How Chris Hayes voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should introduce an emissions reduction fund so it can buy domestic greenhouse gas emissions reductions and offsets by reverse auction. This is a key part of the Coalition Government's Direct Action policy.

Division Chris Hayes Supporters vote Division outcome

25th Jun 2014, 6:54 PM – Representatives Carbon Farming Initiative Amendment Bill 2014 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority supported passing the bill in the House of Representatives (in parliamentary jargon, they voted to give the bill a third reading). The bill will now go to the Senate to see if the senators agree with the members of parliament (MPs) and also want to pass the bill. If they do, the bill will become law.

Purpose of the bill

The bill creates an Emissions Reduction Fund so the Government can buy domestic greenhouse gas emissions reductions and offsets by reverse auction. It also makes some changes to the Carbon Farming Initiative, like introducing a 25-year-long option for carbon sequestration projects (right now all projects have to run for 100 years).

Carbon Farming Initiative

The Carbon Farming Initiative lets farmers and land managers earn carbon credits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and storing carbon in vegetation and soils by changing their agricultural and land management practices.

Background to the bill

The Emissions Reduction Fund is a key part of the Coalition Government's Direct Action policy, which was an election commitment. It will replace the carbon price as the main part of the Australian Government's effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Australia has agreed with the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which means that Australia has agreed to reduce emissions by five per cent of 2000 levels by 2020.

Read more about the changes made by the bill in the bills digest.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

25th Jun 2014, 6:48 PM – Representatives Carbon Farming Initiative Amendment Bill 2014 — 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 about the stages that a bill must pass through to become law here. ) This means that the majority agree with the main idea of the bill.

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to establish the Emissions Reduction Fund to replace the carbon price and to provide a transition for the Carbon Farming Initiative. This is a key part of the Coalition Government's Direct Action policy, which was an election commitment.

The Carbon Farming Initiative was introduced by the previous Labor Government and is a voluntary carbon offsets scheme that currently "allows farmers and land managers to earn carbon credits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (such as nitrous oxide and methane) and storing carbon in vegetation and soils through changes to agricultural and land management practices (also known as carbon farming)".

The Coalition Government supports the Carbon Farming Initiative but Minister for Environment Greg Hunt has said that it "can be better, stronger, simpler and more streamlined" (see here), which is what this bill aims to do with its changes to the approvals process and the introduction of a 25-year-long option for carbon sequestration projects (currently all projects must run for a period of 100 years).

Read more about the changes made by the bill in the bills digest.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

25th Jun 2014, 6:45 PM – Representatives Carbon Farming Initiative Amendment Bill 2014 - Second Reading - Criticise the Government's climate change policies

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The majority disagreed with Labor MP Mark Butler's statement that:

  • the Government has a poor record on environmental and climate change issues
  • taxpayers, not big polluters, will have to pay for the Emissions Reduction Fund
  • the impact of this bill on the Carbon Farming Initiative should be examined
  • the Government has not made a "robust and defensible assurance" about how the changes in this bill can achieve Australia's emissions reduction target
  • Australia's international reputation on climate change has been damaged
  • the Government needs to create an emissions trading scheme.

Main idea of the bill

The bill creates an Emissions Reduction Fund so the Government can buy domestic greenhouse gas emissions reductions and offsets by reverse auction. It also makes some changes to the Carbon Farming Initiative, like introducing a 25-year-long option for carbon sequestration projects (right now all projects have to run for 100 years).

Carbon Farming Initiative

The Carbon Farming Initiative lets farmers and land managers earn carbon credits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and storing carbon in vegetation and soils by changing their agricultural and land management practices.

Background to the bill

The Emissions Reduction Fund is a key part of the Coalition Government's Direct Action policy, which was an election commitment. It will replace the carbon price as the main part of the Australian Government's effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Australia has agreed with the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which means that Australia has agreed to reduce emissions by five per cent of 2000 levels by 2020.

Read more about the changes made by the bill in the bills digest.

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 2 0 100
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 0 110

*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 / 110 = 0.0%.

And then