Squiz Today / 12 July 2018
Squiz Today – Thursday, 12 July
“When you see one it is unforgettable.”
Said giant avocado grower David Groves. Avozillas weigh 1.2kg on average, and Groves says the big ‘uns taste as great as the smaller varieties. That’s a lot of guac…
ELECTRICITY REPORT MAPS PATH TO BIG DISCOUNTS
“Unacceptable and unsustainable” is what the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says of the high electricity prices facing Aussie households and businesses. So it’s made 56 recommendations to bring power prices down by 20%ish (which could be hundreds-to-thousands of dollars).
PUT A LOW VOLTAGE SPOTLIGHT ON THE HIGHLIGHTS
We like keeping our bills down too. Three key recommendations:
1. The ACCC recommends the government offer a guarantee that would underwrite investment by new producers of reliable/dispatchable power. That could include new coal-fired power plants. Chairman Rod Sims said it would help new players get the finance they need to get into the market.
2. The regulator should set a ‘default price’ that would replace retailers’ ‘standing offers’. About 20% of consumers are on eye-wateringly expensive contracts because they haven't sought a better deal with their retailer. The ACCC says a reasonable price should be set that still leaves room for retailers to offer discounts. (Hint: call your electricity supplier and ask about your current deal.)
3. Solar subsidies should go. That's not because the ACCC has anything against solar power. Sims says the solar energy market will work without incentives, so it's not an efficient use of money.
HOW DID THAT GO DOWN?
Pretty well you’d have to say. The report has something for everyone involved in the politics of it – even the pro-coal peeps. It’s hard to object to a good ol’ price cut for consumers... PM Malcolm Turnbull gave a thumbs up. And Labor said it worried sensible recommendations would be lost in the Coalition's internal arguments on energy policy.
THAI CAVE RESCUE – AND EXHALE…
A lot has been said about the northern Thailand cave rescue operation so we won’t labour the point. Instead, we’ve picked out the three things of interest:
• Aussie doctor Richard “Harry” Harris is the man of the moment. The Aussie and international teams did an incredible job. And there was the terrible news that Harris’s father died on Tuesday night. Harris spoke to PM Malcolm Turnbull yesterday.
• As the last of the rescuers were exiting the cave, the pumps failed and water levels rose. They were lucky to get them out when they did…
TRUMP UP FOR A FIGHT
US President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda includes getting the international community to do more on security, particularly when it comes to paying for it. In that vein, on arrival at the NATO summit, he let loose in an exchange with a top official that the Washington Post said was “nearly without precedent in the history of the post-World War II alliance.” So that’s going well then… ‘America First’ also applies to trade, and yesterday the White House said tariffs totalling an additional $200 billion on imported Chinese goods was just the ticket. China vowed to fight back. UK PM Theresa May is hosting Trump on Friday. What a week she’s having…
HOME LOAN APPROVALS UP
With all of the talk of tighter lending conditions and banks being super cautious (think Royal Commission), economists were surprised that official figures yesterday showed a rise in the number of home loan approvals in May. Pundits reckon that won’t last.
And while we have you… A couple of big name bureaucrats are worried about the growing gap between Australia’s rich and poor, and say some regional areas are being left behind. Worth a read for extra points today…
ABC SAYS DIGITAL INVESTMENT A MUST
“Get with the times, haters,” was essentially the message from ABC’s chairman Justin Milne. Our national broadcaster needs to invest in digital platforms because Aussies are moving away from watching the telly and listening to the wireless, he said. The ABC has come under pressure over its spending (eg The Australian’s report (paywall) this morning that columnist Peter FitzSimons has been hired as a guest reporter on Foreign Correspondent), and commercial media operators complain it should not have to pay to compete with the taxpayer-funded organisation. But if not allowed to go digital, Milne says the ABC “would wither away and cease to exist.” Sounds as dramatic as an episode of Mystery Road…
QUICK BALL/RACQUET/FOOTY WRAP
World Cup Soccer – England scored early against Croatia but they are currently in extra time so we have no result to bring you. Soz.
Wimbledon – Roger Federer is out. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are through to the semi-final. And Serena Williams takes on Julia Görges tonight for a place in the final.
State of Origin – Queensland prevailed on home turf to win last night’s clash 18-12. The NSW Blues still managed to celebrate having won the series two games to one. Not sure if any of them drank any XXXX though. Even footballers have their limits...
BEATLES STUNG BY DRAKE’S SCORPION
You know Drake? He’s the Canadian singer who brought us Hotline Bling. And sang the track behind one of last year’s funniest ads. Well, now he can compare himself to The Beatles with his new album Scorpion posting seven simultaneous singles on Billboard’s Top 10. That beats The Beatles record of five singles set in 1964. The album also broke another record with one billion total streams in its first week of release. He’s so hot right now…
VALE ZSA ZSA
Just a month after taking the title as the world’s ugliest dog, the English bulldog has died. She was 9yo and named after the nine-times married actress because she liked to lie on the couch “like a beautiful model.” Zsa Zsa, we hardly knew you.
SQUIZ THE DAY
11.15pm (AEST) - Wimbledon - Serena Williams v Julia Görges
21st birthday of Malala Yousafzai (Nobel laureate and Pakistani-English advocate for education for girls)
Anniversary of former US Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton's death after being shot in a pistol duel by Vice President Aaron Burr (1804)
Anniversary of Julius Caesar's birthday (100BC)
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