Squiz Today / 21 March 2019
Squiz Today – Thursday, 21 March
“Our research found that having neat and tidy shoes tends to correlate with the person being anxious, conscientious, or politically conservative.”
Was Wellesley College assistant professor of psychology Angela Bahns’ take on why Gucci’s ‘dirty’ sneakers, selling for a cool A$1,175, could be a good purchase for those trying to portray a "calm, not uptight" kinda vibe. Cue raised eyebrows...
TWEAKING IMMIGRATION TO HELP CITIES CRIPPLED BY CONGESTION
PM Scott Morrison yesterday unveiled the Coalition Government’s ’congestion busting’ plan - a matter he has said is “burning in the minds and conversations of Australians." Long story short, the government will:
• Reduce our migration program - It will come down from 190,000 to be capped at 160,000 a year for the next four years. That would be made up of 110,000 skilled places and 48,000ish family places. (Note: about 160,000 people settled in Australia last year under the migration program, so this isn’t a big change.)
• New regional visas for skilled workers - 23,000 workers will be required to go to regional Australia for three years before being able to access permanent residence.
• Investing in fast rail - Morrison says it could connect regional areas with the cities to help ease the road traffic squeeze.
WHAT’S THAT ABOUT?
A few things are going on…
• First is the latest data showed our economy is only growing because of our current rate of population growth. That’s why Morrison yesterday said; "If we were to take the (migration program) figure below 160,000 that would have had a direct fiscal impact on the budget."
• But that growth is coming at a cost. And there is furious agreement across the political spectrum that our cities - particularly Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Perth - have significant infrastructure issues.
• But Labor leader Bill Shorten wants to know more about Team Morrison’s plan for temporary visa holders. The increase in the number of people living in Australia has been driven more by temporary visa holders (including students and tourists) than permanent migrants in recent years. So how do they fit into this ‘congestion-busting' plan, Shorten asked?
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Federal Budget day isn't far away, and it’s reasonable to expect this plan will be a significant part of it, particularly if Morrison wants to spend up big on infrastructure. Then comes the politicking. There’s an election around the corner, don’t you know?
SQUIZ THE REST
CHRISTCHURCH TERROR ATTACK UPDATE
The first official list of names of the victims of last week’s mosque attacks has been released, and the first victims were laid to rest yesterday. Brave survivor 13yo Zaid Mustafa left hospital to attend the funerals of his father Khalid and older brother Hamza generating tragic scenes. PM Jacinda Ardern has announced two minutes silence will be held tomorrow to mark a week since the horrific events in Christchurch which left 50 people dead and dozens more injured.
MEANWHILE, THINGS GET HEATED WITH TURKEY…
PM Morrison is considering “all options” including expelling Turkey’s ambassador over the “highly offensive and highly reckless” comments made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan where he evoked his country’s WWI battle at Gallipoli where 11,500 Aussie and Kiwi troops died. Morrison said he was not satisfied with their ambassador’s explanation that Erdogan’s comments were made at an election campaign rally “in the heat of the moment”. With all that going on, our security agencies are reviewing whether it’s safe to travel to Gallipoli for Anzac Day services next month.
UNITED NATIONS WARNS OF MASS DEVASTATION
Widespread flooding and damage in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi caused by Cyclone Idai could be one of the worst weather-related disasters ever to hit the southern hemisphere, according to the UN weather agency. The disaster is affecting hundreds-of-thousands if not millions of people, the UN told the BBC, with Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi calling it "a humanitarian disaster of great proportion". Nyusi has said that he believes more than 1,000 of his people may have been killed after the cyclone hit the country last week.
BREXIT BLUES DEEPEN
European Union Council President Donald Tusk has told UK PM Theresa May a short extension to the commencement of the UK's departure from the EU is possible - but she has to get the deal through parliament first. That means, somehow, May needs to get a majority of MPs to vote for the deal next week (remember: Brexit is due to start on 29 March, ie Friday next week). Even if that’s possible, the EU says they have an issue with granting a delay beyond 30 June because European elections are in late May. It just gets trickier and trickier…
TAYLA TAKES ON TROLLS
Women’s AFL star Tayla Harris has responded to “repulsive” comments after a spectacular photo of her mid-kick was posted, then removed, then reposted on social media by broadcaster Seven. The Carlton player said; "I don't want to give oxygen to the trolls, but… I can see in people's photos they've got kids, or they've got daughters or women in their photos even, and that is the stuff I'm worried about". Aussie netball/Collingwood AFLW star Sharni Layton weighed in, as did Brownlow medalist Patrick Dangerfield, to support Harris. She will need to get her head back in the game with her team playing this weekend for a grand final berth.
GOSH, THAT WAS A LOT TO TAKE IN…
What you need is a lovely article about Lady Kitty Spencer, Diana’s niece. She likes Instagram, her cat and Florence. You’ve earned a bit of relief on this heavy news day…
SQUIZ THE DAY
7.20pm (AEDT) - AFL Season Kickoff - Carlton v Richmond - MCG
ABS Data Release - Labour Force, February
European Union Council Summit. (Yes, Brexit’s on their minds…)
Twitter’s birthday (2006)
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