How Tony Sheldon voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should put a large proportion of a person's welfare payment onto a debit card that cannot be used for alcohol or gambling and cannot be used to make cash withdrawals

Division Tony Sheldon Supporters vote Division outcome

18th Mar 2021, 2:43 PM – Senate Social Services Legislation Amendment (Strengthening Income Support) Bill 2021 - Second Reading – Mutual obligations and income management

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The majority voted against an amendment to the usual second reading motion, which is ”that the bill be read a second time”. Reading a bill for a second time in parliamentary jargon for agreeing with the main idea of the bill.

Amendment text

At the end of the motion, add: ", but the Senate calls on the Government to:

(a) […]

(b) abolish mutual obligations which are hurting unemployed Australians and making it harder to find work; and

(c) abolish all forms of compulsory income management from our social security system, including the Cashless Debit Card and the Basics Card".

absent No Not passed by a modest majority

9th Dec 2020, 10:08 PM – Senate Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Continuation of Cashless Welfare) Bill 2020 - Second Reading - Agree with the bill's main idea

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to agree with the main idea of the bill, which means that they can now discuss it in more detail. In parliamentary jargon, the majority voted to read the bill for a second time.

What is the bill's main idea?

The bill was introduced "to establish the Cashless Debit Card (CDC) as an ongoing program rather than a time-limited trial". The CDC program is controversial for many reasons, not least the limited evidence that it is benefiting the communities where it is currently in operation.

Read more about the program and what the bill does in the bills digest.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

9th Dec 2020, 9:57 PM – Senate Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Continuation of Cashless Welfare) Bill 2020 - Second Reading - Withdraw the bill

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The majority voted against an amendment moved by WA Senator Patrick Dodson (Labor), which means it failed.

Motion text

Omit all words after "That", substitute: ", the bill be withdrawn and the Senate:

(a) notes that:

(i) thirteen years after the Howard Government's so-called Intervention in the Northern Territory, there is no evidence that compulsory, broad-based income management works,

(ii) the Minister decided to make the Cashless Debit Card trial permanent before reading the independent review by the University of Adelaide, and

(iii) this proposal is racially discriminatory, as approximately 68 per cent of the people impacted are First Nations Australians; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) not roll out the Cashless Debit Card nationally, and

(ii) invest in evidence-based policies, job creation and services, rather than ideological policies like the Cashless Debit Card".

What does this bill do?

The bill was introduced "to establish the Cashless Debit Card (CDC) as an ongoing program rather than a time-limited trial". The CDC program is controversial for many reasons, not least the limited evidence that it is benefiting the communities where it is currently in operation.

Read more about the program and what the bill does in the bills digest.

Yes No Not passed by a small majority

9th Dec 2020, 12:23 AM – Senate Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Continuation of Cashless Welfare) Bill 2020 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to pass the bill in the Senate. In parliamentary jargon, the majority voted to read the bill for a third time. This means that the bill will now be sent back to the House of Representatives so that our MPs can decide whether they agree to the Senate amendments. If they agree, the bill will become law.

What does the bill do?

The bill was introduced "to establish the Cashless Debit Card (CDC) as an ongoing program rather than a time-limited trial". The CDC program is controversial for many reasons, not least the limited evidence that it is benefiting the communities where it is currently in operation.

Read more about the program and what the bill does in the bills digest.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

9th Dec 2020, 12:19 AM – Senate Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Continuation of Cashless Welfare) Bill 2020 - in Committee - Keep items unchanged

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The majority voted in favour of keeping unchanged items (1), (2), (6) to (15), (17) to (49) and parts 2 and 3 of schedule 1. This division occurred after Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie proposed that they be opposed.

More about the bill

The bill was introduced "to establish the Cashless Debit Card (CDC) as an ongoing program rather than a time-limited trial". The CDC program is controversial for many reasons, not least the limited evidence that it is benefiting the communities where it is currently in operation.

Read more about the program and what the bill does in the bills digest.

No Yes Passed by a small majority

11th Feb 2020, 4:19 PM – Senate Motions - Cashless Debit Card - Transparency and choice

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by WA Senator Rachel Siewert (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that the Government is in discussions with the big four banks, major retailers and EFTPOS around a possible national rollout of the cashless debit card (CDC);

(b) recognises that compulsory income management disadvantages people on low incomes by limiting their ability to shop around and make savings where purchases can be made through cash;

(c) acknowledges that rolling out compulsory income management to people on income support payments would remove the choice and control they have over the financial products and services they use;

(d) further notes that the Australian National Audit Office found that there was no evidence that there has been a reduction in social harm following the introduction of the CDC;

(e) urges the big four banks, EFTPOS and major retailers not to facilitate any national rollout of compulsory income management, including the CDC; and

(f) calls on the Federal Government to be honest and transparent about its plans to rollout compulsory income management to income support recipients across Australia.

Yes No Not passed by a small majority

How "voted very strongly 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 2 0 100
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 3 0 30
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 1 1 2
Total: 1 132

*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 = 1 / 132 = 0.76%.

And then