How Barry O'Sullivan voted compared to someone who believes that in light of the threat of climate change, the federal government should make as rapid a transition to renewable energy as possible

Division Barry O'Sullivan Supporters vote Division outcome

26th Nov 2018, 3:51 PM – Senate Motions - Renewable Energy - Cheap, reliable and clean

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Independent Senator Tim Storer, which means it succeeded. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own but since they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Australia in blessed with world-class renewable energy and energy storage resources,

(ii) the price of renewable energy continues to decline, setting new records year on year,

(iii) utility-scale wind and solar farms are the cheapest form of new-build electricity generation in Australia today,

(iv) Australia has the highest penetration of rooftop solar in the world, with close to two million households having installed solar systems to help them to reduce their power bills, and

(v) South Australia's Honesdale Power Reserve, the world's biggest grid connected lithium-ion battery, is showing how new technology can put downward pressure on electricity prices and allow for the successful integration of high levels of wind and solar energy; and

(b) agrees that renewable energy, coupled with energy storage technologies, can provide "fair dinkum power" that is cheap, reliable and clean.

No Yes Passed by a small majority

27th Jun 2018, 4:20 PM – Senate Motions - Energy - More coal-fired power stations

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Senator Pauline Hanson (Qld), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate calls on the government to facilitate the building of new coal-fired power stations and the retrofitting of existing base load power stations.

Yes No Not passed by a small majority

13th Sep 2017, 5:38 PM – Senate Motions - Energy - Transition for coal workforce required

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Richard Di Natale.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) considers coal-fired power stations in Australia will need to close in order to deal with climate change; and

(b) notes that the Government must have a plan for a managed transition of the workforce and to a clean energy future.

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

12th Sep 2017, 4:12 PM – Senate Motions - Renewable Energy - Against target and subsidies

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Senator David Leyonhjelm, which means the motion failed.

Motion text

That the Senate agrees that—

(a) the renewable energy target should not continue beyond 2023;

(b) no scheme to subsidise renewable energy generation or mandate a particular market share for renewable energy generation should replace it; and

(c) renewable energy projects not already approved by the Clean Energy Regulator be ineligible to receive subsidies via renewable energy certificates.

No No Not passed by a large majority

11th Sep 2017 – Senate Motions - Energy - Liddell power station

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Richard Di Natale, which means the motion failed.

Motion text

That the Senate supports the closure of the Liddell power station in 2022, as currently planned, and calls on the Government to:

(a) abandon any attempts to extend the life of this aging coal-fired power station;

(b) address any issues of security of supply through means identified by the Australian Energy Market Operator, such as dispatchable renewables, storage and demand management; and

(c) develop a plan for the orderly retirement of coal-fired power stations in Australia.

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

22nd Mar 2017, 5:05 PM – Senate Motions - Energy - Transition plan for coal workers

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to introduce a transition plan for coal workers, which was introduced by Greens Party Leader Senator Richard Di Natale. These motions have no legal force, but represent the will of the Senate.

Motions

That the Senate—

(a) notes that the Government has had no choice but to walk away from funding coal-fired power stations as they now look to invest in storage technologies to support the unstoppable potential of clean energy;

(b) acknowledges that thermal coal is in structural decline and has no long-term future in Australia; and

(c) urges the Government to implement a just transition plan for the benefit of coal workers, before it is too late.

No Yes Passed by a small majority

1st Dec 2016, 4:30 PM – Senate Motions - Coal Industry - For technology neutral policies

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by National Party Senator John Williams, which means it was unsuccessful.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) supports the 53 000 workers directly employed by the coal industry;

(b) recognises that the forced closure of coal–fired power stations would increase the living expenses of Australian families through increased electricity prices;

(c) acknowledges that the forced closure of coal–fired power stations would jeopardise Australia's energy security and put thousands of jobs at risk in our manufacturing sector which relies on access to cheap and affordable power;

(d) acknowledges that coal is an affordable, abundant and increasingly clean domestic energy resource that is vital to providing reliable low-cost electricity, and that it will continue to be integral to Australia; and

(e) supports technology neutral policies that deliver emission reduction targets.

absent No Not passed by a small majority

15th Sep 2016, 9:12 PM – Senate Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 - Second Reading - ARENA funding

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters, which means it was unsuccessful.

Motion text

At the end of the motion, add:

, but the Senate condemns this bill for ripping $500 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency's clean energy innovation grants as a dangerous and irresponsible act of sabotage, especially in a climate emergency and global transition to clean energy, and because it leaves the Coalition and Labor parties with no meaningful plan to meet Australia's Renewable Energy Target and pollution reduction target agreed at the Paris climate conference.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

3rd May 2016, 4:02 PM – Senate Motions - Budget - Australian Renewable Energy Agency

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The majority voted against a motion that called for the Senate to resolve that funding for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) won't be reduced. The motion was introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) how well positioned Australia is to take advantage of the huge jobs and commercial opportunities from investing in research and development in clean energy technologies,

(ii) That the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is the institution that will enable us to be global leaders in clean technology innovation, and

(iii) That the 2014 Budget proposed $1.3 billion in cuts to ARENA for the financial years 2017-18 to 2021-22 which have so far been blocked but which have caused considerable uncertainty for ARENA; and

(b) resolves That the $1.5 billion of currently legislated funding for ARENA for the financial years 2016-17 to 2021-22 will not be reduced.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

19th Apr 2016, 7:39 PM – Senate Motions - Climate Change - End fossil fuel political donations

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The majority voted against a motion, which was introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters. The motion called on all political parties to ban and refuse to accept fossil fuel donations.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the unprecedented coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef which the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority describes as the worst ever mass bleaching event,

(ii) the devastating bushfires affecting areas of Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage Area which have not been burned in centuries and which may never recover,

(iii) the fact that 2014 and 2015 were both the hottest year on record, and that the United Kingdom Meteorological Office predicts that 2016 will also be the hottest year on record,

(iv) that ordinary Australians are leading the way in calling for action on global warming, in particular, the students at the University of Queensland who have occupied the Chancellery Building calling on the University to divest from fossil fuels, and

(v) that fossil fuel companies have made $3.7 million in political donations to the Coalition and the Australian Labor Party since the 2013 election; and

(b) calls on all political parties to:

(i) support a legislative ban on fossil fuel donations, and

(ii) refuse to accept any more fossil fuel donations.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

17th Mar 2016, 12:39 PM – Senate Motions - Climate Change - Support a rapid transition to clean energy

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters. It called for the government to stop supporting new coal mining developments and start supporting a rapid transition to clean energy.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, stated on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Q&A program that Australia is 'losing the battle' against global warming,

(ii) Professor Terry Hughes has told 'The Conversation' that Australia can either develop new coal mines or protect the Great Barrier Reef, but 'we can't possibly do both',

(iii) coral bleaching caused by global warming has already caused the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to raise its bleaching alert to Level 2, and the United States' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has upgraded its Coral Reef Watch warning for the far northern Great Barrier Reef to Alert Level 2, the highest threat level, and

(iv) the mining and burning of coal is driving dangerous global warming which threatens the Great Barrier Reef; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to abandon its support for the Adani mega coal mine and Abbot Point coal port expansion, and support a rapid transition to 100 per cent clean energy as soon as possible, and at least 90 per cent clean energy by 2030.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

20th Aug 2015, 12:18 PM – Senate Motions - Galilee Basin - Stop legal actions by anti-coal activists

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An equal number of Senators voted for and against the motion, which means it was unsuccessful. The motion concerned mining operations in the Galilee Basin and Abbot Point and called on the Government to "remov[e] legal loopholes that allow for the hijacking of approval processes for political purposes".

Motion text

That the Senate notes:

(a) the importance of the Galilee Basin and Abbot Point to the future development of northern Australia;

(b) the ongoing support of the Queensland and the Australian governments for the responsible and sustainable development of the Galilee Basin and Abbot Point;

(c) the actions of anti coal activists which have delayed billions of dollars in investment and thousands of much needed jobs; and

(d) the importance of maintaining the reputation of Queensland and Australia as a mining and resource hub by removing legal loopholes that allow for the hijacking of approval processes for political purposes.

Yes No (strong) Not passed

23rd Jun 2015, 11:03 PM – Senate Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2015 - 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).

Purpose of the bill

The bill amends the Commonwealth Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme by, for example, reducing the large-scale renewable energy target (LRET) and replacing the requirement for two-yearly reviews of the operation of the RET scheme with annual statements by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER). Further detail is available in the bills digest.

Read more on ABC News.

Yes No (strong) Passed by a modest majority

17th Jun 2015, 6:02 PM – Senate Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2015 - Second Reading - Agree to the bill's main idea

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to agree with the bill's main idea (in parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a second time).

Main idea of the bill

The bill amends the Commonwealth Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme by, for example, reducing the large-scale renewable energy target (LRET) and replacing the requirement for two-yearly reviews of the operation of the RET scheme with annual statements by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER). Further detail is available in the bills digest.

Yes No (strong) 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 4 0 200
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 1 10 10
MP voted against policy 8 0 80
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 1 1 2
Total: 11 292

*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 = 11 / 292 = 3.8%.

And then