Squiz Today / 16 March 2017
Squiz Today – Thursday, 16 March
MAKING AUSTRALIA MORE GASSY AND SNOWY
PM Malcolm Turnbull met with east coast gas company CEOs in Canberra yesterday to talk about Australia’s domestic supply. The gas companies agreed to increase supply for use here at home, and guarantee supply for electricity generation in peak periods. There are also reports this morning that Turnbull will today announce a $2 billion investment in ‘Snowy Mountains Scheme 2.0’ to increase the scheme’s output by 50% which would power 500,000 homes.
WILL THE GAS COMPANIES FOLLOW THROUGH?
The government will meet with the gas companies in a month to check on progress (like on reality TV hit ‘Tabatha’s Salon Takeover’ when she goes back to check on the salon she has made over). Turnbull says he’s confident they will follow through because: 1) the government has constitutional powers over exports (so technically the government could block gas going offshore), and 2) the gas companies want to do the right thing. It’s called ‘maintaining a social licence' which really means ‘you don't want the general public hating on your company'.
AND WHAT’S THIS ABOUT THE SNOWY?
Well, a feasibility study needs to be completed. And the Snowy Hydro scheme is jointly owned by the federal, NSW and Victorian governments, so a conversation will need to take place to get on the same page. But commentators this morning say adding capacity to an existing scheme certainly won’t hurt. And there’s a certain romance to it (if you’re into that kind of thing) that touches on our nation’s past while achieving Turnbull’s aim to be seen to be doing what he can to resolve the impending energy crisis. Stay tuned for a press conference sometime today.
SQUIZ THE REST
US FED INCREASES INTEREST RATES
The US Federal Reserve has voted to increase interest rates by 0.25% to 0.75-1.0%. It's in response to solid economic data over the last quarter and is just the third rise in the last decade (think GFC). This isn't unexpected but is likely to dominate the financial news today.
TRUMP PAID TAX! FANS AND FOES DISAPPOINTED
Very mysteriously, two pages of US President Donald Trump’s 2005 tax return stamped ‘client copy’ turned up in an online reporter’s mailbox (what are the chances??), and then on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show. Trump has been hounded for months to disclose his returns, and the White House condemned the leak. The return showed he earned $150 million (after writing off $100 million in items like depreciation on construction projects) and paid $38 million in tax. Or 25% of his income. It was a bit of a disappointment for those hoping he’d been a bad citizen and dodged paying tax. Disappointment also no doubt for fans who though he was a savvy (read sneaky/tax minimising) businessman.
GREENS PUSH A FOUR DAY WORK WEEK. NEXT UP FREE PONIES AND SUNSHINE
Seeking a better work/life balance? Think you could do your full-time role in four days instead of five? Would you like a pony and sunshine everyday? From the position of not being able to form government and implement policy, Greens leader Senator Richard Di Natale said he wanted to ‘start a national conversation’ about how we can be more productive and happier as a nation. Journalists were quick to point to Di Natale’s record as an employer, last year it was found he paid live-in nannies $125 a week for 25 hours work. For the record, we’re willing to work for carbs. Any carbs will do.
A SERIOUS B*TCH ABOUT THE PITCH
In the (hopefully) unlikely event you find yourself in a meeting or elevator today with a cricket bore, impress them with your knowledge of the outrage that will probably be the third test in India. Starting today in Ranchi, the Australia side is pee’d off about the state of the pitch. It’s suggested the Indian curator has presented a pitch to favour the home team. While its poor condition will probably raise the ire of cricket’s international governing body, some say India is willing to cop the fine if it means a win. You could call it cheating, in fact many have.
PRINCE WILLIAM CELEBRATES COMMONWEALTH DAY IN A CONTEMPORARY WAY
Fair cop. As British tabloids labelled Prince William ‘Workshy Will’, he should be applauded for his innovative approach to celebrating Commonwealth Day earlier this week. The Prince was photographed in Switzerland with mates and Aussie model Sophie Taylor while his relatives were at a church service marking the day. Prince William was even snapped high-fiving the Australian, we imagine they were probably saying something like: “How awesome is the Commonwealth!” No word on the Duchess of Cambridge’s view of his C-Day activities, and rightly so.
SQUIZ THE DAY
Oxfam's Close the Gap Day - details here
ABS data release on Labour Force (Feb) and Corrective Services
3.00pm - Third Test between Australia v India commences in Ranchi, India
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