Squiz Today / 15 August 2017
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 15 August
For your bikini bottoms, of course. And surely the worst idea since pearl g-strings.
CITIZENSHIP DISPUTE THROWS GOVERNMENT INTO DOUBT
Barnaby Joyce - one of Australia's most ‘Aussie bloke' politicians - is a Kiwi. There are a million jokes we could make but given the future of the Turnbull Government might just hang in the balance, we’re taking it seriously. Just when you thought the federal parliament’s citizenship cluster-disaster had outed all possible candidates, Joyce’s standing as an MP is under a cloud. Remember: dual citizens can’t hold a seat in parliament. Joyce is Tamworth born-and-bred, but his father was born in NZ at a particular time when ‘citizenship by descent’ was automatic. It all came to a big, ugly head after Fairfax Media pushed the Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Nationals for information about his situation last week leading to confirmation yesterday that he’d referred his case to the High Court but would not be stepping down from his executive positions.
HAVEN’T WE HEARD THIS SONG BEFORE?
Sorta. Joyce becomes the fifth federal pollie to have their eligibility to be an MP sent to the umpire for determination. But here’s the thing - all the others have been senators. Joyce is in the House of Representatives (where the numbers determine who forms government) and the Turnbull Government has a majority of just one vote. Cue sharp inhale of breath. His case is also different in that he wasn’t born overseas like Malcolm Roberts, Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters, and did not make an application (or have someone make an application on his behalf) to become a citizen of another country like Matt Canavan. Each case is a bit different, and all have raised questions about section 44 of the Constitution.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Look, we’re no constitutional experts but here’s what’s been said. Turnbull and Attorney-General George Brandis have a lot of white skirt confidence (ie the highest level possible) that Joyce will be a-ok. That's because the head government lawyer has told them it’s hard to kick Joyce out for an allegiance to another country that he didn’t know he had (which sounds like a defence that might have application to the other cases). Some constitutional experts don’t share the PM’s and AG’s optimism. And the question is being asked: how many others are potentially at risk? Labor argued yesterday that Joyce should stand down from Cabinet. And there's talk of a by-election in Joyce's seat of New England (that Joyce could contest if his citizenship house is in order) if the High Court rules against him. Reports say a decision may not be known until mid-October at the earliest. Meanwhile, the interwebs turned to Johnny Depp and Amber Heard for their response.
SQUIZ THE REST
ROYAL COMMISSION RECOMMENDS DISCLOSURE OF CHILD ABUSE CONFESSIONS
The sanctity of religious confession has been challenged by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It yesterday released 85 recommendations in relation to criminal law. Recommendations from the inquiry include the requirement for priests to report allegations of child abuse disclosed in confession or risk criminal charges. The clergy would have to obey the law if the recommendation was legislated, according to the head of the Catholic Church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council Francis Sullivan. However, the president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart said religious confessions should remain protected. Victims groups lauded the recommendation.
FEDERAL MP LIKENS SAME SEX COUPLES TO CYCLING BUDDIES
Dear oh dear. During an appearance on Sky News yesterday, conservative Coalition MP Kevin Andrews argued against a change in marriage laws – his thesis is that just because you have an affection for someone doesn’t mean you should be allowed to marry them. “I have an affectionate relationship with my cycling mates, we go cycling on the weekend, but that’s not marriage,” he said apparently confusing men in lycra who like hanging out with other men in lycra with men with a real, committed, loving relationship (we are resisting all temptation to make a joke here...) We can only imagine the workshopping that took place between Andrews’ and his staff to come up with that line…
NAREV TO SAY A LONG GOODBYE TO COMMONWEALTH BANK
Anyone who has had to serve out more than a month’s notice period will have a little sympathy for Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev – it was announced yesterday that he’s leaving, but is probably sticking around until June next year. Catherine Livingstone did her best “nothing to see here” despite Narev's departure being linked to the turmoil over ATMs being used for money laundering and previous controversies around financial advice and insurance. Narev has been at the helm for about six years – which is average for a top ten company. CBA also released its annual report – which is fodder to get the business journos’ salivary glands firing given it includes the numbers on executive remuneration. The report showed Narev was paid $5.7 million last financial year, down from $8.8 the year before. Bags not having New Years’ at his place this year – we only go where they can afford the good champers.
TERROR IN BURKINA FASO
Eighteen people in the West African country Burkina Faso were killed in a terrorist attack in the capital Ouagadougou. Reports say two terrorists thought to be aligned with al-Qaeda opened fire on a Turkish restaurant. The attackers were killed by security forces in the incident which lasted about seven hours. The restaurant was thought to have been targeted because of its popularity with foreigners. Burkina Faso has seen a number of extreme Islamic terrorist attacks in the last 18 months.
FLYING UBER TRIAL IN SYDNEY?
Is the willingness to be involved in a flying car experiment tantamount to surrender in the battle against traffic and congestion? That’s where our minds went when we read that Sydney and Melbourne are on a list of cities being considered for Uber’s flying vehicle trial (known as Uber Elevate) slated for 2023. Apparently, it works with electric-powered flying vehicles taking off and landing from 'vertiports' with commuters able to take short flights. We can’t wait for Melbourne to tell us why they would do a better job than Sydney while Sydney ignores it entirely…
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Releases - New Vehicle Sales, July; Overseas Arrivals and Departures, June
RBA August Meeting Minutes Released
India Independence Day
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