How Zali Steggall voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should introduce mandatory drug testing for people who receive certain welfare payments

Division Zali Steggall Supporters vote Division outcome

17th Oct 2019, 11:32 AM – Representatives Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2019 - Second Reading - Agree with bill's main idea

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The majority voted in favour of the bill's main idea. In other words, they voted to read the bill for a second time, which means they can now discuss it in more detail.

What is the bill's main idea?

According to the bills digest:

The purpose of the Bill is to establish a drug testing trial of 5,000 new recipients of Newstart Allowance (NA) and Youth Allowance (other) (YA) in three discrete locations over two years.

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

17th Oct 2019, 11:29 AM – Representatives Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2019 - Second Reading - Disagree with bill's main idea

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The majority voted against an amendment to the usual second reading motion "that the bill be read for a second time" (in other words, that the majority agree with the bill's main idea), which means the amendment failed. The amendment was introduced by Barton MP Linda Burney (Labor).

Amendment text

"The House declines to give the bill a second reading and:

(1) notes the overwhelming medical, expert and overseas evidence that this bill will not work to address addiction, decrease unemployment or create jobs; and

(2) calls on the Government to reject the bill and instead pursue evidence-based policy and invest in quality health and social services".

What does the bill do?

According to the bills digest:

The purpose of the Bill is to establish a drug testing trial of 5,000 new recipients of Newstart Allowance (NA) and Youth Allowance (other) (YA) in three discrete locations over two years.

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 1 50 50
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: 60 60

*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 = 60 / 60 = 100%.

And then