How Bob Katter voted compared to someone who believes that the Federal Government should respond to reports about high levels of child sexual abuse in some Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory by introducing the Northern Territory National Emergency Response or the very similar Stronger Futures Policy, also referred to as "the intervention"

Division Bob Katter Supporters vote Division outcome

2nd Sep 2008, 5:46 PM – Representatives Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Emergency Response Consolidation) Bill 2008 - Consideration in Detail - Maintain the strength of the Intervention

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The majority voted against a motion "[t]hat the amendments (Mr Abbott’s) be agreed to", which means that the amendments were unsuccessful.

Liberal MP Tony Abbott's amendments were:

(1) Schedule 1, item 3, clause 204 (at the end of the table), page 3, (lines 9-11), omit the item. (2) Schedule 1, item 10, clause 12, page 5 (line 7) to page 7, line 20, omit the clause, substitute “12 Condition applicable to certain subscription television narrowcasting services provided in the Northern Territory under class licences (3) Schedule 1, item 10, subclause 12(17), page 7, (line 20), after the subclause insert “12A Racial Discrimination Act (4) Schedule 1, item 13, page 8 (lines 23 to 25), omit the item. (5) Schedule 1, item 16, page 9 (line 5) to page 12 (line 10), omit the item. (6) Schedule 2, page 13 (line 2) to page 14 (line 22), omit the Schedule. (7) Schedule 3, page 15 (line 2) to page 16 (line 7), omit the Schedule.

Mr Abbott explained he believes that these amendments were important because they ensure that the Intervention is not "rendered somewhat less effective".(Read Mr Abbott's full explanation of his amendments here. )

Background to the bill

In 2007, the Northern Territory National Emergency Response ('the Intervention') was introduced in response to a report called Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle Little Children are Sacred: The Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse.(Read more about the Little Children are Sacred report here. ) The intervention was controversial and has been a source of ongoing debate.

This latest bill changes and removes some of the measures introduced as part of the Intervention. In summary, it:

  • prohibits certain pay television licensees from providing television channels that contain a large amount of R18+ programming to certain prescribed areas;
  • permits transporting pornographic material through a prescribed area to a place outside the prescribed area (currently its presence for any purpose is prohibited);
  • reintroduces elements of the permit system, which requires visitors to certain Aboriginal areas to first seek permission to enter the area; and
  • enables community dependent roadhouses to be licensed as community stores.(See the bills digest for more information.)
No Yes Not passed by a small majority

1st Sep 2008, 8:26 PM – Representatives Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Emergency Response Consolidation) Bill 2008 - Second Reading - Ban pornography completely and retain permit system

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The majority voted in favour of a motion "[t]hat the words proposed to be omitted (Mr Abbott’s amendment) stand part of the question", which means that the words that Liberal MP Tony Abbott wanted to change will remain unchanged.

Mr Abbott's amendment would have amended the original motion "[t]hat this bill be now read a second time"(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through to become law here. ) with the following:

That all words after “That” be omitted with a view to substituting the following words: “the House questions the approach reflected in this bill and: (1) calls on the Federal Government to impose a blanket ban on all pornographic material in prescribed areas; (2) calls on the Federal Government to prohibit the transport of pornographic material through any prescribed area; and (3) urges the Federal Government to leave in place the permit system amendments that have enabled access to public land.”

Background to the bill

In 2007, the Northern Territory National Emergency Response ('the Intervention') was introduced in response to a report called Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle Little Children are Sacred: The Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse.(Read more about the Little Children are Sacred report here. ) The intervention was controversial and has been a source of ongoing debate.

This latest bill changes and removes some of the measures introduced as part of the Intervention. In summary, it:

  • prohibits certain pay television licensees from providing television channels that contain a large amount of R18+ programming to certain prescribed areas;
  • permits transporting pornographic material through a prescribed area to a place outside the prescribed area (currently its presence for any purpose is prohibited);
  • reintroduces elements of the permit system, which requires visitors to certain Aboriginal areas to first seek permission to enter the area; and
  • enables community dependent roadhouses to be licensed as community stores.(See the bills digest for more information.)
No No Passed by a small majority

How "voted a mixture of for and 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 1 10 10
MP voted against policy 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 10 20

*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 / 20 = 50%.

And then