How John Faulkner voted compared to someone who believes that Members of Parliament (MPs) and Senators should vote to suspend standing and sessional orders (that is, the procedural rules of Parliament) so that their colleagues can introduce motions for Parliament to vote on even when the the procedural rules would prevent them from doing so

Division John Faulkner Supporters vote Division outcome

30th Sep 2014, 4:23 PM – Senate Committees - Certain Aspects of the Queensland Government Select Committee - Suspend standing orders

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The majority agreed that Palmer United Party Senator Glenn Lazarus should immediately be able to introduce his motion to establish a select committee on certain aspects of the Queensland government administration. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to suspend the standing orders that would have stopped Senator Lazarus from doing this.

What will the committee do?

The select committee will inquire into and report on:

But! Because of Australia's federal system of government, the committee can only look into these things if they in some way relate to the Commonwealth.

Palmer United Party Senator Glenn Lazarus explained that he believed the committee was necessary because "serious issues have been raised across the community regarding Queensland government appointments, judicial appointments, project approvals, use of funds, policies and practices, environmental degradation and various other matters" (see his full explanation).

Background to the motion

This is the second time that Palmer United Party Senator Glenn Lazarus has introduced this motion. The first time failed because Liberal Senator Eric Abetz managed to amend the motion so the period of inquiry would begin from 21 March 2009 and therefore include former Labor Premier Anna Bligh's government.

Following that successful amendment, the motion lost the Labor Party's support and so was voted down without a division (see ABC News).

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

23rd Sep 2014, 4:21 PM – Senate Committees - Certain Aspects of the Queensland Government Select Committee - Let Senator Lazarus move his motion

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The majority agreed that Palmer United Party Senator Glenn Lazarus should be able to move his motion to establish a select committee. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to suspend standing orders.

What will the committee do?

The select committee will inquire into and report on:

But! Because of Australia's federal system of government, the committee can only look into these things if they in some way relate to the Commonwealth.

Background to the motion

Palmer United Party Senator Glenn Lazarus explained that he proposed to establish this select committee because "serious issues have been raised across the community regarding Queensland government appointments, judicial appointments, project approvals, use of funds, policies and practices, environmental degradation and various other matters" (see his full explanation).

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

2nd Sep 2014, 1:07 PM – Senate Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Bill 2014 — Business — Suspend standing orders (Consideration of legislation)

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The majority voted in favour of a motion moved by Liberal Senator Mathias Cormann to suspend standing orders be agreed to.

Senator Cormann wanted to suspend standing orders so that he could move a motion relating to the consideration of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Bill 2014. His concern was that "parliament has now debated the mining tax repeal legislation for longer than it debated the original mining tax package and related measures putting this failed tax in place".(Read Senator Cormann's full explanation of his motion here. )

Background to the bill

This bill was introduced following the Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Bill 2013 (No. 2) being laid aside because it could not "be progressed in its current form".(Read more about this bill being set aside here. The division which resulted in that bill being laid aside is available here. )

This bill repeals the Minerals Resource Rent Tax as well as related measures such as the low income superannuation contribution, the income support bonus and the schoolkids bonus. The bill also revises the capital allowances for small business entities and the superannuation guarantee charge percentage increase.(Read more about the changes made in the bill in the explanatory memorandum. ) Under the previous Labor government, the superannuation was set to increase to 12 per cent by 2019 (as of 1 July 2014, it is at 9.5 per cent).(Read more about superannuation in Australia here.) However, this bill will push that rise up until 1 July 2025.

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

1st Sep 2014, 10:35 AM – Senate Motions — To suspend standing orders to discuss parliamentary approval for the deployment of Australian troops in Iraq

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Senator Milne moved:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent me moving a motion to provide for the consideration of a matter—namely, a motion relating to parliamentary approval for the deployment of Australian troops in Iraq.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

28th Feb 2013, 3:36 PM – Senate Motions - Suspension of Standing Orders - Let a vote happen

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The majority voted against a motion to let a vote happen, which was introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (SA).

In parliamentary jargon, they voted against suspending standing orders that would prevent a vote from happening.

Motion text

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Milne moving a motion to provide for the consideration of a matter, namely a motion to give precedence to a motion relating to the vilification of refugees and asylum seekers.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

31st Oct 2011 – Senate Motions - Clean Energy Legislation - Defer consideration

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Liberal Senator Eric Abetz.

This means that the motion was unsuccessful.

The motion was:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent me moving a motion to provide for the consideration of a matter, namely a motion to provide that further consideration of the Clean Energy Bill 2010 and 17 related bills not take place until after elections for the 44th Parliament have been held and the parliament has met.

In other words, Senator Abetz wanted to move a motion that the Senate put off considering the Clean Energy Bill 2010 and related bills until after the next elections. To do so, he first needed the majority of senators to agree to suspend the standing orders that currently prevent him from moving such a motion. Since he was unsuccessful, he will not be able to move his motion.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

26th Nov 2010, 12:31 PM – Senate Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010 — Third Reading — Suspend standing orders

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Liberal Senator George Brandis, which means that it was unsuccessful. The motion was:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Brandis moving a motion to extend the time allotted for the consideration of the remaining stages of the bill.

Because this motion was unsuccessful, Senator Brandis was unable to move his motion for an extension.

Background to the bill

This bill was introduced following the lapse of the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2009 and relates to the regulation of consumer protection, competition and licensing in telecommunications markets. According to the bills digest, significant changes made by this bill include:

  • improving the conditions for competition in telecommunications markets by requiring Telstra to be structurally or functionally separated
  • making the telecommunications access regime less susceptible to deliberate delay and obstruction
  • removing a technical impediment to the operation of the anti-competitive conduct regime applying to telecommunications markets
  • clarifying the universal service obligation (USO) and customer service guarantee (CSG) to make it more enforceable
  • extending the obligation to provide priority assistance to those with life threatening conditions to service providers other than Telstra, and
  • enabling breaches of civil penalty provisions - including some concerning the USO and the CSG - to be dealt with by issuing infringement notices.(More information about the bill is available in its bills digest.)

With these measures, the bill seeks to address the issues that result from the monopoly caused by Telstra's vertically and horizontally integrated telecommunications network.

Although this bill is substantially the same as the earlier bill of the same name, it does have some additional provisions.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

26th Nov 2010, 12:19 PM – Senate Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010 — Third Reading - Suspend standing orders

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Liberal Senator Mary Fisher, which means that it was rejected. The motion was:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Fisher moving an amendment proposing a reference to the Environment and Communications References Committee.

Because this motion was unsuccessful, Senator Fisher was unable to move her amendment.

Background to the bill

This bill was introduced following the lapse of the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2009 and relates to the regulation of consumer protection, competition and licensing in telecommunications markets. According to the bills digest, significant changes made by this bill include:

  • improving the conditions for competition in telecommunications markets by requiring Telstra to be structurally or functionally separated
  • making the telecommunications access regime less susceptible to deliberate delay and obstruction
  • removing a technical impediment to the operation of the anti-competitive conduct regime applying to telecommunications markets
  • clarifying the universal service obligation (USO) and customer service guarantee (CSG) to make it more enforceable
  • extending the obligation to provide priority assistance to those with life threatening conditions to service providers other than Telstra, and
  • enabling breaches of civil penalty provisions - including some concerning the USO and the CSG - to be dealt with by issuing infringement notices.(More information about the bill is available in its bills digest.)

With these measures, the bill seeks to address the issues that result from the monopoly caused by Telstra's vertically and horizontally integrated telecommunications network.

Although this bill is substantially the same as the earlier bill of the same name, it does have some additional provisions.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

26th Nov 2010, 12:03 PM – Senate Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010 — In Committee - Suspend standing orders

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Liberal Senator George Brandis, which means that it was rejected. The motion was:

That so much of standing orders be suspended as would prevent me from moving that debate on the consideration of the committee stage of the bill be extended until 4 pm today.

Because this motion was unsuccessful, standing orders were not extended and Senator Brandis was unable to introduce his motion for an extension of time.

Background to the bill

This bill was introduced following the lapse of the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2009 and relates to the regulation of consumer protection, competition and licensing in telecommunications markets. According to the bills digest, significant changes made by this bill include:

  • improving the conditions for competition in telecommunications markets by requiring Telstra to be structurally or functionally separated
  • making the telecommunications access regime less susceptible to deliberate delay and obstruction
  • removing a technical impediment to the operation of the anti-competitive conduct regime applying to telecommunications markets
  • clarifying the universal service obligation (USO) and customer service guarantee (CSG) to make it more enforceable
  • extending the obligation to provide priority assistance to those with life threatening conditions to service providers other than Telstra, and
  • enabling breaches of civil penalty provisions - including some concerning the USO and the CSG - to be dealt with by issuing infringement notices.(More information about the bill is available in its bills digest.)

With these measures, the bill seeks to address the issues that result from the monopoly caused by Telstra's vertically and horizontally integrated telecommunications network.

Although this bill is substantially the same as the earlier bill of the same name, it does have some additional provisions.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

10th Mar 2010, 11:58 AM – Senate Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2009 — Second Reading — Suspend standing orders

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Liberal Senator Nick Minchin, which was:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent me moving that further consideration of the bill be made an order of the day for five sitting days after the government response to the National Broadband Network Implementation Study is laid on the table.

Because this motion was unsuccessful, the standing orders would remain in force and Senator Minchin would not be able to put his motion.

Background to the bill

The bill relates to the regulation of consumer protection, competition and licensing in telecommunications markets. According to the bills digest, significant changes made by the bill include:

  • causing Telstra to be structurally or functionally separated in order to improve competition within the telecommunications markets
  • reduce the susceptibility of the telecommunications access regime to deliberate delay and obstruction
  • removing a technical impediment to the operation of the anti-competitive conduct regime applying to telecommunications markets
  • making the universal service obligation (USO) and customer service guarantee (CSG) clearer and so more enforceable
  • extending the obligation to provide priority assistance to those with life threatening conditions to service providers other than Telstra
  • enabling breaches of civil penalty provisions - including some concerning the USO and the CSG - to be dealt with by the issue of infringement notices.(Read more about these changes in the bills digest (678 KB).)
absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a small 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 2 100 100
MP voted against policy 4 0 200
MP absent 4 100 200
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 200 500

*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 = 200 / 500 = 40%.

And then