Squiz Today / 31 March 2017
Squiz Today – Friday, 31 March
WEATHER WEATHER EVERYWHERE
You know something’s serious if PM Malcolm Turnbull and Labor leader Bill Shorten are on a unity ticket. Weather can do that, it’s a great leveller. And hasn’t Cyclone Debbie tried her hardest? Both leaders left parliament yesterday to travel to North Queensland to survey the damage and pose for pictures with brooms in hand. Meanwhile, further down the coast, the greater South East Queensland region went into meltdown as Debbie’s tail lashed the most populous part of the Sunshine State and northern New South Wales battled with flood emergencies and mass evacuations.
ARE OTHER AREAS BADLY IMPACTED?
The coastal corridor from North Queensland to the NSW north coast has been significantly impacted by heavy rain and high winds over the last 36 hours. They have been significantly impacted by heavy rain and high winds over the last 36 hours. Bundaberg experienced flash flooding, the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Gold Coast had heavy rain and winds, and more than 11,000 homes are without power across South East Queensland. A thousand Queensland schools were closed yesterday and will also close today, which effectively brings forward the start of their school holidays. Northern NSW is flooding with residents evacuated from Tweed Heads down to Lismore.
WHAT’S THE UPDATE ON THE CYCLONE DAMAGE?
Pictures are starting to emerge of the extent of the damage across North Queensland. Think large metal power towers folded over, expanses of landscape with trees and vegetation stripped of leaves, and even large sharks washed up and stranded on land. It’s a mess. Evacuations from the Whitsunday Islands have started, and the military was able to drop food and water to sustain emergency supplies. Vast areas are still isolated and without power, and there are reports tap water is contaminated and unsafe for consumption. There’s a long way to go.
SQUIZ THE REST
A HARD DAY’S NIGHT FOR THE SENATE
The Senate sat until just after midnight last night to deal with some pressing business. No joy though, they’ll come back today for a rare Friday session to deal with:
1) Changes to the racial discrimination laws – the Coalition didn't get the numbers to change the wording of 18C of the act to remove the words ‘insult, offend, humiliate’ and replace with ‘harass’. But they want to change the complaint process, and that’s to be dealt with today.
2) Lowering the rate of company tax – Senators didn’t get to that overnight which indicates the Coalition is still talking to the independents in an attempt to strike a deal. The threshold issue is the size of business the tax cuts should apply to. Pauline Hanson says the tax cuts should apply to businesses with a maximum $50 million annual turnover, and Nick Xenophon’s team want it capped at $10 million max. The Government is said to be considering splitting the bill to secure tax cuts for these smaller businesses while they decide whether to go after cuts for the bigger businesses.
SYDNEY HITS FIVE MILLION MARK BUT MELBOURNE HAS FASTEST ANNUAL POPULATION GROWTH
Australian Bureau of Statistics data out yesterday shows Melbourne was Australia’s fastest growing city in 2015-16, followed by Brisbane, then Sydney. Sydney hit the five million population mark taking half the time to add a million residents than it did to get from three to four million. Adelaide's growth was the lowest at under 1%, there was no clarification on whether that was as a result of their serial killer issues.
IVANKA SIGNS ON FOR AN UNPAID GOVERNMENT ROLE
Ivanka Trump will break every common sense rule about working with your spouse, let alone your father, by taking an official role at the White House. She’s attempted to walk a fraught ethical line since her father’s election as President, but the first daughter yesterday responded to criticism by taking an unpaid role. She will have the title as assistant and adviser to the President and will be subject to the same federal employee rules as everyone else.
FRIDAY LITES - THREE THINGS WE’VE LIKED THIS WEEK
Peggy Siegal, described by Vanity Fair as an ‘awards season powerhouse and New York fixture', has published her Oscars week diary. There are so many gems in there it's worth a read if you're into a bit of Hollywood, the movie machinery and glimpse of ‘PR dahling’ shenanigans.
We love being ahead of the curve and here’s a direct route to smug. We learned in Peggy’s piece that Emma Stone and Steve Carell are making a movie out of Billy-Jean King and Bobby Riggs’ infamous 1973 ‘Battle of the Sexes’ tennis match. The game was a big deal in the day and had a TV audience of 90 million people. We really want to know who’s playing Australia's Margaret Court. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, it’s a fascinating slice of sporting/tennis/social history. The 2014 doco is on iTunes if you need something to watch this weekend.
And just for a giggle, here’s the cast of Sesame Street delivering the great movie lines of the last 80 years.
SQUIZ THE DAY
Victorian and Queensland schools break for term 1 holidays
ABS data release - key socio-economic data by region
World Backup Day (that reminds us...)
April Fools Day
Horse Racing - Doncaster Mile (Royal Randwick, Sydney)
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