How Anthony Chisholm voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should limit the availability of government social security payments

Division Anthony Chisholm Supporters vote Division outcome

27th Feb 2020, 12:26 PM – Senate Motions - Child Care - Parents undertaking study

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The same number of senators voted for and against a motion introduced by NSW Senator Mehreen Faruqi (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) it is women who remain disproportionately more likely to arrange childcare and are assessed under the Government's 'activity test' to access childcare support, and

(ii) under the government's 'activity test', only parents who undertake approved courses of education or study meet the activity test requirements;

(b) considers that:

(i) it wrong that parents studying Masters degrees or PhDs that are not approved by the government do not meet the activity test requirements, and

(ii) this discriminates against women participating in education; and

(c) calls on the Federal Government to extend eligibility for childcare support to all parents undertaking education or study.

Yes No Not passed

3rd Dec 2018, 9:00 PM – Senate Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Promoting Sustainable Welfare) Bill 2018 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to pass the bill. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a third time. Since the bill was already passed in the House of Representatives, it will now become law.

What does this bill do?

The bill was originally called the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Encouraging Self-sufficiency for Newly Arrived Migrants) Bill 2018. According to the bills digest, the bill was introduced to extend the existing newly arrived resident’s waiting period (NARWP) for the following allowances from two to three years:

  • carer allowance;
  • bereavement allowance;
  • widow allowance;
  • parenting payment; and
  • farm household allowance.

It also introduces a NARWP for:

  • family tax benefit;
  • parental leave pay; and
  • dad and partner pay.

In other words, this bill will mean that newly arrived residents have to wait longer before they'll be eligible for these allowances.

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a modest majority

3rd Dec 2018, 8:20 PM – Senate Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Promoting Sustainable Welfare) Bill 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, which means they can now discuss it in more detail.

What is the bill's main idea?

The bill was originally called the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Encouraging Self-sufficiency for Newly Arrived Migrants) Bill 2018. According to the bills digest, the bill was introduced to extend the existing newly arrived resident’s waiting period (NARWP) for the following allowances from two to three years:

  • carer allowance;
  • bereavement allowance;
  • widow allowance;
  • parenting payment; and
  • farm household allowance.

It also introduces a NARWP for:

  • family tax benefit;
  • parental leave pay; and
  • dad and partner pay.

In other words, this bill will mean that newly arrived residents have to wait longer before they'll be eligible for these allowances.

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a modest majority

12th Nov 2018, 4:54 PM – Senate Motions - Anti-Poverty Week - Against punitive approach to social policy

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The majority voted in favour of part of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert (WA), which means it succeeded. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own but can be politically influential as they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Anti-Poverty Week was from 14 October to 20 October 2018,

(ii) in Australia, which is ranked as the second wealthiest county in the world, there are currently 3 million people in Australia living in poverty, including 739 000 children,

(iii) Australia has no poverty reduction plan, and despite economic growth, poverty levels have remained entrenched at a high level,

(iv) Newstart and Youth Allowance have not had an increase in real terms since 1994, and

(v) the poverty rate for sole parents rose from 35% in 2013 to 59% in 2015, and rates of poverty for sole parents remain high; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to abandon their punitive approach to social policy and the demonisation of those accessing the social safety net, and acknowledge that the current rate of Newstart is too low and is a barrier to people participating in the workforce.

Yes No Passed by a small majority

21st Jun 2017, 6:23 PM – Senate Documents - Social Security Act - Disability support pension and substance abuse

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Labor Senator Doug Cameron (NSW). The motion was to disallow the Social Security (Tables for the Assessment of Work-related Impairment for Disability Support Pension) Amendment Determination 2017. This means that that Determination no longer has any legal force.

What did this Determination do?

This Determination would have meant that, from 1 July 2017, people wouldn't be able to receive a disability support pension on the basis of substance abuse alone. Learn more in the Determination's explanatory statement.

Motion text

That the Social Security (Tables for the Assessment of Work-related Impairment for Disability Support Pension) Amendment Determination 2017, made under the Social Security Act 1991, be disallowed [F2017L00659].

Yes No Passed by a small majority

22nd Mar 2017, 12:04 AM – Senate Social Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority voted to pass the bill in the Senate. In parliamentary jargon they voted to read the bill for a third time.

The bill will now go to the House of Representatives, where our Members of Parliament (MPs) will decide if they also agree with the bill and want it to become law.

What is the bill?

The purpose of this bill is to make savings for the government in the social services sector (social welfare etc).

According to the bill's homepage, it was introduced to:

  • pause for three years the indexation of various income thresholds that apply to certain social security benefits and allowances and the income test free area for parenting payment single
  • extend the ordinary waiting period to youth allowance (other) and parenting payment
  • include additional evidentiary requirements for the ‘severe financial hardship’ exemption from the ordinary waiting period
  • remove the ability for claimants to serve the ordinary waiting period concurrently with other waiting periods
  • enable automation of the regular income stream review process; and
  • maintain the standard family tax benefit (FTB) child rates for two years, from 1 July 2017, in the maximum and base rate of FTB Part A and the maximum rate of FTB Part B.
No Yes Passed by a small majority

1st Dec 2016, 4:10 PM – Senate Motions - Disability Support Pension - Support people with disability

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by West Australian Senator Rachel Siewert (Greens), which means it succeeded.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that people with disability face many barriers to finding and maintaining secure work and are poorly represented in the workforce;

(b) acknowledges that the report of the Australian Council of Social Service, Poverty in Australia 2016, reported 510,900 adults with a disability were living below the poverty line in 2013-14, not including people with disability with core activity limitation, and that, in 2014, 36.2 per cent of Disability Support Pension recipients were living below the poverty line; and

(c) calls on the Government to abandon its attacks on supports for people with disability, including moving people with disability off the Disability Support Pension and making access to the Mobility Allowance tougher.

Yes No Passed by a small majority

How "voted moderately 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 2 50 100
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: 50 150

*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 = 50 / 150 = 33%.

And then