Squiz Today / 06 September 2017
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 6 September
“I’ve never run into him at Cape York but I have run into him at a couple of airport lounges and he has the cleanest hat I’ve ever seen for a bloke who claims to be from the bush.”
Them’s fightin’ words! Wildlife warrior Terri Irwin yesterday said maverick MP Bob Katter was all hat and no cattle when it comes to understanding crocs in Far North Queensland. Irwin says hands off the crocs. Katter says there are too many and they’re killing people, pets and livestock. Crikey! This shootout ain’t done yet, no siree.
ECONOMY SHAPING UP FOR A GOOD CHRISTMAS
Three bits of economic news out yesterday might make you think about increasing your Christmas present budget this year.
1. The Reserve Bank yesterday left interest rates at 1.5%.
2. There was strong growth in exports last year.
3. Australia’s net debt fell under the $1 trillion mark for the first time in almost two years.
THAT SOUNDS PRETTY GOOD, RIGHT?
It is, but don’t get too spendy just yet. The decision to leave interest rates on hold wasn’t unexpected, but the new news is the RBA’s more upbeat take on the Australian economy. Particularly, it’s encouraged by the rate of jobs growth, which it reckons will translate into a lift in wages. It’s also hopeful that investment in mining will soon pick up which brings all sorts of economic goodies with it. But you might want to actually see some more cash in your pay packet before going to the shops because wages growth has been hard to come by. The property market also continues to be a bit too strong for the RBA’s liking. It’s the record growth in household debt – mainly due to borrowings by homebuyers and property investors - that has worried the RBA for some time.
WHAT’S THE REACTION BEEN?
For a mob who campaigned on “jobs and growth”, it was a bit surprising that the Turnbull Government were low key on this yesterday. Treasurer Scott Morrison dusted off his Budget mantra in Parliament’s question time to say these are signs that “there are better days ahead”, but that was about it. What had their attention was the prospect of not being able to keep the lights on from this summer (see below). And today’s figures on economic growth will no doubt draw them out a bit more.
SQUIZ THE REST
AGL IN TALKS TO KEEP COAL-FIRED GENERATOR GOING
Keen Squiz’ers will know that the Turnbull Government has been waiting on a report from the Australian Energy Market Operator on the impending shortage of baseload electricity (ie what we need to turn on the lights every day). Long story short: we are at risk of power outages from as early as this summer. That means the government can’t afford for any coal-fired power generators to drop out anytime soon. This is potentially music to AGL’s ears - they were thinking about closing its Liddell power station near Newcastle and might now be in line for some meaty government assistance to keep it open. Just another twist in this high voltage political problem.
TURNBULL & TRUMP GIVE THEIR PHONE RELATIONSHIP ANOTHER GO
You know how there are some people you get along with just fine in person, but for some reason you don't gel over the phone? Let’s hope that’s not the case (again) for PM Malcolm Turnbull and US President Donald Trump when they get on the blower this morning. The agenda = North Korea. The US and Australia both agree that China needs to do more to put pressure on Kim Jong Un. Where Oz will have a problem is if Trump wants to pursue his thought about “stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.” China is North Korea’s biggest export destination. It is also ours, and reducing our export trade would be really bad news for our economy. So, fingers crossed for a good tete-a-tete.
SOUTH ASIA CRISES UPDATE
The refugee crisis on the border of Myanmar and Bangladesh is worsening with estimates of almost 130,000 Rohingyh Muslims said to have fled the violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in the last week. The UN is urging de-facto leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to step in to stop the violence.
And the floods in South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal and India) have claimed more than 1,300 lives. Some 45 million people have been affected since mid-August, including 16 million children. Oxfam reported that two-thirds of Bangladesh have experienced extreme flooding and India’s Mumbai was significantly affected after the heaviest monsoonal rains in years.
CAMBRIDGES WIN TOPLESS PICS LAWSUIT
Kate and William have been awarded €100,000 in damages for their win in court against French magazine Closer. The couple successfully argued that the long-lens pictures of the couple (in which Kate was sunbathing topless) were an unjustified intrusion of their privacy. The case has been ongoing since 2012, and it's understood the Cambridges will donate the money to charity.
And while we’re talking royalty – Prince Harry’s girlfriend Meghan Markel spoke to Vanity Fair about their budding romance; “I can tell you that at the end of the day I think it’s really simple. We’re two people who are really happy and in love.” Aww…
BAD FIRE SEASON PREDICTED AS SOUTHERN OZ SHIVERS
We’re facing a nasty bushfire season after a dry winter and predictions of a warm spring. This map shows the main areas of concern. Fire Commissioners have urged homeowners to be prepared. Meanwhile, bushfires are the furthest thing from the minds of southern Aussies after a ‘polar blast’ from Antarctica brought wind, rain and a dump of snow in Alpine areas. The uggies aren’t ready to be put away quite yet.
SOCCEROOS MISS EASY WORLD CUP QUALIFICATION
It just didn’t work out for Australia’s men’s soccer side. They beat Thailand in Melbourne last night, but only 2-1 – not enough to get instant qualification. They then needed Japan to beat Saudi Arabia this morning, and that didn't happen either. That means the Socceroos will have to play more matches to qualify for Russia 2018.
BOND TO FACE HIS BIGGEST THREAT - MARRIAGE
James Bond is married? Say whaaa? A report of the leaked plot of the next Bond blockbuster (not out until the end of 2019) says the movie picks up from where Spectre left off, and 007 and Dr Madeleine Swann are hitched. Apparently, he turns into a smug-married and quits the Secret Service until the Doc is killed and Bond. Is. Back. Hundred bucks says this won’t be the storyline that makes it to the screen, certainly not since this story has been in wide circulation. Which is good, because it sounds like since getting married he might have let himself go. And frankly, if we don’t get to ogle Daniel Craig’s abs we're not interested. Here’s a pic, to refresh your memory. You're welcome.
SQUIZ THE DAY
7.45am (AEST) - PM Turnbull to talk to President Trump
12.30pm (AEST) - Tiernan Brady & Janine Middleton address the National Press Club on 'Same Sex Marriage - The Yes Case' - Canberra
ABS Data Releases - Australian National Income, Expenditure and Product, June; Building Approvals, July
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