Squiz Today / 29 March 2017
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 29 March
CYCLONE DEBBIE DOWNGRAGED BUT STILL DAMAGING NTH QLD
The key points are:
- Cyclone Debbie is currently about 200km inland and has been downgraded to a tropical low with wind gusts of 85km per hour.
- Debbie crossed the coast between Bowen and Airlie Beach at around 12.30pm yesterday.
- Winds of more than 260km per hour were recorded on Hamilton Island.
- More than 45,000 homes and businesses across the region are without electricity.
- The extent of the damage is unknown. It’s been too unsafe for authorities to get out and assess, but that will start after daybreak today.
- There are a handful of reports of injuries, expect more news of this today.
- It’s not over yet: heavy rainfall and high winds will prevail for the next three to five days.
WHAT WENT DOWN?
You mean aside from TV reporters trying to outdo one another with their drowned-rat pieces-to-camera? Hamilton, Hayman and Daydream Islands were hammered as was Bowen, Airlie Beach, Proserpine, and many other small communities in the area. Thankfully, Mackay and Townsville were not as heavily impacted as expected. The disaster has already been declared a catastrophe by the Insurance Council.
A lot of cleaning up and repair work, that's for sure. It's too early to tell exactly how long that will take. The recovery effort will be led by military man Brigadier Christopher Field and will draw on the resources of our defence forces. Police yesterday warned residents to start looking out for looters presenting themselves as rescue workers or damage assessors – a sad reality. One thing we can guess – expect tomato and capsicums to be in short supply and expensive, 90% of Australia’s supply is grown in Debbie’s hit zone.
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CHINA EXTRADITION DEAL A VICTIM OF CRANKY CANBERRA
The Coalition yesterday walked away (for now at least) from an extradition treaty with China. What’s that you say? Pretty dry topic? Here's some colourful details! The decision was confirmed in PM Malcolm Turnbull’s morning meeting with his leadership team. Then Labor leader Bill Shorten phoned. Shorten said his team wasn’t going to support it, and the PM told him that he would be withdrawing it from the parliament. The problem was Turnbull hadn't had the chance to tell his troops, so it was Shorten who broke the news to the media. Oops! Another problem is explaining it to China. Turnbull discussed it with the Chinese Premier just a few days ago. Double oops! Australia is a top three country for alleged crims fleeing China because there’s no extradition deal in place. Both the major parties agree it's important to have a deal, so why is it shelved instead of being worked through? Chalk it up to hyper-partisan politics and move along quietly please.
TELL ME ABOUT SOMETHING GETTING DONE IN CANBERRA...
Happy to! The Diverted Profits Tax legislation passed the parliament this week. It will prevent big international companies shifting their profits offshore to avoid paying tax in Australia. So that’s pretty good, right?
A GOOD DAY FOR THE AUSSIE MARKET
The Australian market ducked a damp day internationally when the ASX index reached a two-year high yesterday. Why? Seems investors like the recent out-of-cycle interest rate increases imposed by the banks. While we’re being fancy and talking finance, no word yet on who is behind the large purchase of Myer shares and whether they come in peace or, well, the opposite of peace. Watch this space.
POWER PROBLEMS WILL LEAD TO HIGHER SUPERMARKET PRICES
Confirmation yesterday on what many have been anticipating – shoppers can expect to pay for electricity price hikes at the supermarket checkout. Yesterday Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci said “We are trying to outrun a bear” in their effort to keep prices low while power costs increase. Woolworths has been locked in a price war with Coles as they fight for market share and try to counter Aldi, Costco and independent/online grocers who continue to eat their lunch.
ERIN PHILLIPS WINS AFLW BEST AND FAIREST
Following a premiership winning season with the Adelaide Crows, Erin Phillips was last night crowned the women’s AFL most valuable player. Phillips is an Olympic basketball silver medalist, she returned from the US to pursue her lifelong dream to play footy. What an athlete!
FALLEN AFL STAR BEN COUSINS JAILED
You mean he wasn’t already in jail? Yep. Came as a surprise to us too. For the uninitiated, it’s hard to overstate the extent of Cousins’ fall from grace. He was a 2006 AFL premiership winning player with the West Coast Eagles, team captain, Brownlow medalist in 2005 (AFL’s best and fairest) and was rated as one of the most talented players the league has ever seen. But the guy also has a long history of issues with drugs, particularly ice. It ruined his playing career and yesterday landed him with a WA jail sentence of 12 months. He was found guilty of breaching a restraining order to stay away from his ex, and drug possession. It follows a decade’s worth of skirmishes with police. The magistrate said “enough’s enough” and didn’t buy the story that Cousins wanted to go to rehab – he’d been recorded just a few weeks ago telling his dad from remand that he didn’t want to give up his drug habit. Cousins is eligible for parole in about five months.
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.30pm - New ACTU Secretary Sally McManus addresses the National Press Club (Canberra)
UK Government to trigger 'Article 50' indicating the start of Brexit negotiations with the EU
ABS data releases on Disability, Ageing and Carers; and Engineering Construction Activity
Elle Macpherson turns 53
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