Squiz Today / 02 August 2017
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 2 August
"It would have been a shock for him and an easy pinch for the coppers."
… said Esperance WA police officer-in-charge Richard Moore. We fully subscribe to the principle that there’s only one thing better than a glass of Champagne – and that’s a bottle. Not so for a would-be robber who broke into a house, found and downed a bottle of expensive bubbles and promptly fell asleep in the homeowners’ bed last weekend. The quick thinking resident spotted Goldilocks and snuck outside to call the police. Drinking at work is such a risky activity...
SEX CRIMES ‘PREVALENT’ AT UNIVERSITIES
A report released yesterday says 26% of university students experienced sexual harassment at uni last year and 1.6% were sexually assaulted. Women were found to be about twice as likely to experience harassment than men and more than three times as likely to be sexually assaulted. And there is significant under-reporting - 87% of sexual assault victims and 94% of harassment victims did not report the incident to their university. The report was undertaken by the Human Rights Commission who conducted a national survey of more than 30,000 students attending 39 institutions.
THAT’S DISTURBING… WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
They are incredible numbers. The Commission says that crimes are being committed in an environment of fear and confusion that prevents victims from seeking support. Interestingly, a common reason why incidents of assault or harassment were not reported was the victim did not believe it was serious enough. On how it occurs in the first place – the report highlights attitudes towards women, alcohol, power imbalances, and on-campus accommodation. It all points to some significant issues that will be hard to tackle.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Universities Australia, the sector’s peak body, commissioned the report following a string of high-profile cases. Its chair Professor Margaret Gardner yesterday apologised to victims. "We are sorry that this happened to you. Sexual assault is a crime. The person who sexually assaulted you had no right to do what they did. It is not your fault," she said. UA released a ten-point plan to train uni staff and assist victims. Cultural change is hard, but they have to start somewhere.
SQUIZ THE REST
HOUSE PRICES UP AGAIN IN JULY
Despite reports on Monday that the last week of July saw home prices drop, the latest data for the month shows the combined capital cities saw a 1.5% increase. Melbourne recorded the strongest growth in July with an increase of 3.1% (taking it to a staggering 15.9% over the last 12 months) while Sydney saw 1.4% growth for the month (12.4% for the year). Brisbane (-0.6%), Perth (-1.3%) and Darwin (-1.2%) saw price drops in July. There is some good news for home buyers - CoreLogic said stamp duty concessions for some first home buyers in NSW and Victoria are boosting those markets. The Reserve Bank held interest rates at 1.5%, but experts warned the banks might look at out-of-cycle rate increases soon. And a big household income survey (know to friends as HILDA) out today showing declines in home ownership rates across all locations since 2002 and increased sensitivity to interest rate hikes as more people carry more debt. Sound familiar?
NBN REVOLT PROMPTS GOVERNMENT TO GET INVOLVED
How can something that sounded so good (and cost so much – $50 billion by the time they’re done) turn out to be such a negative? We mean, we’ve wasted money before (doggie bowties, a Thermomix, skinny jeans we’ll never fit into…) but this is silly. After a truckload of complaints from new NBN users, the government has asked the Australian Communications and Media Authority to look into improving the customer experience. There seems to be a blame game happening between NBN Co and the telcos – the NBN says the telcos are fighting for market share at the expense of customer service; the telcos say there are problems with the platform. Here’s hoping the government brings the parties together to get it sorted. And we’re kidding about the Thermomix - it's magic.
WALL OF NOISE ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
Parliamentary processes and political machinations are like making sausages. Absorbing and delicious for people who like sausages, but tedious and slightly stomach-churning for everyone else. We like politics (and sausages for that matter), but we know it can be a put-off, so we’re happy to boil it down for you. Yesterday’s chatter on same-sex marriage went something like this: Coalition = fluster, fluster, arms-flapping, fluster. And it’s going to continue to be like that for the next week. If you’re interested in the technicalities on what needs to happen, this is a great link. But for everyone else, it’s a lot of noise that’s a riff on;
1) the promise at the last election to settle the matter by plebiscite (a people’s vote);
2) how a conscience vote could go down; and,
3) what PM Malcolm Turnbull should be saying/doing about it.
If anything significant happens, we’ll let you know. As you were.
WASH UP ON SCARAMUCCI
A day on from the abrupt departure from the White House of communications director Anthony Scaramucci – just 250 hours on from his appointment – and it seems the whole world is asking ‘what was that all about?” Observers made the wry, well, observation that the stated reason for Scaramucci’s departure was that his boss, President Donald Trump, didn’t like the vulgarity of the language he used in the now infamous New Yorker interview – interesting given Trump’s own potty mouth. There is a kinda precedent for what’s happened to The Mooch - Jack Koehler resigned 12 days into his role as comms director under President Ronald Reagan after it was revealed that he was a member of a Nazi youth group as a 10yo. Of all the materials generated yesterday on Scaramucci’s short lived West Wing career, we liked this piece penned by his friend. We'll miss you, Mooch.
EXECUTIVE PAY OUT OF WHACK WITH COMMUNITY STANDARDS
A fascinating report from the Governance Institute (not even being sarcastic!) released yesterday shows what you probably already knew – we’re not yuuuge fans of big companies. Top of the list of our concerns is executive pay. In fact, 75% of those surveyed say pay packets of $3 million and above are unethical. So, what’s a good salary? Survey participants said $300,000 sounded fair. Hmm, that's not going to pay for the beach house and holiday to Aspen this Christmas... Apparently, we don’t mind the health, education and charity sectors, but we really don’t like banking and media companies. We aspire to be so maligned!
DONNA HAY’S ROLE IN SCULPTING GREG NORMAN’S BODY
When we saw the pics we gave it a cursory glance and we were impressed. One of Australia’s greatest ever golfers Greg Norman is 62yo and in amazing shape. He’s credited Donna Hay for helping him to maintain his bod saying the recipes give him a “balanced and delicious approach to eating". Hay was pretty chuffed with the shout out. You can have a perve at The Shark here. Don’t fight it. You know you want to.
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.30pm - Michael Fullilove, Executive Director of the Lowy Institute, addresses the National Press Club on 'Australia in the Trump Era' - Canberra
ABS Data Release - Building Approvals, June; Selected Living Cost Indexes, June
Company Results - Rio Tinto, Seven West Media Interim Earnings
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