How Keith Pitt voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase funding for university education

Division Keith Pitt Supporters vote Division outcome

1st Sep 2020, 8:09 PM – Representatives Higher Education Support Amendment (Job-Ready Graduates and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority voted in favour of passing the bill in the House of Representatives. In other words, they voted to read the bill for a third time. This means that the bill will now go to the Senate for their consideration.

What does the bill do?

This bill will implement part of the government's Job Ready Graduates Package and includes major proposed higher education funding changes, including how the government currently subsidises university tuition costs.

If successful in its current form, the bill will decrease the subsidy for most areas of the humanities and social science as well as in engineering, science, surveying, environmental studies and other areas. This will have the effect of increasing the costs of tuition for students in those areas. On the other hand, the bill will increase the subsidy for most health fields, education, mathematics and other areas, which should lower tuition costs for those students.

According to the bills digest:

Analysis from the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne has estimated the overall impact of the proposed change:

University revenue for teaching would be reduced by nearly one billion dollars in 2021 and every year thereafter for the same domestic student load as in 2018 as a result of the funding caps imposed in 2018 and the 2021 funding cluster changes in Job-ready Graduates

In other words, the overall affect of the bill appears to be a reduction in government funding for the university sector.

Read more about the bill in the bills digest.

Yes No (strong) Passed by a small majority

1st Sep 2020, 7:38 PM – Representatives Higher Education Support Amendment (Job-Ready Graduates and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020 - Second Reading - Agree with the bill's main idea

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The majority voted to agree with the main idea of the bill. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to give the bill a second reading. This means they can now discuss it in more detail.

What is the main idea of the bill?

This bill will implement part of the government's Job Ready Graduates Package and includes major proposed higher education funding changes, including how the government currently subsidises university tuition costs.

If successful in its current form, the bill will decrease the subsidy for most areas of the humanities and social science as well as in engineering, science, surveying, environmental studies and other areas. This will have the effect of increasing the costs of tuition for students in those areas. On the other hand, the bill will increase the subsidy for most health fields, education, mathematics and other areas, which should lower tuition costs for those students.

According to the bills digest:

Analysis from the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne has estimated the overall impact of the proposed change:

University revenue for teaching would be reduced by nearly one billion dollars in 2021 and every year thereafter for the same domestic student load as in 2018 as a result of the funding caps imposed in 2018 and the 2021 funding cluster changes in Job-ready Graduates

In other words, the overall affect of the bill appears to be a reduction in government funding for the university sector.

Read more about the bill in the bills digest.

Yes No (strong) Passed by a small majority

1st Sep 2020, 7:31 PM – Representatives Higher Education Support Amendment (Job-Ready Graduates and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020 - Second Reading - Keep second reading motion unchanged

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The majority voted in favour of a motion "that the words proposed to be omitted stand part of the question." In other words, they voted in favour of keeping the words of the usual second reading motion unchanged.

This vote occurred after Sydney MP Tanya Plibersek (Labor) proposed an amendment to the usual second reading motion.

Second reading motion

The usual second reading motion is "this bill be now read a second time." To read a bill for a second time is to agree with the main idea of the bill. Once agreed, the bill can then be discussed in more detail.

Amendment text

That all words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

"The House declines to give the bill a second reading as it is of the opinion that:

(1) the Government is making it harder and more expensive to go to university; and

(2) the bill will:

(a) cause students to pay more to attend university;

(b) ensure thousands of students will have their fees doubled;

(c) result in billions of dollars being cut from universities; and

(d) do nothing to get young people into high priority courses or jobs".

Yes No Passed by a small majority

11th Sep 2019, 12:27 PM – Representatives Higher Education Support (Charges) Bill 2019 and another - Second Reading - University funding

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The majority voted against an amendment to the usual second reading motion "that the bills be read a second time", which is parliamentary jargon for agreeing with the main idea of the bill. Since this vote was unsuccessful, the second reading motion will remain unchanged.

Amendment text

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 House notes that the Government has damaged the quality of Australia's world-class higher education system, having cut billions from universities by effectively capping undergraduate places and slashing research funding".

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

13th Sep 2017, 6:32 PM – Representatives Higher Education Support Legislation Amendment (A More Sustainable, Responsive and Transparent Higher Education System) Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Agree with bill's main idea

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The majority agreed with the main idea of the bill. In parliamentary jargon, they voted in favour of giving the bill a second reading.

What is the bill's main idea?

The bill makes changes to the way higher education funding works. For example, the bill proposes to:

  • reduce Commonwealth funding of tuition costs for undergraduate courses at universities through increasing the student contribution towards these costs, and reducing the funding universities receive to cover these costs; and
  • make changes so that those in the workforce will commence repayment at much lower income levels and at higher rates.

The bill also proposes to change arrangements for permanent residents and New Zealand citizens by:

extending access to HELP loans to students in this situation, but at the same time removing access to CSPs [Commonwealth Supported Places] ... [so they will] effectively be treated the same as domestic full-fee paying students.

Find out more about the bill in its bills digest.

Yes No (strong) Passed by a small majority

13th Sep 2017, 6:25 PM – Representatives Higher Education Support Legislation Amendment (A More Sustainable, Responsive and Transparent Higher Education System) Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Disagree with bill

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The majority voted against a motion that asked the House to disagree with the main idea of the bill. In parliamentary jargon, they voted against a motion to "declin[e] to give the bill a second reading".

Motion text

That all words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

"the House declines to give the bill a second reading because this bill:

(1) cuts university funding by nearly $4 billion;

(2) hits students with higher fees;

(3) saddles students with bigger debts which they will have to pay back at the same time as they are trying to buy a house or start a family;

(4) compromises teaching and learning, and undermines research; and

*(5) slashes investment in universities at a time when the Government should be investing in both universities and TAFEs in order to guarantee a strong and productive economy". *

What is the bill's main idea?

The bill makes changes to the way higher education funding works. For example, the bill proposes to:

  • reduce Commonwealth funding of tuition costs for undergraduate courses at universities through increasing the student contribution towards these costs, and reducing the funding universities receive to cover these costs; and
  • make changes so that those in the workforce will commence repayment at much lower income levels and at higher rates.

The bill also proposes to change arrangements for permanent residents and New Zealand citizens by:

extending access to HELP loans to students in this situation, but at the same time removing access to CSPs [Commonwealth Supported Places] ... [so they will] effectively be treated the same as domestic full-fee paying students.

Find out more about the bill in its bills digest.

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

3rd Dec 2013, 8:16 PM – Representatives Higher Education Support Amendment (Savings and Other Measures) Bill 2013 - 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 more about the stages that a bill must pass through in order to become law here. ) which was moved by the Minister for Education Christopher Pyne. This means that the majority agree with the main idea of the bill.

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to remove the HECS-HELP up-front payment discount for units of study with a census date on or after 1 January 2014 and remove the HELP voluntary repayment bonus for repayments made on or after 1 January 2014.(Read more about tertiary education fees and funding in Australia here.) It also applies an efficiency dividend of 2 per cent in 2014 and 1.25 per cent in 2015 to Commonwealth contribution amounts under the Commonwealth Grant Scheme.

Yes No 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 3 0 150
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: 0 190

*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 / 190 = 0.0%.

And then