How John Faulkner 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 John Faulkner Supporters vote Division outcome

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.

No 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.

No 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.

No Yes Passed by a small majority

16th May 2013, 12:15 PM – Senate Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - Third Reading - Read a third time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill for a third time.

This means that the bill is now passed in the Senate. Since the bill has already been passed in the House of Representatives, the bill will now become law.

The main idea of the bill is to ensure that asylum seekers who unlawfully arrive anywhere in Australia are subject to the same regional processing arrangements as asylum seekers who arrive at an excised offshore place such as Christmas Island.

Background of the Bill

This bill was introduced in response to a report by the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, particularly Recommendation 14 which states that: "the Migration Act 1958 be amended so that arrival anywhere on Australia by irregular maritime means will not provide individuals with a different lawful status than those who arrive in an excise offshore place".(Read the full report here. )

By implementing this recommendation, the bill extends the excision regime that was introduced in 2001 following the Tampa affair. That regime provides that asylum seekers who arrive in Australia at excised offshore places are unable to apply for protection visas (in effect, refugee status under Australian law) unless the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship decides it is in the public interest that they do so. The effect of this bill will be to extend the excision provisions to the whole country.(More information on the Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012 is available on the bills digest (680 KB). Also see an ABC news report explaining the effect of this bill here.)

This means that all asylum seekers arriving by boat in either mainland Australia or an offshore Australian territory that has been excised are unable to apply for protection visas and will be sent to regional processing countries (currently Papua New Guinea and Nauru) for the processing of their refugee claims. The rationale behind this legislation is the need to discourage asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat because of the dangers involved.

References

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a modest majority

16th May 2013, 12:02 PM – Senate Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - In Committee - Vulnerable persons

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The majority voted against an amendment proposed by Greens Senator Hanson-Young, which would require that a new category of person be defined in the legislation. This category is 'vulnerable person' and would apply to a person aged under 18 years or a person who is the parent or guardian of someone aged under 18 years. This means that children and their parents or guardians would not be taken to regional processing facilities.

Someone who votes aye for this amendment supports these measures. The majority voted no to this amendment, so it was unsuccessful.

Background of the Bill

This bill was introduced in response to a report by the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, particularly Recommendation 14 which states that: "the Migration Act 1958 be amended so that arrival anywhere on Australia by irregular maritime means will not provide individuals with a different lawful status than those who arrive in an excise offshore place".(Read the full report here. )

By implementing this recommendation, the bill extends the excision regime that was introduced in 2001 following the Tampa affair. That regime provides that asylum seekers who arrive in Australia at excised offshore places are unable to apply for protection visas (in effect, refugee status under Australian law) unless the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship decides it is in the public interest that they do so. The effect of this bill will be to extend the excision provisions to the whole country.(More information on the Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012 is available on the bills digest (680 KB). Also see an ABC news report explaining the effect of this bill here.)

This means that all asylum seekers arriving by boat in either mainland Australia or an offshore Australian territory that has been excised are unable to apply for protection visas and will be sent to regional processing countries (currently Papua New Guinea and Nauru) for the processing of their refugee claims. The rationale behind this legislation is the need to discourage asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat because of the dangers involved.

References

absent No Not passed by a modest majority

16th May 2013, 10:42 AM – Senate Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill a second time.

This means that the majority agree with the main idea of the bill and that it will now proceed to the Senate Committee, where aspects of the Bill are discussed in greater detail.

The main idea of the bill is to ensure that asylum seekers who unlawfully arrive anywhere in Australia are subject to the same regional processing arrangements as asylum seekers who arrive at an excised offshore place such as Christmas Island.

Background of the Bill

This bill was introduced in response to a report by the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, particularly Recommendation 14 which states that: "the Migration Act 1958 be amended so that arrival anywhere on Australia by irregular maritime means will not provide individuals with a different lawful status than those who arrive in an excise offshore place".(Read the full report here. )

By implementing this recommendation, the bill extends the excision regime that was introduced in 2001 following the Tampa affair. That regime provides that asylum seekers who arrive in Australia at excised offshore places are unable to apply for protection visas (in effect, refugee status under Australian law) unless the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship decides it is in the public interest that they do so. The effect of this bill will be to extend the excision provisions to the whole country.(More information on the Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012 is available on the bills digest (680 KB). Also see an ABC news report explaining the effect of this bill here.)

This means that all asylum seekers arriving by boat in either mainland Australia or an offshore Australian territory that has been excised are unable to apply for protection visas and will be sent to regional processing countries (currently Papua New Guinea and Nauru) for the processing of their refugee claims. The rationale behind this legislation is the need to discourage asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat because of the dangers involved.

References

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a modest majority

10th Oct 2012, 11:34 AM – Senate Motions - Manus Island - Designate PNG as regional processing country

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The majority voted in favour of a motion moved by Labor Senator Kate Lundy, which was:

That, for the purposes of section 198AB of the Migration Act 1958, the Senate approves the designation of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea as a regional processing country, by instrument made on 9 October 2012.

Since a resolution to this effect has already passed in the House of Representatives,(Read more on ABC News here.) passing this motion means that Papua New Guinea can now to designated as a regional processing country.

References

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a modest majority

12th Sep 2012, 11:49 AM – Senate Motions - Republic of Nauru - Designate Nauru as regional processing country

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Labor Senator Kate Lundy. The motion is:

That, for the purposes of section 198AB of the Migration Act 1958, the Senate approves the designation of the Republic of Nauru as a regional processing country, by instrument made on 10 September 2012.

Since a resolution to this effect has already passed in the House of Representatives,(See ABC News for more here. Also this World Today report.) passing this motion means that Nauru can now to designated as a regional processing country.

References

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a large majority

16th Aug 2012, 10:21 PM – Senate Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - Third Reading - Read a third time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill a third time.

This means that the bill is now passed in the Senate and, as it has already passed in the House of Representatives, it will now become law.

The purpose of the bill is to introduce a new framework for taking offshore entry persons (that is, people who arrive without a visa at an excised offshore place such as Christmas Island) to another country for assessment of their refugee claims.

Background to the bill

The bill was originally introduced in the House of Representatives as the Migration Legislation Amendment (Offshore Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2011. It was drafted in response to the High Court's judgement in Plaintiff M70/2011 v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship [2011] HCA 32, which put an end to the Labor Government's Malaysia Solution policy.(Read more about the decision on Wikipedia here and on ABC News here. Read more about the effect of this decision on the Malaysia Solution here.)

To this end, the bill amends the Migration Act 1958 to replace the existing framework for taking offshore entry persons to another country for assessment of their claims to be refugees. The bill also replaces discretionary detention with mandatory detention for all asylum seekers at an offshore place, such as Christmas Island, and alters the Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act 1946 in relation to making and implementing any decision to remove, deport or take a non-citizen child from Australia by overriding the guardianship obligations under that Act.

References

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a modest majority

16th Aug 2012, 10:17 PM – Senate Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - In Committee - Sunset clause

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The majority voted in favour of an amendment introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

The amendment was: (a) the amendments (including any repeals) made by this Act have effect only for a period of 24 months from the commencement of this Act; and (b) any Act amended by this Act has effect after that period of 24 months as if the amendments had not been made.

In other words, this amendment puts a sunset clause on the amendments introduced by this bill.

Background to the bill

This bill was originally introduced in the House of Representatives as the Migration Legislation Amendment (Offshore Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2011. It was drafted in response to the High Court's judgement in Plaintiff M70/2011 v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship () HCA 32, which put an end to the Labor Government's Malaysia Solution policy.(Read more about the decision on Wikipedia here and on ABC News here. Read more about the effect of this decision on the Malaysia Solution here.)

To this end, the bill amends the Migration Act 1958 to replace the existing framework for taking offshore entry persons to another country for assessment of their claims to be refugees. The bill also replaces discretionary detention with mandatory detention for all asylum seekers at an offshore place, such as Christmas Island, and alters the Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act 1946 in relation to making and implementing any decision to remove, deport or take a non-citizen child from Australia by overriding the guardianship obligations under that Act.

References

No No Not passed by a modest majority

16th Aug 2012, 7:33 PM – Senate Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - In Committee - Transfer to Australia after 12 months

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The majority voted against an amendment proposed by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

This amendment would require that the Immigration Minister ensures that a person initially transferred to a regional processing country is subsequently transferred to Australia within 12 months of their arrival in a regional processing country.

Someone who votes aye for this amendment supports these measures. The majority voted no to this amendment, so it was unsuccessful.

Background to the bill

This bill was originally introduced in the House of Representatives as the Migration Legislation Amendment (Offshore Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2011. It was drafted in response to the High Court's judgement in Plaintiff M70/2011 v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship () HCA 32, which put an end to the Labor Government's Malaysia Solution policy.(Read more about the decision on Wikipedia here and on ABC News here. Read more about the effect of this decision on the Malaysia Solution here.)

To this end, the bill amends the Migration Act 1958 to replace the existing framework for taking offshore entry persons to another country for assessment of their claims to be refugees. The bill also replaces discretionary detention with mandatory detention for all asylum seekers at an offshore place, such as Christmas Island, and alters the Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act 1946 in relation to making and implementing any decision to remove, deport or take a non-citizen child from Australia by overriding the guardianship obligations under that Act.

References

absent No Not passed by a modest majority

16th Aug 2012, 5:22 PM – Senate Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - Second Reading - Read a second time

Show detail

The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill a second time.

This means that the majority agree with the main idea of the bill and that it will now proceed to the Senate Committee, where aspects of the Bill are discussed in greater detail.

The purpose of the bill is to introduce a new framework for taking offshore entry persons (that is, people who arrive without a visa at an excised offshore place such as Christmas Island) to another country for assessment of their refugee claims.

Background to the bill

The bill was originally introduced in the House of Representatives as the Migration Legislation Amendment (Offshore Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2011. It was drafted in response to the High Court's judgement in Plaintiff M70/2011 v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship () HCA 32, which put an end to the Labor Government's Malaysia Solution policy.(Read more about the decision on Wikipedia here and on ABC News here. Read more about the effect of this decision on the Malaysia Solution here.)

To this end, the bill amends the Migration Act 1958 to replace the existing framework for taking offshore entry persons to another country for assessment of their claims to be refugees. The bill also replaces discretionary detention with mandatory detention for all asylum seekers at an offshore place, such as Christmas Island, and alters the Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act 1946 in relation to making and implementing any decision to remove, deport or take a non-citizen child from Australia by overriding the guardianship obligations under that Act.

References

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a large majority

28th Jun 2012, 5:12 PM – Senate Migration Legislation Amendment (The Bali Process) Bill 2012 - Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted against a motion to read the bill for a second time.

This means that the majority of senators do not agree with the main idea of the bill and that it will not be considered any further.

Background to Bill

The bill was introduced by Independent MP Rob Oakeshott in response to the High Court's decision in Plaintiff M70/2011 v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship [2011] HCA 32, which put an end to the Labor Government's Malaysia Solution policy.(Read more about the decision on Wikipedia here and on ABC News here. Read more about the effect of this decision on the Malaysia Solution here. )

To this end, the bill amends the Migration Act 1958 to replace the existing framework for taking offshore entry persons to another country to assess their refugee claims.(More information about this bill and context can be found here.) It also amends the Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act 1946 in relation to making and implementing any decision to remove, deport or take a non-citizen child from Australia. However, these amendments would only have effect for a period of 12 months.

By making these amendments, the bill attempts to codify the Bali Process into domestic law.

References

Yes Yes Not passed by a small majority

25th Aug 2011 – Senate Motions - Immigration: MV Tampa - End offshore processing

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. This means that the motion was rejected.

The motion was:

That the Senate-

(a)   notes that:

(i)   26 August 2011, marks the 10th anniversary of the rescue of 433 asylum seekers by the MV Tampa,(This rescue is known as the Tampa Affair.)

(ii)   this rescue was followed by the refusal of the Coalition Government to allow the ship to enter Australian shores in direct violation of both maritime conventions and human rights obligations,

(iii)   the majority of the asylum seekers, including children, were detained indefinitely on Nauru, as part of the Coalition's ' Pacific Solution', and

(iv)   10 years later, the Labor Government is still pursuing offshore processing, through Australia's agreement with Malaysia, and Australia's Memorandum of Understanding with Manus Island;

(b)   recognises a majority of Australians want asylum seekers processed on the mainland, according to The Age/Neilson poll published on 16 August 2011; and

(c)   calls on the Government to abandon offshore processing.

References

absent 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 3 150 150
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 4 100 200
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 2 20 20
MP voted against policy 3 0 30
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 2 2 4
Total: 272 404

*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 = 272 / 404 = 67%.

And then