How David Smith voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase their support of Australia's dairy industry by, for example, regulating increased milk prices

Division David Smith Supporters vote Division outcome

13th Sep 2018, 12:18 PM – Senate Motions - Dairy Industry - Introduce protections

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Senator Pauline Hanson, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the dairy industry in Australia was de-regulated in 2000, and since that time milk production has fallen from 12 billion litres a year to 9.5 billion litres a year, while the population has increased from 19 million to 25 million people,

(ii) the number of dairy farms has declined in Queensland from around 1,500 to about 380,

(iii) Queensland dairy herds are now in immediate danger through a failure of the winter and summer seasonal crops, and the shortage of quality feed means it is likely that whole herds will be sent to the slaughterhouse and families destroyed,

(iv) the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) dairy inquiry report was handed down in April 2018, and found that an increase in the fresh milk price in supermarkets would not benefit dairy farmers, only the processors,

(v) none of the eight recommendations in the ACCC's report have been implemented by the Federal Government,

(vi) there is an immediate need to deal with the imbalance in bargaining power between dairy farmers and processors by legislating to make unfair contracts and, in particular, multi-year contracts (which bind farmers but not processors) unlawful because dairy farmers do not have the means to pursue these unfair contracts through the courts, and

(vii) it is a myth that milk prices are set by market forces because farm-gate prices for milk are set by processors, that are often foreign-owned; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government:

(i) to provide immediate additional financial support to dairy farmers who cannot feed their herds,

(ii) to implement all of the ACCC recommendations, and

(iii) to regulate the price of milk per litre paid by processors to dairy farmers to ensure a viable dairy industry.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

14th Aug 2018, 3:53 PM – Senate Motions - Dairy Industry - Raise price of milk to help farmers

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by One Nation Senator Brian Burston (NSW), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate:

(a) notes that:

(i) Coles is still advertising $1 per litre milk, and Woolworths $1 per litre milk is shown as temporarily unavailable,

(ii) both Coles and Woolworths have exerted downward prices on dairy farmers for many years which has damaged the financial resilience of Australian dairy farmers,

(iii) many dairy farms are family operations which involve long work hours,

(iv) as dairy farmers are obligated to lock in forward milk sale prices, these forward prices are effectively capped by the pressure exerted by Coles and Woolworths,

(v) these forward prices could not contemplate the drastic increase in the cost of hay, wheat and other feed products for the dairy cattle, and

(vi) what Australia grows, grows Australia; and

(b) calls on Coles and Woolworths to:

(i) increase the price of milk to their customers by 20 cents per litre for the full period of the impacts of drought on feed prices, and

(ii) pass the full price increase onto dairy farmers.

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

How "voted very strongly 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 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 2 0 20
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 0 20

*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 = 0 / 20 = 0.0%.

And then