How John Faulkner voted compared to someone who believes that in light of the threat of climate change, the federal government should make as rapid a transition to renewable energy as possible

Division John Faulkner Supporters vote Division outcome

15th Mar 2012, 12:12 PM – Senate Motions - Coal - From coal to clean energy market

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Christine Milne, which means the motion was unsuccessful.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) China's twelfth 5 year plan is expected to introduce caps on coal use from 2015,

(ii) the price of coking coal has already dropped some 40 per cent in the past year, due in large part to a drop in China's demand for imported coal,

(iii) China expects utility scale solar power to out-compete new coal-fired power stations by the end of the decade, while the Indian Government expects the cost crossover as soon as 2016,

(iv) India's economic giant, Tata Power, has publicly stated that its new investments will favour renewable energy, as coal power is becoming 'impossible' to develop,

(v) the Australian Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics (BREE) continues to predict that coal exports will double over the next two decades, and

(vi) Australia is leaving itself economically exposed by focusing on the development of coal export infrastructure; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) require BREE to review its modelling based on the current geopolitics of coal, and

(ii) rethink Australia's economic settings, which assume ongoing increases in the coal export market, and instead look to broaden Australia's economic base and build a more competitive clean energy economy.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

18th Nov 2010, 10:21 AM – Senate Motions - Climate Change - Benefits of fast transition to zero or low emissions

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The majority voted against a motion calling for the Government to consider the benefits of a fast transition for the economy to zero or low emissions, which means the motion failed.

Motion text

That the Senate:

(a) notes that a statement from a group of the world’s largest investors, representing US$15 trillion:

(i) calls for domestic and international policies to ‘unlock the vast benefits of low-carbon markets and avoid economic devastation caused by climate change’,

(ii) cites potentially 20 per cent losses to gross domestic product by 2050 if climate change goes unabated,

(iii) notes the benefits of both a carbon price and regulation in driving investment into renewable energy and other clean technologies, and

(iv) calls for emissions targets, strong and sustained price signals, energy and transportation policies, the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies, adaptation measures and corporate disclosure of climate risk to be implemented;

(b) applauds the moves by elements of Australian business to embrace the opportunities provided by ambitious climate action; and

(c) calls on the Government to consider the increasing benefits of swiftly transforming the economy for low to zero emissions.

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

8th Feb 2007, 10:57 AM – Senate Motions - Climate Change - Reduce coal exports

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Kerry Nettle, which means it was unsuccessful.

Motion text

That the Senate:

(a) notes the statements by Clean-Up Australia Day founder, Mr Ian Kiernan, regarding the ‘absolutely frightening’ contribution of Australia’s coal exports to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change; and

(b) calls on the Government to work with state governments to reduce coal exports and provide a just transition for workers in the coal industry.

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

27th Nov 2006, 4:10 PM – Senate Motions - Newcastle City Council - Renewables and public transport

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Bob Brown, which means it was rejected.

Motion text

That the Senate supports the following resolution of Newcastle City Council:

Newcastle City Council recognises the urgent need to protect local and global environments from increasing greenhouse gas emissions and to reduce Newcastle’s role in that increase.

Therefore Newcastle City Council:

1. Recommends that the NSW Government establishes a cap on coal exports from Newcastle at existing levels.

2. Recommends that the NSW Government initiates an independent Inquiry into the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the current coal industry and proposed expansion of the Hunter Valley coal industry.

3. Recommends that pending such an Inquiry, the NSW Government initiates a moratorium on new coal mine approvals at Anvil Hill and elsewhere in NSW.

4. Calls on the NSW and Federal Governments to establish a mandatory renewable energy target of 25% by 2020, with 20% by 2014 as a first step, in keeping with targets set by the South Australian Government.

5. Calls on the NSW Government to establish a contribution of 10c/tonne on coal exports through the Port of Newcastle to fund a community trust to be administered through Hunter Councils, to support a transition to a clean energy economy in the Hunter and to invest in local renewable energy projects.

6. Calls on the NSW Government to build a more efficient public transport system in the Hunter, linking major regional cities defined in the Lower Hunter Regional Strategy.

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

How "voted moderately 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 0 0 0
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* 3 3 6
Total: 3 16

*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 = 3 / 16 = 19%.

And then