How Eric Hutchinson voted compared to someone who believes that Members of Parliament (MPs) and Senators should vote to suspend standing and sessional orders (that is, the procedural rules of Parliament) so that their colleagues can introduce motions for Parliament to vote on even when the the procedural rules would prevent them from doing so

Division Eric Hutchinson Supporters vote Division outcome

5th May 2016, 11:28 AM – Representatives Motions - Budget - Suspend standing orders

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion to suspend the procedural rules (known as the standing orders) so that Labor MP Chris Bowen (the Member for McMahon) could introduce a motion for House of Representatives to vote on.

Motion text

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the member for McMahon from moving the following motion forthwith:

(1) notes that in an extraordinary interview with David Speers on Sky News this morning:

(a) the Prime Minister said that Treasury “has not identified the dollar cost” of the centrepiece of his Budget, the 10-year tax cut for big business:

(i) but a moment later, the Prime Minister said Treasury had modelled the cost; and

(ii) yet later, the Prime Minister said the cost of his centrepiece 10-year tax cut for big business was outlined on page 3-11 of Budget Paper No. 1 despite the fact, that page does not mention companies or corporations or small businesses even once; and

(b) the Prime Minister said the $55 billion cost of his centrepiece 10-year tax cut for big business nominated by economist Chris Richardson “may well be right”;

(2) condemns the Prime Minister for delivering a Budget which is a fraud on the Australian people by having a centrepiece without a cost attached; and

(3) calls on the Prime Minister to attend the House to finally come clean about the 10-year cost for the 10-year tax cut for big business.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

19th Apr 2016, 3:32 PM – Representatives Motions - High Speed Rail Planning Authority Bill 2016 - Suspend standing orders

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion to suspend standing orders to let Labor MP Anthony Albanese to move a motion related to his bill, the High Speed Rail Planning Authority Bill 2016.

Albanese MP wanted to speed up discussion on his bill so that it didn't lapse due to Parliament dissolving and the approaching election. However, since this motion was unsuccessful, it seems likely that the bill will now lapse (as indeed happened).

Motion text

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the Member for Grayndler from moving the following motion forthwith—That private Members' business No. 1 relating to the High Speed Rail Planning Authority Bill 2016, standing in the name of the Member for Grayndler, being called on immediately and being given priority over all other business for passage through all stages.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

16th Mar 2016, 3:20 PM – Representatives Motions - Turnbull Government - Suspend standing motions

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten to suspend standing orders.

Motion text

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the Member for Maribyrnong from moving the following motion forthwith—

That the House:

(1) notes that:

(a) when the Prime Minister deposed the Member for Waringah, he promised new economic leadership for Australia;

(b) the Prime Minister promised a significant tax reform agenda; and

(c) the Turnbull Government has said the entire reason for its tax reform agenda was to deliver personal income tax cuts for Australians; and

(2) notes that in the chaotic six months since the Prime Minister deposed the Member for Warringah, the Turnbull Government has:

(a) floated and then shelved plans for an increased GST;

(b) floated and then shelved plans for dealing with what the Government described as the excesses in negative gearing;

(c) backflipped on superannuation tax concessions;

(d) attacked Labor’s responsible plan for tobacco excise but now plans to adopt some or all of it; and

(e) floated and then shelved personal income tax cuts for Australians;

(3) notes that the only policies the Government has kept on the table are extreme cuts, including from the 2014 Budget, including plans for $100,000 university degrees, cuts to family payments, cuts to pensions, cuts to Medicare, and cuts to schools and hospitals; and

(4) condemns the Government and the Prime Minister for failing to meet their own tests, including failing to:

(a) provide new economic leadership;

(b) respect the intelligence of the Australian people;

(c) deliver any tax reform; and

(d) deliver a stable and competent Government but instead leading a Government wracked by chaos and dysfunction.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

10th Feb 2016, 3:16 PM – Representatives Motions - Prime Minister; Attempted Censure - Suspend standing orders

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten, which means it was unsuccessful

Motion text

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the Member for Maribyrnong from moving the following motion forthwith—

That the House:

(1) notes the Minister for Human Services assisted Nimrod Resources during a trip to China in August 2014 by:

(a) participating in a signing ceremony to seal a mining deal between Nimrod Resources and a Chinese state-owned company;

(b) presenting what have been described as a "medal" from the Prime Minister and a "letter of appointment" to an official of the Chinese state-owned company; and

(c) meeting with the Chinese Vice-Minister for Land and Resources accompanied by executives of Nimrod Resources;

(2) further notes that:

(a) before he travelled to China in August 2014, the Minister for Human Services did not advise Australian officials that he was to meet with the Chinese Vice-Minister for Land and Resources accompanied by executives of Nimrod Resources;

(b) the Government is refusing to disclose whether Defence security protocols were breached by the Minister while he was in China;

(c) the principal of Nimrod Resources, Paul Marks, has donated more than $2 million to the Liberal Party in the past two financial years; and

(d) the Minister for Human Services has already admitted to the House that he was travelling in a personal capacity when he assisted Nimrod Resources during his trip to China, and therefore, his actions were a direct breach of Clause 2.20 of the Prime Minister's own Statement of Ministerial Standards; and

(3) censures the Prime Minister for failing to enforce his own Statement of Ministerial Standards and sack the Minister for Human Services.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

9th Feb 2015, 3:32 PM – Representatives Motions — Prime Minister — Suspension of standing orders

Show detail

The House of Representatives voted 87 to 54 against a motion by Bill Shorten, MP for Maribyrnong and Leader of the Opposition, to suspend Parliamentary rules and business that would prevent him moving a motion of 'no confidence' in the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott MP for Warringah.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

3rd Dec 2014 – Representatives Motions - Prime Minister; Attempted Censure - Against university fee deregulation

Show detail

The majority didn't want to let Opposition Leader Bill Shorten introduce a motion condemning the Government's plan to deregulate university fees. This means that Mr Shorten can't introduce the motion.

Deregulating university fees

The Government has proposed to remove any restrictions on the amount that universities can charge students for tuition in Commonwealth Supported Places. It is not known how much fees will rise if this proposal is successfully passed through Parliament.

Text of the motion

That so much of the standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent the Member for Maribyrnong from moving the following motion forthwith—That the House:

(1) condemns the Prime Minister for his plans to:

(a) force Australian students to pay $100,000 for university degrees;

(b) saddle Australian students with a debt sentence;

(c) force young Australians to choose between owning a home and getting a degree;

(d) force Australians to choose between starting a family and getting a degree; and

(e) stop older Australians from developing new skills in a changing economy;

(2) condemns the Prime Minister for:

(a) saying one thing on higher education before the election and doing the opposite after;

(b) his failure to listen to the Australian people who have comprehensively rejected the Prime Minister’s plans for $100,000 university degrees; and

(c) his failure to listen to the Senate which voted against the Prime Minister’s $100,000 degree proposal only last night; and

(3) calls on the Prime Minister to immediately bring the Higher Education and Research Reform Bill on for debate, if the Government is determined to introduce the bill, so that this Parliament can again comprehensively reject the Prime Minister’s plans for $100,000 degrees.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

26th Nov 2014, 10:04 AM – Representatives Motions - Prime Minister; Attempted Censure - Let motion against ABC cuts be moved

Show detail

The majority disagreed with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's motion to suspend standing and sessional orders so that he is able to move his motion against the proposed cuts to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). This means that the orders stay in place, blocking Mr Shorten from introducing his motion.

Background to the motion

Before the 2013 federal election, then Opposition Leader Tony Abbott had promised that there would be "no cuts to the ABC or SBS" (see the interview with SBS and ABC's FactCheck analysis for the ABC promise and the SBS promise).

Full motion text

That so much of the standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent the Member for Maribyrnong from moving the following motion forthwith:

That the House—

(1) notes that:

(a) on Monday 24 November 2014, the Prime Minister stated to the House, "We are applying an efficiency dividend to the ABC" [see ABC News]; and

(b) the next day, the Minister for Communications directly contradicted the Prime Minister's statement in the House by stating on Sky News, "It is not an efficiency dividend" and again, "This is not an efficiency dividend" [see the Guardian]: and

(2) censures the Prime Minister for deliberately misleading:

(a) the parliament;

(b) the Australian people when he promised on the night before the last election that there would be "No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST, and no cuts to the ABC or SBS" [see that interview]; and

(c) the Australian people when he said, "It is an absolute principle of democracy that governments should not and must not say one thing before an election and do the opposite afterwards".

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

26th Nov 2014 – Representatives Motions - Defence Procurement, Minister for Defence - Let Opposition Leader put motion

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion letting the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Bill Shorten, put a motion condemning the Minister for Defence.

Wording of the motion

That so much of the standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent the honourable Leader of the Opposition from moving the following motion forthwith—

That the House:

(1) notes that the Minister for Defence:

(a) promised on 8 May 2013 that the Coalition "will deliver those submarines from right here at ASC in South Australia. The Coalition today is committed to building 12 new submarines here in Adelaide.", and then broke that promise worth $20 billion;

(b) cut the real pay, Christmas and recreation leave for Australia's Defence men and women; and

(c) insulted the highly skilled and dedicated workers at ASC on 25 November 2014 by saying he "did not trust them to build a canoe";

(2) calls on the Prime Minister to immediately attend the House and confirm:

(a) why he has failed to direct the Minister for Defence to withdraw his insulting remarks; and

(b) whether he retains full confidence in the Minister for Defence; and

(3) should the Prime Minister fail to attend the House, that the House:

(a) condemns the Prime Minister for his failure to stand up for Australia’s Defence personnel; and

(b) calls on the Prime Minister to sack the Minister for Defence.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

24th Nov 2014, 3:26 PM – Representatives Motions - Prime Minister - Attempted Censure

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion letting the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Bill Shorten, put a motion condemning the Prime Minister.

Wording of the motion

That so much of standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent that Honourable the Leader of the Opposition from moving the following motion immediately.

That this House censures the Prime Minister for:

1) repeatedly and deliberately misleading the parliament and the Australian people by:

a) promising no cuts to the ABC or SBS, but cutting over $500 million and at least 400 jobs from these organisations;

b) promising before the election no cuts to education, no cuts to health, but cutting $80 billion from schools and hospitals;

c) promising before the election no cuts to education, but cutting more than $5.8 billion from our universities, meaning Australian students will pay more than $100,000 for a degree;

d) promising before the election no cuts to health, but hitting every Australian with a GP tax every time they visit the doctor;

e) promising no changes to pensions, but cutting $450 million from pension indexation;

f) promising no change to the GST, but blackmailing states and territories to make the case for him;

g) promising to build submarines in Australia, but going back on this promise; and

h) promising no new or increased taxes, but ambushing the Australian people with a $2.2 billion petrol tax.

2) for his dishonest and unfair budget which is hurting Australians.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

27th Oct 2014, 3:16 PM – Representatives Attempted Censure — Minister for Agriculture

Show detail

Tony Burke sought to move a motion of censure against Barnaby Joyce (the Minister for Agriculture).

I move:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would allow the member for Watson to move the following resolution forthwith:

That this House censures the Minister for Agriculture for:

(1) the misleading the House on Monday 20 October; and

(2) attempting to improperly alter the official Hansard record in order to cover up this misleading of the House.

You can read more about this incident in the SMH article Barnaby Joyce has Hansard changed back after being caught out over correction and read the official correction policy for Hansard released in a Freedom of Information request.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

1st Sep 2014, 1:43 PM – Representatives Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Bill 2014 — Consideration in Detail — Suspend standing and sessional orders

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by Labor MP Chris Bowen. The motion was:

That so much of the standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent the honourable member for McMahon [Mr Bowen] from moving the following motion forthwith-That the debate be adjourned until the next sitting day to provide members with an opportunity to examine the legislation.

This means that Mr Bowen is not able to introduce his motion to adjourn the debate.

Background to the bill

This bill was introduced following the Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Bill 2013 (No. 2) being laid aside because it could not "be progressed in its current form".(Read more about this bill being set aside here. The division which resulted in that bill being laid aside is available here. )

This bill repeals the Minerals Resource Rent Tax as well as related measures such as the low income superannuation contribution, the income support bonus and the schoolkids bonus. The bill also revises the capital allowances for small business entities and the superannuation guarantee charge percentage increase.(Read more about the changes made in the bill in the explanatory memorandum. ) Under the previous Labor government, the superannuation was set to increase to 12 per cent by 2019 (as of 1 July 2014, it is at 9.5 per cent).(Read more about superannuation in Australia here.) However, this bill will push that rise up until 1 July 2025.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

16th Jul 2014, 6:30 PM – Representatives National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Bill 2014 — Third Reading — Suspend standing and sessional orders

Show detail

The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Minister for Health Peter Dutton. The motion was:

That, pursuant to contingent notice, so much of the standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent the remaining stages being passed without delay.(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through to become law here. )

Because this motion was successful, Mr Dutton can now introduce the motion "That this bill be now read a third time", which he subsequently did.

Background to the bill

The bill implements one of the measures proposed by the Government as part of its 2014-15 Budget.(Read more about the Government's Budget proposal here. ) It will amend the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme ('PBS') so as to:

  • increase the concessional patient co-payment by 80 cents from 1 January 2015;
  • increase the general patient co-payment by $5.00 from 1 January 2015;
  • increase the concessional safety net threshold by two prescriptions each year for four years, from 2015 to 2018; and
  • increase the general patient safety net threshold by 10 per cent each year for four years, from 2015 to 2018.

(More information about the bill, including its explanatory memorandum and bills digest, is available here.)

A co-payment is the amount paid by the patient towards the cost of their PBS medicine. The government covers the rest of the cost.

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

25th Jun 2014, 6:52 PM – Representatives Carbon Farming Initiative Amendment Bill 2014 - Third Reading - Suspend standing orders so as to move third reading motion

Show detail

The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Liberal MP Christopher Pyne, which was:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the motion for the third reading being moved without delay.

Because this motion was successful, the House will now vote on whether to read the bill for a third time and therefore pass it in the House.(See that third reading division here. )

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to establish the Emissions Reduction Fund to replace the carbon price and to provide a transition for the Carbon Farming Initiative.(Read more about the bill in its explanatory memorandum. ) This is a central part of the Government's Direct Action policy,(Read more about Coalition's Direct Action policy on ABC News here. ) which was a key election commitment of the Coalition.

The Carbon Farming Initiative was introduced by the previous Labor Government and is a voluntary carbon offsets scheme that currently "allows farmers and land managers to earn carbon credits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (such as nitrous oxide and methane) and storing carbon in vegetation and soils through changes to agricultural and land management practices (also known as carbon farming)".(Read more about the Carbon Farming Initiative here. )

The Coalition Government supports the Carbon Farming Initiative but Minister for Environment Greg Hunt has said that it "can be better, stronger, simpler and more streamlined",(Read Mr Hunt's full comments here. ) which is what this bill aims to do with its changes to the approvals process and the introduction of a 25-year-long option for carbon sequestration projects (currently all projects must run for a period of 100 years).(Read more about the changes in the bill's explanatory memorandum here.)

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

6th Mar 2014, 12:27 PM – Representatives Qantas Sale Amendment Bill 2014 - Third Reading - Suspend standing orders

Show detail

The majority voted in favour of a motion "That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the motion for the third reading being moved without delay." This motion was introduced by Liberal MP Christopher Pyne.

Passing this motion means that the Coalition can now move that the bill be read for a third time, which would mean the bill would be passed in the House. That motion was subsequently introduced by Nationals MP Warren Truss.(See the division on that motion here. )

Background to the bill

The Qantas Sale Amendment Bill 2014 was introduced to remove the foreign ownership and other restrictions that apply to Qantas but do not apply to other airlines based in Australia.(Read more on ABC News and on ABC Radio's AM program. ) These restrictions include: limits on the issue and ownership of Qantas shares, the makeup of the board of directors, use of the name Qantas and the location of the head office, place of incorporation and principle place of business.(Read more in the bills digest (852 KB).)

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

14th Nov 2013, 3:24 PM – Representatives Motions - Asylum Seekers - Transparency

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by MP Bill Shorten which is: "That so much of the standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent the Honourable Member for Maribyrnong [i.e. MP Shorten] from moving the motion forthwith."

This means that MP Shorten is not able to move his initial motion, which was:

That the House:

(1) notes the:

(a) Prime Minister's failure to lead an 'open and transparent' government, despite promising the Australian people he would;

(b) repeated failure of the Minister for Immigration to answer questions inside and outside the Parliament; and

(c) Government's setting aside of ministerial responsibility to pursue media spin; and

(2) calls on the Minister for Immigration to immediately explain:

(a) details about the boat carrying Somali asylum seekers that arrived in Darwin on 11 November 2013; (Read about the boat arrival on ABC News here and here. )

(b) reported statements by BASARNAS concerning the Australian interception of an asylum seeker vessel and subsequent actions and events on or around November 7; and (Read more about this interception on ABC News here. )

(c) how the Government intends to pursue its election commitment to turn back boats to Indonesia and buy back boats in fishing villages. (Read the Government's election commitment here (2 MB).)

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small 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 3 150 150
MP voted against policy 12 0 600
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: 150 750

*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 = 150 / 750 = 20%.

And then