How John Williams voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should ban both direct and indirect (e.g. through parent companies) investment in cluster munitions

Division John Williams Supporters vote Division outcome

21st Aug 2012, 1:44 PM – Senate Criminal Code Amendment (Cluster Munitions Prohibition) Bill 2010 - In Committee - Ban investment

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The majority voted against an amendment introduced by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam (WA), which means it was unsuccessful.

What did this amendment do?

This amendment would ban investment in "the development or production of cluster munitions or explosive submunitions". As Senator Ludlam explained:

The bill should explicitly ban investment because it assists with a prohibited act. I struggle to see how that could be a controversial statement. Many other countries specifically ban direct and indirect investment in cluster munitions in their legislation. By 'indirect' we mean an investment in a parent company that may, through a company that it has a holding in, in fact be manufacturing components or manufacturing cluster weapons themselves.

What is this bill?

The bill will bring the Convention on Cluster Munitions into Australian law by, for example, creating offences in relation to cluster munitions and explosive bomblets.

Read more in the bills digest.

Amendment text

(2) Schedule 1, item 1, page 3 (after line 29), after subsection 72.38(2), insert:

(2A) An entity regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission or by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority commits an offence if it directly or indirectly:

(a) provides funds to a person or an entity; or

(b) invests funds in an entity;

involved in the development or production of cluster munitions or explosive submunitions.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

12th May 2011 – Senate Motions - Cluster Bombs - Extend prohibitions

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

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) cluster munitions are one of the most inhumane forms of weapons from a humanitarian, medical and ethical perspective,

(ii) as a 'legacy weapon' cluster munitions continue to kill and maim, affecting generations of people after conflict is over, meaning that survivors of war do not necessarily survive the peace,

(iii) during the Vietnam War, 280 million cluster bomblets were dropped on Laos, leaving at least 80 million unexploded cluster bombs in that country alone such that 37 years later, survivors are still being harmed and killed,

(iv) cluster bombs are still being used and produced internationally, with confirmed reports of their use against civilians in the Libyan conflict in April 2011,

(v) Australia is one of 108 countries that has signed the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, and

(vi) by signing the convention, Australia undertook to never under any circumstances use cluster munitions, develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, cluster munitions, or assist, encourage or induce anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a state party under this convention;

(b) acknowledges the bravery of 19 year old cluster bomb survivor Mr Soraj Ghulam Habib from Afghanistan and the work he is doing as an international advocate for peace and universal disarmament of cluster bombs; and

(c) calls on the Attorney-General to:

(i) urgently revise the Criminal Code Amendment (Cluster Munitions Prohibition) Bill 2010 to reflect the convention which states parties should never 'under any circumstances' engage in prohibited activities related to cluster munitions,

(ii) apply the convention's prohibitions on use in joint operations with non-states parties,

(iii) urgently revise the bill in relation to jurisdiction issues which explicitly allow foreign forces to use Australian territory to stockpile and transit cluster bombs,

(iv) honour our obligations under the convention to ban all forms of both direct and indirect investment in cluster munitions and which echoes calls from the Australian financial industry and the Australian Council of Super Investors, and

(v) honour our obligations under the convention to provide assistance to ensure adequate provision of care and rehabilitation for victims of cluster munitions, clearance of contaminated areas, education and destruction of stockpiles.

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

How "never voted" is worked out

Normally a person's votes count towards a score which is used to work out a simple phrase to summarise their position on a policy. However in this case John Williams was absent during all divisions for this policy. So, it's impossible to say anything concrete other than that they have "never voted" on this policy.