How Mehreen Faruqi voted compared to someone who believes that The JobKeeper payment, which is part of the federal government's response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, should be extended for industries that are still being adversely affected by the pandemic, such as the tourism industry

Division Mehreen Faruqi Supporters vote Division outcome

23rd Feb 2021, 4:57 PM – Senate Motions - Jobkeeper Payment - Arts and Entertainment Industry

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

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) it has almost been one year since COVID-19 physical distancing rules effectively shut down the arts and entertainment industry overnight,

(ii) hundreds of thousands of workers in the arts and entertainment industry have been impacted, as well as those in industries which rely on a thriving arts sector, like accommodation, hospitality and tourism,

(iii) the industry is still in crisis, with international and domestic border restrictions and social distancing rules impacting its ability to operate at full capacity and many people remain out of work, and

(iv) the arts and entertainment sector contributes about $15 billion annually to the Australian economy; and

(b) calls on the Morrison Government to:

(i) extend JobKeeper beyond 28 March 2021; and

(ii) provide an industry-specific recovery package for the arts and entertainment industry of the quantum actually required to save jobs and a generation of arts and entertainment workers.

Yes Yes Not passed by a small majority

18th Feb 2021, 12:31 PM – Senate Motions - Jobseeker Payment - Extend for tourism industry

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The majority voted in favour of motion no. 1007, which means it succeeded. While motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own, they are politically influential because they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) 1.5 million workers including 40,000 travel agents are still reliant on the JobKeeper wage subsidy,

(ii) the COVID-19 recovery is patchy and some sectors are still hurting due to lockdowns and international border closures,

(iii) JobKeeper is set to be withdrawn on 28 March 2021 but the Government has not announced further support for sectors still affected by COVID-19,

(iv) the tourism sector is one of the worst affected sectors, and

(v) without support beyond March, 60% of tourism-related businesses and 90% of travel agencies could collapse;

(b) expresses its appreciation for travel agents, like Lisa and her team at Capital Travel Manuka, who have been working for next to nothing to help Australians change travel plans, return home after being stranded overseas and claim $4 billion in refunds;

(c) condemns the Morrison Government for:

(i) failing to create a plan for secure, well-paid jobs to replace JobKeeper in sectors that need ongoing support. and

(ii) ignoring the pleas for help from businesses in sectors that will not fully recover until the reopening of international borders; and

(d) calls on the Morrison Government to extend JobKeeper beyond March for businesses still adversely impacted by international border closures.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

10th Dec 2020, 5:48 PM – Senate Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Extension of Coronavirus Support) Bill 2020 - in Committee - Don't cut the supplement

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The majority voted against an amendment introduced by WA Senator Louise Pratt (Labor), which means it failed.

According to Senator Pratt, this amendment:

... implores the minister not to cut the coronavirus supplement this Christmas, to announce a permanent increase to the base rate of unemployment payments and to help pensioners and carers.

Amendment text

(1) Schedule 1, page 3 (before line 5), before item 1, insert:

1A After Part 1.3B of Chapter 1


Part 1.3C—Additional economic support payments to address inequities arising out of coronavirus pandemic

38X Minister must consider what additional payments may be required

As soon as practicable after this section commences, the Minister must consider whether to do any or all of the following:

(a) extend the COVID-19 supplement until 28 March 2021 at the amount of $250 per fortnight, in line with extensions to jobkeeper payments;

(b) better support recipients of the age pension, disability support pension and carer payment who are facing increased costs to protect their health in the face of the coronavirus pandemic;

(c) announce a permanent increase to the base rate of jobseeker payments.

What does this bill do?

According to the bills digest, the bill was introduced in order to:

  • provide for the extension of the Coronavirus Supplement for Youth Allowance (Student and Apprentice) recipients from 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021;
  • prevent any extension of the Coronavirus Supplement and the temporary COVID-19-related waivers from the ordinary waiting period, newly arrived resident’s waiting period and seasonal work preclusion period beyond 31 March 2021;
  • provide for the extension of the temporary COVID-19-related qualification rules for Youth Allowance (Student and Apprentice);
  • remove provisions relating to the COVID-19-related liquid assets test waiting period and assets test waivers (these waivers ended on 25 September 2020);
  • allow for specific provisions of social security law to be temporarily modified by the Minister by legislative instrument in response to the economic and social impacts of COVID-19 until 31 March 2021 (or 16 April 2021 for some of the provisions);
  • introduce a discretionary power under the Social Security Act 1991 and the Veterans’ Entitlement Act 1986 assets tests to extend the temporary absence provisions used in relation to determining a person’s principal home where an individual is unable to return to Australia, for reasons beyond their control, within the allowable absence period; and
  • allow for JobKeeper Payment information provided by the Australian Tax Office to Services Australia on or before 28 March 2021 to be used after that date.
Yes Yes Not passed by a small majority

13th May 2020, 4:29 PM – Senate Motions - Jobkeeper Payment - Extend

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The same number of senators voted for and against a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Anne Urquhart (Labor), which means it failed because it didn't receive majority support.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Australian Council of Trade Unions, and Labor, recognising the importance of maintaining the link between workers and employers during the COVID-19 pandemic, argued for a wage subsidy program well before the Prime Minister accepted one was necessary,

(ii) the Government concedes it undershot its own JobKeeper enrolment targets by half a million workers, as employers trying to understand their eligibility struggle with the complexity of the program and how to access it,

(iii) data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows massive job losses and hits to workers' wages concentrated in industries dominated by the casual workers the Government has excluded from JobKeeper,

(iv) the Treasurer still has the power to include more workers in the scheme and protect more jobs, and

(v) the Government is openly canvassing an early windback of JobKeeper, rather than helping struggling Australians access it; and

(b) calls on the Treasurer to:

(i) urgently use his power to address gaps in the JobKeeper program to protect more jobs now; and

(ii) ensure longer-term support is provided to Australian workers, businesses and communities in the months and years ahead.

Yes Yes Not passed

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 4 40 40
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 40 40

*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 = 40 / 40 = 100%.

And then