How Malarndirri McCarthy voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should implement the international conventions that relate to seeking refuge and protection from torture. These include the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees and the non-refoulement provisions of the UN Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Division Malarndirri McCarthy Supporters vote Division outcome

26th Nov 2018, 3:42 PM – Senate Motions - Universal Children's Day - Children in detention

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Labor Senator Anne Urquhart (Tas), which means it succeeded. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own but are politically influential because they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) observes that 20 November 2018 is Universal Children's Day, commemorating the UN General Assembly's same-day adoption of the 1958 Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child ('Children's Convention');

(b) acknowledges the work of UNICEF Australia and other stakeholders involved in the Australian Child Rights Taskforce's Children's Report and its recommendations;

(c) notes:

(i) that Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children continue to experience disadvantage,

(ii) the report and recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory,

(iii) that children in Australia face growing issues of intergenerational inequality,

(iv) that no child under Australia's care should suffer harm, and

(v) that refugee children under Australia's care have been languishing in indefinite detention on Nauru for over five years;

(d) invites the Morrison Government to take steps to improve Australia's adherence to the Children's Convention; and

(e) calls on the Morrison Government to accept New Zealand's resettlement offer and get the children off Nauru.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

13th Nov 2018, 6:33 PM – Senate Regulations and Determinations - Migration (Immi 18/019: Fast Track Applicant Class) Instrument 2018 - Disallow

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to disallow Migration (Immi 18/019: Fast Track Applicant Class) Instrument 2018, which was introduced by Greens Senator Nick McKim (Tas). This means that instrument will no longer have legal effect.

What does the instrument do?

Senator McKim explained that:

This motion seeks to disallow an instrument that the government is attempting to make which would expand the group of people who are subject to the fast-track application process for protection as refugees ... [T]he group of people that are currently classed as fast-track applicants had to arrive by boat without a valid visa between 13 August 2012 and 1 January 2014 and were not exiled to Manus Island or Nauru, provided that the minister has allowed them to apply for a protection visa and the person has made a valid application.

...

The instrument that we're seeking to disallow would, if it were not disallowed, apply the category of 'fast-track applicant' to people seeking asylum who arrived in Australia by boat before 2012, were assessed by the department as not engaging Australia's protection obligations and then challenged the department's assessments in the courts. Now what the government is seeking to do is to deny them the opportunity to fully explore challenges to the department's decision in the legal system. This is a significant denial of natural justice.

Read more about the instrument in its explanatory memorandum.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

16th Aug 2018, 12:12 PM – Senate Motions - Migration - New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Senator Cory Bernardi, which means it failed. Liberal Senator Ian MacDonald (Qld) crossed the floor to vote 'Yes' against the rest of his party.

Motion text

That the Senate:

(a) notes that the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants enables the United Nations General Assembly to work towards a global compact for migration, including an intergovernmental conference to occur later this year;

(b) further notes the comments attributed to the Minister for Home Affairs that Australia will not sign any migration compact in its current form, notwithstanding Australia's prior role in developing the agreement; and

(c) calls upon the Minister for Home Affairs, and other relevant ministers, to desist from taking any further steps towards Australia becoming a signatory to, or enacting, any elements of the global compact.

No No Not passed by a large majority

20th Jun 2017, 4:05 PM – Senate Motions - Asylum Seekers - Withdraw from Refugee Convention

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The majority voted against a motion that called for the government to "withdraw from the Refugee Convention immediately", which was introduced by Australian Conservatives Senator Cory Bernardi (SA).

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) 20 June 2017 is World Refugee Day,

(ii) the United Nations 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees is irretrievably broken,

(iii) people smuggling is a crime and nations must secure their borders, and

(iv) national security must always come before accepting refugees; and

(b) calls upon the Government to:

(i) withdraw from the Refugee Convention immediately; and

(ii) reflect upon incidents of domestic terror and foreign fighters, and the refugee history of those persons, and strengthen national security and immigration policies accordingly.

No No (strong) Not passed by a large majority

14th Feb 2017, 4:13 PM – Senate Motions - Papua New Guinea: Asylum Seekers - Against forced migration

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Nick McKim (Tas), which means the motion failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Papua New Guinea Government has commenced the removal of detainees from the Lombrum Regional Processing Centre for the purpose of forcibly deporting them from Papua New Guinea, and

(ii) advice from Professor Jane McAdam of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at the University of New South Wales, states:

(A) "Papua New Guinea's refugee status determination process is inconsistent with international law in a number of significant respects",

(B) "As United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has noted, the Regulation [Papua New Guinea's Migration Regulation] incorrectly applies the limited exclusion provisions of the Refugee Convention to ordinary criminal matters more properly dealt with under Papua New Guinea criminal law, which could lead to wrongful denial of refugee status", and

8(C) "There is a serious risk that the forcible removal of an asylum seeker from Papua New Guinea may violate international law"; and*

(b) agrees that the Papua New Guinea refugee status determination process is inconsistent with international law, and opposes the forced deportation from Papua New Guinea of people who have sought asylum in Australia.

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

How "voted 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 1 50 50
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 3 30 30
MP voted against policy 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 80 90

*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 = 80 / 90 = 89%.

And then