Squiz Today / 27 April 2017
Squiz Today – Thursday, 27 April
BULLYING CLAIMS ROCK COATES’ BID FOR OLYMPIC PRESIDENCY
Multiple bullying and harassment claims have damaged Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates’ bid to keep his job. There was some action yesterday - AOC media director, and close Coates ally, Mike Tancred stood down from his position pending an investigation into bullying claims made by former CEO Fiona de Jong. The announcement was made just a few hours before a crisis AOC board meeting last night where they agreed the organisation should undergo an independent assessment of its workplace practices.
DID SOMEONE SAY ‘TOXIC CULTURE’?
That's a term that's been tossed around a bit. De Jong made her bullying claim four months ago and was frustrated that Coates had not outlined a process, let alone looked into it. Hence her willingness to speak out publicly, although she says it's not something she wanted to do. There are others, including allegations Coates bullied a member of the AOC legal team (who had cancer) and allegations Tancred bullied a staff member who had missed a couple of days work following a miscarriage. And on it goes. And it’s all pretty nasty. Coates claims this is all part of a coordinated attack on him ahead of next week’s leadership ballot. Which it might well be.
SO WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
Notice we’ve got through all that without mentioning the name of the other candidate for the presidency, Danni Roche? She’s like a sneaky centre-half on the hockey field waiting for a chance to capitalise on the opposition’s mistake. Which is a fitting metaphor (unlike many we've used), given that she used to be an Olympic hockey player. Fair to assume she’s not losing sleep over all the negative press Coates is attracting. Forty sports organisations, AOC board members and the Athletes Commission get to vote for their preferred candidate next week on 6 May.
SQUIZ THE REST
PRICES INCREASES OVERTAKE WAGES GROWTH
Yesterday’s release of the Consumer Price Index data for March was eagerly anticipated by the government and the Reserve Bank as they keep an eager eye on our economic settings, particularly housing affordability. The March inflation number was an underlying rate of 1.9%, up 0.5%. The RBA’s target for inflation is 2-3%, so while there's a little bit to go, it's nearly within the range and probably removes the need for an interest rate cut next month. But wages growth is at 1.6%, so essentially wage-slaves are going backwards. Enjoy that thought as you head off to work today. No, honestly, you’re welcome.
GOVERNMENT TO IMPOSE GAS EXPORT RESTRICTIONS
After a couple of meetings with the east coast gas producers failed to get the commitments they had hoped for, the government has taken matters into its own hands. By 1 July they hope to have passed legislation to restrict gas exports to ensure adequate domestic supply. The aim is to head off a predicted gas supply shortage that would impact manufacturers and is keeping domestic gas prices high. It’s the lever the government can pull – they have legal powers to control resources exports.
FUNDING TO BUILD WALL HITS... WELL … THE WALL
Negotiations are at fever pitch in the US as they work towards passing their budget by Friday. If that doesn't happen, the government goes into shutdown. We imagine that would be just like on the West Wing - dramatic music, witty exchanges between Josh and Toby, and lots of walking in and out of offices without drawing breath. Probably not. One of many stumbling blocks to passing the spending bill has been funding for US President Donald Trump’s much-vaunted Mexican wall. But the White House has removed it from its list of funding demands and says it will look to have it funded later this year.
CHINA DOMINATES ASIA-PACIFIC, SAYS KEATING
Shrinking violet that he is, former PM Paul Keating gave his two-cents worth on a grab-bag of international issues during a public appearance at the Lowy Institute in Sydney yesterday. He said there was Buckley's of China reversing its domination of the South China Sea given their militarisation of the islands in recent years. According to PJK, that means China is now the dominant force in the Asia-Pacific region. It’s an interesting viewpoint, particularly as PM Malcolm Turnbull prepares to travel to the US to meet Trump where regional security will be high on the agenda.
BEWARE HAIRDRESSERS WITH FINANCIAL CHAT
The Australian Financial Review has an interesting report this morning about mortgage lenders paying commissions to barbers, hairdressers and footy clubs to promote their products. Your colourist is not to give financial advice as such. Instead, they pass on information and recommend the client get in touch with the lender, or help to link them up. About $3 million was paid by lenders to these referrers between 2012 and 2015. The regulator ASIC is reviewing the guidelines. All we talk about with our hairdresser is the weather and movies, but to each their own...
POPE MAKES SURPRISE APPEARANCE
TED Talks have traditionally been the domain of super cool people holding forth on super cool topics. From body language to leadership, and a catwalk model who says looks aren’t everything, the format has engaged and excited people about ideas and discussion. Yesterday Pope Francis made a surprise contribution at the annual TED conference (Serena Williams and Elon Musk will speak later this week) with a video message urging the powerful to be humble, and for scientists/tech-heads to keep humanity at the heart of their work. Strangely the social media-savvy Pope hasn't tweeted a link to his Talk yet. Probably too busy on Snapchat.
PR FOR GOOD
If you want to see a really good PR stunt for a good cause, check this out. The last male northern white rhino joined dating app Tinder. He’s not very handsome, but he’s doing alright. Good on him for putting himself out there.
SQUIZ THE DAY
Treasurer Scott Morrison to give a pre-budget address to the Australian Business Economists
ABS Data Release - New Vehicle Sales, March
US Senate briefing on North Korea at the White House
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow
Freedom Day - South Africa's national day
The Squiz Archive
Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?
Get the Squiz Today newsletter
It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.