How Matt Thistlethwaite voted compared to someone who believes that there should be more independent access to detention centres and more information provided about the management of asylum seekers under Australian government policy, including the interception of boats at sea

Division Matt Thistlethwaite Supporters vote Division outcome

16th May 2013, 11:28 AM – Senate Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - In Committee - Media access

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The majority voted against an amendment proposed by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. This amendment would require that media access to offshore detention facilities be of the same standard as the current access in Australian detention facilities. The Greens proposed this amendment to allow for the proper scrutiny of offshore detention facilities.

Someone who votes aye for this amendment supports these measures. The majority voted no to this amendment, so it was unsuccessful.

Background of the Bill

This bill was introduced in response to a report by the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, particularly Recommendation 14 which states that: "the Migration Act 1958 be amended so that arrival anywhere on Australia by irregular maritime means will not provide individuals with a different lawful status than those who arrive in an excise offshore place".(Read the full report here. )

By implementing this recommendation, the bill extends the excision regime that was introduced in 2001 following the Tampa affair. That regime provides that asylum seekers who arrive in Australia at excised offshore places are unable to apply for protection visas (in effect, refugee status under Australian law) unless the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship decides it is in the public interest that they do so. The effect of this bill will be to extend the excision provisions to the whole country.(More information on the Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012 is available on the bills digest (680 KB). Also see an ABC news report explaining the effect of this bill here.)

This means that all asylum seekers arriving by boat in either mainland Australia or an offshore Australian territory that has been excised are unable to apply for protection visas and will be sent to regional processing countries (currently Papua New Guinea and Nauru) for the processing of their refugee claims. The rationale behind this legislation is the need to discourage asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat because of the dangers involved.

References

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

16th May 2013, 11:06 AM – Senate Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - In Committee - AHRC access

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The majority voted against an amendment proposed by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. This amendment would require that the Australian Human Rights Commission ('AHRC') be able to visit, inspect and report on the conditions in offshore processing countries. This access would have to be equivalent to access the AHRC would have in Australia.

Someone who votes aye for this amendment supports these measures. The majority voted no to this amendment, so it was unsuccessful.

Background of the Bill

This bill was introduced in response to a report by the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, particularly Recommendation 14 which states that: "the Migration Act 1958 be amended so that arrival anywhere on Australia by irregular maritime means will not provide individuals with a different lawful status than those who arrive in an excise offshore place".(Read the full report here. )

By implementing this recommendation, the bill extends the excision regime that was introduced in 2001 following the Tampa affair. That regime provides that asylum seekers who arrive in Australia at excised offshore places are unable to apply for protection visas (in effect, refugee status under Australian law) unless the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship decides it is in the public interest that they do so. The effect of this bill will be to extend the excision provisions to the whole country.(More information on the Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012 is available on the bills digest (680 KB). Also see an ABC news report explaining the effect of this bill here.)

This means that all asylum seekers arriving by boat in either mainland Australia or an offshore Australian territory that has been excised are unable to apply for protection visas and will be sent to regional processing countries (currently Papua New Guinea and Nauru) for the processing of their refugee claims. The rationale behind this legislation is the need to discourage asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat because of the dangers involved.

References

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

7th Feb 2013, 12:18 PM – Senate Motions - Immigration Detention Facilities - Media access

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The majority voted against a motion moved by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, which was:

''That the Senate calls on the government to:

(a) facilitate media access to the detention camps in Nauru and Manus Island to provide for transparency and public accountability about the conditions inside the camps;(Read more about the Australian mandatory detention policy here.)

(b) lift the current ban on photographs and footage of the detention facilities; and

(c) allow consenting asylum seekers and refugees within the facilities to speak freely to media agencies and journalists.

References

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

12th Sep 2012, 11:45 AM – Senate Motions - Republic of Nauru - 12 month limit on detention

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The majority voted against an amendment introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. This would have amended a previous motion(See the division on that motion here.) with the following:

At the end of the motion, add “with the inclusion of a 12 month time limit on detention of an individual in Nauru, and calls on the Government to immediately establish an independent Health Care Panel to monitor and evaluate the medical, psychological and psychiatric welfare of refugees sent offshore”.

References

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

16th Aug 2012, 9:09 PM – Senate Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - In Committee - Independent annual review

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The majority voted against an amendment proposed by Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

This amendment would require the Immigration Minister to conduct an independent annual review of offshore regional processing facilities. This review would also include a review of the protection and welfare arrangements in each regional processing country. Such a report would have to be released to the public within 14 days of the Minister for Immigration receiving it.

Someone who votes aye for this amendment supports these measures. The majority voted no to this amendment, so it was unsuccessful.

Background to the bill

This bill was originally introduced in the House of Representatives as the Migration Legislation Amendment (Offshore Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2011. It was drafted in response to the High Court's judgement in Plaintiff M70/2011 v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship () HCA 32, which put an end to the Labor Government's Malaysia Solution policy.(Read more about the decision on Wikipedia here and on ABC News here. Read more about the effect of this decision on the Malaysia Solution here.)

To this end, the bill amends the Migration Act 1958 to replace the existing framework for taking offshore entry persons to another country for assessment of their claims to be refugees. The bill also replaces discretionary detention with mandatory detention for all asylum seekers at an offshore place, such as Christmas Island, and alters the Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act 1946 in relation to making and implementing any decision to remove, deport or take a non-citizen child from Australia by overriding the guardianship obligations under that Act.

References

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

12th Oct 2011 – Senate Motions - Asylum Seekers - Siev X

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

The motion was:

That the Senate-    (a)   recalls, with regret, that on 19 October 2001, the SIEV X carrying approximately 400 asylum seekers sank on its way to Australia, resulting in the drowning of 146 children, 142 women and 65 men and only 41 people survived; and (b)   notes that:       (i)   in interviews with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, survivors told of the involvement of the Indonesian military in the boarding and organising of the voyage,       (ii)   survivors reported that they saw two military vessels appear, shine lights on the water and sail away,       (iii)    HMAS Arunta stood 4 hours away,       (iv)   Australia maintained a People Smuggling Disruption Program in the region at the time,(Read about the People Smuggling Disruption Program here. For more, read Senator John Faulkner's additional comments.)       (v)   the Australian listening station at Shoal Bay was operational at the time, and       (vi)   many outstanding serious questions remain about the failure to rescue desperate people in the water and must be answered in the interest of justice and humanity; and    (c)   calls on the Government to establish a judicial inquiry into the SIEV X, subsequent investigations in the SIEV X tragedy and all circumstances pertaining to its voyage, loss and rescue of survivors.

References

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted moderately 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 2 100 100
MP voted against policy 4 0 200
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 1 10 10
MP voted against policy 2 0 20
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 110 330

*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 = 110 / 330 = 33%.

And then