Squiz Today / 05 April 2018
Squiz Today – Thursday, 5 April
“Divorce has its way of making you really examine the things that are essential in life, and the things that are not.”
Said actor Russell Crowe about this weekend’s ‘The Art of Divorce’ auction. The catalogue includes a tonne of his movie memorabilia, sporting collectables, art, motorbikes and a dinosaur skull bought from Leonardo DiCaprio. Pop in if you need some gladiator armour.
A NEW ROUND OF ELECTRICITY ANGST
The future of the AGL-owned Liddell coal-fired electricity plant in NSW is back in the headlines with politics and business colliding on the generator's future yet again. AGL has received interest from two power companies, Alinta and Delta, to buy the aged asset and keep it open past 2022 – the year AGL plans on closing it. Both PM Malcolm Turnbull and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg yesterday strongly encouraged AGL to look at a sale.
No way, Jose. We'll make it simple, and you'll totally own this one.
• Liddell produces about 10% of NSW’s electricity. And with 10 coal-fired power generators having closed on the east coast since 2012, its planned closure in 2022 would mean a shortage of reliable and affordable power (= potential blackouts and higher bills).
• AGL says it needs to hold onto Liddell until at least 2022 because its infrastructure is an important part of its broader network. But the pressure from the government will be immense if an offer to buy Liddell at a good price is made by a party willing to operate the plant past 2022.
• And Liddell has become a proxy within the Coalition for a conservatives/’Monash Forum’ versus Team Turnbull showdown.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Alinta and Delta have had chats with AGL CEO Andy Vesey but no formal offers are on the table. So let’s see if that transpires. In the meantime, expect continuing internal Coalition fights. And the Monash Forum convenors might be doing some goggling this morning to find a new name. Sir John Monash’s family last night distanced themselves from the coal advocates and asked them to take his name out of the equation because, if alive today, they believe the great man would have likely been a renewable energy supporter. Oops.
FINISH YOUR COFFEE THE RIGHT WAY
PRESENTED BY 7-ELEVEN
Thing to know - your takeaway coffee cup can't be recycled through normal processes. That's because it's lined with polyethylene which prevents liquids from seeping through the cup.
With a billion coffee cups destined for landfill this year, 7-Eleven and Simply Cups have partnered to rescue 70 million cups for special recycling. Anyone can drop their cup off at a recycling centre set up in 200 stores across the country.
SQUIZ THE REST
YOUTUBE SHOOTING INJURES THREE
Nasim Aghdam, a 39yo Californian woman, yesterday shot and injured three people (one seriously) before shooting herself dead at YouTube’s San Francisco headquarters. Authorities said she legally owned the semi-automatic weapon used and that her likely motive was her “upset at the policies of YouTube”. Aghdam had previously posted angry videos complaining the company was filtering her content leading to reduced views and revenue. Police say she visited a firing range to practice shooting before the attack.
SURPRISE BUMP IN RETAIL SPENDING
After a restrained December and January, shoppers seemed to be out in force in February. The 0.6% increase in retail sales saw $26.4 billion spent by Aussie shoppers during the month and was a lot stronger (double, in fact…) than the 0.3% increase economists anticipated. Pundits were cautious about the numbers saying heavy discounting in February, particularly by the department stores, is not an indication of a strengthening retail sector.
NBN BOSS HITS THE BROADBAND HIGHWAY
Although contracted until 2020 (which sounds like forever but is just 20 months away…), boss Bill Morrow yesterday announced he is leaving the National Broadband Network company at the end of this year. Morrow has overseen an NBN rollout that has had its challenges. And forging ahead will continue to be tricky, particularly when it comes to relationships between the company and retail telcos who ultimately sell the network to customers. The recruiter will be looking for someone who likes a challenge…
GILLARD GETS A NEW GIG
Former PM Julia Gillard has been announced as the inaugural chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at Kings College in London. The institute will research female leadership internationally. Gillard said she was frustrated by the slow pace of change and was “really passionate and anxious about driving change” to see more women in the top jobs.
Because we like to keep you up-to-date on developments in the news we’ve recently covered:
• Former Aussie cricket captain Steve Smith and ball-tamperer Cameron Bancroft yesterday said they wouldn't appeal their suspensions imposed by Cricket Australia. No word yet on what former deputy captain David Warner will do.
• Tariff tennis, anyone? The US has published a new list of 1,300 Chinese exports (America says the production of these goods involves the theft of trade secrets) that will attract a 25% tariff. And China returned serve with a list of 106 products (like cars and soybeans) that will have 25% tariff applied.
• Outgoing US National Security Adviser HR McMaster said his farewells yesterday with a public appearance where he said the US government needed to go harder on Russia and their efforts to undermine “our open societies”.
• We erred yesterday when we said that Tesla was being investigated for the death of a pedestrian by one of its self-driving cars. That's Uber. Tesla is being investigated for the death of a driver of one of its self-driving cars. Soz.
COMM GAMES OPENS IN BLAZE OF COLOUR
The 2018 Commonwealth Games were declared open on the Gold Coast before a crowd of 35,000 at Carrara Stadium last night. Prince Charles and Camilla flew the flag for the Queen, the heavens opened, and Delta Goodrem and Katie Noonan belted out a tune at the ceremony that celebrated Indigenous culture. There was no sign of Matilda the winking roo, but in her place was a great big floating Migaloo the white whale. Was it awkward in parts? Yes, it was. But it also had its soaring moments. Now the only question left to answer in the next 11 days of competition: how many more medals will the Australian team win than the likes of Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Lesotho? *Rubs hands in anticipation...*
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - International Trade in Goods and Services, February
Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation's 2018 White Shirt Campaign kicks off (on until 8 May)
Anniversary of the wedding anniversary of Pocahontas and John Rolfe (1614)
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