How John Williams voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should close its Manus Regional Processing Centre and stop all Manus-based processing of people's claims for asylum

Division John Williams 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 Yes Not passed by a modest 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 Yes (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).

absent No Passed by a modest 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 No 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

Yes No 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 No (strong) Passed by a modest 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 No 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

absent No 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 1 0 50
MP absent 1 25 50
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 3 0 30
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 3 3 6
Total: 28 136

*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 = 28 / 136 = 21%.

And then