How David Leyonhjelm voted compared to someone who believes that asylum seekers who arrive in Australia without a visa, particularly those who arrive by boat, should have their asylum claims processed regionally in a country such as the Republic of Nauru or Papua New Guinea (See the policy "For offshore processing of asylum seekers" for more on processing asylum seeker claims in Australian territories like Christmas Island)

Division David Leyonhjelm Supporters vote Division outcome

15th Feb 2018, 11:56 AM – Senate Motions - Asylum Seekers - End offshore detention

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

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) on 13 February 2018, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) released an update on UNHCR observations from their latest mission to Manus Island,

(ii) UNHCR Regional Protection Officer, Mr Rico Salcedo, stated “What stood out the most from this mission at the time we were there, was a pervasive and worsening sense of despair among refugees and asylum seekers”,

(iii) the UNHCR further stated “We cannot emphasize enough that solutions must be found for all, outside of Papua New Guinea, as a matter of urgency. Australia remains ultimately responsible, as the state from which these refugees and asylum seekers have sought international protection, for their welfare and long-term settlement outside of Papua New Guinea”, and

(iv) there have been recent reports of deteriorating conditions on Nauru, and that refugees and people seeking asylum on Nauru are also the responsibility of Australia; and

(b) calls on the Government to end offshore detention, and evacuate to Australia every person who sought asylum in Australia and who is currently in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

No No Not passed by a modest majority

10th Aug 2017, 12:38 PM – Senate Motions - Asylum Seekers - Bring them to Australia

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The majority voted against a motion to have the asylum seekers that sought asylum in Australia - and that are currently in Papua New Guinea and Nauru - brought to Australia. This means the motion failed.

Motion text

That the Senate agrees that Australia's detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru are not safe and that every person who has sought asylum in Australia, and is currently in Papua New Guinea or Nauru, must be evacuated to Australia immediately.

No No Not passed by a large majority

20th Jun 2017, 4:00 PM – Senate Motions - Asylum Seekers - Close Nauru and Manus Is. detention centres

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The majority voted against a motion that called for the detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru to be closed and for all the asylum seekers there to be brought to Australia. The motion was introduced by Greens Senator Nick McKim (Tas).

Motions

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) 20 June 2017 is World Refugee Day,

(ii) currently there are men, women and children on Nauru and Manus Island who sought Australia's protection,

(iii) Department of Immigration and Border Protection statistics of 30 April 2017 show that:

(A) of the 1 015 Refugee Status Determinations on Manus Island, 711 were positive and 224 negative, and

(B) of the 1 209 Refugee Status Determinations on Nauru, 1 034 were positive and 175 negative, and

(iv) the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants stated that: 'considering the incredible hardship that most of these asylum seekers and refugees have already endured in their countries of origin and in transit countries on their way to Australia, and considering that Australian authorities have been alerted to such serious issues by numerous reports from international organizations such as the United Nations and civil society organizations, Australia's responsibility for the physical and psychological damage suffered by these asylum seekers and refugees is clear and undeniable'; and

(b) calls on the Australian Government to close the camps on Manus Island and Nauru and bring every man, woman and child to Australia.

No No (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

29th Mar 2017 – Senate Motions - Asylum Seekers - End detention on Nauru and Manus Island

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The majority rejected a motion that called for an end to immigration detention on Nauru and Manus Island, which means it wasn't passed. The motion was introduced by Greens Senator Nick McKim (Tas).

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Australia's offshore processing is a deliberately cruel policy that has created a humanitarian crisis,

(ii) men, women and children who have sought asylum have suffered immeasurable harm at Australia's hands, including death, psychological trauma and serious injuries,

(iii) the former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Mr Juan Mendez, concluded Australia had "violated the right of the asylum seekers, including children, to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment",

(iv) Amnesty International says the Nauru detention centre was "explicitly designed to inflict incalculable damage on hundreds of women, men and children",

(v) indefinite offshore detention has led to global condemnation and a lowering of Australia's international standing,

(vi) despite the Manus Island processing centre being declared illegal by the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court in April 2016, the Australian Government has failed to resettle people in its care and forcibly deported an unknown number of people from Papua New Guinea,

(vii) the Department of Immigration and Border Protection says the cost of establishing and running offshore detention has exceeded $4.4 billion since 2013,

(viii) the Australian National Audit Office found that it costs $573,000 per person per year to keep people locked up in offshore detention,

(ix) despite the massive human and financial cost of this policy, that boats carrying people seeking asylum continue to attempt to reach Australia,

(x) many of these asylum seekers have been turned around to meet an unknown fate at sea or potentially refouled, contrary to Australia's international legal and moral obligations, and

(xi) despite the Australian Government's so-called "deal" with the United States, no one has been resettled in that country; and

(b) calls on the Government to end offshore detention, and bring every man woman and child, detained on Papua New Guinea and Nauru, to Australia.

No No (strong) Not passed by a large majority

12th Sep 2016, 4:48 PM – Senate Committees - Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee - Nauru & Manus Island centres

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The majority voted in favour of a motion, which means it was successful. Motions like this don't have legal force but demonstrate the opinion of the Senate.

Motion text

(1) That the following matter be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by the last sitting day in March 2017:

The serious allegations of abuse, self-harm and neglect of asylum seekers in relation to the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, and any like allegations in relation to the Manus Regional Processing Centre, with particular reference to:

(a) the factors that have contributed to the abuse and self-harm alleged to have occurred;

(b) how notifications of abuse and self-harm are investigated;

(c) the obligations of the Commonwealth Government and contractors relating to the treatment of asylum seekers, including the provision of support, capability and capacity building to local authorities;

(d) the provision of support services for asylum seekers who have been alleged or been found to have been subject to abuse, neglect or self-harm in the centres or within the community;

(e) the role an independent children’s advocate could play in ensuring the rights and interests of unaccompanied minors are protected,

(f) the effect of Part 6 of the Australian Border Force Act 2015;

(g) attempts by the Commonwealth Government to negotiate third country resettlement of asylum seekers and refugees;

(h) additional measures that could be implemented to expedite third country resettlement of asylum seekers and refugees within the centres; and

(i) any other related matters.

(2) That the committee be granted access to all inquiry submissions and documents of the preceding committee relating to its inquiry into the conditions and treatment of asylum seekers and refugees at the regional processing centres in the Republic of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

absent No Passed by a small majority

4th Feb 2016, 12:37 PM – Senate Motions - Asylum Seekers - Let Them Stay

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The majority voted against the motion by Senator Sarah Hanson-Young calling on the Turnbull Government to let the 267 men, women and children who were part of the recent failed High Court challenge to stay in Australia.

This motion was proposed on the same day that protests took place around Australia, with the social media hashtag #LetThemStay being used by supporters.

Motion text

That the Senate calls on the Turnbull Government to grant amnesty to the 267 men, women and children in Australia as part of the M68 High Court challenge, and allow them to stay.

No No (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

25th Jun 2015, 6:15 PM – Senate Migration Amendment (Regional Processing Arrangements) Bill 2015 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to pass the bill. In parliamentary jargon, they gave the bill a third reading.

The bill will now go to the Senate for the senators to decide whether to pass it or not.

What does this bill do?

According to the bill's homepage, this bill:

provide[s] statutory authority for the Commonwealth to provide assistance to other countries to carry into effect arrangements for the processing and management of unauthorised maritime arrivals who have been taken to regional processing countries, including the expenditure of Commonwealth money on these arrangements.

The bill will be "closing a loophole that left the offshore processing of asylum seekers at risk of being overturned by the High Court" (read more on ABC's PM program).

No Yes (strong) Passed by a modest majority

25th Jun 2015, 5:02 PM – Senate Migration Amendment (Regional Processing Arrangements) Bill 2015 - in Committee - Detention of children

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The majority voted against two Greens amendments that were introduced by Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (SA).

What do the amendments do?

Senator Hanson-Young explained that the amendments related "to stopping children that are here in Australia being sent to Nauru for further detention". They also required children already in regional detention to be returned to Australia "as soon as reasonably practicable" (see full text below).

Amendment text

Amendment (1) from sheet 7738:

(1) Clause 2, page 2, at the end of the table, add:

3. Schedule 2 The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

Amendment (7) from sheet 7738:

(7) Page 4 (after line 5), at the end of the Bill, add:

Schedule 2—Detention of vulnerable persons

Migration Act 1958

1 Subsection 198AD(1)

Omit "sections 198AE, 198AF and 198AG", substitute "sections 198AE, 198AF, 198AG and 198AGA".

2 After section 198AG

Insert:

198AGA Vulnerable persons

(1) Section 198AD does not apply to an unauthorised maritime arrival if the person is a vulnerable person for the purpose of subsection (2).

(2) A person is a vulnerable person for the purpose of this subsection if:

(a) the person is aged under 18; or

(b) the person is the parent or guardian (or other family member) of a person covered by paragraph (a).

3 Application

The amendments to the Migration Act 1958 made by this Schedule apply in relation to an unauthorised maritime arrival on or after the day on which this Schedule commences.

4 Transitional—vulnerable persons transferred before Royal Assent

(1) This item applies to a person if:

(a) the person was an unauthorised maritime arrival at any time on or after 13 August 2012; and

(b) the person was taken from Australia to a regional processing country in accordance with subsection 198AD(2) of the Migration Act 1958; and

(c) at the time the person was taken to the regional processing country the person was:

(i) aged under 18; or

(ii) the parent or guardian (or other family member) of a person covered by subparagraph (i); and

(d) on the day this Act receives the Royal Assent, the person is:

(i) aged under 18; or

(ii) the parent or guardian (or other family member) of a person covered by subparagraph (i).

(2) As soon as reasonably practicable, an officer must ensure the person is removed from the regional processing country and returned to Australia.

absent No Not passed by a modest majority

25th Jun 2015, 12:21 PM – Senate Migration Amendment (Regional Processing Arrangements) Bill 2015 - Second Reading - Agree with the main idea

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to agree to the main idea of the bill. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a second time. This means that they can now discuss the bill in more detail.

What was different about this second reading motion?

Normally, a motion to agree to the main idea of the bill, or a second reading motion, says only: That this bill be now read a second time.

But in this case, the motion was successfully amended by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (SA) so that it now read:

That this bill be now read a second time but the Senate notes:

the findings of the Review by Phillip Moss into conditions in Nauru and the evidence currently before the Senate Select Committee into conditions in Nauru.

What does this bill do?

According to the bill's homepage, this bill:

provide[s] statutory authority for the Commonwealth to provide assistance to other countries to carry into effect arrangements for the processing and management of unauthorised maritime arrivals who have been taken to regional processing countries, including the expenditure of Commonwealth money on these arrangements.

The bill will be "closing a loophole that left the offshore processing of asylum seekers at risk of being overturned by the High Court" (read more on ABC's PM program).

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a modest majority

4th Dec 2014, 8:58 PM – Senate Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - Second Reading - Agree with bill's main idea

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The majority agreed with the bill's main idea (in parliamentary jargon, they voted in favour of giving the bill a second reading). This means that the Senate can now discuss the bill in more detail.

Bill's main idea

The bill's main idea is to speed up the management of asylum seekers' claims and support the Government's policies that stop asylum seekers from coming to Australia by boat (for example, by intercepting the boats and turning them around). It also re-introduces temporary protection visas "because the Government is of the view that those who arrive by boat without a valid visa should not be rewarded with permanent protection" (see the bills digest)

Human rights issues

Some of the changes made by the bill may go against Australia's international law obligations. Particularly Australia's non-refoulement obligations, which stop Australia from sending people to places where their lives or freedoms are threatened. Australia has these obligations because it signed up to the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the United Nations Convention against Torture.

For example, the bill will insert a provision into the Migration Act 1958 that says that Australia’s non-refoulement obligations are not relevant to removing people who are not citizens and don't have a visa. The bills digest explains that this change would mean courts won't be able to stop the Government from removing people just because it is against Australia’s non-refoulement obligations. In other words, the Government wants to decide how to apply those obligations by itself, without any potential judicial oversight.

For more about which changes may go against these obligations and how, see the bills digest.

Background to the bill

The title of the bill says it is about "resolving the asylum legacy caseload". This refers to the asylum claims made by asylum seekers who arrived by boat without a visa between August 2012 and December 2013 and who have not been sent to be processed on Nauru or Manus Island. The Coalition Government says this caseload of asylum claims is the result of the previous Labor Government's policies.

During the 2013 election campaign, the Coalition said it would address this caseload and the changes made in this bill are part of their effort to do this.

More information on the background to the bill is in the bills digest.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

4th Dec 2014, 12:15 AM – Senate Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority agreed to pass the bill in the Senate (in parliamentary jargon, they voted in favour of giving the bill a third reading). The bill will now be sent back to the House of Representatives for the Members of Parliament to decide whether they agree with the Senators' amendments. If so, the bill will become law.

Bill's main idea

The bill's main idea is to speed up the management of asylum seekers' claims and support the Government's policies that stop asylum seekers from coming to Australia by boat (for example, by intercepting the boats and turning them around). It also re-introduces temporary protection visas "because the Government is of the view that those who arrive by boat without a valid visa should not be rewarded with permanent protection" (see the bills digest)

Human rights issues

Some of the changes made by the bill may go against Australia's international law obligations. Particularly Australia's non-refoulement obligations, which stop Australia from sending people to places where their lives or freedoms are threatened. Australia has these obligations because it signed up to the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the United Nations Convention against Torture.

For example, the bill will insert a provision into the Migration Act 1958 that says that Australia’s non-refoulement obligations are not relevant to removing people who are not citizens and don't have a visa. The bills digest explains that this change would mean courts won't be able to stop the Government from removing people just because it is against Australia’s non-refoulement obligations. In other words, the Government wants to decide how to apply those obligations by itself, without any potential judicial oversight.

For more about which changes may go against these obligations and how, see the bills digest.

Background to the bill

The title of the bill says it is about "resolving the asylum legacy caseload". This refers to the asylum claims made by asylum seekers who arrived by boat without a visa between August 2012 and December 2013 and who have not been sent to be processed on Nauru or Manus Island. The Coalition Government says this caseload of asylum claims is the result of the previous Labor Government's policies.

During the 2013 election campaign, the Coalition said it would address this caseload and the changes made in this bill are part of their effort to do this.

More information on the background to the bill is in the bills digest.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

4th Dec 2014, 12:11 AM – Senate Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - in Committee - Agree with the amended bill

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The majority agreed with the bill as it has been amended during the Committee stage. This means that the majority want to stop discussing the detail of the bill and now want to vote on whether to pass it in the Senate.

Bill's main idea

The bill's main idea is to speed up the management of asylum seekers' claims and support the Government's policies that stop asylum seekers from coming to Australia by boat (for example, by intercepting the boats and turning them around). It also re-introduces temporary protection visas "because the Government is of the view that those who arrive by boat without a valid visa should not be rewarded with permanent protection" (see the bills digest)

Human rights issues

Some of the changes made by the bill may go against Australia's international law obligations. Particularly Australia's non-refoulement obligations, which stop Australia from sending people to places where their lives or freedoms are threatened. Australia has these obligations because it signed up to the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the United Nations Convention against Torture.

For example, the bill will insert a provision into the Migration Act 1958 that says that Australia’s non-refoulement obligations are not relevant to removing people who are not citizens and don't have a visa. The bills digest explains that this change would mean courts won't be able to stop the Government from removing people just because it is against Australia’s non-refoulement obligations. In other words, the Government wants to decide how to apply those obligations by itself, without any potential judicial oversight.

For more about which changes may go against these obligations and how, see the bills digest.

Background to the bill

The title of the bill says it is about "resolving the asylum legacy caseload". This refers to the asylum claims made by asylum seekers who arrived by boat without a visa between August 2012 and December 2013 and who have not been sent to be processed on Nauru or Manus Island. The Coalition Government says this caseload of asylum claims is the result of the previous Labor Government's policies.

During the 2013 election campaign, the Coalition said it would address this caseload and the changes made in this bill are part of their effort to do this.

More information on the background to the bill is in the bills digest.

Yes Yes Passed by a small 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 3 150 150
MP voted against policy 1 0 50
MP absent 1 25 50
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 5 50 50
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 2 2 4
Total: 227 304

*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 = 227 / 304 = 75%.

And then