How Martin Ferguson voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land rights by, for example, increasing their legal recognition and protection

Division Martin Ferguson Supporters vote Division outcome

17th Aug 2006, 1:52 PM – Representatives Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment Bill 2006 - Consideration of Senate Message - Intertidal claims

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Labor MP Warren Snowdon, which means that it was unsuccessful.

Mr Snowdon explained that his motion related to intertidal claims and would ensure procedural fairness for people affected by certain Senate amendments.(Read Mr Snowdon's full explanation of his motion and the related debate here. Read more about the Senate amendments related to intertidal claims on ABC News. )

The motion was put while the House of Representatives considered a series of amendments proposed by the Senate. If the House agrees with the Senate's amendments then the bill can be passed and become law.

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to amend the _ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005_ and the _ Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976_ to:(Read more about the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 here. )

  • increase access to Aboriginal land for development, especially exploration and mining;
  • facilitate the leasing of Aboriginal land and the mortgaging of leases;
  • provide for a tenure system for townships on Aboriginal land that will allow individuals to have property rights;
  • devolve decision-making powers to regional Aboriginal communities;
  • clarify provisions for the establishment of new Land Councils;
  • increase accountability of Land Councils and incorporated bodies which receive payments for the use of Aboriginal land and provide for funding on the basis of workloads; and
  • dispose of land claims which cannot be heard or finalised or which are clearly inappropriate to grant.(Read more about the bill here. More information is available in the bills digest.)

According to the bill's explanatory memorandum, this bill implements reforms drawn from three reviews of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 conducted over the last nine years.

References

Yes Yes Not passed by a small majority

19th Jun 2006, 8:50 PM – Representatives Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment Bill 2006 - Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill for a second time.(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through before becoming law here. ) This means that the majority agreed with the main idea of the bill and that the members can now discuss it in more detail.

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to amend the _ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005_ and the _ Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976_ to:(Read more about the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 here. )

  • increase access to Aboriginal land for development, especially exploration and mining;
  • facilitate the leasing of Aboriginal land and the mortgaging of leases;
  • provide for a tenure system for townships on Aboriginal land that will allow individuals to have property rights;
  • devolve decision-making powers to regional Aboriginal communities;
  • clarify provisions for the establishment of new Land Councils;
  • increase accountability of Land Councils and incorporated bodies which receive payments for the use of Aboriginal land and provide for funding on the basis of workloads; and
  • dispose of land claims which cannot be heard or finalised or which are clearly inappropriate to grant.(Read more about the bill here. More information is available in the bills digest.)

According to the bill's explanatory memorandum, this bill implements reforms drawn from three reviews of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 conducted over the last nine years.

References

No No Passed by a small majority

19th Jun 2006, 8:39 PM – Representatives Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment Bill 2006 - Second Reading - Keep the words unchanged

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The majority voted in favour of a motion "That the words proposed to be omitted (Mr Snowdon’s amendment) stand part of the question." This means that the words that Labor MP Warren Snowdon had wanted to omit will remain unchanged and so Mr Snowdon's amendment was unsuccessful.

Mr Snowdon's amendment would have amended the original motion "That the bill be read a second time" with the following:

That all words after “That” be omitted with a view to substituting the following words: “whilst welcoming many measures contained in the bill including the mining and exploration provisions, the House is of the opinion that some other provisions of this bill: (1) undermine the integrity of the Principal Act by eroding the rights of traditional owners and the independence of land councils; (2) are a recipe for uncertainty for development on Aboriginal land; (3) should be withdrawn and redrafted to provide a more balanced approach that ensures: (a) the informed consent of traditional owners to major changes; (b) that traditional owners as land owners are not unfairly constrained in optimising their financial and other benefits under the 99 year lease; (c) the better promotion and facilitation of economic development on Aboriginal land including home ownership opportunities for Aboriginal people; (d) the protection of traditional owners’ rights to control access and development on their own land; and (e) the maintenance of the independence and viability of land councils to defend and pursue the interests of traditional owners and other Aboriginal people living on Aboriginal land.”

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to amend the _ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005_ and the _ Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976_ to:(Read more about the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 here. )

  • increase access to Aboriginal land for development, especially exploration and mining;
  • facilitate the leasing of Aboriginal land and the mortgaging of leases;
  • provide for a tenure system for townships on Aboriginal land that will allow individuals to have property rights;
  • devolve decision-making powers to regional Aboriginal communities;
  • clarify provisions for the establishment of new Land Councils;
  • increase accountability of Land Councils and incorporated bodies which receive payments for the use of Aboriginal land and provide for funding on the basis of workloads; and
  • dispose of land claims which cannot be heard or finalised or which are clearly inappropriate to grant.(Read more about the bill here. More information is available in the bills digest.)

According to the bill's explanatory memorandum, this bill implements reforms drawn from three reviews of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 conducted over the last nine years.

References

No Yes Passed by a small majority

How "voted moderately 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 0 0 0
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 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 20 30

*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 = 20 / 30 = 67%.

And then