How Lee Rhiannon voted compared to someone who believes that The federal government should make its data and documents more accessible for the general public and Parliament

Division Lee Rhiannon Supporters vote Division outcome

15th Aug 2018, 4:24 PM – Senate Documents - Murray-Darling Basin Plan - Order for the Production of Documents

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by SA Senator Rex Patrick (Centre Alliance), which means it was successful.

Motion text

That the Senate:

(a) notes that transparency, in relation to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and its implementation, is critical to public confidence; and

(b) orders there be laid on the table, by the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, by 23 August 2018:

(i) advices requested in a letter from the Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources of 3 May 2018, namely, all prior advice provided to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources of 3 May 2018, concerning:

(A) the construction and proper interpretation of the Water Act 2007 and the Basin Plan,

(B) the lawfulness of the proposed amendment to the Basin Plan disallowed by the Senate on 6 February 2018,

(C) the lawfulness of the proposed amendment to the Basin Plan disallowed by the Senate on 14 February 2018,

(D) the lawfulness of the adjustment made to the Basin Plan, the subject of a disallowance motion defeated in the Senate on 8 May 2018, and

(E) the constitutional validity of the Water Act 2007 and the Basin Plan,

(ii) all documents, including any minutes of meetings made in accordance with section 196 of the Water Act 2007, evidencing the reasoning behind the change of reductions in diversions required to achieve environmental watering requirements of 3 856 GL (high uncertainty) and 6 983 GL (low uncertainty), down to a reduction in diversions to 2 750 GL in the report, The proposed 'environmentally sustainable level of take' for surface water of the Murray-Darling Basin: Methods and outcomes, dated November 2011, and the Basin Plan, as enacted on 23 November 2012,

(iii) all documents, including any minutes of meetings made in accordance with section 196 of the Water Act 2007, relating to the incorporation of social and economic outcomes into the determination of the long-term average sustainable diversion limit reflecting an environmentally sustainable level of take between 8 October 2010 and 23 November 2012,

(iv) all documents, including any minutes of meetings made in accordance with section 196 of the Water Act 2007, evidencing the further analysis conducted by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority to investigate the ability of alternative SDL options and water recovery strategies to achieve environmental objectives which lead to the adjustment of the recovery target from 2 800 GL to 2 750 GL,

(v) all documents, including any minutes of meetings made in accordance with section 196 of the Water Act 2007, referring to the analysis of the equivalent environmental outcomes as required by section 7.15(1) (c) of the Basin Plan of each of the 36 supply measures,

(vi) record of any agreement to use another method within the meaning of section 7 of the Basin Plan for any of the 36 supply measures, and

(vii) the peer review of the report, Guide to the proposed Basin Plan, dated October 2010.

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

19th Jun 2018, 4:21 PM – Senate Documents - Department of Health - Order for the Production of Documents

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by WA Senator Jordan Steele-John (Greens), which means it succeeded.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) in May 2016, Maddocks Lawyers completed a report for the then Minister for Health, Ms Ley, and the Department of Health in relation to the Australian survivors of thalidomide, focusing on the relationship and responsibility of the Australian Government towards these survivors,

(ii) in October 2016, Thalidomide Group Australia submitted an application to the Department of Health seeking access to this report under the Freedom of Information Act 1982, and

(iii) in November 2016, the Department of Health refused access to this document to Thalidomide Group Australia, citing that the document is subject to legal professional privilege; and

(b) orders that there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Health, by no later than 3 pm on 20 June 2018, a copy of the report prepared by Maddocks Lawyers for former Minister Ley and the Department of Health in May 2016.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

27th Mar 2018, 4:38 PM – Senate Documents - Future Submarine Project - Order for the Production of Documents

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by SA Senator Rex Patrick (Centre Alliance), which means it succeeded.

Motion text

That—

(1) The Senate notes that:

(a) on 12 February 2018, the Senate agreed to an order for the production of documents directed at the Minister representing the Minister for Defence Industry, for the Australian Industry Capability Plan submitted by DCNS (now Naval Group) to the Department of Defence in its response to the Future Submarine Competitive Evaluation Process (CEP);

(b) the order followed a lack of clarity as to the minimum level of Australian industry involvement expectations of Government for the Future Submarine Project;

(c) on 15 February 2018, the duty minister tabled a letter in response to both orders for production claiming public interest immunity and stated that release of the document would:

(i) affect the commercial interests of Naval Group, and

(ii) adversely affect Australia's international relations, and advised the Senate that the Government was awaiting the outcome of an Information Commissioner Review into freedom of information (FOI) exemptions claimed over the same document;

(d) it was conceded by government in 1992, that the fact that a freedom of information request for information has been or could be refused under the FOI Act is not a legitimate basis for a claim of public interest immunity in a parliamentary forum;

(e) on 25 June 2014, the Senate passed a resolution declaring that declining to provide documents or answer questions on the basis that an FOI request has been made for the same information is an unacceptable response, is not supported by the FOI Act and shows a profound lack of respect for the Senate and its committees;

(f) a Senate claim of commercial confidentiality must be carefully advanced and claimed narrowly so as to recognise the public interest that lies in openness and transparency on this very important project;

(g) the claim that the release of the documents will affect international relations is not properly made out and is flawed (and has not even been advanced by the Department of Defence as a concern in the Information Commissioner Review) because the document which is the subject of the order is a document of a French-law Public Limited Company, not a document of the French State; and

(h) orders for the production of documents are a key Senate tool used to ensure effective oversight of Government, and must be responded to by Ministers with utmost consideration, care and accuracy.

(2) The Minister for Defence be required to attend the Senate at the conclusion of question time on 10 May 2018 to make a statement, of not more than 20 minutes, addressing why the Minister:

(a) has advanced a claim showing a profound lack of respect for the Senate;

(b) offered a broad confidentiality claim that does not correctly balance the public interest in knowing what DCNS promised, in respect of Australian industry involvement in our largest ever Defence project; and

(c) has advanced a claim that releasing the document to the Senate would affect Australia's international relations knowing that this claim is inconsistent with the position of her own Department.

(3) Any senator may move a motion to take note of the Minister's statement, and any such motion may be debated for no longer than 1 hour, and have precedence over all other government business until determined.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

20th Mar 2018, 3:50 PM – Senate Documents - Federal Circuit Court and Family Court of Australia - Order for the Production of Documents

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by SA Senator Stirling Griff (Nick Xenophon Team), which means it succeeded.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the failure of the Government to adequately fund the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Family Court of Australia,

(ii) that the Government's neglect of the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia means that families facing the most serious family law issues can wait up to three years before a final trial,

(iii) that the continued failure by the Government to adequately resource the family law system has served to create a snowballing effect, the social and economic cost of which will continue to be felt by the community for years to come,

(iv) that the Government has failed to consult with the courts and the legal profession to formulate a clear plan for the future,

(v) that, in March 2014, a report by KPMG, commissioned by the Attorney-General's Department, into the funding of federal courts was presented to the Government but has still not been released,

(vi) that the KPMG report, obtained by The Australian in 2014, warned of significant cuts to service and staffing levels potentially leading to increased delays in litigation, the closure of smaller registries and cutbacks to services in regional Australia,

(vii) that the warnings in the KPMG report appear to have gone unheeded by the Government,

(viii) that, in 2014-15, as part of the response to the KPMG report, the Attorney-General's Department undertook additional work with Ernst & Young to develop costings scenarios involving federal courts, and

(ix) that KPMG's comprehensive report confirming the financial crisis facing federal courts and proposing a range of possible solutions, along with the Ernst & Young costings in response to the KPMG report, should be released prior to the Senate voting on the Family Law Amendment (Parenting Management Hearings) Bill 2017; and

(b) orders that there be laid on the table, by the Minister representing the Attorney­-General, by 9am on 22 March 2018:

(i) the KPMG report into the funding of federal courts, and

(ii) the Ernst & Young costings in response to the KPMG report.

Notice of motion altered on 19 March 2018 pursuant to standing order 77.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

8th Feb 2018, 12:25 PM – Senate Documents - West Lorengau Haus - Order for the Production of Documents

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by SA Senator Stirling Griff (Nick Xenophon Team), which means it succeeded.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) on 7 December 2017, the Senate passed a motion for an order for the production of documents (OPD) relating to correspondence between the Commonwealth and its Australian contractors on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island, and

(ii) the OPD related to parts of contracts, correspondence, reports, memos or photographs relating to accommodation and services being delivered at West Lorengau;

(b) further notes that:

(i) the documents were sought following concerns expressed by advocates and eyewitnesses regarding the standards of accommodation at West Lorengau, including incomplete fencing and plumbing, intermittent power and water, and the sufficiency of the health and other services being delivered, particularly as compared to previous services delivered at the Manus Island regional processing centre,

(ii) according to the UNHCR's fact sheet on Manus Island, updated on 21 January 2018, many of these concerns are ongoing,

(iii) on 17 January 2018, the then-Minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs and the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (Senator Birmingham) released a two-page response from the Minster for Home Affairs (Mr Dutton), but no documents were returned, and

(iv) the response stated that the release of the documents would be contrary to the public interest, and "should be done on the grounds that the disclosure could be reasonably expected to cause damage to Australia's international relations with PNG";

(c) acknowledges the question of what constitutes a reasonable expectation of damage to international relations has been the subject of proceedings in the Federal Court, specifically in Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade v Paul Whittaker (2005), where the court stated that "Damage to international relations might reasonably be expected where the disclosure of a document may disclose sensitive information so as to cause, or reasonably be expected to cause, actual and significant damage...the test is not whether there is a risk of damage to international relations; the test requires a higher degree of certainty of damage";

(d) does not accept that the order for the production of documents made on 7 December 2017 has been adequately dealt with, insofar as the material requested would, by necessity, include a range of information that has no bearing on Australia's relationship with Papua New Guinea;

(e) does not accept that public interest immunity has been appropriately advanced, and calls on the Minister to review the nature of the documents ordered on 7 December 2017, and apply a higher test of real risk rather than hypothesised risk; and

(f) orders that there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs and the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, by 9 am on 19 March 2018, any correspondence requested on 7 December 2017 which meets the proper test.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

7th Dec 2017, 4:13 PM – Senate Documents - West Lorengau Haus - Order for the Production of Documents

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by SA Senator Stirling Griff (Nick Xenophon Team) also behalf of Tasmanian Senator Nick McKim (Greens), which means it passed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre was formally shutdown on 31 October 2017,

(ii) more than 600 men refused to leave the centre, for reasons including fears for their safety, and were forcibly removed on 24 November 2017,

(iii) the detainees were transferred to the expanded East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre and West Lorengau Haus, with non-refugees housed at Hillside Haus,

(iv) from the time of the processing centre’s closure, until at least 17 November 2017, a number of media reports, photographs and eyewitness accounts indicated the accommodation at West Lorengau Haus – meant to house up to 300 men – was still incomplete, and

(v) according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and media reports, West Lorengau Haus had intermittent power and water and incomplete security fencing up to mid-November

(b) further notes that:

(i) during supplementary Budget estimates in October 2017, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection advised that the Government’s contract with the International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) would be extended to 28 February 2018,

(ii) refugee advocates have raised concerns about what appears to be a reduced level of medical and health services provided to detainees during this transition period,

(iii) the Australian Medical Association has asked the Government to allow its doctors to treat detainees on the island, but its offer has been rejected by the Government, and

(iv) Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) has also called for access to the men in the transit centres, expressing concern the medical and psychological needs of the men are not being met; and

(c) orders that there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, by the start of business 9 am on 20 December 2017:

(i) any correspondence with contractors, reports, memos or photographs relating to the progress of the construction of West Lorengau Haus accommodation, fencing and essential services, made since 1 October 2017 until 6 December 2017,

(ii) any correspondence between the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and its contractors seeking extensions of time or budget to deliver the accommodation, security or essential services at West Lorengau Haus, or regarding difficulties in providing agreed services,

(iii) the parts of any existing contract, MOU, letter of intent or agreement made with IHMS, with regard to the health and medical services to be provided to detainees, including the type of services to be provided, the specialities (such as psychiatric, general practice, counselling, etc) to be made available at each of the three facilities and the number of practitioners within each, provision of medication, hours to be worked, and the range and limits of responsibilities to be exercised by practitioners,

(iv) any variations, in respect of paragraph (c)(iii), to the previous contract or agreement,

(v) the parts of any existing contract, MOU, letter of intent, memo or agreement made with Palladin, with regard to the services to be provided, the timeframes in which they are to be provided, obligations on staff, and any requirement or prohibition on using or allowing access to external service providers (such as MSF),

(vi) any variations, in respect of paragraph (c)(v), to the previous contract or agreements,

(vii) the parts of any existing contract, MOU, letter of intent, memo or agreement made with the following providers, with regard to the range and quality of services to be provided, the timeframes in which they are to be provided, any requirement or prohibition to use local subcontractors: JOA Wokman, Toll Group and NKW, and

(viii) any variations, in respect of paragraph (c)(vii), to previous contracts or agreements.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

6th Dec 2017, 4:19 PM – Senate Documents - Environment - Order for the Production of Documents

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by South Australian Senator Rex Patrick (Nick Xenophon Team), which means it succeeded. This motion requires certain documents to be produced.

Motion text

(1) That the Senate notes that:

(a) in 2015, the Government commenced consultation with the local community of Kimba in South Australia on whether the town might host a radioactive waste management facility, in order to ascertain if there was 'broad community support';

(b) in an early 2016 vote on the issue, the community was shown to be split down the middle – 51% in favour to 49% against;

(c) a late 2016 vote was then held, where the numbers changed slightly to 56% in favour to 41% against;

(d) on 22 March 2017, the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, responding to a question from then Senator Xenophon on the meaning of 'broad community support', advised the Senate that the Government had taken a proposal forward in the Hawker region in South Australia where support was at 65%;

(e) the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia further advised that, while the Government has not put a definitive figure on what constitutes 'broad community support', the Government would need a figure in the range of the support received in Hawker;

(f) Kimba voted a third time in July this year, with a total of 88% of the community voting – the results have come in at 57% for and 43% against;

(g) at no stage has the 65% 'broad community support' criteria the Government set itself been reached; and

(h) on 27 June 2017, the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia announced that two proposed sites for a radioactive waste management facility at Kimba will proceed to the next phase of assessment.

(2) That there be laid on the table by the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, by no later than 3.30 pm on 7 December 2017, a definition of the decision criteria 'broad community support' and all information used by him to determine that proceeding to the next phase of assessment for the two proposed sites for a radioactive waste management facility at Kimba had 'broad community support'.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

29th Nov 2017, 4:10 PM – Senate Documents - Department of Human Services - Order for the Production of Documents

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Victorian Senator Richard Di Natale (Greens), which means it succeeded and the requested documents will be produced.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) on 3 July 2017, The Guardian Australia broke the story that private Medicare numbers were being illegally sold on the dark web,

(ii) the Minister for Human Services stated that both he and his department had only been made aware of the breach when The Guardian contacted them on 3 July 2017,

(iii) on 15 September 2017, the Finance and Public Administration References Committee questioned the Department of Human Services during the inquiry into this breach, at which time the department failed to mention any early knowledge about the breach, and

(iv) on 21 November 2017, it was revealed by The New Daily that heavily redacted FOI documents show that officers of the Department of Human Services were aware of the breach 11 days prior to The Guardian story's publication; and

(b) orders that there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Human Services, by no later than 6.30 pm on 4 December 2017:

(i) any advice provided to the Minister by the Department of Human Services relating to the breach, prior to 3 July 2017,

(ii) any documents relating to the breach from the Department of Human Services, prior to 3 July 2017, and

(iii) any related documents.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

12th Sep 2017, 3:57 PM – Senate Documents - Defence Procurement - Order for the Production of Documents

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon (Nick Xenophon Team), which means it succeeded and that the documents will need to be produced.

Motion text

That—

(1) The Senate notes that:

(a) on 5 September 2017, the Senate agreed to an order for the production of documents directed at the Minister representing the Minister for Defence Industry for:

(i) any correspondence between the Department of Defence and ASC Pty Ltd in response to the announcement that Australian shipbuilders ASC Pty Ltd and Austal would partner to win the contract to build the $35 billion Future Frigate in Adelaide,

(ii) any correspondence between the Department of Defence and Austal in response to the announcement that Australian shipbuilders ASC Pty Ltd and Austal would partner to win the contract to build the $35 billion Future Frigate in Adelaide,

(iii) any correspondence between the Department of Defence and the three prospective design partners in response to the announcement that Australian shipbuilders ASC Pty Ltd and Austal would partner to win the contract to build the $35 billion Future Frigate in Adelaide, and

(iv) any other documentation held by the Future Frigate project that discusses Australian Industry Capability, the partnering or use of Australian shipyards, and how Techport and other Australian facilities might be used in the program;

(b) on 7 September 2017, the Minister for Defence tabled a letter in response claiming public interest immunity, and stated that release of such documents would potentially damage national security, damage international relations and adversely affect the Department of Defence's negotiation position in respect of future contracts;

(c) information on Australian Industry Capability and the partnering or use of Australian shipyards, and how Techport and other Australian facilities might be used in the program are not matters that would reasonably attract a security classification – the order for production of documents does not seek access to any documents that have been marked with national security markings, only unclassified data;

(d) the tender is restricted to three foreign companies: BAE Systems, Fincantieri and Navantia – a claim that disclosing documents passed to three commercial companies could in some way affect Australia's international relations is not a reasonable claim;

(e) the Government is seeking to negotiate a contract that prevents established Australian shipbuilders and their workers from a lead role in Australia's Continuous Naval Shipbuilding Program – this approach will have the opposite effect of a creating a sovereign capability – contract negotiations under the current tender arrangements will be harmful to Australian industry and national security; and

(f) on 16 July 1975, the Senate laid out by resolution its position with respect to public interest immunity claims – paragraph 4 of that resolution makes it clear that, while the Senate may permit claims of public interest immunity to be advanced, it reserves the right to determine whether a particular claim will be accepted.

(2) The Senate does not accept the public interest immunity claim made by the Minister representing the Minister for Defence Industry in relation to order for production of documents number 449 and requires the minister to table documents in full compliance with order for the production of documents number 449 by the commencement of business on 13 September 2017.

(3) If the Minister does not comply with this order for the production of documents by the specified time, the Senate requires the Minister representing the Minister for Defence Industry to attend the Senate at the end of question time on 13 September 2017, so that any senator may ask for an explanation in connection with this matter, and at the conclusion of the explanation any senator may move without notice a motion to take note of the explanation or any failure to provide an explanation.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

5th Sep 2017, 5:10 PM – Senate Motions - Defence Facilities: Chemical Contamination - Williamtown Investigation Area

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate:

(a) notes that:

(i) the 2016 Senate inquiry into contamination of Australia's Defence Force facilities and other Commonwealth, state and territory sites in Australia concluded that there were many points of failure in the Department of Defence's response to PFOS/PFOA contamination at the Williamtown RAAF Base,

(ii) there are still residents in the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) mandated "Investigation Area" in Williamtown, known locally as the "Red Zone", who report relying on bottled water shipments from the Department of Defence, despite repeated requests to be connected to the reliable and uncontaminated town water supply,

(iii) there is growing concern of reports of an extensive cancer cluster of up 49 cases, particularly around the area of Cabbage Tree Road, and

(iv) many residents in Fullerton Cove, outside the current EPA- mandated "Investigation Area", have reported returning abnormally high results for PFOS/PFOA contaminants in their blood; and

(b) calls on:

(i) the Federal Government to immediately release information on what actions and strategy its PFAS (poly-fluoroalkyl substances) Task Force have and are taking regarding property values in the Williamtown Investigation Area,

(ii) the Federal Government to investigate the design of a voluntary buy-out scheme for affected properties,

(iii) the Federal Government to urgently develop, make public and implement a plan to prevent further contamination and clean up existing contamination from the Williamtown RAAF Base, and

(iv) the Department of Defence and NSW EPA to re-examine the current boundaries of the Williamtown "Investigation Area" and investigate reports of extensive contamination outside the current boundaries.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

4th Sep 2017, 4:13 PM – Senate Documents - Asylum Seekers - Order for the Production of Documents

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Nick McKim (Greens), which means it succeeded and that the document will need to be produced.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes media reports which contain many of the details of arrangements between the Australian Government and the Government of the United States of America for the resettlement of refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru;

(b) notes the failure of the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection to comply with the order of the Senate made on 8 February 2017 to provide to the Senate all information relating to the refugee resettlement deal for people on Manus Island and Nauru between Australia and the United States of America;

(c) also notes that the Minister's response, tabled on 15 February 2017, does not set out the particular harm to the public interest that would result by providing these documents, but instead relies on a letter to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee, dated 7 January 2017, in relation to a tangentially related inquiry;

(d) does not accept that a blanket claim to withhold information from the Senate and its committees regarding the Government's negotiations for the resettlement of asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru meets the terms of the Senate order of continuing effect relating to public interest immunity claims; and

(e) orders that there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, no later than 11 September 2017, all documents and correspondence held by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, or the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, or members of his staff, created after 1 November 2015, relating to the resettlement of asylum seekers or refugees previously and currently on Manus Island and Nauru, including, but not limited to:

(i) the terms of the arrangement, or arrangements, with the United States of America,

(ii) all letters and emails between the department and the minister,

(iii) all briefing notes, including all ministerial briefing notes,

(iv) all internal departmental emails and memos, and

(v) all recorded or noted phone calls and meetings, including meeting agendas and minutes, and the names and positions of persons present.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

14th Jun 2017, 4:04 PM – Senate Documents - Live Animal Exports - Order for the Production of Documents

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by New South Welsh Senator Lee Rhiannon (Greens), which means it passed and the documents will need to be supplied.

Motion text

That there be laid on the table, by the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, by close of business on 20 June 2017, a copy of the draft or any other version of the Export Control (Animals) Amendment (Equine Animals) Order 2017 (the Equine Amendment Order) and all documents by or held by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and/or the Minister's office, including risk assessments, advice, emails, minutes or other information relating to the live export of equines including, but not limited to, consideration of the trade's cruelty to animals and any reputational risk to all those involved.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

10th May 2017, 5:30 PM – Senate Documents - Saudi Arabia: Human Rights - Order for the Production of Documents

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by a motion introduced by West Australian Senator Scott Ludlam (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That, in relation to the order of the Senate of 29 March 2017, the Senate—

(a) notes the failure of the Minister for Defence to provide either:

(i) the documents relating to the Minister for Defence Industry's visit to Saudi Arabia and military exports to that country; or

(ii) any acceptable public interest immunity claim;

(b) orders there be laid on the table by the Minister for Defence, by 6 pm on 10 May 2017, the itinerary for the Minister for Defence Industry's visit to Riyadh in December 2016, and any documents relating to approvals for the military exports to Saudi Arabia since January 2016; and

(c) requires, if the documents are not provided, the Minister for Defence be in the Senate at 6 pm on 10 May 2017, so that a senator may ask the Minister for Defence for an explanation, and at the conclusion of the explanation any senator may move a motion to take note of the explanation; or if the Minister for Defence fails to provide an explanation any senator may move to take note of her failure to do so.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

29th Mar 2017, 4:03 PM – Senate Documents - Saudi Arabia - Order for the Production of Documents

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by West Australian Senator Scott Ludlam (Greens), which means it passed and that the documents will need to be produced.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes with concern reports that:

(i) the Saudi Arabian Government is breaking humanitarian law in its attacks on Yemen by bombing schools, hospitals and refugee camps, and is pushing Yemenis towards famine by blocking supply routes,

(ii) the Australian Defence Department has approved four military exports to Saudi Arabia in the past year and that the Australian Government is leading a push for more, and

(iii) the Minister for Defence Industry, the Honourable Christopher Pyne, MP, visited Riyadh in December 2016 to promote Australian defence material to senior government figures, including Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah al-Saud, the head of Saudi Arabia's National Guard;

(b) notes that the Dutch Parliament voted in 2016 to ban military exports to Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom (UK) started a review in February aimed at halting UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and former US President Barack Obama halted the sale of precision-guided technology to Saudi Arabia, all on humanitarian grounds; and

(c) orders that there be laid on the table by the Minister for Defence, by no later than 6 pm on 30 March 2017:

(i) the Minister for Defence Industry's itinerary in Saudi Arabia, and

(ii) any documents relating to approvals for military exports to Saudi Arabia since January 2016.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

10th Oct 2016, 4:18 PM – Senate Documents - Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation - Order for the Production of Documents

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The majority voted in favour if a motion introduced by Greens Senator Janet Rice (Vic), which means it succeeded.

Motion text

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, by no later than 12.30 pm on 11 October 2016, the following documents relating to the final report commissioned by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and prepared by Ernst and Young, entitled Review of CSIRO's Science Prioritisation and Implementation Process:

(a) the terms of reference for the review; and

(b) any documents, including correspondence, briefs or file notes, held by either CSIRO or the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

12th Sep 2016, 3:54 PM – Senate Motions - Roads - Access to information

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Janet Rice, which means it was unsuccessful.

What was the motion?

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) Transurban now either fully or partially operates 13 of the 15 toll roads in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane,

(ii) Transurban's role in the construction and future operation of Melbourne's Western Distributor, a 'market-led' proposal,

(iii) Transurban's stated intention to become the 'natural custodian' of Australia's motorways as policy shifts towards greater road pricing,

(iv) the New South Wales Government's stated intention to sell down its stake in the WestConnex project,

(v) the extension of Transurban's Citylink monopoly as part of the Western Distributor contract, and

(vi) the Productivity Commission's assessment of the dangers of public private partnerships unless the "risks are transferred efficiently, transparently and credibly, with incentives that align the interests of the private sector with that of the public"; and

(b) supports the approach that all contracts, business cases, transport and economic modelling and other associated documents of governments and between governments and private contractors in the planning, construction and operation of toll roads should be made fully available to the public, unredacted, in a timely manner.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

19th Apr 2016, 7:36 PM – Senate Motions - Asylum Seekers - Present documents to the Senate

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The majority voted for a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, which means it was successful. The motion asked for documents relating to asylum seeker contracts to be "laid on the table" (that is, presented to the Senate).

Motion text

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Prime Minister, no later than 9.30 am on Thursday, 21 April 2016:

(a) any, and all, documents in the Australian Government's possession, including, and in relation to:

(i) any contracts between Broadspectrum (formerly known as Transfield Services) and its subcontractor Wilson Security in relation to operations on Nauru and Manus Island, Papua New Guinea,

(ii) any sub-contracts engaged in by Wilson Security and other entities in relation to operations on Nauru and Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, and

(iii) any contracts between the Australian Government and Wilson Security in relation to the Government and its agencies;

(b) any, and all, documents in the Australian Government's possession pertaining to the procurement and due diligence process undertaken prior to the awarding of any contracts between:

(i) the Australian Government and Broadspectrum, and its subcontractor Wilson Security, in relation to operations on Nauru and Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, including Wilson Security's directorship and or the Kwok family, and

(ii) the Australian Government and Wilson Security in relation to the Government and its agencies, including Wilson Security's directorship and or the Kwok family; and

(c) any, and all, documents in relation to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection's internal investigation, and or review, into Wilson Security's role in relation on Nauru and Manus Island as reported in the Australian on 7 April 2016.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

15th Oct 2015, 12:18 PM – Senate Documents — Nous Group; Order for the Production of Documents

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The Senate passed the motion:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister for Education and Training, no later than 3.30 pm on Thursday, 15 October 2015, the following:

(a) a redacted copy of any reports delivered under the Nous Group contract, ‘Assessment of Stakeholder Views—Higher Education’ listed on the Austender website (contract number CN3277481), omitting any reference to the views expressed by individual senators or their staff; and

(b) all other documentation related to the contract, including the contract itself and any correspondence between the Nous Group and the Minister or his department, omitting any reference to the views expressed by individual senators or their staff.

The motion was presented by Kim Carr on behalf of themselves, Jacqui Lambie, Glenn Lazarus and Rachel Siewert.

Following this division, Kim Carr published a press release further explaining their position and motivations behind this motion.

The Guardian had previously reported on the contract reference in this motion in “Coalition paying $150,000 to outsource higher education negotiations: Talks with Senate crossbenchers and universities are being led by Robert Griew of Nous Group, which won contract to assess ‘stakeholder views’” (7 August 2015).

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

10th Aug 2015, 3:49 PM – Senate Motions - Infrastructure - Documents

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by WA Senator Scott Ludlam, which means it succeeded.

Motion text

That—

(a) the Senate notes the comments made by Productivity Commissioner, Mr Peter Harris, who said 'we treat consumers like idiots if we don't publish [cost benefit studies]' in relation to Commonwealth funding of major infrastructure projects; and

(b) there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, no later than 5pm on Tuesday, 11 August 2015, the following documents held or prepared by Infrastructure Australia:

(i) the Infrastructure Australia Board evaluation of the Perth Freight Link project that occurred at its meeting on 7 May 2015,

(ii) any business case presented by the Western Australian Government for the Perth Freight Link project,

(iii) any other documents in relation to the Perth Freight Link project provided to Infrastructure Australia by the Western Australian Government, and

(iv) any assessment of the proposed Perth Freight Link undertaken by Infrastructure Australia, including the priority of this project as compared to other projects.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

22nd Jun 2015, 3:43 PM – Senate Motions - Production of Documents - Turn-back of vessels

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by SA Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (Greens), as amended by Queensland Senator Claire Moore (Labor).

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) does not accept the claim of public interest immunity made by the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection in failing to provide the documents that were ordered by the Senate on 16 June 2015, namely, all documents relating to the payment of money to turn back or take back vessels bound for Australia or New Zealand, ...

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

3rd Mar 2015, 3:42 PM – Senate Documents – National Mental Health Commission – Order for the Production of Documents

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On the request of Senator McLucas, Senator Anne McEwen moved:

That—

(a) there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Health, no later than 9.30 am on Wednesday, 4 March 2015, copies of the following National Mental Health Commission documents in relation to its Mental Health review:

  • (i) the preliminary report which was completed during February 2014,

  • (ii) the interim report of the Mental Health Review which was completed in June 2014, and

  • (iii) the final report which was completed by the end of November 2014; and

(b) the Senate not accept a public interest immunity claim by the Minister that tabling these documents would impact the Government's ability to properly respond to the Mental Health Review because:

  • (i) organisations in the mental health sector are losing staff and being forced to cut services because of the lack of certainty the Government is causing by not releasing the reports,

  • (ii) the production of these documents is necessary to allow people living with mental illness, their representative organisations and service providers to have an open and honest conversation about the future of the mental health system in Australia,

  • (iii) the Mental Health Review must be transparent for the community to have faith in the review outcomes,

  • (iv) there has been significant demand from the mental health sector for the reports to be made available to allow for an informed debate in the lead up to Government decision making around the 2015 16 Budget, and

  • (v) the more than 1 800 organisations and individuals that made submissions to the review have the right to see these reports.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

12th Feb 2015, 12:22 PM – Senate Mental Health – Order for the Production of Documents

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The motion was read by Senator Anne Urquhart on behalf of Senator Jan McLucas:

That—

(a) there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Health, no later than 3.30 pm on Thursday, 12 February 2015, copies of the following National Mental Health Commission documents in relation to its Mental Health review:

  • (i) the preliminary report which was completed during February 2014,
  • (ii) the interim report which was completed in June 2014, and
  • (iii) the final report which was completed by the end of November 2014; and

(b) the Senate not accept a public interest immunity claim by the Minister that tabling these documents would impact the Government's ability to properly respond to the Mental Health review because:

  • (i) the production of these documents is necessary to allow people living with mental illness, their representative organisations and service providers to have an open and honest conversation about the future of the mental health system in Australia,
  • (ii) the Mental Health review must be transparent for the community to have faith in the review outcomes,
  • (iii) there has been significant demand from the mental health sector for the reports to be made available to allow for an informed debate in the lead up to Government decision making around the 2015 16 Budget, and
  • (iv) the more than 1,800 organisations and individuals that made submissions to the review have the right to see these reports.
Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

11th Feb 2015, 3:50 PM – Senate Motions — Request for more transparency in Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

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The motion put by Senator Urquhart on behalf of Senator Wong relates to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and asks that the public be kept more informed of details of the current negotiations. The motion draws attention to a 2013 Senate order requiring that details in this type of trade agreement be made public a minimum of 14 days before being signed, which would require a statement by 4pm 12/2/2015 in this case.

Motion:

(a) the Senate—

(i) notes the Abbott Government's failure to keep Parliament and the public informed of the nature and progress of its trade negotiations,

(ii) expresses concern that the Abbott Government's lack of transparency diminishes industry and community engagement and undermines support for trade liberalisation,

(iii) draws to the attention of the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Investment the order of the Senate of 11 December 2013 requiring bilateral and plurilateral trade agreements to be tabled at least 14 days before signing, and

(iv) requires the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Investment to make a statement in the Senate on the status of negotiations on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership no later than 4 pm on Thursday, 12 February 2015;

(b) at the conclusion of the statement a senator may move to take note of the statement; or

(c) if no statement has been made by the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Investment by 4 pm on Thursday, 12 February 2015, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Wong) may immediately move a further motion relating to the Minister's failure to comply.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

3rd Dec 2014, 4:07 PM – Senate Documents – PricewaterhouseCoopers Data Retention Legislation Report – Order for the Production of Documents

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The Senate voted in support of Senator Scott Ludlam’s motion:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(b) orders that there be laid on the table by the Attorney-General, no later than noon on Thursday, 4 December 2014:

  • (i) the summarised findings of the PricewaterhouseCoopers study or a copy of the study with commercially sensitive information redacted; and

  • (ii) a timeline for the Government's process for developing cost estimates for its data retention policy.

Division 24th Nov 2014, 4:44 PM – Senate Documents — Telecommunications; Order for the Production of Documents is potentially related.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

2nd Dec 2014, 3:58 PM – Senate Documents – China-Australia Trade Agreement – Order for the Production of Documents

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The majority of senators voted against Peter Whish-Wilson’s motion:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Investment, no later than noon on 3 December 2014, the substantially concluded text of the China-Australia Trade Agreement.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

24th Nov 2014, 4:44 PM – Senate Documents — Telecommunications; Order for the Production of Documents

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Senator Scott Ludlam moved:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Attorney-General's Department is reported to have contracted PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct a financial study into the cost of the Government's data retention policy, and

(ii) the Government has not stated what the cost to the Australian public and to the telecommunications industry of its data retention policy will be; and

(b) orders that there be laid on the table by the Attorney-General (Senator Brandis), no later than noon on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 the:

(i) terms of reference for the PricewaterhouseCoopers study, and

(ii) any report provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers in the calendar year 2014 to the Government concerning the cost of data retention.

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

24th Nov 2014, 4:33 PM – Senate Documents — Asylum Seekers; Order for the Production of Documents

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The senate voted in favour of Senator Kim Carr's motion:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, no later than 3.30 pm on Thursday, 27 November 2014, the report of the investigation by Transfield Services of allegations regarding the treatment of asylum seekers in the Manus Island regional processing centre, as referred to in a statement released by the Minister's office on 3 November 2014.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

29th Oct 2014 – Senate Motions - Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement - Give members of Parliament access to the draft text

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The majority disagreed that the Minister for Trade and Investment and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade should give members of Parliament access to the draft text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson had proposed this.

Background to the motion

The Australian Parliament will not be able to see the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement until after it is signed. This is unlike the United States Congress and the Malaysian Parliament, who are allowed access to the draft text before their countries sign it.

Motion

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson moved that:

That the Senate—

(a) notes members of the:

  • (i) Australian Parliament will only be allowed to see the final text of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (the Agreement) once it has been signed,
  • (ii) United States of America Congress are allowed access to the Agreement draft text, and
  • (iii) Malaysian Parliament will be shown the draft text prior to Malaysia signing the Agreement; and

(b) calls on the Minister for Trade and Investment and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to allow members of Parliament access to the Agreement draft text.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

28th Aug 2014, 12:06 PM – Senate Motions - ABC and SBS - Give Senate a copy of efficiency review

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The majority agreed that the Minister representing the Minister for Communications gives the Senate a copy of Mr Peter Lewis’s efficiency review of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation ('ABC') and Special Broadcasting Service ('SBS') (in parliamentary jargon, they agreed the review should be 'laid on the table'). This was proposed by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam.

Text of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) on 31 January 2014, the Minister for Communications announced an efficiency review of both national broadcasters, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), to be conducted by Mr Peter Lewis, and

(i) despite the potentially serious ramifications of the Lewis report for the ABC and SBS, the Government has to date failed to make the report available for public consideration; and

(b) orders that there be laid on the table, by the Minister representing the Minister for Communications, no later than 2 pm on Monday, 1 September 2014, a copy of Mr Lewis’s efficiency review of the ABC and SBS.

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

11th Oct 2012, 12:24 PM – Senate Documents — Public Interest Disclosure Bill, Order for the Production of Documents

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Senator Christine Milne moved:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Special Minister of State and the Minister representing the Minister for the Public Service and Integrity, by 1 November 2012:

(a) all draft copies of the Government's Public Interest Disclosure Bill; and

(b) correspondence from all government departments and agencies that support or raise concerns about the abovementioned draft bills.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

11th Oct 2012, 12:20 PM – Senate Documents — National Data Retention Scheme; Order for the Production of Documents

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Senator Scott Ludlam moved:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Attorney-General, no later than noon on Monday, 29 October 2012, the following:

(a) a list of dates, invitees and attendees of meetings held between the Attorney-General's Department and ISPs, consumer and content industry groups regarding a national data retention scheme;

(b) briefing notes and advice generated by the Attorney-General's Department in advance of the meetings;

(c) interdepartmental communications – emails and documents pertaining to the meetings; and

(d) minutes and reports of these meetings.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

11th Oct 2012, 12:15 PM – Senate Documents — Data Retention Advice; Order for the Production of Documents

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Senator Scott Ludlam moved:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Attorney-General, no later than noon on Monday, 29 October 2012, advice provided to the Attorney-General by the Attorney-General's Department or other government departments on data retention, including, but not limited to:

(a) legal advice regarding data retention in Australia;

(b) legal advice regarding data retention regimes in other jurisdictions;

(c) technical and political advice arising from meetings with experts and industry representatives;

(d) costings and methodology for reaching estimates of costings;

(e) internal departmental correspondence; and

(f) interdepartmental communications – emails and documents pertaining to data retention.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

10th Oct 2012, 3:50 PM – Senate Documents — Productivity Commission Report; Order for the Production of Documents

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Senator Mathias Cormann moved:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, no later than noon on 11 October 2012, a copy of the final report of the Productivity Commission into Default Superannuation Funds in Modern Awards as submitted to the Government on Friday, 5 October 2012.

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

19th Mar 2012, 4:18 PM – Senate Documents — Serco Training Manuals; Order for the Production of Documents

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Senator Sarah Hanson-Young moved:

That there be laid on the table, no later than 22 March 2012, by the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (Senator Lundy), the following documents:

(a) Serco Induction Training Course Student Manual 2011;

(b) Serco Induction Training Course Teaching Materials 2011;

(c) Serco Staff Refresher Training Manual 2011;

(d) Serco Induction Training Course Student Manual 2012;

(e) Serco Induction Training Course Teaching Materials 2012; and

(f) Serco Staff Refresher Training Manual 2012.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

28th Feb 2012, 3:42 PM – Senate Documents — Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security; Order for the Production of Documents

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Senator Bob Brown moved:

That there be laid on the table by 13 March 2012, by the Minister representing the Prime Minister (Senator Evans), the report undertaken by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the actions of the relevant Australian agencies in relation to the arrest and detention overseas of Mr Mamdouh Habib.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

9th Feb 2012, 12:55 PM – Senate Documents — Gambling; Order for the Production of Documents

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Senator Richard Di Natale, and also on behalf of Senator Xenophon, moved:

That there be laid on the table by 27 February 2012 by the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (Senator Evans) any advice or documentation received by the Government regarding the cost of implementing $1 bet limits on poker machines, particularly in relation to the $1.5 billion figure referred to by the Minister in public comments.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest 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 11 550 550
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 1 25 50
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 23 230 230
MP voted against policy 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 805 840

*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 = 805 / 840 = 96%.

And then