How Ewen Jones voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should introduce legislation that increases the protection of Australia's fresh water resources, including its river and groundwater systems

Division Ewen Jones Supporters vote Division outcome

16th Jun 2014, 8:07 PM – Representatives Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Bilateral Agreement Implementation) Bill 2014 - Second Reading - Read a second time

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

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to amend the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 in relation to bilateral agreements between the Commonwealth and Australian states and territories.(Read more about bilateral agreements here. ) The bill provides for the following:

  • states and territories can be accredited for approval decisions on large coal mining and coal seam gas developments likely to have a significant impact on a water resource;
  • all states and territories can be declared under the Act for the purposes of requesting advice from the Independent Expert Scientific Committee;
  • an approval process can be completed when an approval bilateral agreement is suspended, cancelled or ceases to apply to a particular action;
  • state and territory processes that meet the appropriate standards can be accredited for bilateral agreements;
  • a relevant bilateral agreement continues to apply to an accredited state or territory management arrangement or authorisation process despite minor amendments to the arrangement or authorisation process; and
  • proponents do not need to make referrals to the Commonwealth for actions that are covered by an approval bilateral agreement.(Find out more about the bill, including its explanatory memorandum, here.)

These amendments all relate to the Australian Government's one stop shop policy for environmental approvals.(Read more about the one stop shop policy on ABC News and The Conversation.)

Yes No Passed by a small majority

9th Dec 2013, 8:35 PM – Representatives Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 - Consideration in Detail - Keep power to make major environmental approvals with federal minister

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The majority voted against an amendment that would ensure that the federal government kept the power to make major environmental approvals rather than handing that power over to state governments. The amendment was introduced by Greens MP Adam Bandt.

This means that the majority of MPs disagreed with the amendment.

Debate in Parliament

  • Liberal MP Greg Hunt said that the government rejects the amendment because "we support one-stop shops".

  • Labor MP Mark Butler said that the Labor Party supported the amendment because the national environment minister should always have the capacity to deal with matters of national environmental significance.

Background to the bill

The Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 was introduced in response to the Federal Court’s decision in Tarkine National Coalition Incorporated v Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities () FCA 694.(The Tarkine is an area in north west Tasmania. For more information on the case, see this case note. The case is available to read on AustLII.)

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

21st Mar 2013, 12:38 PM – Representatives Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment Bill 2013 - Consideration in Detail - Bilateral agreements

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The majority voted in favour of an amendment to further protect water resources from coal seam gas development and large coal mining development.

The amendment was introduced by Independent MP Tony Windsor. It gives precedence to the subdivision of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) that protects water resources from significant impacts caused by coal seam gas development and large coal mining development.(This subdivision is available to read on ComLaw, the Commonwealth website that contains the full text of all recent Australian Government legislation. For more on the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) see the Wikipedia entry.) This is the case even where bilateral agreements would otherwise allow a state government to act in respect of this type of development without approval.

References

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

28th Nov 2012, 8:50 PM – Representatives Water Amendment (Water for the Environment Special Account) Bill 2012 - Consideration in Detail - Opposition amendment

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The majority voted against an opposition amendment moved by Liberal MP Greg Hunt.

According to MP Hunt, the amendments guarantee: "no general buybacks to achieve the 450 gigalitres; neutral or beneficial socioeconomic outcomes; a 1,500-gigalitre buyback cap; and adequate reporting".(You can read MP Hunt's entire discussion of the amendment here. )

Background to the bill

The bill(A copy of the bill, its explanatory memoranda and amendments are available here. ) was introduced to establish an Environment Special Account to fund projects that protect and restore environmental assets of the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) and protect water dependent biodiversity of the MDB.(Read more about the bill in this bills digest (696 KB).) The projects will include those that increase the available environmental water in the MDB by 450 Gigalitres.

References

Yes No Not passed by a small majority

28th Nov 2012, 8:41 PM – Representatives Water Amendment (Water for the Environment Special Account) Bill 2012 - Consideration in Detail - 450 Gigalitres

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The majority voted in favour of government amendments moved by Labor MP Tony Burke, the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.

The amendments remove the reference to "up to 450 gigalitres" in the bill and change it to "450 gigalitres". MP Burke explains that the amendments also "put in place a process which gives a clear line of sight to the parliament and to the public as to whether or not enough money has been set aside to achieve the 450 gigalitres". It would then be for the government to decide whether or not to put aside additional money.(Read more of MP Burke's explanation of the amendments and the subsequent debate here. )

Background to the bill

The bill(A copy of the bill, its explanatory memoranda and amendments are available here. ) was introduced to establish an Environment Special Account to fund projects that protect and restore environmental assets of the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) and protect water dependent biodiversity of the MDB.(Read more about the bill in this bills digest (696 KB).) The projects will include those that increase the available environmental water in the MDB by 450 Gigalitres.

References

No Yes 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 1 0 50
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 4 0 40
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 0 90

*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 / 90 = 0.0%.

And then