How Steve Hutchins voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land rights by, for example, increasing their legal recognition and protection

Division Steve Hutchins Supporters vote Division outcome

14th Sep 2009, 6:19 PM – Senate Native Title Amendment Bill 2009 - In Committee - Proof of continuity

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The majority voted against an amendment introduced by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, which means that it was rejected. The amendment related to the issue of proving continuity (51.8 KB).

Senator Siewert explained that her amendment would have "reverse[d] the onus of proof so that native title holders do not have to prove continuity." Under this amendment "[t]here is a presumption of continuity ... [and] the state government and those opposing a claim have to prove otherwise." You can read Senator Siewert's whole explanation of the amendment and the associated debate here.

Background to the bill

The bill amends the _ Native Title Act 1993_ to:

  • enable the Federal Court to determine whether the court, the National Native Title Tribunal, or another individual/body should mediate native title claims;
  • specify the manner in which mediations are conducted;
  • change powers of the court in relation to agreed statements of fact and consent orders;
  • enable native title proceedings to rely on new evidence rules;
  • vary the operation of representative bodies, including their recognition and removal of transitional arrangements; and
  • make minor and technical amendments.

Read more about native title in Australia here.

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

How "never voted" is worked out

Normally a person's votes count towards a score which is used to work out a simple phrase to summarise their position on a policy. However in this case Steve Hutchins was absent during all divisions for this policy. So, it's impossible to say anything concrete other than that they have "never voted" on this policy.