Squiz Today / 09 August 2018
Squiz Today – Thursday, 9 August
“He goes to shake your hand and with his index finger kind of rubs the inside of your wrist. He's trying to do some kind of seductive intimacy move.”
REEF FUNDING A CROWN OF THORNS FOR GOVERNMENT
Imagine this. You’ve been toiling away raising $90 million over 18 years for a cause you believe in and out of the blue the government says it’ll give you half-a-billion-dollars. Amazing, huh? That’s the situation the Great Barrier Reef Foundation has found itself in after receiving $444 million for conservation, research and monitoring of the natural wonder. But Labor is on the case, and investigations have uncovered that the money was granted without a tender process or any application submitted. And reports say the auditor-general now has the mega-surprise grant listed for possible review in the coming year.
BACK IT UP A BIT…
This one has been simmering for the last week after a Senate inquiry heard that PM Malcolm Turnbull and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg offered the money to Foundation chair John Schubert in a meeting in April. Aside from there being no competitive process, Labor is irked that some big companies back the Foundation. Think Qantas, Rio Tinto, BHP, Google and Orica to name a few.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Labor wants the money to be returned and says it’s matters like this where a federal integrity watchdog would come in handy. But Frydenberg says the Foundation is reputable. And for their part, the Foundation says it has a record of delivering results and that it just wants a good outcome for the Barrier Reef. This is shaping up to be a dominant issue when parliament resumes next week.
SQUIZ THE REST
“EMBATTLED” HUSAR TO BOW OUT
When “embattled” is the adjective that precedes an MP’s name, you know it’s probably not going to end well. And so it was with Western Sydney MP Emma Husar who yesterday said she has decided against contesting the next election. Husar maintains she’s done nothing wrong, but Labor insiders say the writing was on the wall after 22 former staff members accused the first-term MP of abuse, harassment, inappropriate behaviour and misuse of entitlements. By announcing her departure plans, Husar’s made life easier for Labor when parliament resumes next week. And by hanging around until the election, she’s saved her party, and the taxpayer, a by-election in her seat of Lindsay. But it's not over yet - reports this morning say the government could pursue a formal investigation.
AUSSIES NO MORE
The Daily Telegraph (paywall) this morning reports five terrorists have had their Aussie citizenship stripped after joining Islamic State to fight in Syria and Iraq some years ago. The move prevents the three men and two women from ever returning to Australia. There is only one example of the government taking this step previously. The report says of the 230 Australians who travelled to fight with IS, at least 91 have been killed.
RAZAK CASH GRAB CHARGES
If we had a dollar for every time someone told us they want an update on Malaysian politics, we’d have, well, no dollars. But here we go... Former PM Najib Razak has been charged with three counts of money laundering as part of the 1MDB scandal. Razak’s been accused of illegally receiving US$10 million from the fund to help fill out his family’s handbag collection amongst other things. He is also facing court over accusations of misuse of power and criminal breaches of trust. Razak was turfed from office in May and has denied the charges. Now the government can get on to the big issues, like worrying about what Muslim women wear to work…
PROFITS DOWN, SHARE PRICE UP
Profits are down for AMP (by 74%) and the Commonwealth Bank (by 4.8%) according to financial results released by those businesses yesterday. But the share price of both companies rose on the news. Wait, what? That’s because the results are better than expected. Investors have been concerned about how recent regulatory and Royal Commission issues would affect our financial institution’s bottom lines.
BILLY NOT KIDDING ABOUT RETIREMENT
After months of speculation, Billy Slater, the Melbourne Storm and Queensland fullback, yesterday said he will call it a day at the end of this season. By the stats: Slater has played 313 NRL games over 16 seasons; won four grand finals; played 31 Origins and 30 Tests. Not a bad innings. And yes, we know we’ve just mixed metaphors there.
RUBY COMES UP ROSES
Two things to note. First, Aussie actress Ruby Rose has been tapped to play Batwoman. Kapow! All going well, it could spin off into a television series. And second, Batwoman is gay. Thwack! Which is ironic because the character was said to have been introduced in the 1960s to be Batman’s romantic interest after a psychiatrist famously suggested that Batman and Robin were more than just friends. How times have changed…
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Releases - Participation, Job Search and Mobility, February; International Merchandise Trade: Confidential Commodities List, July
Company earnings announcements - AGL, Crown Resorts, Suncorp
Singapore's National Day
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