How Matt Thistlethwaite voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should, in relation to agricultural and veterinary ('agvet') chemicals, implement a mandatory scheme for the re-approval of active constituents and re-registration of chemical products to ensure their ongoing safety

Division Matt Thistlethwaite Supporters vote Division outcome

28th Jun 2013, 11:08 AM – Senate Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 - Third Reading - Read a third time

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The majority agreed to a motion that the remaining stages of the bill be agreed to and the bill be now passed.(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through to become law here. ) This means that the majority of senators agree with the bill and want to read it for a third time, meaning that is passed in the Senate. Since the bill has already been agreed to in the House of Representatives, it will now become law.

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to implement one of the Government's 2010 election promises. This promise was made in response to recommendations of the Australian National Audit Office and the Productivity Commission.(Read more about the background to the bill in its bills digest. )

It amends the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code (the Agvet Code) which is a Schedule to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994 to:

  • through a risk-based approach, improve: the consistency and transparency of the process for making, and assessing, applications for approval of an active constituent for a proposed, or existing, chemical product; and the registration of a chemical product and approval of a label for the containers of a chemical product

  • insert a new requirement that existing approvals and registrations operate for a finite period and, when that period has elapsed, a new application must be lodged for re-approval or re-registration and

  • update existing offences, create new offences and insert civil penalty provisions.(Read more about the background to the bill in its bills digest.


Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

How "voted consistently 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 1 50 50
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 50 50

*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 = 50 / 50 = 100%.

And then