How Bert Van Manen voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should introduce legislation that increases the powers and influence of trade unions in workplace relations

Division Bert Van Manen Supporters vote Division outcome

18th Oct 2016, 6:07 PM – Representatives Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013 and one other - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority voted in favour of passing the bills in the House of Representatives. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bills for a third time.

The bills will now be sent to the Senate for their consideration.

What are these bills about?

These bills were first introduced into Parliament back in 2013, and again in 2016. In a nut shell, their purpose is to re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

According to the bills digest:

The purpose of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013 (the Bill) is to re‑institute a separate workplace relations framework for the building industry based largely on the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act 2005 (the BCII Act). Among other things the Bill re-establishes the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), reintroduces provisions dealing with unlawful industrial action, coercion and the associated civil penalties specific to the building industry, and broadens the application of those provisions to include transporting and supplying of goods to be used in building work.

Yes No Passed by a small majority

4th Feb 2016, 10:39 AM – Representatives Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013 [No. 2] and another - Third Reading - Pass the bills

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The majority agreed to pass the bills, meaning that the bills will now go to the Senate for the senators to consider. In parliamentary jargon, they read the bills for a third time.

What were these bills about?

The bills re-institute a workplace relations framework that was first put in place back in 2005. Among other things, they re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner and re-introduce provisions dealing with unlawful industrial action and coercion that are specific to the building industry.

Read more in the bills digest.

Yes No Passed by a small majority

4th Feb 2016, 10:20 AM – Representatives Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013 [No. 2] and another - Second Reading - Agree with the bills' main idea

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The majority agreed with the main idea of the bills, meaning that they can now discuss them in more detail. In parliamentary jargon, they read the bills for a second time.

Main idea of the bills

The bills re-institute a workplace relations framework that was first put in place back in 2005. Among other things, they re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner and re-introduce provisions dealing with unlawful industrial action and coercion that are specific to the building industry.

Read more in the bills digest.

Yes No Passed by a small majority

12th Dec 2013, 5:33 PM – Representatives Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013 - Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill a second time. This means that the majority of MPs agree with the main idea in the bill, which was to re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (‘ABCC’).

The House subsequently agreed to a motion to read the bill for a third time without division. This means that the bill was passed in the House and can now be sent to the Senate for their consideration.

Background to the bill

The ABCC was originally established by the Coalition Government in 2005 in response to the Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry, which found that there was “widespread disregard of the rule of law” within the industry.( Summary of Findings and Recommendations (1.9MB). For a more general introduction on the ABCC, see the Wikipedia page. ) The Labor Government abolished the ABCC in 2012.

Re-establishing the ABCC was one of the Liberal Party’s policies going into the 2013 election and the bill reflects this.( Improving the Fair Work Laws policy)

Yes No Passed by a small majority

27th Jun 2013, 1:05 PM – Representatives Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013 - Pass the bill

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013 for a third time.

This means that the bill has passed through the House of Representatives and can now be sent to the Senate for their consideration.

Debate in Parliament

While considering the bill in detail, the House of Representatives agreed to a government amendment that introduced new labour market testing requirements and legislatively established the Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration, which must have union representation. Liberal MP Scott Morrison argued that the amendment was designed to “choke the 457 scheme” and do “the bidding of the unions”.

Background to the Bill

The Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013 was introduced by Labor MP Brendan O'Connor to “enhance the government's ability to deter sponsor behaviour which is inconsistent with the policy intent of the subclass 457 visa program and other temporary employer sponsored visa programs”. At the time this bill was introduced, the 457 visa program was receiving extensive media attention with claims that it was being misused. A simple explanation of the 457 visa scheme is available on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website.

No Yes Passed by a small majority

27th Jun 2013, 12:55 PM – Representatives Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013 - Consideration in Detail - Agree to the bill

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to agree to the Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013 as amended.

This means that the members can now decide whether to pass the bill through the House of Representatives by giving the bill a third reading.

Debate in Parliament

While considering the bill in detail, the House of Representatives agreed to a government amendment that introduced new labour market testing requirements and legislatively established the Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration, which must have union representation. Liberal MP Scott Morrison argued that the amendment was designed to “choke the 457 scheme” and do “the bidding of the unions”.(Read MP Morrison's comments here. )

Background to the Bill

The Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013 was introduced by Labor MP Brendan O'Connor to “enhance the government's ability to deter sponsor behaviour which is inconsistent with the policy intent of the subclass 457 visa program and other temporary employer sponsored visa programs”.(Read MP O'Connor's comments here. ) At the time this bill was introduced, the 457 visa program was receiving extensive media attention with claims that it was being misused.(See ABC News. A simple explanation of the 457 visa scheme can be found on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website here.)

References

No Yes Passed by a small majority

26th Jun 2013, 1:29 PM – Representatives Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013 - Consideration in Detail - Government amendment

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to amend the Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013, which means that the amendment will now be included in the bill. The amendment was proposed by Labor Party MP Brendan O’Connor.

Debate in Parliament

Labor MP Brendan O'Connor said that the amendment introduces new labour market testing requirements and legislatively establishes the Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration.(Read MP O'Connor's contribution and associated debate here. ) He said that the Council must include "representatives of unions, industry, state and territory governments and other members, if any, nominated by the minister". The Council's purpose is to advise the minister in relation to the temporary sponsored work visa program.

Liberal Party MP Scott Morrison said that these amendments were designed to “choke the 457 scheme”,(Read MP Morrison's contribution here. ) which allows skilled workers to work in Australia for an approved business for up to four years. He also questioned why the Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration needs to be included in the bill when it is already doing a “good job”. He argues that the reason it is included in the bill is to legislate for the presence of unions on the Council and that this amendment is another example of the government doing “the bidding of the unions”.

Background to the Bill

The Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013 was introduced by MP O'Connor to “enhance the government's ability to deter sponsor behaviour which is inconsistent with the policy intent of the subclass 457 visa program and other temporary employer sponsored visa programs”.(Read MP O'Connor's comments here. ) At the time this bill was introduced, the 457 visa program was receiving extensive media attention with claims that it was being misused.(See ABC News. A simple explanation of the 457 visa scheme can be found on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website here.)

References

No Yes Passed by a small majority

6th Jun 2013, 4:13 PM – Representatives Fair Work Amendment Bill 2013 — Consideration in Detail — Right of entry

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The majority voted against a motion to amend the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2013.(More information about the bill and the context surrounding it can be found here. The text of the proposed amendment can be found here. )

The amendment was introduced by Liberal Party MP Sussan Ley and would have removed the right of entry provisions from the bill. These provisions expanded the rights of permit holders (such as union officials who have received a permit from the Fair Work Commission) to enter work premises for investigation and discussion purposes.

Someone who voted Aye supported the amendment. An equal number of members voted Aye and No so the Speaker had to give a casting vote to break the tie. As there is a principle that a casting vote on an amendment should leave the bill in its original form, the Speaker voted with the Noes. This means that the amendment was unsuccessful and that the right of entry provisions remained in the bill.

(Note: there is an error in Parliament's data that incorrectly shows this division as drawn. We're working to fix this problem.)

Debate in Parliament

The day before this amendment was introduced into the House of Representatives, the Labor Government and Coalition Opposition had reached an agreement to remove the right of entry provisions from the Bill. However, the Government subsequently decided to keep the provisions.

Labor MP Bill Shorten, speaking on behalf of the Government, said that the right of entry provisions were based on recommendations made by the independent Fair Work Act Review Panel and that the provisions “better balance the right of unions representing employees to be able to represent their members professionally, with the need for their employers to go about their business productively”.(Read MP Shorten's contribution here. )

Liberal Party MP Sussan Ley said that the Opposition was concerned that union officials would take advantage of the provisions.(Read MP Ley's contribution here.)

Background to the bill

This bill was partly made in response to a review of the Fair Work Act 2009 (‘the Act’) by an independent review panel in 2012. The Panel found that the Act was broadly meeting its objectives and so its recommendations were mainly technical. Approximately one third of these recommendations were implemented by the Fair Work Amendment Act 2012 and this bill was introduced to implement several more of the recommendations as well as other reforms.

References

Yes No Not passed

6th Jun 2013, 3:40 PM – Representatives Fair Work Amendment Bill 2013 - Consideration in Detail - Workplace bullying

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The motion voted against a motion to amend the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2013.(More information about the bill and the context surrounding it can be found here. The text of the proposed amendment can be found here. ) The amendment was introduced by Liberal Party MP Sussan Ley to address concerns that the Opposition held about the bullying provisions contained in the Bill.

Someone who voted Aye supported the amendment. The majority voted No, so the amendment was unsuccessful.

The amendment was directed at the part of the bill that enabled an employee who is bullied at work to apply to the Fair Work Commission (‘FWC’) for an order to stop the bullying. MP Ley argued that it was inappropriate to include bullying provisions in the bill as there are already several state and federal agencies that address that issue.(More information about the bill and the context surrounding it can be found here. The text of the proposed amendment can be found here. ) For that reason, MP Ley considered that workers should only be able to approach the FWC for an order after they have first approached an independent regulatory body for help and advice, such as Work Safe Australia. She also argued that the bullying provisions should be “expanded to include the conduct of union officials towards workers and employers”.

Background to the bill

This bill was partly made in response to a review of the Fair Work Act 2009 (‘the Act’) by an independent review panel in 2012. The Panel found that the Act was broadly meeting its objectives and so its recommendations were mainly technical. Approximately one third of these recommendations were implemented by the Fair Work Amendment Act 2012 and this bill was introduced to implement several more of the recommendations as well as other reforms.

References

Yes No Not passed by a small majority

16th May 2013, 1:29 PM – Representatives Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment (Towards Transparency) Bill 2013 - Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted against a motion to read the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment (Towards Transparency) Bill 2013 a second time.(The text of the bill can be found here. )

This means that the majority of members rejected the main idea of the bill.

Someone who voted Aye supported the main idea of the bill. The majority voted No, so the bill will not be considered any further in Parliament.

Debate in Parliament

The bill was introduced by Liberal MP Tony Abbott, leader of the Opposition, to strengthen “the requirements upon union officials to act honestly and in good faith”.(See Abbott MP's discussion of the bill here. ) He argued that this was important due to recent scandals and investigations into possible improper conduct. The purpose of this bill was “to put exactly the same regime, as far as we can, in place for unions and those running unions as applies to companies and those running companies”.

Labor Party MP Michelle Rowland said that the Government supported “appropriate regulation” of unions, which is why it previously amended the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009. In rejecting this bill, she argued that “trade unions are not corporations”.(See Rowland MP's contribution here. ) The Labor Party MP Mike Symon agreed, saying that treating unions like corporations is “a plainly ridiculous concept”.(See Symon MP's contribution here.)

References

Yes No Not passed by a small majority

22nd Mar 2012, 1:36 PM – Representatives Fair Work Amendment (Textile, Clothing and Footwear Industry) Bill 2012 - Consideration in Detail - Agree to the bill

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to agree to the Fair Work Amendment (Textile, Clothing and Footwear Industry) Bill 2012.

Passing this motion ends the discussion of the bill in detail. Immediately after this motion, the members agreed to read the bill for a third time.( Third reading passed without division. ) This means that the bill passed through the House of Representatives and, as it had already passed through the Senate, it will now become law.

Background to the Bill

The bill was introduced to address the poor working conditions facing vulnerable workers in the textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) industry.(More information about this bill and the context surrounding it can be found here. The text of the bill as passed by both houses can be found here.) Controversially, it extends most of the provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 to outworkers by deeming them to be employees. It also extends specific right of entry rules to sweatshop premises. This allows a permit holder (such as a union official) to enter such premises without giving 24 hours notice under certain circumstances.

References

No Yes Passed by a small majority

16th Feb 2012, 9:55 AM – Representatives Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2012 - Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill a second time.

This means that the majority of MPs agree with the main idea in the bill, which was to abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (‘ABCC’) and create the Office of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate.

The bill was subsequently agreed to without further division.( Third reading agreed to without division. ) This means that the bill passed the House and will now be sent to the Senate for their consideration.

Background to the bill

The ABCC was originally established by the Coalition Government in 2005 in response to the Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry, which found that there was “widespread disregard of the rule of law” within the industry.( Summary of Findings and Recommendations (1.9MB). For a more general introduction on the ABCC, see the Wikipedia page. )

The Labor Government promised to abolish the ABCC when they were elected in 2007 and this bill reflects that promise.( Supporters condemn dismantling of ABCC – Lateline report)

References

No Yes Passed by a small majority

15th Jun 2011 – Representatives Governance of Australian Government Superannuation Schemes Bill 2011 - Consideration in Detail - ACTU nomination of board members

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The majority voted against a motion to amend the Governance of Australian Government Superannuation Schemes Bill 2011. The amendment was introduced by Liberal Party MP Stuart Robert.

Someone who voted Aye supported the amendment. The majority voted No so the amendment was unsuccessful.

The amendment would have removed the power of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) to nominate board members for the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, which is created by the Bill. Under the Bill, the ACTU appoints all three of the directors who represent civilian employees.

Debate in Parliament

Liberal MP Robert argued that appointments made to Commonwealth bodies “should be made by elected officials who are accountable at the ballot box”.(See MP Robert's full contribution here. ) He insisted that “the coalition do not have a problem with trade unions” but that it “patently objects to a body such as the ACTU having the power to appoint ... three members to the board that only it can remove”.

Labor MP Warren Snowdon said that the Government would not support the amendment.(See MP Snowdon's full contribution here. ) He said that there was precedent for this arrangement already in existence. Further, he argued that appointing employee representatives through the ACTU was the most reasonable and cost effective process.

Background to the Bill

The Bill is part of a package of three bills.(More information about this bill and the context surrounding it can be found here. The text of the proposed amendment can be found here.) It creates the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation by merging the Australian Reward Investment Alliance, the Military Superannuation and Benefits Board and the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Authority. The purpose of these changes is to modernise Australian Government superannuation and make it more consistent with the broader superannuation industry.

References

Yes No Not passed by a small 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 13 0 130
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 0 130

*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 / 130 = 0.0%.

And then