Squiz Today / 26 July 2017
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 26 July
"I haven't showered in six weeks — I just want to wash my hair."
After spending 104 days at sea, you could forgive Lisa Blair’s hankering for a wash. Blair yesterday entered the record books becoming the first woman to sail solo around Antarctica. She had hoped to be the quickest person to do it but ran into trouble and had to spend two months in Cape Town repairing a snapped mast. The fact that she stayed safe during that ordeal is amazing in itself.
WATER FIGHT - BILLIONS OF LITRES TAKEN FROM MURRAY DARLING BASIN
There were calls for parliamentary inquiries and corruption investigations yesterday following claims on ABC’s Four Corners that New South Wales irrigators have taken billions of litres of water from the Murray Darling Basin that they’re not entitled to. The program also alleged that Gavin Hanlon, the Deputy Director General of the NSW Department of Primary Industries, offered to share confidential information with irrigators. And they raised issues with compliance in NSW - eg water-taking by a major cotton farm near Brewarrina after an investigation uncovered water-meter tampering and excessive pumping from the river.
WHY DO I CARE?
Well, it’s the lifeblood for two million Aussies who live in the catchment. The Murray Darling Basin sustains a third of Australia’s agriculture and underpins the economies of many regional cities and towns in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT. Given it crosses state borders, the Basin is governed by the historic Murray Darling Basin Plan that was agreed in 2012 and cost $13 billion to implement. It followed years of debate about giving water users and the environment a good deal. Allegations that NSW isn’t playing fair is something that will be taken seriously.
SO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
There are so many calls for inquiries and investigations we don’t know where to start. Victoria and South Australia particularly want this looked at. Why? Because they’re downstream of NSW. Deputy PM and federal Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce said water sharing is a state matter, so over to them. NSW’s response? Their Independent Commission Against Corruption will take a look at Gavin Hanlon's behaviour, and that of the former water minister, Kevin Humphries. The only winner out of this seems to be Four Corners.
SQUIZ THE REST
CANAVAN UNDER CITIZENSHIP CLOUD
Thanks mum! Turnbull Government Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan has resigned from Cabinet after he revealed he has Italian citizenship – something he was unaware of until his mother told him last week. He’s the latest casualty of the citizenship cluster-disaster (to be polite…) with two Greens senators losing their jobs in the last couple of weeks. Canavan was born in Australia and has never been to Italy, but it’s understood his mother has Italian lineage and applied for citizenship on his behalf and without his knowledge more than a decade ago. Given his circumstances, the court will decide if he will lose his spot in the parliament. PM Malcolm Turnbull will need to appoint a new minister to replace him – we’re thinking Tony Abbott might be in with a shot for the Northern Australia portfolio, but only if he relocates to some remote part of FNQ that doesn’t have telecommunications services. #sarcasmalert
INDIGENOUS MUSICAL GREAT DEAD AT 46
World renowned blind indigenous singer Dr G Yunupingu died yesterday in Darwin aged 46yo. He had liver and kidney damage from hepatitis B, and while it's understood he had not accessed renal care for some time, he was receiving treatment at the time of his death. Dr Yunupingu was blind from birth and grew up in the remote community of Galiwin'ku on Elcho Islan. He sold more than 500,000 copies of his albums singing in his native Yolngu language. Dr Yunupingu’s family have requested his image not be published, and his full name is being withheld for cultural reasons.
VICTORIA LOOKS AT ASSISTED DYING LAWS
We would have said ‘euthanasia’, but ‘assisted dying’ seems to be the lingo these days. But that’s not the point. The point is the Victorian Parliament will vote on assisted dying legislation later this year. It follows a report that recommended a framework with 68 strict safeguards and tough coercion penalties. Both Labor and the Coalition have committed to a conscience vote, which means they aren’t tied to a party position on the issue. TV legend Andrew Denton is one of a number of people who have campaigned with Go Gentle Australia for changes to allow voluntary euthanasia. If the laws are passed, it will be interesting to see what the federal government does - they overrode a move to legalise euthanasia in the Northern Territory in 1996.
CHINA STICKY-BEAKS ON WAR GAMES
China - the Esme Watson of our region - has been caught with its nose over the fence taking a gander at our war games with the US. A Chinese intelligence ship was spotted in Australia’s economic zone (which isn’t illegal) during this month’s Talisman Sabre exercises. Some reports say they were aggressive and unfriendly (ie the opposite of Esme after a port and lemonade) but Foreign Minister Julie Bishop played it down yesterday. A separate report says the Pentagon confirmed a Chinese fighter jet was involved in an ‘unsafe’ intercept of a US plane on Sunday over the East China Sea. China is also currently involved in military exercises with Russia in the Baltic Sea. They are definitely out and about!
NORTH KOREA GETTING READY FOR ANOTHER MISSILE TEST?
Thursday is ‘Victory Day’ in North Korea, celebrating the armistice that ended the Korean War. It’s a day of military parades and shows of national pride. Reports say the US is expecting another North Korean missile test after sightings of equipment being moved into place. The last test took place on 4 July – feels like yesterday…
DESPACITO APPROPRIATED BY VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT
And not in a funny ‘politician sings hit song on late night TV’ kinda way. Justin Bieber features on the track by Puerto Rican stars Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee – in fact, just last week it became the most streamed song of all time. There’s been yuuuge turmoil in Venezuela recently so it's no wonder a beleaguered politician would want a slice of the Despacito action. President Nicolas Maduro showed off his version on his weekly television show – the reworked lyrics promote his plans for a citizen’s assembly. Hmmm. Not as catchy as the original. Daddy Yankee was not happy and told President Maduro as much; "Your dictatorial regime is a joke, not only for my Venezuelan brothers, but for the entire world."
NINJA WARRIOR ENDS… NO WINNER (EXCEPT OTHER TV NETWORKS)
They went so well throughout the routine but came a bit unstuck with the dismount. After weeks of knocking the competition for six, Nine’s all-conquering Australian Ninja Warrior came to a close last night – without a single competitor making it through the final course. The $100,000 prize was left unclaimed and the famed Mt Midoriama (not a melon liqueur-inspired mountain, worse luck) went unconquered, setting the scene for a second series. And while some viewers took to social media to express their frustration, Nine would have to be stoked by how popular it's been. And their rivals will breathe a sigh of relief that their programming might now get a look-in.
SQUIZ THE DAY
Cardinal George Pell to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court for a filing hearing
ABS Data Release - Consumer Price Index, June
12.30pm (AEST) - Anna Bligh, CEO of the Australian Bankers' Association, addresses the National Press Club - Canberra
1.00pm (AEST) - RBA Governor Philip Lowe Speech to the Anika Foundation Luncheon on 'The Labour Market and Monetary Policy' - Sydney
7.30pm - The Bachelor Season Premier - Network Ten
The Squiz Archive
Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?
Get the Squiz Today newsletter
It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.