Newspaper investigation raised questions over Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s interaction with Chinese billionaire Huang Xiangmo, and Turnbull unleashed. "I know what it's like to be Prime Minister. Ultimately, you're responsible. So Scott Morrison has to deal with this Peter Dutton issue." Remember: Turnbull took Dutton off his Christmas card list holding him responsible for his political demise. For their part, Dutton and Morrison say there’s nothing to see here (because Huang’s visa was cancelled), move along. That’s unlikely to happen today with the Sydney Morning Herald/Age reporting Defence Minister Christopher Pyne also met with Huang - but then so did Labor leader Bill Shorten. Labor wants to see the government's correspondence relating to their dealings with the Chinese national.


Reports this morning say Las Vegas-based casino operator Wynn Resorts has terminated takeover talks with the James Packer-backed gaming and entertainment company Crown Resorts because of the "premature" disclosure of preliminary negotiations. Crown yesterday confirmed it was in talks about its potential takeover with Wynn’s offer valuing Crown at about $10 billion (or around $14.85 a share). Analysts say Wynn is looking to expand further in our region, and while both businesses have had recent challenges, it's a deal that would be well received by investors. If the deal proceeds, there will be several regulator hoops for Wynn to jump through. Yesterday's announcement saw Crown's share price soar by almost 20%, making Packer, who owns 46.1% of the company, $800 million richer. Not a bad day in (or out of) the office, but today could be a different story…


Soz. We know it's news homeowners don't want to hear… But ratings agency Moody's says house price falls in some areas are going to be worse than predicted - particularly in Sydney and Melbourne. For Sydney, prices are predicted to fall by 9.3% this year - up from its January prediction of -3.3%. And in Melbourne, it was predicting a 6% decline in January, but now reckons it’ll be more like -11.4%. Ouch. As for the rest - also on the slide are Perth and Darwin, while Hobart will continue its rise. Other capitals are expected to be flat for the year.


Valentine Holmes, the rugby league player who represented the Prime Minister’s preferred club (Cronulla), Queensland and Australia, has focused his footy dream on getting a start in America’s NFL. And yesterday the 23yo Townsville local received a spot with the New York Jets in their training squad and pre-season roster. And if that goes well, he could make it into their 53-man squad. Holmes follows in the footsteps of other league players hoping to make it in the US, including Jordan Mailata who is pressing his case with the Philadelphia Eagles - and working hard to get his weight up to 163kg…Yikes.


Jack Dorsey, the co-founder/boss of Twitter, famously didn’t take a salary for years. But he does now, and it’s 140 cents - a nod to the social media platform’s former character limit. Now that the limit’s been raised to 280 characters, analysts are wondering if his pay will also double…

Billie Eilish has become the first musical artist born in the 2000s to have an album debut at #1 in the Billboard charts. We only recently put a face to her sophisticated/melancholic pop tunes when she got nervous about ‘meeting’ Justin Bieber on Ellen.

Geez, this is a contentious one - the best ever British comedies. Forty-two experts say Fawlty Towers takes the first spot, then Father Ted and I’m Alan PartridgeBlackadder and Dad’s Army round out the top five. Ab FabThe Vicar of Dibley and The Office are too far down the rankings for ours. And Yes, Minister/Prime Minister isn't there at all...


12.30pm (AEST) - Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen to address the National Press Club - Canberra

Summit of European Union leaders where an extension to the Brexit deadline will be discussed

ABS Data Release - Building and Construction Activity, December

Anniversary of the publishing of F Scott Fitzgerald’s literary classic, The Great Gatsby (1925)

We have a great pack of books ready to send to you. All you need to do is read the email every day and have your name drawn. Easy.

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