How David Smith voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should support the Adani Group's plans to build the Carmichael mine in Queensland's Galilee Basin

Division David Smith Supporters vote Division outcome

2nd Apr 2019, 5:00 PM – Senate Motions - Mining - Donations + Adani

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) this year, Adani has confirmed it released contaminated water into the Caley Valley Wetlands from its Abbot Point Operations last week at twice the rate it is licensed for, earning it a $13,055 penalty infringement fine from the Queensland Department of Environment and Science,

(ii) this is the second time Adani has breached licence requirements at the site and exceeded pollution limits into the wetlands area,

(iii) the Queensland Government is prosecuting Adani for the first known contaminated water release, which occurred in 2017,

(iv) Adani Mining, as part of the Adani Group, has been investigated by the Department of the Environment and Energy for potential breach of its approval conditions for the Carmichael Mine, under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EBPC Act), for unlawfully clearing vegetation and sinking groundwater dewatering bores,

(v) Adani Infrastructure, as part of the Adani Group, has applied for EPBC Act approval for a pipeline to bring water to the mine site for washing of the coal,

(vi) Adani donated $35,000 to the Liberal Party and $15,000 to One Nation in the 2017-18 financial year, and

(vii) opening up the Galilee Basin for the Adani Carmichael coal mine would release low quality thermal coal carbon emissions into the atmosphere, with catastrophic impacts on our climate, manifesting in heatwaves, storms, fires and floods of even greater magnitude than what we have seen this summer; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) return the $35,000 donation made by Adani to the Liberal Party,

(ii) review Adani's environmental approval under section 145 of the EPBC Act, based on new information, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 2018 Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5 °C, and the evidence of Adani's breaches of environmental law, both in Australia and overseas,

(iii) refuse to approve Adani's draft groundwater management plan,

(iv) refuse approval under the EPBC Act for the pipeline the mine requires, the North Galilee Water scheme,

(v) revoke all federal approvals for the Adani Carmichael mine, and not approve any new coal in Australia, and

(vi) apply caretaker conventions and seek Labor's assent to positions taken on the groundwater management plan and the pipeline the mine requires, and on whether to review and revoke the mine approval.

No No Not passed by a modest majority

4th Dec 2018, 4:42 PM – Senate Motions - Mining - Support Adani

Show detail

The same number of senators voted Yes and No to this motion, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) recognises:

(i) the Liberal-National Coalition Government's enduring support for investment in Central and North Queensland,

(ii) the Liberal-National Coalition Government's unmatched support for the creation of jobs and new opportunities in Central and North Queensland,

(iii) the Liberal-National Coalition Government's support for Adani's Carmichael Mine project, and

(iv) that in the previous financial year, the resources sector contributed $62 billion to Queensland's economy and was responsible for more than 54,000 full-time jobs;

(b) further recognises that the Adani Carmichael Mine project is overwhelmingly supported by the Wangan and Jagalingou people, the Traditional Owners;

(c) notes that it was announced on 29 November 2018 that Adani's Carmichael Mine project would proceed; and

(d) welcomes the jobs and prosperity that this project will bring to the people of Central and North Queensland.

No Yes Not passed

4th Dec 2018, 4:15 PM – Senate Motions - Mining - Against Adani mine

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters (Qld), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate agrees that the Adani Carmichael coalmine should not go ahead.

No No Not passed by a modest majority

26th Nov 2018, 5:20 PM – Senate Motions - Coal-Fired Power Stations - Good for economy and regional jobs

Show detail

The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by National Party Senator John Williams (NSW) also on behalf of National Party Senator Barry O'Sullivan (Qld), which means it succeeded. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own but are politically influential because they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate notes that—

(a) throughout the world, 2440 coal-fired power stations with a capacity of at least 30 megawatts continue to provide a reliable source of energy;

(b) a further 270 coal-fired power stations of similar capacity are under construction;

(c) in its latest World Energy Outlook, the International Energy Agency (the Agency) estimates the growth in demand for coal in the Asia Pacific will increase by 492 million tonnes of coal equivalent by 2040;

(d) the Agency has forecast Australia's net exports of coal would grow by around 20% to around 430 million tonnes of coal equivalent by 2040;

(e) the Agency notes that, in Australia, in order to expand export volumes in the future, new basins and new transport infrastructure would need to be developed, including railway connections between new mines in the Galilee Basin in Queensland, such as Adani's Carmichael mine, and export ports; and

(f) the production and export of Australian high quality coal is good for jobs in regional Australia and the broader economy.

No Yes Passed by a small majority

16th Oct 2018, 4:30 PM – Senate Motions - Climate Change - Donations, climate policy and Adani

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters (Qld), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecasts that warming of 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels will see the death of 100 per cent of coral reefs globally, and that warming of 1.5°C will see 90 per cent of coral reefs die,

(ii) that the IPCC forecasts that warming is likely to reach 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels between 2030 and 2052 if it continues at the current trajectory,

(iii) the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) report, released on 18 September 2018, Impacts of Climate Change on World Heritage Coral Reefs: Update to the First Global Scientific Assessment, which confirms that remaining within 1.5°C climate target is critical for survival of World Heritage-listed coral reefs,

(iv) the statement by the Chair of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation Board during the Brisbane hearing of the inquiry into the Great Barrier Reef 2050 Partnership Program, that "many reefs around the world are classified as in danger, regardless of whether UNESCO has them listed", and

(v) that 64 000 people rely on jobs supported by the Great Barrier Reef; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) ban corporate donations to political parties from the fossil fuel industry, an industry which financially benefits from this Government's lack of action on climate change,

(ii) get a climate policy that limits global warming to 1 degrees to protect the Great Barrier Reef and Australians from extreme weather events, and

(iii) revoke all federal approvals for the Adani Carmichael mine, and not approve any new coal in Australia.

No No Not passed by a large majority

15th Oct 2018, 4:26 PM – Senate Motions - Adani Mining - Pipeline and investigation

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters (Qld), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Adani Mining, as part of the Adani Group, is currently being investigated by the Department of the Environment and Energy for potential breach of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) Carmichael Mine approval conditions, for alleged unlawful clearing of vegetation and sinking of groundwater dewatering bores, and

(ii) Adani Infrastructure, as part of the Adani Group, has applied for EPBC Act approval for a pipeline to bring water to the mine site for washing of the coal; and

(b) calls on the Minister for the Environment, or her delegate, to not make a decision on the pipeline application until the results of the investigation and subsequent decision on whether to take enforcement action into the alleged mine site breaches has concluded.

Yes No Passed by a small majority

20th Aug 2018, 3:43 PM – Senate Motions - Mining - No new mines in Galilee Basin

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Andrew Bartlett (Qld), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) in September 2017, the Douglas Shire Council in Far North Queensland formally opposed the Adani Carmichael mine project and any new coal mine operations in the Galilee Basin, and

(ii) on 8 August 2018, the Douglas Shire Council voted unanimously to submit a motion to the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) annual conference for the LGAQ to "make vigorous representations to the Queensland State Government urging it to immediately cease any considerations to supporting, financially or by any other means, and either directly or indirectly, the proposed Carmichael Coal Mining Project by Adani in the Galilee Basin"; and

(b) calls on:

(i) the LGAQ Conference to support the Douglas Shire Council motion, and

(ii) the Queensland Government and the Federal Government to revoke all licences from the Adani Carmichael mine project and commit to no new coal mines in the Galilee Basin.

No No (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted moderately 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 3 30 30
MP voted against policy 3 0 30
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 80 110

*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 = 80 / 110 = 73%.

And then