How Gavan O'Connor voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should extend any financial and work-related entitlements and benefits that currently only apply to heterosexual couples to same-sex couples and their children

Division Gavan O'Connor Supporters vote Division outcome

13th Aug 2007, 8:29 PM – Representatives Judges’ Pensions Amendment Bill 2007 - Second Reading - Same-sex de facto relationships

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The majority voted in favour of a motion "That the words proposed to be omitted (Ms Roxon’s amendment) stand part of the question." In other words, the majority wanted the original motion to remain unchanged and therefore disagreed with Labor MP Nicola Roxon's amendment.

The original motion was "That this bill be now read a second time."(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through to become law here. ) To this, Ms Roxon proposed the following amendment:

"That all words after ‘That’ be omitted with a view to substituting the following words: ‘whilst not declining to give the bill a second reading the Opposition believes that the bill fails to give equal treatment to all judges by not treating judges in same-sex de facto relationships in the same way as heterosexual judges and their spouses or de facto spouses, and calls on the Government to amend the bill in order to give judges in same-sex relationships equal treatment’."

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced in response to recent reductions in the superannuation surcharge rate.(Read more about the background to the bill in its bills digest. ) It amends the Judges’ Pensions Act 1968 in order to insert a definition of ‘salary’ for pension purposes and fix technical deficiencies in the superannuation surcharge formula in relation to:

  • reduced rates of surcharge in 2003-04 and 2004-05;
  • treatment of invalidity and death benefits; and
  • payments made to discharge in part a judge’s surcharge debt.(More information about the bill, including its explanatory memorandum, is available here.)
No No Passed by a small majority

How "voted consistently 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 1 10 10
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 10 10

*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 = 10 / 10 = 100%.

And then