Squiz Today / 24 October 2018

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 24 October


“I pick my nose when I'm stressed. I'm a 37yo nose picker. Hot, I know.”

That’s what Katie 'Monty' Dimond says is her worst habit. Between running her media company with radio, TV and writing interests, motherhood, and endless loads of washing, it’s fair to guess her noz gets a regular workout. Please welcome the charming (truly) Squizer to this week’s Three Minute Squiz.


And we’re back… Now that we’re in the post-Wentworth by-election era, there has been a quick recalibration by our pollies to refocus on nuts-and-bolts, Salada-and-Vegemite concerns. And while Coalition PM Scott Morrison and Labor leader Bill Shorten are positioning themselves to make their pitches to ‘average' Aussies (when you meet one, let us know…), some blustery headwinds will also shape the debate in the coming weeks and months with the federal election coming into sight.

A number of issues popped up yesterday that are worth a look:

• Cost of living is a red button issue - And that’s why the Morrison Government announced what it wants to do on electricity prices yesterday. (More on that in a moment…) Add to that increasing gas and petrol prices, and no wages growth in ages and you've got a lot of people worried they're going backwards.

• Declining property prices - Yes, some markets have done well in recent times. But Oz’s two biggest markets - Sydney and Melbourne - are under pressure. Deloitte Access Economics’ Chris Richardson yesterday said; “housing prices are falling by over $1,000 a week" in those cities

• Unions are flexing their muscles - Up to 170,000 protestors turned out in Melbourne and more than 10,000 in Sydney yesterday as the ACTU’s ‘Change the Rules!’ campaign advocating for a better deal for workers took to the streets. Their strong showing isn’t just an issue for the Coalition, pundits say their industrial relations agenda could extend past Shorten’s.

Geeze you can be tough… The point is despite a good economy and fantastic jobs numbers, there are other things at play that are impacting the way we feel about life, and these things will be top of mind for voters at the coming federal election. Alternatively, if none of that appeals to you, you can watch this video of former Trump communications director Anthony Scaramucci explain his 11 days in the White House through interpretive dance. It’s entirely up to you.


You couldn’t wait, could you… The Coalition has announced Energy Policy #73 (or does it just feel like that?):

• It takes up the consumer regulator’s suggestion of setting a default price for electricity. The idea is it would get rid of exey ‘standing offers’ that too many consumers are on after any special offers from their power retailers end. The government says that could save us up to $832 a year.

• The government could underwrite new power plants. That's a response to the warnings from electricity market regulators that we're heading towards power shortages.

• The power companies will be asked to sign a ‘reliability guarantee’ to make sure they put contingencies in place to keep the lights on. And steps will be taken to stop price gouging like sneaky late payment penalties.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor will talk it over with his state and territory colleagues on Friday. Alternatively, if none of that appeals to you, you can look at this spectacular rectangular iceberg.

For some time there have been concerns about the prevalence of microplastics (ie teeny-tiny pieces of plastic under 5mm) in the environment and particularly worry about the infiltration of the food chain. Yesterday, the results of a small European study (and by small we mean eight participants…) confirmed for the first time the pesky little plastics' detection in human waste. It's alarmed scientists and doctors because of the impact it could have on our health, and a lot more research will be needed.

If you missed out on picking something up in Robin Williams' recent auction, and your interests are more scientific, we have a sale for you… Twenty-two items belonging to the late Professor Stephen Hawking will go under the hammer soon for the benefit of his foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Lots include a wheelchair, medals, books and a script from an appearance on The Simpsons.

HATCHES – Well, not quite yet. Comedian Amy Schumer is pregnant with her first child. Her Insta announcement is a cracker…

MATCHES – Giving up comedy is working out well for Hannah Gadsby. Reports say she is dating Hollywood power creative Jill Soloway.

DISPATCHES – Joachim Ronneberg, the celebrated 99yo Norwegian resistance fighter from World War II, has died. He led a mission that saw him and four others strike a significant blow against the Nazis’ nuclear ambitions. A humble man who resisted ‘hero’ status, he only started speaking about his part in history in recent years. “Now I realise it is important and quite natural for people to ask about the past so they can plan for the future. People must realise that peace and freedom have to be fought for every day."

The tropical island leg of their Pacific royal mega tour hasn't seen a dialling down in the fashion stakes. Harry and Meghan stepped off a Qantas flight in Suva late yesterday, and within seconds of appearing on the tarmac, her all-white ensemble was being deconstructed online (it was Zimmerman). Which is nothing compared to the frenzy that was kicked up when her royal so-hot-right-nowness stepped out for a state dinner wearing an evening gown showing off the royal baby bump. It's the first royal visit to Fiji since a military coup there 12 years ago saw the South Pacific nation temporarily suspended from the Commonwealth.


12.30pm (AEDT) - Matt Carroll, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Olympic Committee, to address the National Press Club on 'Feel the Olympic Spirit' - Canberra

ABS Data Releases - Deaths, 2017; Migration, 2016-17

World Polio Day

United Nations Day

Former PM Malcolm Turnbull's birthday (1954)

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