How Rebekha Sharkie voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should ensure that Australian sovereignty always comes first when signing trade agreements so that the government can protect Australian interests (including its workforce and industries) without risking legal action from foreign investors under provisions such as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clauses

Division Rebekha Sharkie Supporters vote Division outcome

21st Oct 2019, 5:50 PM – Representatives Customs Amendment (Growing Australian Export Opportunities Across the Asia-Pacific) Bill 2019 - Consideration in Detail - ISDS clauses

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The majority voted against an amendment introduced by Melbourne MP Adam Bandt (Greens), which means it failed. The amendment related to the ISDS clauses in the Customs Amendment (Growing Australian Export Opportunities Across the Asia-Pacific) Bill 2019.

Adam Bandt explained that:

This amendment deals with the very pernicious clauses that are in these agreements that give corporations the right to sue governments. People may not be aware of what is in these clauses. They sometimes go by the technical name of 'ISDS clauses' but they have very, very real impacts. Because these so-called free trade agreements have effectively been written by big corporations with their representatives in the Liberal Party and endorsed by the Labor Party, these agreements give corporations the right to prosecute and sue governments when governments have the temerity to pass laws that are in the interests of the wellbeing of their own citizens.

Yes Yes Not passed by a large majority

21st Oct 2019, 5:21 PM – Representatives Customs Amendment (Growing Australian Export Opportunities Across the Asia-Pacific) Bill 2019 and another - Second Reading - Protect Australian industry

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The majority voted against an amendment introduced by Brand MP Madeleine King (Labor), which means it failed. The amendment would have amended the usual second reading motion "that the bill be read for a second time" (in other words, that the majority agree with the main idea of the bill).

Amendment text

That all words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

"whilst not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House:

(1) notes with concern potential temporary foreign labour arrangements concerning Contractual Service Suppliers;

(2) notes the importance of ensuring robust public interest safeguards, including on health and environmental law, relating to the new, modernised investor-state dispute settlement provisions;

(3) commends the outstanding work by civil society, the wider labour movement and the trade union movement in campaigning against antiquated investor-state dispute settlement provisions, for better, fairer free trade agreements;

(4) calls on the government to implement the recommendation made by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, to ensure that future proposed free trade agreements are accompanied by independent modelling and analysis;

(5) notes with concern the growth in worker exploitation under current temporary work visa arrangements; and

(6) calls on the Government to rigorously enforce anti-dumping measures to ensure Australian industry is not subject to anti-competitive and predatory trade practices".

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

How "voted a mixture of for and 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 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 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 10 20

*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 / 20 = 50%.

And then