How Matt Thistlethwaite voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase investment in renewable energy technologies

Division Matt Thistlethwaite Supporters vote Division outcome

28th Feb 2013, 11:30 AM – Senate Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment (Excessive Noise from Wind Farms) Bill 2012 - Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted against a motion to read the bill for a second time.

This means that the majority of senators reject the main idea of the act, which was to provide the Clean Energy Regulator with powers to ensure that accredited power stations that are wind farms do not create excessive noise.(Read more about the bill here, including its explanatory memorandum. )

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced by Democratic Labor Party Senator John Madigan, also on behalf of Independent Senator Nick Xenophon.

Currently, there are questions about whether the noise generated by wind farms may cause health problems.(For example, read about the divided reactions surrounding a proposed major wind farm project in South Australia here. ) However, this is widely disputed.(For example, the South Australian Environmental Protection Authority rejected the link between wind farms and health almost a month before this vote took place (see here. ) These concerns reflect similar debates around the world in communities that are affected by wind farms.(Read more about these debates here.)

References

No No Not passed by a small majority

20th Sep 2012, 12:03 PM – Senate Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment (Excessive Noise from Wind Farms) Bill 2012 - Reference to Committee

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Democratic Labor Party Senator John Madigan on behalf of himself and Independent Senator Nick Xenophon.

The motion was:

That the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment (Excessive Noise from Wind Farms) Bill 2012 be referred to the Environment and Communications References Committee for inquiry and report by 29 November 2012.

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced by Senator Madigan, also on behalf of Senator Xenophon, to provide the Clean Energy Regulator with powers to ensure that accredited power stations that are wind farms do not create excessive noise.(Read more about the bill here, including its explanatory memorandum. )

Currently, there are questions about whether the noise generated by wind farms may cause health problems.(For example, read about the divided reactions surrounding a proposed major wind farm project in South Australia here. ) However, this is widely disputed.(For example, the South Australian Environmental Protection Authority rejected the link between wind farms and health almost a month before this vote took place (see here. ) These concerns reflect similar debates around the world in communities that are affected by wind farms.(Read more about these debates here.)

References

No No Not passed by a small majority

25th Jun 2012, 8:28 PM – Senate Clean Energy Finance Corporation Bill 2012 - Third Reading - Read a third time

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

Its purpose was to establish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

This means that the majority of senators agree that the bill should be passed in the Senate. Since the bill has already passed in the House of Representatives, the bill can now become law.

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to establish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation as a body corporate and establish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Special Account.(Learn more about the Clean Energy Finance Corporation on Radio National Breakfast. ) The development and managing of this account is referred at as the 'investment mandate'.(Read more about the investment mandate here. See also the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Investment Mandate Direction 2013 here.) Its purpose is to invest strategically in renewable energy, low emissions and energy efficiency projects and technologies in Australia.

References

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

25th Jun 2012, 8:24 PM – Senate Clean Energy Finance Corporation Bill 2012 - 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.

This means that the majority of senators agree with the main idea of the bill, which was to establish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Now the bill can be discussed in greater detail.

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to establish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation as a body corporate and establish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Special Account.(Learn more about the Clean Energy Finance Corporation on Radio National Breakfast. ) The development and managing of this account is referred at as the 'investment mandate'.(Read more about the investment mandate here. See also the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Investment Mandate Direction 2013 here.) Its purpose is to invest strategically in renewable energy, low emissions and energy efficiency projects and technologies in Australia.

References

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

15th Mar 2012, 12:12 PM – Senate Motions - Coal - From coal to clean energy market

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Christine Milne, which means the motion was unsuccessful.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) China's twelfth 5 year plan is expected to introduce caps on coal use from 2015,

(ii) the price of coking coal has already dropped some 40 per cent in the past year, due in large part to a drop in China's demand for imported coal,

(iii) China expects utility scale solar power to out-compete new coal-fired power stations by the end of the decade, while the Indian Government expects the cost crossover as soon as 2016,

(iv) India's economic giant, Tata Power, has publicly stated that its new investments will favour renewable energy, as coal power is becoming 'impossible' to develop,

(v) the Australian Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics (BREE) continues to predict that coal exports will double over the next two decades, and

(vi) Australia is leaving itself economically exposed by focusing on the development of coal export infrastructure; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) require BREE to review its modelling based on the current geopolitics of coal, and

(ii) rethink Australia's economic settings, which assume ongoing increases in the coal export market, and instead look to broaden Australia's economic base and build a more competitive clean energy economy.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

8th Feb 2012, 4:30 PM – Senate Motions - Wind Farms - Act on the Community Affairs References Committee's recommendations

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The majority voted in favour of an amendment introduced by Senator Simon Birmingham.

The original motion that Senator Birmingham wanted to amend was introduced by Senator John Madigan. It was:

"That the Senate—

(a) notes that on 23 June 2011 the Community Affairs References Committee tabled its final report,(Read the full report here (2.7 MB). Read the Government's response to the report's recommendations here (344 KB). More information about the health concerns related to wind farms is available here.) Social and economic impact of rural wind farms containing seven recommendations, including recommendations calling for studies on the effects of wind farms on human health; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) immediately act on the committee's recommendations in the report, and

(ii) support a moratorium on the construction of further wind turbines until the recommendations have been satisfactorily addressed."

Senator Birmingham's amendment to this motion was:

"That the Senate—

Omit subparagraph (b)(ii), so that paragraph (b) now reads:

(b) calls on the Government to immediately act on the committee's recommendations in the report."

References

No Yes Passed by a small majority

How "voted moderately for" 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 2 100 100
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 6 60 60
MP voted against policy 3 0 30
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 160 190

*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 = 160 / 190 = 84%.

And then