How Ian Macdonald voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government needs to support research and conservation initiatives that aim to put a stop to the current trajectory of animal and plant extinctions in Australia

Division Ian Macdonald Supporters vote Division outcome

4th Dec 2018, 4:50 PM – Senate Motions - United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity - Heed recommendations

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The majority voted in favour of a motion, which means it succeeded. Motion 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) the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity took place in Egypt from 13 to 29 November 2018,

(ii) the United Nations report to the Convention demonstrated that Australia is failing to meet international targets, especially in parts of the country where land clearing and habitat destruction are widespread,

(iii) the World Wildlife Fund also issued a report, as part of the conference, that placed Australia amongst the worst performers on biodiversity in a group of 100 nations, and

(iv) the Convention called on governments to scale up investments in nature and people towards 2020 and beyond, and to accelerate action to achieve Aichi Biodiversity Targets by 2020; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to heed the recommendations of the Convention.

absent Yes Passed by a small majority

14th Feb 2018, 4:22 PM – Senate Motions - Tasmania: Environment - Tarkine

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The majority voted against this motion, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Tasmania's unique environment is under threat from inappropriate development, and the failure to protect natural and cultural values,

(ii) rapid and unfettered expansion of fish farms is privatising public waters and damaging Tasmania's marine environment and coastal lifestyle,

(iii) private sector development in Tasmania's iconic national parks and world heritage areas is continuing,

(iv) the Swift Parrot is facing extinction due to ongoing deforestation of its habitat by logging, and

(v) Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage is being damaged by four wheel drive tracks in the Tarkine area; and

(b) condemns the Federal and Tasmanian Liberal Governments for failing to stand up for Tasmania's unique natural environment, their lack of support for a Tarkine national park, and complete inaction on climate change.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

7th Sep 2017, 12:36 PM – Senate Motions - National Threatened Species Day - Government support for research & conservation

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Janet Rice, which:

calls on the Government to take decisive action to properly fund and support biodiversity research and conservation, and stop the trajectory of animal and plant extinctions in Australia.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) National Threatened Species Day is marked today, 7 September 2017, the anniversary of the day that the last Thylacine (or Tasmanian Tiger) went extinct in 1936 in a Hobart zoo,

(ii) in Australia, we have one of the world's worst extinction rates for our native mammals, with 29 species going extinct since European settlement and that number representing a third of all global mammalian extinctions in the last 600 years,

(iii) 20 per cent of Australia's remaining mammal species are classified as threatened, including iconic species like koalas, wombats, bilbies and Tasmanian devils,

(iv) globally, we are living through what scientists are calling the Holocene extinction, which is the sixth greatest extinction event since life began on earth and is being caused by human activity, and

(v) there is good work being done in our community to save our native wildlife, but that more needs to be done by our governments to address the biodiversity crisis, including by tackling threatening processes, including land clearing, logging and pest animal and plant species; and

(b) calls on the Government to take decisive action to properly fund and support biodiversity research and conservation, and stop the trajectory of animal and plant extinctions in Australia.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

14th Sep 2011 – Senate Motions - National Threatened Species Day - Reverse biodiversity decline

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The majority voted against a motion calling for the Government to take action "to reverse the decline of Australia's biodiversity".

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) 7 September was Threatened Species Day, and that this day in 2011 commemorated the 75th anniversary of the extinction of the thylacine (the Tasmanian tiger),

(ii) the global rate of species extinction is greater now than at any time in human history, and

(iii) Australia currently has 1 785 nationally threatened plant and animal species;

(b) agrees that:

(i) as one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, Australia has a special responsibility to protect our unique species, which are inherently precious and must be preserved for future generations, and

(ii) it is incumbent upon this generation to arrest the global decline of biodiversity; and

(c) calls on the Government to commit, in its upcoming reform package to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, to reverse the decline of Australia's biodiversity, including by strengthening the Act to preclude the Minister from granting any approval that would push a species to a higher level of endangerment.

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

8th Sep 2009, 3:44 PM – Senate Motions - National Threatened Species Day - Management plans

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The majority voted against a motion that:

calls on the Government to increase funding for the listing and protection of threatened species, habitats and communities and the preparation and implementation of management plans.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that Monday, 7 September 2009 is National Threatened Species Day;

(b) acknowledges the significance of the date which is the anniversary of the death of the last known thylacine (Tasmanian tiger) in captivity in 1936 at Hobart’s Beaumaris Zoo;

(c) expresses:

(i) concern at the continuing decline of Australia’s biodiversity and the increasing levels of threat and endangerment faced by Australia’s endemic species, with 125 endemic species now listed as critically endangered, and

(ii) alarm at accelerating levels of species threat in northern Australia, as noted by a meeting of wildlife experts in Darwin in February 2009 that reported on a ‘new and potentially catastrophic wave of mammalian extinctions’;

(d) notes that Australia leads the world in mammalian extinctions, with 40 species lost over the past 200 years; and

(e) calls on the Government to increase funding for the listing and protection of threatened species, habitats and communities and the preparation and implementation of management plans.

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

13th Aug 2007, 3:50 PM – Senate Motions - Yangtze River Dolphin - Implement management plans

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The majority voted against a motion that "calls on the Government to ensure the implementation of Australian law, requiring management plans to lift creatures facing extinction to greater safety in Australia".

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes with regret:

(i) news of the extinction of the Yangtze River dolphin, and

(ii) that this is the first large vertebrate to be forced to extinction by human activity in 50 years and only the fourth time since the year 1500 that an entire evolutionary line of mammals has vanished from the face of the earth; and

(b) calls on the Government to ensure the implementation of Australian law, requiring management plans to lift creatures facing extinction to greater safety in Australia.

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

7th Sep 2006, 10:10 AM – Senate Motions - National Threatened Species Day - Legislation to protect threatened species

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The majority voted against a motion that "urges the Government to immediately develop and implement legislation that does protect threatened species".

Motion text

That, on National Threatened Species Day, the Senate—

(a) recognises that habitat destruction and fragmentation together with alien invasive species exacerbated by global warming are the main drivers of species extinction globally;

(b) notes that:

(i) since 1788, 52 plants and 55 animal species have gone to extinction in Australia including the Thylacine, which was last seen in Tasmania 70 years ago today, and

(ii) in 2006 there are 1 243 plants, 91 mammals, 107 birds, 52 reptiles, 27 frogs, 39 fishes and 22 invertebrates listed as either critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable or conservation dependent in Australia;

(c) expresses concern that only 21 per cent of nationally-listed threatened species have recovery plans, none of which any longer have implementation schedules or life of the project funding plans;

(d) calls on the Government to recognise that protection of threatened species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 has failed and does not fulfil Australia’s obligations to protect threatened species under the Convention on Biological Diversity; and

(e) urges the Government to immediately develop and implement legislation that does protect threatened species.

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

28th Mar 2006, 3:52 PM – Senate Motions - Wedge-Tailed Eagle - Protect habitat

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The majority voted against a motion to alter the logging plans in north-east Tasmania in order to save the habitat of the endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) notes a study by the University of Melbourne and Forestry Tasmania which estimates that the threat of extinction of the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle in north east Tasmania rises from 65 per cent to 99 per cent if current logging plans go ahead; and

(b) calls on the Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments to address this finding by altering the proposed logging so that the eagle’s prospects of survival are improved rather than worsened.

absent Yes Not passed by a large 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 3 0 30
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 5 5 10
Total: 5 40

*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 = 5 / 40 = 13%.

And then