How Brian Burston voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should introduce legislation and regulations that protect and conserve Australia's marine ecosystems such as the Great Barrier Reef

Division Brian Burston Supporters vote Division outcome

27th Mar 2018, 7:38 PM – Senate Regulations and Determinations - Marine Parks Network Management Plans - Disallow

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The majority voted against a motion to stop certain legal instruments from having force in law. In parliamentary jargon, they voted against disallowing these instruments.

Labor Senator Louise Pratt, who introduced the motion, explained these instruments as "environmental vandalism", though other senators disagreed. Read their opinions in the debate for an overview of the different positions.

Motion text

That the following instruments, made under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, be disallowed:

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

27th Mar 2018, 4:08 PM – Senate Motions - Oil Exploration - Seismic testing in the Great Australian Bight

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The majority voted against this motion, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) is currently considering an application from Petroleum Geoservices Australia to conduct 3D and 2D seismic surveys in environmentally sensitive waters off Port Lincoln and Kangaroo Island,

(ii) seismic testing involves blasting 260 decibels of sound every 10 seconds, and

(iii) this volume is louder than a space shuttle launch from its launch pad, a nuclear bomb from its epicentre, and the sound produced at the epicentre of Krakatoa's volcanic eruption in 1883, which was audible 4 500 kms away from its source;

(b) further notes that:

(i) if approved, the seismic testing program would impact the direct migratory path of southern Bluefin tuna, southern right whales and sperm whales, and

(ii) a seismic test of this proposed scale can result in death;

(c) commends the actions of the Kangaroo Island Council, the Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association, Sea Shepherd, the Australian Marine Conservation Society, the Wilderness Society, Greenpeace and concerned local community members in drawing attention to the potential harm that this seismic testing program could create if approved by NOPSEMA; and

(d) call on the Federal Government to prohibit seismic testing the Great Australian Bight.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

22nd Jun 2017, 12:24 PM – Senate Motions - Aquaculture Industry - Okehampton Bay salmon farm

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson (Tas), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the damage caused to the Macquarie Harbour World Heritage Area, including the threat to the endangered Maugean Skate, as a result of the overstocking of salmon farms in the harbour,

(ii) the proceedings brought by Huon Aquaculture in the Federal Court and the Tasmanian Supreme Court against the Tasmanian Government for failing to properly regulate salmon farming by Tassal in Macquarie Harbour,

(iii) that the Commonwealth is investigating whether conditions imposed as part of the 2012 expansion of salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour have been breached,

(iv) the decision of the Hodgman Government to grant permission to Tassal to establish an 800 000 fish salmon farm in Okehampton Bay on Tasmania's pristine east coast, and

(v) concerns from a wide cross-section of the community over the proposed Okehampton Bay salmon farm, including the concerns expressed by around 1 000 people who attended FloatMo in Hobart on 18 June 2017; and

(b) calls on the Hodgman Government to withdraw permission for a salmon farm in Okehampton Bay given the record of atrocious mismanagement and poor regulation of Tasmania's aquaculture industry.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

12th Oct 2016, 4:06 PM – Senate Motions - Oil Exploration - Great Australian Bight

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by SA Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, which means it was unsuccessful.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) welcomes the decision by BP to withdraw its application to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight; and

(b) calls on the Turnbull Government to permanently ban all oil exploration and drilling in the Great Australian Bight.

No Yes Not passed by a modest 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 2 50 100
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 1 10 10
MP voted against policy 3 0 30
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 6 6 12
Total: 66 152

*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 = 66 / 152 = 43%.

And then