How Kristina Keneally voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should decrease funding for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS)

Division Kristina Keneally Supporters vote Division outcome

2nd Sep 2020, 3:46 PM – Senate Motions - Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Guarantee funding

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The same number of senators voted for and against the motion, which means it failed. It was introduced by South Australian Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (Greens).

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the interim report of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements stated that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is a trusted broadcaster of emergency messages and warnings during bushfires and that ABC managers should be embedded in all state and territory emergency management centres to ensure delivery of critical information to the public,

(ii) emergency reporting during the bushfires cost the ABC an additional $3 million,

(iii) the ABC has been an essential source of news during the COVID-19 pandemic with digital, television and radio broadcasts all seeing a dramatic increase in ratings, and

(iv) the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has cut more than $783 million in funding from the ABC, and the ABC is currently operating with its smallest budget since 1996;

(b) expresses gratitude for the essential role that the ABC has played in keeping Australians informed and safe throughout the bushfire season and the COVID-19 pandemic; and

(c) calls on the Morrison Government to reverse the indexation pause on ABC funding and guarantee stable and adequate funding for the ABC.

Yes No Not passed

11th Jun 2020, 4:42 PM – Senate Motions - Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Restore funding

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The same number of senators voted for and against the motion introduced by South Australian Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the ABC has asked staff to volunteer for redundancies as it prepares to axe more than 200 positions to meet the Federal Government's $84 million budget cut,

(ii) more than $300 million has been cut from the ABC by the Coalition Government since 2013,

(iii) ratings show the ABC almost doubled its audience in March as the COVID-19 crisis took hold in Australia,

(iv) 60% of people in bushfire-affected areas said information from the ABC helped ensure their safety,

(v) emergency broadcasting during the summer bushfires cost the ABC an additional $3m,

(vi) the public broadcaster is the only news source in many regional areas, and

(vii) accurate news and information, and the telling of Australian stories is more important than ever right now; and

(b) calls on the Government to restore every dollar cut from the ABC's budget since 2013.

absent No Not passed

11th Jun 2020, 4:01 PM – Senate Motions - Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Properly fund

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The same number of senators voted for and against a motion introduced SA Senator Stirling Griff (Centre Alliance), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) thanks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) for its service in delivering vital emergency broadcasts and comprehensive coverage during national catastrophes, especially this year's devastating bushfires fires and the COVID-19 pandemic;

(b) recognises Australians turn to the ABC as the most trusted source of news and information during times of crisis;

(c) notes that the ABC has released independent research, submitted to the bushfire royal commission, which found that:

(i) 60% of people in bushfire-affected areas said information from the ABC helped ensure their safety,

(ii) 81% of people were aware of the ABC as an information source, and one in two used it as their main source of information during the summer crisis,

(iii) respondents said they trusted the ABC's channels and websites more than the commercial ones, and ABC local radio was essential when internet and telecommunications failed in bushfire zones, and

(iv) the ABC's Emergency website was the ABC's most trusted platform (74% trusting it "greatly") along with ABC Local Radio (72%) and ABC News TV (71%);

(d) acknowledges that:

(i) the ABC's emergency coverage saved lives during the bushfires,

(ii) the ABC has lost $783m in funding since the Coalition Government came to power in 2014, and

(iii) 250 ABC workers will now lose their jobs across news, entertainment and regional divisions as a consequence of years of underfunding by the Coalition Government and the paused indexation funding; and

(e) calls on the Government to properly fund the ABC and reverse the $83.7 million paused indexation funding, as a matter of urgency.

absent No Not passed

31st Jul 2019, 4:13 PM – Senate Motions - Media - Funding for public broadcasters

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by South Australian Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released the final report in its Digital Platforms Inquiry, and

(ii) it has emphasised the importance of the public broadcasters and recommended stable and adequate funding "in recognition of their role in addressing the risk of under-provision of public interest journalism that generates broad benefits to society"; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) move from triennial to quinennial funding cycles for the public broadcasters,

(ii) fully restore the cuts to funding since 2014, and

(iii) guarantee a minimum level of funding across the quinennial cycles.

absent No Not passed by a modest majority

14th Nov 2018, 4:00 PM – Senate Motions - Australia Network - Reinstate and award funding

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983 states that the “corporation or prescribed companies [are] to be the only providers of Commonwealth-funded international broadcasting services”,

(ii) the Abbott Government stripped funding for the Australia Network from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), and

(iii) the Morrison Government has indicated that it plans to work “with our commercial media operators to ensure the Pacific can connect to quality Australian media content”; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to reinstate the Australia Network and award the public funding for the Australia Network broadcasting in the Asia-Pacific to the ABC.

No No Not passed by a modest majority

19th Jun 2018, 4:28 PM – Senate Motions - Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Cuts and privatisation

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (WA), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that on 6 September, 2013, Mr Abbott promised voters "no cuts to the ABC";

(b) further notes that:

(i) the 2014-15 Budget cut the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's (ABC) funding by $47 million,

(ii) the 2014-15 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook cut the ABC's funding by a further $207 million,

(iii) the 2018-19 Budget has cut the ABC by an additional $84 million,

(iv) since September 2013, the ABC has been forced to absorb 1,014 job losses as a result of budget cuts, and

(v) trust in politicians is at an all-time low, and that this is not without reason;

(c) condemns the Liberal Party's decision over the weekend to support the privatisation of the ABC, noting that no members of the Turnbull Government, including the Minister for Communications, spoke against the motion; and

(d) calls on the Turnbull Government to make amends on its broken promises by rescinding its policy to privatise the ABC and reversing its damaging cuts.

Yes No Not passed by a small majority

19th Jun 2018, 4:15 PM – Senate Motions - Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Restructure and calls for privatisation

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Australian Conservatives Senator Cory Bernardi, which means the motion failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that the Liberal Party of Australia's Federal Council recently passed a motion stating "That federal council calls for the full privatisation of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, except for services into regional areas that are not commercially viable";

(b) further notes the comments of the Treasurer that the government has no plans to privatise the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC); and

(c) congratulates Liberal Party members for continuing to draw attention to the need for structural and budgetary reform of the ABC.

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

9th May 2018, 7:02 PM – Senate Communications Legislation Amendment (Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund) Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Media diversity

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The majority voted against a motion that would have added certain words (see below) to the usual second reading motion that the bill be read for a second time (which means that the Senate agrees with the main idea of the bill).

Motion text

At the end of the motion, add:

", but the Senate:

(a) notes that the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund was agreed by the Turnbull Liberal Government as part of a back-room deal with the then Nick Xenophon team in exchange for support for the repeal of the 2 out of 3 cross-media control rule in 2017;

(b) notes that the Government's disastrous record on media diversity and public interest journalism includes:

(i) removal of a key media diversity safeguard which prevented even greater consolidation in Australia's already highly concentrated media sector with the repeal of the 2 out of 3 cross-media control rule;

(ii) budget cuts of hundreds of millions of dollars from the ABC and SBS, which are trusted sources of investigative journalism in Australia;

(iii) pushing community television off the broadcast platform to an online delivery model without an adequate transition period;

(iv) threatening journalists with criminal sanctions simply for doing their jobs under the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2017;

(v) policy inaction in the face of the loss of more than 3000 journalism jobs in Australia over the past five years;

(c) notes that media diversity and support for public interest journalism are not mutually exclusive and that Australia needs both;

(d) calls on the Government to stop actively undermining media diversity and public interest journalism in Australia;

(e) calls on the Turnbull Government to drop its destructive attack on the ABC; and

(f) calls on the Government to support media diversity and public interest journalism in Australia.".

Yes No Not passed by a small majority

26th Mar 2018, 8:39 PM – Senate Communications Legislation Amendment (Online Content Services and Other Measures) Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Reinstate SBS revenue shortfall

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The majority voted against an amendment to the usual second reading motion ("That this bill be read a second time").

Reading a bill for a second time is parliamentary jargon for agreeing with the main idea of the bill.

Amendment text

At the end of the motion, add:

“, but the Senate is of the opinion that the Government must reinstate the SBS’s revenue shortfall of $9 million as included in the 2017-18 Budget.”

Main idea of the bill

The bill was introduced to:

  • enable the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to make online content service provider rules which impose gambling promotions restrictions on online content service providers;
  • provide the ACMA with the power to determine program standards about gambling promotional content which apply to certain broadcasters and subscriptions providers; and
  • require the ACMA to monitor compliance with online content service provider rules.
No No Not passed by a modest 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 2 20 20
MP voted against policy 4 0 40
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 3 3 6
Total: 23 66

*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 = 23 / 66 = 35%.

And then