How Brian Burston voted compared to someone who believes that the Federal Government should protect whales within Australian waters by, for example, taking action against the Japanese Government over its whaling program in the Southern Ocean

Division Brian Burston Supporters vote Division outcome

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

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 1 25 50
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 25 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 = 25 / 60 = 42%.

And then