How Michael Ronaldson voted compared to someone who believes that landholders, particularly farmers, should be able to say no to mining and gas exploration on their land (in other words, they should be able to lock the gate)

Division Michael Ronaldson Supporters vote Division outcome

24th Nov 2015, 3:56 PM – Senate Motions - Coal Seam Gas - Landholders' right to say "no"

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters. The motion asked for the Senate to agree that landowners should have the right to say "no" to coal seam gas activity on their land.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the Victorian National Party’s announcement in early 2015 that they ‘support landowners having the right to say no to coal seam gas extraction activity on their land’,

(ii) comments by the Leader of the Nationals and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Mr Truss MP, that farmers should have the right to say yes or no to coal seam gas exploration and extraction on their property,

(iii) comments by:

(a) the Deputy Leader of the Nationals and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Mr Joyce MP, and

(b) the Deputy Leader of the Nationals in the Senate and Minister for Rural Health, Senator Nash,

supporting a right for farmers to say no to coal seam gas activity on their land,

(iv) reports that:

(a) the Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr McCormack MP, and

(b) Mr Broad MP, and Senators McKenzie, Williams and Canavan,

support the right of farmers to say no to coal seam gas activity on their land; and

(b) agrees that landowners should have the right to say no to coal seam gas activity on their land.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

5th Mar 2015 – Senate Motions — Coal Seam Gas

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Senator Larissa Waters moved the following motion:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

  • (i) the Victorian National Party announced in February 2015 that they 'support landowners having the right to say no to coal seam gas extraction activity on their land',

  • (ii) the National, Liberal and Labor parties voted down the Greens' Landholders' Right to Refuse (Gas and Coal) Bill 2013 in March 2014, a bill which would have given landholders the right to say no to coal seam gas extraction activity on their land, and

(b) the Greens re-introduced the Landholders' Right to Refuse (Gas and Coal) Bill on 4 March 2015; and

(b) agrees that landowners anywhere in Australia should have the right to say no to coal seam gas extraction activity on their land.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

9th Jul 2014, 3:51 PM – Senate Motions - Coal Seam Gas - Right to say no

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The majority voted against a motion moved by Senator Penny Wright related to coal seam gas. The motion was:

That the Senate—

(a) notes the importance of protecting valuable agricultural, residential and conservation land from unconventional gas activities;

(b) supports the right of landholders and local residents to say 'no' to unconventional gas exploration and mining in their communities;

(c) recognises the concerns expressed by communities in the south east of South Australia over potential groundwater contamination from unconventional gas activities; and

(d) congratulates the South East Local Government Association in South Australia for standing up for their local communities and voting for a moratorium on unconventional gas.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

15th May 2014, 12:14 PM – Senate Motions - Coal Seam Gas - Bentley blockade

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The majority rejected the motion to support the Bentley blockade against gas exploration, which means that it was rejected. It was introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters.

Text of the motion

That the Senate-

(a)   notes:

(i)   the huge community opposition to Metgasco's plans to drill for tight gas near Bentley in New South Wales,

(ii)   that tight gas extraction involves hydraulic fracking which risks precious water resources, and

(iii)   that 84.5 per cent of Bentley locals want their lands and road gas-field free;

(b)   congratulates the Bentley blockaders for their commitment to protecting their land, water, the climate and regional communities from big gas; and

(c)   calls on:

(i)   the New South Wales Government to respect the rights of protesters to peacefully protest, and to respond to the community's valid concerns by revoking Metgasco's gas exploration permit, and

(ii)   the Australian Government to extend the current protections for water resources under our national environment laws to all unconventional gas, to give landholders the right to say no to gas mining on their land, and to not hand responsibility for protecting land and water from big gas to state governments.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

6th Mar 2014, 12:31 PM – Senate Motions - Lock the Gate Alliance - Act on concerns of the Alliance

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The majority voted against acting on the concerns of Lock the Gate (see the text of the motion below).

Text of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the serious concern shared by communities and experts across Australia about the significant risks coal and gas developments pose to our communities, public health, water resources and natural areas, and

(ii) that in the week beginning 2 March 2014, a delegation of 16 community representatives from the Lock the Gate network have travelled to Canberra from across the nation, seeking the support of their elected representatives to protect their communities, their water and their land; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to urgently act on the concerns of the Lock the Gate network by:

(i) passing national laws to protect food-producing land from coal and gas mining and give landholders the power of veto over mining on their land,

(ii) protecting communities by establishing a national Environmental Protection Authority and a new Clean Air and Water Act; and

(iii) excluding from the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement any clause or instrument that undermines the power of Australian governments to protect land, water and communities.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a large majority

6th Mar 2014, 11:40 AM – Senate Landholders' Right to Refuse (Gas and Coal) Bill 2013 - Second Reading - Agree with the bill's main idea

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The majority disagreed with the bill's main idea (in other words, they voted against reading the bill for a second time). This means that the bill was rejected and won't be considered further.

Main idea of the bill

The bill would have given landholders the right to say no to gas and coal mining activities by corporations on food producing land, unless the corporations had written authorisation that followed particular requirements.

Background to the bill

Greens Senator Larissa Waters introduced the bill as a private member's bill. She believed that the bill was necessary because the efforts in Queensland and New South Wales to protect prime agricultural land had failed to protect farmers (see ABC News). You can watch Senator Waters' second reading speech on youtube.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

13th Feb 2014, 12:23 PM – Senate Motions - Coal Seam Gas - Landholders' right to refuse

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters. This means that the motion is rejected.

The motion was:

That the Senate-

(a) notes:

(i) the concern of communities in South Australia and Western Australia about their land and water being threatened by shale and other unconventional gas mining,(See, for example, this article on community concerns about fracking in South Australia. )

(ii) that landholders lack the legal right to refuse shale and other unconventional gas mining on their land, and

(iii) the scientific uncertainty surrounding the environmental and health implications of hydraulic fracturing (' fracking') for shale and other unconventional gas mining; and(Read more about fracking here.)

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) ban the use of fracking by the unconventional gas industry across Australia, and

(ii) support the Australian Greens' bill to give landholders the legal right to refuse shale and other unconventional gas mining on their land.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

14th Nov 2013, 11:23 AM – Senate Motions - Agriculture - Coal seam gas wells

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters. This means that the motion was rejected.

Read more about coal seam gas here.

Text of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) recent reports in the Sydney Morning Herald that the Prime Minister personally promised Tara resident, Ms Debbie Orr, that nobody should be forced to have a gas well on their property,

(ii) the Coalition's election platform that access to prime agricultural land should only be allowed with the farmer's agreement – the farmer should have the right to say yes or no to coal seam gas exploration and extraction on their property, and

(iii) that there are no constitutional limitations preventing the Federal Government from giving Australian landholders the legal right to say no to coal seam gas; and

(b) calls on the Government to follow through on these statements by giving landholders the legal right to say no to coal seam gas mining on their land under federal law.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted moderately against" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 3 0 150
MP absent 3 75 150
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 2 2 4
Total: 77 304

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 77 / 304 = 25%.

And then