Squiz Today / 07 March 2018

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 7 March


“I was a boarder and you were a day girl who had ‘real food’ to share.”

That's how our friendship with Squizzy (aka Emma Bromell) started. We met her at school when she was Emma Taylor, hence the gangster reference. Tomorrow is our first anniversary, and we thought you might like to know a little more about how we got started. So please welcome Squizzy, the original and the best, to the Three Minute Squiz.


Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is in New York to sign a historic treaty with Timor-Leste (aka East Timor) to establish the first permanent boundary between our two countries. The signing will be witnessed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. What's the fuss? It's about rich gas and oil reserves in the Timor Sea and which country can lay claim to the revenue.

Okay. We’ll make it short and sweet:

• Establishing a permanent border has been a key issue in the Oz/Timor-Leste relationship since 2004. And specifically, where the Greater Sunrise offshore gas fields sit.

• Under a previous treaty, it was agreed that revenue from Greater Sunrise would be split evenly with Australia, despite its close proximity to Timor-Leste. An ensuing dispute saw the owners of the project walk away.

• Last year, Timor-Leste stepped up its claim and took the matter to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. It argued the line should be halfway between its shores and Australia.

• That process wrapped up last week and a new treaty will be formally signed today.

• And while the details remain secret, it’s expected that Timor-Leste will get 70-80% of the oil and gas revenue. That means Australia will give up about +$8 billion in revenue at current prices to Timor-Leste.

There’s still some argy-bargy over where the gas and oil is processed (ie Darwin or Timor-Leste). And a further plot twist might see Indonesia seeking a renegotiation of its boundaries with Australia. That’s something we’ve been trying to avoid for yonks. Nothing's ever simple...



Woolworths newest store, 'Eddie's Fresh Food', has launched at St. Edmund’s College, a special-needs high school in Sydney’s north. It's a collaboration with Fujitsu Australia.

Deputy Principal Rebecca Kirwan said the store provides students with; “the richness of opportunities provided within a mainstream setting to promote skills, knowledge, independence, confidence, and self-esteem.” How cool is that.

Woolworths also works with disability employment services to provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

You can take a video tour of Eddie's Fresh Food here.


RUSSIAN SPY FOUND UNCONSCIOUS IN LONDON – Sergei Skripal, the former Russian-MI6 double agent, was found unconscious with a female companion in Wiltshire, UK. He was jailed in Russia for spying for Britain and was released to the US in 2010. It’s believed the pair have been exposed to an unknown substance. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the UK would respond "robustly" if there's evidence of Russian involvement.

KIM PLAYS HOST – That’s North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to a visiting South Korean delegation. It’s the first face-to-face meeting Kim has had with the South’s officials since 2011. "Kim Jong Un as a leader has kept himself highly circumscribed,” said one expert (a quote that makes a lot more sense on a careful second reading). And good news this morning - Kim’s agreed to talks next month about disarming.

RUSSIA GUARANTEES SAFE PASSAGE FOR THOSE LIVING IN EASTERN GHOUTA  – That's after Russian-backed Syrian forces capturing more than a third of the area. Aid agencies say more than 400,000 people remain trapped. Despite a UN-sanctioned ceasefire, airstrikes have continued meaning aid hasn't been getting in, and the injured haven’t been getting out.

Labor leader Bill Shorten has strengthened his position on a major political issue. “I don’t support the Adani project,” he said yesterday about the proposed Carmichael Mine development in Queensland. Three points on why that’s caused waves:

• Despite vetoing a $1 billion government loan for a railway line from mine to port, the Labor Queensland Government supports the mine. Think jobs and growth (or is that another mob’s catchphrase?).

• Reports say Labor’s Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen warned Shorten against the position because it could scare off foreign investment should Shorten win the next election.

• Critics say it’s all about the Batman by-election in Victoria on 17 March where Labor is fighting off the Greens.

Clear as coal slurry? Good.

Speaking ahead of International Women’s Day tomorrow, Kelly O’Dwyer, the Minister for Women (and declared feminist) yesterday said it's hard to know if business is properly dealing with harassment in the workplace. That’s mainly because of the confidentiality around complaints. So the government is unleashing a big survey this year to get more info. And research released yesterday found one in 10 women said they were being harassed at work, and two-thirds said they were treated with respect by their boss.

The Reserve Bank yesterday left interest rates on hold at 1.5% for the 19th consecutive month in a row. With wages growth and inflation still low, "the low level of interest rates is continuing to support the Australian economy,” said governor Philip Lowe. The good news is the RBA thinks we’re in for stronger economic growth.

While at the Governor’s Ball, best actress winner Frances McDormand lost/had her statue stolen. It worked out fine; “Fran and Oscar are happily reunited and are enjoying an In-N-Out burger together,” said her rep. (On the burger score she did better than a tonne of Melbournians yesterday…) Madonna's after-party is said to be the best of the bunch with our Margot Robbie spotted on her dance floor. Emma Watson had a great response to her tattoo fail. And to help you get through Wednesday, here’s a comprehensive after-parties picture gallery. You’re welcome.


12.30pm (AEDT) - Tanya Plibersek, Deputy Leader of the Opposition to give an International Women's Day address to the National Press Club - Canberra

ABS Data Releases - Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, December; Livestock and Meat, Australia, January

Anniversary of Charlie Sheen being sacked from sit-com Two and a Half Men (2011)

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