How Sam Dastyari voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase funding for university education

Division Sam Dastyari Supporters vote Division outcome

15th Sep 2016, 9:16 PM – Senate Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 - Second Reading - Higher education funding

Show detail

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

Motion text

At the end of the motion, add:

, but the Senate rejects the slashing of more than $514 million from higher education programs and support for students as inappropriate saving measures that will hurt Australian students and universities and damage Australia's international reputation as an innovative leader in education.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

16th Jun 2014, 5:49 PM – Senate Motions - Higher Education Funding - Reverse the budget cuts

Show detail

The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, which means that it was successful. The motion is:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that in its first budget the Abbott Coalition Government is cutting $5.8 billion from public higher education, including:(Read more about the 2014 federal budget and its impacts on higher education on Wikipedia here. )

(i) $3.2 billion from changes to the HECS-HELP repayment threshold and increased interest rates for HECS-HELP debt,

(ii) $1.1 billion from cuts to Commonwealth funding for course fees,

(iii) $504 million from removing the grandfathering provisions included in the conversion of Student Start-Up Scholarships into loans,(Read more about this budget initiative here.)

(iv) $290 million from cutting funding to Relocation Scholarships,

(v) $204 million from decreasing indexation rates for grants,

(vi) $170 million from research training cuts,

(vii) $121 million from cutting higher education reward funding,

(viii) $87.7 million from removing the HECS-HELP discount for priority courses redundant,

(ix) $75 million ARC funding cuts,

(x) $51 million from cuts to Access and Participation Grants, and

(xi) $31million from cuts to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standard Agency;

(b) acknowledges the crucial role played by public higher education in providing millions of Australians with skills that benefit the broader community; and

(c) calls on the Government to immediately reverse these budget cuts and commit to a well funded and accessible public higher education system.


Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

17th Mar 2014, 8:02 PM – Senate Regulations and Determinations - Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Education) 2013, Commonwealth Grant Scheme Guidelines 2012 - Disallowance

Show detail

The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Senator Kim Carr, which was:

"No. 1—That the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Education) 2013, made under section 238-10 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003, be disallowed, and"

"No. 2—That Amendment No. 1 to the Commonwealth Grant Scheme Guidelines 2012, made under section 238-10 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003, be disallowed."

Because this motion was successful, this 2013 Guideline and amendment to the 2012 Guideline are now disallowed and therefore cease to have effect.(Read more about what it means to disallow a legislative instrument here. )

Background to the motion

The amendment to the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Education) 2012 and the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Education) 2013 were introduced to implement an efficiency dividend to university funding as part of the 2013-14 Budget.(See the explanatory statements of the amendment to the 2012 Guideline here and the 2013 Guideline here. Learn more about these cuts on Lateline here.) The efficiency dividend is a reduction in loading per Commonwealth supported place.

Yes Yes Passed by a small 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 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 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 1 1 2
Total: 21 22

*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 = 21 / 22 = 95%.

And then