How Ross Hart voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase penalties for breach of data by for-profit companies that have been contracted by the government to store sensitive information or to provide services to citizens

Division Ross Hart Supporters vote Division outcome

11th Oct 2016, 6:20 PM – Representatives National Cancer Screening Register Bill 2016 and another - Consideration in Detail - Penalties for data breach

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The majority voted against amendments introduced by Labor MP Catherine King, which means they were unsuccessful.

What were the amendments?

MP King explained her amendments by saying that:

We do not believe that the penalties in this bill or in the government's amendments go far enough.


When it comes to the penalties, particularly given that the government signed a contract with a for-profit provider four days before the election, they are miniscule in this bill—$21,000 for a breach of data for a for-profit organisation like Telstra is simply not good enough. So the amendments that we are moving say very clearly that there needs to be higher penalty units within the bill itself and they should not deferred by seeking reparation through the Privacy Act.

We actually think they need to be within this bill itself.

Find out more about the bill

The two bills under discussion are the:

Together, they create a National Cancer Screening Register. Read more about them in the bills digest.

Motion text

See OpenAustralia for the motion text.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

How "voted very strongly for" 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 1 50 50
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
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* 0 0 0
Total: 50 50

*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 = 50 / 50 = 100%.

And then