Squiz Today / 20 December 2017
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 20 December
“It will do you good, it will make you grow!”
Pope Francis encouraged a group of kids to tuck in at his pizza party celebrating his 81st birthday on the weekend. If the Pope says that pizza is good for you who are we to argue?
What do we want? A Turnbull Government ministerial reshuffle! When do we want it? Now! You’ve got to give us points for trying… PM Malcolm Turnbull yesterday announced his new look frontbench. Along with reshaping his senior team, Turnbull also outlined his key areas for the coming year – economic and national security.
THE FRIENDSHIP WAS STRETCHED YESTERDAY WITH THE ECONOMIC UPDATE…
But don’t you feel better for it? A few key points:
• It was a good day for Queensland backbenchers going straight into Cabinet. David Littleproud (a Nat) becomes Agriculture and Water Minister, and John McVeigh (a Lib) goes in as Regional Development Minister.
• WA Lib Christian Porter will replace outgoing Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis.
• And even though it’s reported he was a bit ‘meh’ about taking the job, Brandis becomes our new High Commissioner to London. Sounds like winning to us…
• Those with opportunities for improvement (like NSW Health, we’re trying to be positive) – the now former Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Nationals MP Darren Chester. With Bridget McKenzie elected as Deputy Nats leader, there wasn't room for two Victorian Nationals in Cabinet, so he's out.
• And Keith Pitt, a Queenslander who sits with the Nats, was dumped from his junior role. The Financial Review this morning says he hasn't taken the news as well as Chester and could defect to the crossbench.
WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO KNOW?
Look, we could bore you to tears. For hours. But just two points. First, reshuffles are always a problem because there are winners and losers. This time the Libs seem fine. It’s the Nats with the internal issues that could fester in the hot Christmas sun. And second, spare a thought for NSW Senator Arthur Sinodinos who leaves his ministerial job to continue his fight against cancer. He expects to be on leave until at least the middle of next year.
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AUSSIE HELD ON BALI DRUG CHARGES
Isaac Roberts, a 35yo accountant/former Liberal Democrat candidate/Queenslander, has been arrested in Bali after allegedly being sprung with 19 grams of amphetamine and ecstasy pills. He was paraded before the media by Indonesian authorities yesterday with a balaclava over his head. Roberts was arrested earlier this month and if found guilty could face the death penalty, but similar recent cases have not gone down that route. Roberts told media during yesterday's event that the drugs were his, but he was set up. And reports this morning say he's now in hospital with a lawyer saying he suffers from depression.
TRAIN DERAILMENT KILLS THREE
Three people are confirmed dead and more than 100 were injured in yesterday's train derailment in the US. Thirteen train cars came unstuck, some making it onto the road below the tracks. The train had 77 passengers and seven crew onboard, and some described being catapulted into the seats in front of them as the train went off the tracks. Investigations are ongoing but questions are being asked about the speed the train was travelling. It was the Amtrak train’s first trip on a new route.
BANKING CODE REFRESH
The banking industry has sent a refreshed code of conduct to the regulator for approval after a year of horrors and impending Royal Commission. Reports say banks will ban unsolicited credit card limit increases and give customers the ability to quickly cancel credit cards. The Bankers’ Association is also pushing for more transparency on fees and plain English contracts with small business. "Banks most certainly do not underestimate the challenge ahead of them and will continue to make necessary changes," said ABA CEO Anna Bligh.
CLIMATE CHANGE CONFLICT
The Turnbull Government's review into its climate policies released yesterday has concluded that no changes are required to meet our commitments to reduce emissions under the Paris Agreement. It also said Oz now accounts for 1.3% of the world's carbon emissions. But other official figures also released yesterday show our carbon emissions increased for the third consecutive year. Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said it’s all going to be fine, but environmentalists are concerned. A difference of opinion isn’t just confined to public policy. The world’s biggest miner BHP is Thinking Big by making noises about leaving industry bodies that don’t share its newfound enthusiasm for climate change prevention. But Australia’s powerful mining lobby can relax, BHP is staying with the team for now. It’s not easy being green.
GATLIN UNDER A DOPING CLOUD
You can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep. Or so goes the theory for anti-doping authorities who are taking a good, hard look at current 100m world sprinting champ, American Justin Gatlin. London’s Daily Telegraph yesterday reported his coach and an agent were caught in a sting to "illicitly supply performance-enhancing drugs" to undercover reporters. Gatlin has served two doping bans in the past and was an unpopular winner at this year’s world athletics championships where he beat former champ Usain Bolt.
MCDONALD’S JUMPS ON THE VEGAN BANDWAGON…
In Finland and Sweden, at least. They’ve introduced a McVegan burger as a new permanent menu item. It has a soy patty, bun, tomato, lettuce, pickles, onion, ketchup, mustard, oil and an egg-less sauce. McDonald’s said the burger had a “smaller climate impact” and one customer said it tasted like a regular burger. Hmm. In the spirit of Christmas, we'll refrain from making a vegan joke. With all the turkey and ham that’ll be going around over the next few days, we'd be on edge too.
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ABS Data Releases - Australian National Accounts: Finance and Wealth, September; Work-Related Training and Adult Learning, 2016-17
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