How Amanda Stoker voted compared to someone who believes that there should be more scrutiny or oversight of the actions and powers of Australian intelligence and law enforcement agencies, including the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP)

Division Amanda Stoker Supporters vote Division outcome

20th Sep 2018, 12:27 PM – Senate Motions - Right to Privacy - Protect

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Jordan Steele-John (WA), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) in 2013, the UN General Assembly affirmed that the rights held by people offline must also be protected online, and it called upon all states to respect and protect the right to privacy in digital communication,

(ii) on 13 September 2018, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that the methods for bulk interception of online communications used by the United Kingdom's (UK) Government Communications Headquarters violated privacy and failed to provide sufficient surveillance safeguards,

(iii) the ECHR ruled that safeguards must indicate "the nature of offences which may give rise to an interception order; a definition of the categories of people liable to have their communications intercepted; a limit on the duration of interception; the procedure to be followed for examining, using and storing the data obtained; the precautions to be taken when communicating the data to other parties; and the circumstances in which intercepted data may or must be erased or destroyed",

(iv) the legal challenge was brought by Big Brother Watch and Others following revelations by National Security Agency whistleblower, Mr Edward Snowden, in 2013 that intelligence services were covertly intercepting, processing, and storing communications data in bulk, and

(v) Australian mass surveillance laws, including the proposed Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018, are based on the UK Investigatory Powers Act 2016, also known as the Snoopers' Charter; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) consider Australia's obligations under the UN Declaration of Human Rights and international laws, including the European General Data Protection Regulation, and

(ii) review Australian privacy and surveillance laws, to ensure Australians' human rights are upheld, including their right to privacy, and that sufficient safeguards are enshrined in legislation.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

16th Aug 2018, 11:38 AM – Senate Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2018 - Second Reading - Agree with 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. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a second time.

What is the bill's main idea?

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

  • Extend provisions relating to control orders, preventative detention orders and the declared area offence, and terrorism-related stop, search and seizure powers, currently due to sunset on 7 September 2018, for a further three years
  • Extend provisions relating to questioning warrants and questioning and detention warrants, also currently due to sunset on 7 September 2018, for a further 12 months and
  • Implement the Government’s response to certain recommendations made by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (INSLM) and the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) in their most recent reviews of those provisions by: > * increasing the minimum period between an interim control order being made and the date set for a confirmation hearing from 72 hours to seven days > * allowing interim control orders to be varied > * clarifying the status of the original request for an interim control order in confirmation hearings > * providing that the issuing court must not make an order for costs against the person in relation to whom a control order is sought or has been made (subject to a limited exception) > * requiring the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to notify the PJCIS in writing of the making of an initial preventative detention order as soon as reasonably practicable > * amending the exception to the declared areas offence to include performing an official duty for the International Committee of the Red Cross > * enabling the Minister for Foreign Affairs to revoke a declaration of an area, and the PJCIS to review a declaration of an area, at any time > * requiring the AFP Commissioner to report to the relevant Minister, the INSLM and the PJCIS as soon as practicable after any exercise of the stop, search and seizure powers and > * requiring the Minister to report annually to Parliament on the use of the stop, search and seizure powers.
Yes No Passed by a large majority

28th Jun 2018, 6:54 PM – Senate National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2018 - in Committee - Increasing oversight

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The majority voted against amendments introduced by Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick, who explained that:

this amendment seeks to amend the Intelligences Services Act to extend the oversight role of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security to cover the operations of those agencies.

...

In my first speech to the Senate last December, I highlighted the need for parliamentary scrutiny of our intelligence community to extend beyond questions of administration and finance to matters of policy and effectiveness and, indeed, operational matters. The PJCIS is currently severely limited in the scope of its oversight role.

What does this bill do?

This bill was introduced to:

  • amend existing, and introduce new, espionage offences relating to a broad range of dealings with information, including solicitation and preparation and planning offences;
  • introduce new offences relating to foreign interference with Australia’s political, governmental or democratic processes;
  • replace the existing sabotage offence with new sabotage offences relating to conduct causing damage to a broad range of critical infrastructure that could prejudice Australia’s national security;
  • introduce a new offence relating to theft of trade secrets on behalf of a foreign government;
  • amend existing, and introduce new, offences relating to treason and other threats to national security, such as interference with Australian democratic or political rights by conduct involving the use of force, violence or intimidation; and
  • introduce a new aggravated offence where a person provides false or misleading information relating to an application for, or maintenance of, an Australian Government security clearance.

Read more in the bills digest.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

28th Jun 2018, 6:12 PM – Senate National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2018 - in Committee - Sunset provision

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The majority voted against a motion to introduce the following sunset provision to the bill:

This Act is repealed at the start of the day 3 years after the day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

This motion was introduced by Greens Senator Nick McKim.

What does this bill do?

This bill was introduced to:

  • amend existing, and introduce new, espionage offences relating to a broad range of dealings with information, including solicitation and preparation and planning offences;
  • introduce new offences relating to foreign interference with Australia’s political, governmental or democratic processes;
  • replace the existing sabotage offence with new sabotage offences relating to conduct causing damage to a broad range of critical infrastructure that could prejudice Australia’s national security;
  • introduce a new offence relating to theft of trade secrets on behalf of a foreign government;
  • amend existing, and introduce new, offences relating to treason and other threats to national security, such as interference with Australian democratic or political rights by conduct involving the use of force, violence or intimidation; and
  • introduce a new aggravated offence where a person provides false or misleading information relating to an application for, or maintenance of, an Australian Government security clearance.

Read more in the bills digest.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

28th Jun 2018, 10:17 AM – Senate National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2018 and another - Second Reading - Oversight

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The majority voted against a motion to add the following words to the normal second reading motion "that the bills be read a second time". (Reading bills for a second time is parliamentary jargon for agreeing to the bills' main idea.)

Motion text

At the end of the [normal second reading] motion, add:

", and:

(a) the amendments circulated by Senator Patrick on sheet 8446 be referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security for inquiry and report by 13 August 2018; and

(b) further consideration of the bill be made an order of the day for the first sitting day after the committee has reported."

The amendments referred to in the motion text relate to the issue of the oversight of intelligence services.

What do these bills do?

These bills were introduced to target foreign influence in Australia by creating a new transparency scheme and introducing a series of new offences targeting things like sabotage, treason and espionage.

Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Bill 2018

This bill was introduced to establish the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme to, which will:

  • require registration by certain people undertaking certain activities on behalf of a foreign principal;
  • require registrants to disclose information about the nature of their relationship with the foreign principal and activities undertaken pursuant to that relationship;
  • place additional disclosure requirements on registrants during elections and other voting periods;
  • establish a register of scheme information and provide for certain information to be made publicly available;
  • provide the secretary with powers to obtain information and documents; and
  • establish various penalties for non-compliance with the scheme.

Read more in the bills digest.

National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2018

This bill was introduced to:

  • amend existing, and introduce new, espionage offences relating to a broad range of dealings with information, including solicitation and preparation and planning offences;
  • introduce new offences relating to foreign interference with Australia’s political, governmental or democratic processes;
  • replace the existing sabotage offence with new sabotage offences relating to conduct causing damage to a broad range of critical infrastructure that could prejudice Australia’s national security;
  • introduce a new offence relating to theft of trade secrets on behalf of a foreign government;
  • amend existing, and introduce new, offences relating to treason and other threats to national security, such as interference with Australian democratic or political rights by conduct involving the use of force, violence or intimidation; and
  • introduce a new aggravated offence where a person provides false or misleading information relating to an application for, or maintenance of, an Australian Government security clearance.

Read more in the bills digest.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

26th Jun 2018, 6:45 PM – Senate Committees - Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee - Refer foreign interference bills

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The majority voted against a motion to refer two bills targeting foreign interference in Australia to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, which means they won't be referred.

Senator Brian Burston (NSW) crossed the floor and voted against the rest of the Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party by voting "No".

Motion text

That the provisions of the following bills be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 14 August 2018:

(a) National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2017; and

(b) Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Bill 2017.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

9th May 2018, 11:03 AM – Senate Home Affairs and Integrity Agencies Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 - in Committee - Parliamentary oversight

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The majority voted against amendments introduced by Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick calling for greater parliamentary oversight of Australia's national security and intelligence services.

Senator Patrick explained that:

These amendments will amend the Intelligence Services Act 2001 to extend parliamentary scrutiny to the operation of Australia's national security and intelligence agencies. ... Centre Alliance considers it imperative to improve parliamentary oversight of Australia's intelligence agencies as they face greater challenges and are given more resources and powers to intrude into the lives of Australian citizens. Australia's 10 national security and intelligence agencies employ more than 7,000 people and spend well over $2 billion per annum while they accumulate massive amounts of data at home and abroad. As the intelligence agencies have expanded, the mechanisms of accountability and review have received much less attention and fewer resources.

What does this bill do?

The bills digest explains that:

On 18 July 2017, the Prime Minister announced that the Government would establish a Home Affairs portfolio that will bring together Australia’s immigration, border protection, law enforcement and domestic security agencies in a single portfolio. Australian governments had previously considered but rejected the establishment of something similar to the US Department of Homeland Security or the UK Home Office on several occasions since the early 2000s. The new portfolio will be ‘modelled loosely’ on the UK’s arrangements, comprising a central department responsible for policy and strategic planning and several agencies that will retain their statutory independence.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest 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 5 0 50
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 0 150

*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 = 0 / 150 = 0.0%.

And then