How James McGrath voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should make sure that a planned fleet of 12 new submarines is built in South Australia (this new fleet was proposed in 2013 to replace the existing Collins Class submarine fleet)

Division James McGrath Supporters vote Division outcome

25th Feb 2020, 4:33 PM – Senate Motions - Collins Class Submarines - Current sustainment model

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by SA Senator Rex Patrick (Centre Alliance), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Australia's Collins class submarines provide vital capability for the Australian Defence Force,

(ii) in June 2011 the Navy could not put even one of our six Collins Class submarines to sea,

(iii) it took more than half a decade and a significant amount of taxpayer's money to rectify submarine sustainment and achieve world benchmarks,

(iv) the sustainment model now has short term maintenance activities in Western Australia and deep maintenance in South Australia, specifically through Collins Class Submarine Full Cycle Dockings,

(v) Australian Submarine Corporation in South Australia (SA) still sends experts to Western Australia (WA) when WA is unable to resolve complex maintenance issues, and

(vi) there is a proposal before Government to move Full Cycle Dockings from SA to WA which would result in:

(A) only a small percentage of the SA workforce relocating to WA, causing a huge loss of corporate knowledge from Australia's submarine sustainment organisation,

(B) significant challenges and risk being injected into the sustainment model,

(C) submarine availability suffering, thereby damaging national security,

(D) at best, only similar outcomes would be achieved, thus the cost of the move cannot represent value for money,

(E) a sustainment model inconsistent with Defence's longer term plans of having submarines based on the East and West coasts, and

(F) Defence being exposed to higher levels of risk by having all its Collins Class submarines maintenance capabilities in one location; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) recognise the success of the current sustainment model, and

(ii) continue the current sustainment model, retaining all Collins Class Submarine Full Cycle Docking activities in SA.

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

4th May 2016, 3:48 PM – Senate Motions - Defence Procurement - Shipping and maritime industry

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Independent Senator Glenn Lazarus, which called for the Government to support the Australian shipping and maritime industry.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) acknowledges the importance of Australia's shipping and maritime industry, and its contribution to the Australian economy and national defence capabilities;

(b) notes that some 7,000 people are employed directly in shipbuilding yards across Australia, and a further 24,000 people in associated industries;

(c) recognises that more than 1,800 shipbuilding jobs have been lost in Australia since 2013, and the need to protect and retain Australian jobs for Australian workers;

(d) understands the Federal Government has selected Spanish company Navantia as the preferred tenderer to build replacement supply vessels for the Australian Navy, which will create some 3,000 jobs in Spain and further decimate the Australian shipbuilding and maritime industry; and

(e) calls on the Federal Government to immediately halt further negotiations with the Spanish company and instead work with the Australian shipbuilding and maritime industry to immediately establish the capability to build the ships in Australia which will provide Australian jobs for Australian workers, and in the event that withdrawal from negotiations is not possible, immediately install requirements which maximise Australian involvement, input and content such as the build of the blocks in Australia.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

26th Nov 2014, 5:32 PM – Senate Motions - Censure the Minister for Defence

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A majority agreed to Senator Penny Wong's motion criticising the Minister for Defence.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate censures the Minister for Defence (Senator Johnston) for:

(1) insulting the men and women of ASC by stating he 'wouldn't trust them to build a canoe';

(2) undermining confidence in Australia's defence capability;

(3) threatening the integrity of the Future Submarine Project, Australia's largest defence procurement, by demonstrating bias and failing to conduct a competitive tender;

(4) breaking his promise made on 8 May 2013 to build 12 new submarines at ASC in South Australia; and

(5) failing to protect Christmas and recreation leave and failing to demand a real pay increase for Australian Defence Force personnel.

No Yes Passed by a small majority

How "voted consistently 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* 1 1 2
Total: 1 22

*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 = 1 / 22 = 4.5%.

And then