How Martin Ferguson voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should introduce legislation that increases the protection of Australia's fresh water resources, including its river and groundwater systems

Division Martin Ferguson Supporters vote Division outcome

21st Mar 2013, 12:38 PM – Representatives Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment Bill 2013 - Consideration in Detail - Bilateral agreements

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The majority voted in favour of an amendment to further protect water resources from coal seam gas development and large coal mining development.

The amendment was introduced by Independent MP Tony Windsor. It gives precedence to the subdivision of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) that protects water resources from significant impacts caused by coal seam gas development and large coal mining development.(This subdivision is available to read on ComLaw, the Commonwealth website that contains the full text of all recent Australian Government legislation. For more on the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) see the Wikipedia entry.) This is the case even where bilateral agreements would otherwise allow a state government to act in respect of this type of development without approval.

References

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

28th Nov 2012, 8:50 PM – Representatives Water Amendment (Water for the Environment Special Account) Bill 2012 - Consideration in Detail - Opposition amendment

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The majority voted against an opposition amendment moved by Liberal MP Greg Hunt.

According to MP Hunt, the amendments guarantee: "no general buybacks to achieve the 450 gigalitres; neutral or beneficial socioeconomic outcomes; a 1,500-gigalitre buyback cap; and adequate reporting".(You can read MP Hunt's entire discussion of the amendment here. )

Background to the bill

The bill(A copy of the bill, its explanatory memoranda and amendments are available here. ) was introduced to establish an Environment Special Account to fund projects that protect and restore environmental assets of the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) and protect water dependent biodiversity of the MDB.(Read more about the bill in this bills digest (696 KB).) The projects will include those that increase the available environmental water in the MDB by 450 Gigalitres.

References

No No Not passed by a small majority

28th Nov 2012, 8:41 PM – Representatives Water Amendment (Water for the Environment Special Account) Bill 2012 - Consideration in Detail - 450 Gigalitres

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The majority voted in favour of government amendments moved by Labor MP Tony Burke, the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.

The amendments remove the reference to "up to 450 gigalitres" in the bill and change it to "450 gigalitres". MP Burke explains that the amendments also "put in place a process which gives a clear line of sight to the parliament and to the public as to whether or not enough money has been set aside to achieve the 450 gigalitres". It would then be for the government to decide whether or not to put aside additional money.(Read more of MP Burke's explanation of the amendments and the subsequent debate here. )

Background to the bill

The bill(A copy of the bill, its explanatory memoranda and amendments are available here. ) was introduced to establish an Environment Special Account to fund projects that protect and restore environmental assets of the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) and protect water dependent biodiversity of the MDB.(Read more about the bill in this bills digest (696 KB).) The projects will include those that increase the available environmental water in the MDB by 450 Gigalitres.

References

Yes Yes 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 2 20 20
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 70 70

*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 = 70 / 70 = 100%.

And then