How John Williams voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should protect threatened forest and bushland habitats from logging.

Division John Williams Supporters vote Division outcome

6th Dec 2018, 12:42 PM – Senate Motions - Halls Island - Make full assessment on World Heritage values

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Nick McKim, which means it succeeded. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own but can be politically influential since they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) a proposal was lodged with the Tasmanian Government for a fly-in, fly- out 'luxury standing camp' on Halls Island in Lake Malbena, inside the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The proposal is for the construction of three accommodation huts and a kitchen hut to accommodate up to 6 guests and 2 guides on up to 30 trips per year. Guests and guides will be transported to Lake Malbena by helicopter. Estimates of total helicopter flights per year range from 30 to 120. Officials from the Department of Environment and Energy are unaware of the total number of helicopter flights per year when construction, maintenance and servicing of the camp are also considered,

(ii) in the last week of August this year, the Department of the Environment and Energy declared the activity would not be a controlled action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the Act). Controlled action simply means that the proposal would proceed to the next step in the process - environmental assessment and approval – as significant impacts are likely,

(iii) in its 2016 Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Master Plan, the Tasmanian Government re-zoned Lake Malbena and much of the surrounding shoreline from "wilderness" to "self-reliant recreation zone" allowing greater development and activity at the site. This rezoning was done without public consultation. The proposal has been deemed compliant with the 2016 Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Management Plan on the basis of 'low level impact' on wilderness character. Many submissions noted that such a conclusion would not have been possible without the 2016 re-zoning,

(iv) over 900 submissions to the referral under the Act opposed the development. Three submissions did not express a position. No submissions expressed support. Independent advisory body the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Committee do not support this development, and have, along with the Australian Heritage Council, highlighted its likely impacts on wilderness, other World Heritage values and the tranquillity of this remote precinct,

(v) the Anglers Alliance Tasmania, representing 27,000 recreational anglers, and the Wilderness Society, representing over 30,000 conservationists, also strongly opposed the development in its submission on similar grounds. The Anglers Alliance Tasmania and Wilderness Society expressed strong concerns that the development has been approved without any consideration of the voice of submitters to the referral process, such as recreational anglers and conservationists, who addressed relevant matters under the Act,

(vi) the development is also opposed by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre,

(vii) an independent wilderness consultant's report commissioned by the Wilderness Society found that the proposal would have a significant negative impact on the area's wilderness character by degrading wilderness across almost 50 square kilometres, including well into the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, and

(viii) the Brief prepared by the Department of Environment and Energy was completed by the Queensland North section and included a typographical error where "Queensland" was stated instead of "Tasmania"

(b) agrees that the Minister for the Environment should declare the project a controlled action and properly instigate a full assessment, including public participation from recreational anglers, conservationists and any other interested parties, of the proposal's impacts on World Heritage values, including wilderness.

No Yes Passed by a small majority

4th Dec 2018, 4:50 PM – Senate Motions - United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity - Heed recommendations

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The majority voted in favour of a motion, which means it succeeded. Motion like these don't make any legal changes on their own but can be politically influential as they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity took place in Egypt from 13 to 29 November 2018,

(ii) the United Nations report to the Convention demonstrated that Australia is failing to meet international targets, especially in parts of the country where land clearing and habitat destruction are widespread,

(iii) the World Wildlife Fund also issued a report, as part of the conference, that placed Australia amongst the worst performers on biodiversity in a group of 100 nations, and

(iv) the Convention called on governments to scale up investments in nature and people towards 2020 and beyond, and to accelerate action to achieve Aichi Biodiversity Targets by 2020; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to heed the recommendations of the Convention.

No Yes Passed by a small majority

14th Feb 2018, 4:22 PM – Senate Motions - Tasmania: Environment - Tarkine

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The majority voted against this motion, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Tasmania's unique environment is under threat from inappropriate development, and the failure to protect natural and cultural values,

(ii) rapid and unfettered expansion of fish farms is privatising public waters and damaging Tasmania's marine environment and coastal lifestyle,

(iii) private sector development in Tasmania's iconic national parks and world heritage areas is continuing,

(iv) the Swift Parrot is facing extinction due to ongoing deforestation of its habitat by logging, and

(v) Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage is being damaged by four wheel drive tracks in the Tarkine area; and

(b) condemns the Federal and Tasmanian Liberal Governments for failing to stand up for Tasmania's unique natural environment, their lack of support for a Tarkine national park, and complete inaction on climate change.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

25th Jun 2013, 3:59 PM – Senate Motions - Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area - Prohibit logging

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to prohibit logging in Australia's World Heritage areas.

Motion wording

That the Senate—

(a) welcomes the World Heritage listing of the extension to Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage area decided at the World Heritage Committee meeting of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO] on 24 June 2013;

(b) supports the values of Australia's World Heritage listed areas and the provision of adequate funding to maintain their natural and cultural values; and

(c) supports a total prohibition on logging in any World Heritage areas in Australia, now and into the future.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

20th Jun 2013, 12:11 PM – Senate Motions - National Parks - Protect

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The majority voted against a motion to protect Australia's national parks, which was introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Australians are outraged that our national parks are under threat from logging, grazing, shooting and tourism developments, and

(ii) it is too late to secure by regulation national protection for national parks in this parliamentary term; and

(b) calls on the Government to act on its promise to protect our national parks by amending the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 before this Parliament rises.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

11th May 2010, 4:22 PM – Senate Motions - Environment: Millewa Forest - Stop logging

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No Yes Not passed by a large majority

4th Dec 2008, 10:39 AM – Senate Motions - Koala Habitat - Protect Bermagui habitat

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The majority voted against a motion to protect koala habitat in the Bermagui region, which was introduced by Greens Senator Bob Brown.

Motion wording

That the Senate—

(a) welcomes the reported decision of the Minister for Climate Change and the Environment (Ms Tebbutt) to spend $1.23 million on a recovery plan for koalas, including revegetating koala habitat; and

(b) calls on the New South Wales Government to halt logging of any koala habitat forest including that in the Bermagui region on the state’s south coast.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a large majority

How "voted strongly 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 2 0 100
MP absent 1 25 50
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 4 0 40
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 25 190

*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 = 25 / 190 = 13%.

And then