How Andrew Bartlett voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should decrease funding for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS)

Division Andrew Bartlett Supporters vote Division outcome

19th Jun 2018, 4:28 PM – Senate Motions - Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Cuts and privatisation

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (WA), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that on 6 September, 2013, Mr Abbott promised voters "no cuts to the ABC";

(b) further notes that:

(i) the 2014-15 Budget cut the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's (ABC) funding by $47 million,

(ii) the 2014-15 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook cut the ABC's funding by a further $207 million,

(iii) the 2018-19 Budget has cut the ABC by an additional $84 million,

(iv) since September 2013, the ABC has been forced to absorb 1,014 job losses as a result of budget cuts, and

(v) trust in politicians is at an all-time low, and that this is not without reason;

(c) condemns the Liberal Party's decision over the weekend to support the privatisation of the ABC, noting that no members of the Turnbull Government, including the Minister for Communications, spoke against the motion; and

(d) calls on the Turnbull Government to make amends on its broken promises by rescinding its policy to privatise the ABC and reversing its damaging cuts.

absent No Not passed by a small majority

19th Jun 2018, 4:15 PM – Senate Motions - Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Restructure and calls for privatisation

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Australian Conservatives Senator Cory Bernardi, which means the motion failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that the Liberal Party of Australia's Federal Council recently passed a motion stating "That federal council calls for the full privatisation of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, except for services into regional areas that are not commercially viable";

(b) further notes the comments of the Treasurer that the government has no plans to privatise the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC); and

(c) congratulates Liberal Party members for continuing to draw attention to the need for structural and budgetary reform of the ABC.

absent Yes Not passed by a small majority

9th May 2018, 7:02 PM – Senate Communications Legislation Amendment (Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund) Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Media diversity

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The majority voted against a motion that would have added certain words (see below) to the usual second reading motion that the bill be read for a second time (which means that the Senate agrees with the main idea of the bill).

Motion text

At the end of the motion, add:

", but the Senate:

(a) notes that the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund was agreed by the Turnbull Liberal Government as part of a back-room deal with the then Nick Xenophon team in exchange for support for the repeal of the 2 out of 3 cross-media control rule in 2017;

(b) notes that the Government's disastrous record on media diversity and public interest journalism includes:

(i) removal of a key media diversity safeguard which prevented even greater consolidation in Australia's already highly concentrated media sector with the repeal of the 2 out of 3 cross-media control rule;

(ii) budget cuts of hundreds of millions of dollars from the ABC and SBS, which are trusted sources of investigative journalism in Australia;

(iii) pushing community television off the broadcast platform to an online delivery model without an adequate transition period;

(iv) threatening journalists with criminal sanctions simply for doing their jobs under the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2017;

(v) policy inaction in the face of the loss of more than 3000 journalism jobs in Australia over the past five years;

(c) notes that media diversity and support for public interest journalism are not mutually exclusive and that Australia needs both;

(d) calls on the Government to stop actively undermining media diversity and public interest journalism in Australia;

(e) calls on the Turnbull Government to drop its destructive attack on the ABC; and

(f) calls on the Government to support media diversity and public interest journalism in Australia.".

Yes No Not passed by a small majority

26th Mar 2018, 8:39 PM – Senate Communications Legislation Amendment (Online Content Services and Other Measures) Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Reinstate SBS revenue shortfall

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The majority voted against an amendment to the usual second reading motion ("That this bill be read a second time").

Reading a bill for a second time is parliamentary jargon for agreeing with the main idea of the bill.

Amendment text

At the end of the motion, add:

“, but the Senate is of the opinion that the Government must reinstate the SBS’s revenue shortfall of $9 million as included in the 2017-18 Budget.”

Main idea of the bill

The bill was introduced to:

  • enable the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to make online content service provider rules which impose gambling promotions restrictions on online content service providers;
  • provide the ACMA with the power to determine program standards about gambling promotional content which apply to certain broadcasters and subscriptions providers; and
  • require the ACMA to monitor compliance with online content service provider rules.
Yes No Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted 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 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 2 0 20
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 2 2 4
Total: 2 24

*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 = 2 / 24 = 8.3%.

And then