How Kristina Keneally voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should not put asylum seeker children into immigration detention and should release all children now in detention

Division Kristina Keneally Supporters vote Division outcome

8th Dec 2020, 5:17 PM – Senate Motions - Asylum Seekers - Return family to Biloela

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

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) asylum seekers Priya and Nades and their Australian-born daughters Kopika and Tharunicaa were forcibly removed from their community in Biloela, in regional Queensland, in March 2018,

(ii) the family was initially placed in detention in Melbourne but was flown to Christmas Island in August 2019 after moves to deport them to Sri Lanka were interrupted by a last-minute injunction,

(iii) despite continued calls from members of the Biloela community for the family to be returned to the regional town, Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram told Estimates in October 2020 that the family was being held on Christmas island for their 'safety, welfare and wellbeing',

(iv) three of the Tamil family have had their claims for asylum denied, and the family is awaiting the outcome for their three year old daughter Tharunicaa's protection claim, and

(v) the family has spent more than 1000 days in detention, including two Christmases on Christmas Island, separated from their supporters and their friends in Biloela; and

(b) calls on the Government to return the family to Biloela for Christmas, a place where they have consistent and committed community support and can live among friends while Tharunicaa's case is finalised.

absent Yes Not passed

26th Nov 2018, 3:42 PM – Senate Motions - Universal Children's Day - Children in detention

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Labor Senator Anne Urquhart (Tas), which means it succeeded. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own but are politically influential because they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) observes that 20 November 2018 is Universal Children's Day, commemorating the UN General Assembly's same-day adoption of the 1958 Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child ('Children's Convention');

(b) acknowledges the work of UNICEF Australia and other stakeholders involved in the Australian Child Rights Taskforce's Children's Report and its recommendations;

(c) notes:

(i) that Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children continue to experience disadvantage,

(ii) the report and recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory,

(iii) that children in Australia face growing issues of intergenerational inequality,

(iv) that no child under Australia's care should suffer harm, and

(v) that refugee children under Australia's care have been languishing in indefinite detention on Nauru for over five years;

(d) invites the Morrison Government to take steps to improve Australia's adherence to the Children's Convention; and

(e) calls on the Morrison Government to accept New Zealand's resettlement offer and get the children off Nauru.

absent Yes Passed by a small majority

17th Oct 2018, 4:13 PM – Senate Motions - Immigration Detention - Remove children from Nauru

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Nick McKim (Tas), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—


(c) calls on the Federal Government to immediately bring every child in detention on Nauru to Australia for urgent medical and psychological assessment and treatment, along with the family members of children being assessed and treated.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

17th Oct 2018, 4:09 PM – Senate Motions - Immigration Detention - Congratulating Liberal members for stance against children in detention

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Nick McKim (Tas), which means it succeeded. Motions like these don't make legal changes themselves but can be politically influential as they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that there are currently around 100 children being detained by the Australian Government on Nauru,

(ii) that many, if not all of these children, are suffering serious psychological disorders, such as 'resignation syndrome', where children abandon all hopes of a better life, and become suicidal,

(iii) that the Australian Medical Association has called on the Government for "urgent action to prevent further harm to the health and welfare of child refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, [and that] these children and their families be removed from harm and have access to healthcare of an appropriate standard",

(iv) that nearly 6 000 doctors have signed an open letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Morrison, supporting this call from the Australian Medical Association,

(v) Mr Broadbent's statement that "This is an embarrassing humanitarian crisis that the government needs to resolve in a manner acceptable to the Australian people",

(vi) Mr Laundy's statement that "something must be done as soon as possible",

(vii) Ms Banks' statement that this change-of-heart "comes from the hearts and minds of the Australian people", and

(viii) the agreement of these three Liberal MPs that "these kids have been there far too long";

(b) congratulates and thanks the brave Liberal members who told the Government their focus is only on the welfare of the children; ...

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

How "voted a mixture of for and 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 1 10 10
MP voted against policy 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 2 2 4
Total: 12 24

*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 = 12 / 24 = 50%.

And then