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

Division Bob Debus Supporters vote Division outcome

17th Aug 2009, 9:10 PM – Representatives Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2009 and related bills - Consideration in Detail - Coalition amendments

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The majority voted against a series of amendments introduced by Liberal MP Greg Hunt. This means that the amendments will not be proceeding.

Briefly, Hunt MP explained that the amendments would have done the following:(You can read his whole explanation here. )

  • "a full and complete decoupling of the energy intensive sector from the emissions trading scheme"
  • "ensure that the 35½ thousand gigawatt hours of new energy carries with it a 90 per cent exemption for the aluminium sector, because it is perhaps the most energy-intensive and trade-exposed sector of all"
  • "guarantee security for the food processing sector"
  • "ensure that a loophole in relation to the heat pump sector is dealt with"
  • "achieve a target of 8,875 gigawatt hours by 2020, or exactly one-quarter of the 35,500 gigawatt hours of additional energy contained in this bill as the new and additional renewable energy target ... [and] ensure that that quarter ... is reserved for the emerging technologies"

Background to the bills

These three bills were introduced as a package to separate the existing Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme into two parts: the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) and the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).(Read more about the RET scheme here and here. ) This split recognises the difference in scale between the household and industrial sectors.

The RET scheme was first introduced by the Howard Government in 2001 with the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Bill 2000. It supports renewable energy by requiring large buyers of electricity to source a greater percentage of electricity from renewable sources.(Read more about this original bill in its bills digest (1.5 MB).)

The three bills are:


No No Not passed by a small majority

How "voted very strongly 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 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 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 10 10

*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 / 10 = 100%.

And then