How John Williams voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should give the private sector control over running and managing its services (such as public welfare and health services)

Division John Williams Supporters vote Division outcome

18th Oct 2017, 2:02 PM – Senate Motions - Department of Human Services - Staffing

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert (WA), which means it passed.

Although motions like these don't have legal force, they do represent the will of the Senate and so have some influence on the Government.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that the Turnbull Government cut nearly 1200 jobs from the Department of Human Services in the 2017-18 Budget;

(b) acknowledges that 42 million calls to Centrelink hit a busy signal between 1 July 2016 and 30 April 2017;

(c) notes that the Government is engaging private contractor Serco to supply 250 call centre workers to answer Centrelink calls from income support recipients;

(d) condemns allowing a private contractor to run a critical Government service involving access to the personal information of Centrelink clients; and

(e) calls on the Government to reinstate the jobs cut from the Department of Human Services, and act on the recommendations of the report of the Community Affairs References Committee, Design, scope, cost-benefit analysis, contracts awarded and implementation associated with the Better Management of the Social Welfare System initiative, as soon as possible.

No No Passed by a small majority

13th Oct 2016, 1:57 PM – Senate National Cancer Screening Register Bill 2016 and another - in Committee - Protection of private data

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The majority voted against amendments introduced by Labor Senator Helen Polley (Tas), which means they were rejected.

What were the amendments?

Senator Polley explained that her amendments would have:

  • required that individuals be told if their data has been breached;
  • increased the penalty for unauthorised use or disclosure of information; and
  • made explicit that the Commonwealth will be custodian of data in the register.

Find out more about the bill

The two bills under discussion are the:

Together, they create a National Cancer Screening Register. Read more about them in the bills digest.

Motion text

See OpenAustralia for the motion text.

No No Not passed by a small majority

How "voted very strongly 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 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 2 20 20
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 20 20

*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 = 20 / 20 = 100%.

And then