How Jan McLucas voted compared to someone who believes that there should be more scrutiny or oversight of the actions and powers of Australian intelligence and law enforcement agencies, including the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP)

Division Jan McLucas Supporters vote Division outcome

29th Oct 2014, 12:41 PM – Senate Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014 - in Committee - Australian Greens amendments

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The majority disagreed with a series of Greens amendments that proposed to change a lot of the bill's provisions. For example, they wanted to include more exceptions into the offence of entering and staying in a declared area and give judges more room to interpret what a legitimate purpose to be in those areas would be.

The amendments are known as "amendments numbers (1) to (3) and (20) to (24) on sheet 7594, and amendments (1) to (3) on sheet 7598, and amendments (1) to (8) on sheet 7599".

Enter or stay in declared area offence

The bill will make it an offence for someone to enter or stay in an area that the Minister for Foreign Affairs declares as a declared area. A whole country can be a declared area, which was criticised by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security.

The current exceptions to this offence (in proposed subsection 119.2(3)) include when a person is involved in:

  • humanitarian aid (but this has to be the sole act),
  • a court case,
  • work for an Australian government (state or federal),
  • work for a foreign government (so long as it's not violating Australian law),
  • work for the United Nations,
  • journalism, and
  • visiting a family member.

Read more about this new offence in the bills digest.

Background to the bill

A number of incidents happened before and after this bill's introduction. There was one of the biggest counter-terrorism operations in Australian history. The Prime Minister Tony Abbott also confirmed that Australia would be sending the military to Iraq to fight the Islamic State (IS) (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)).

Two particularly significant incidents were when:

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

29th Oct 2014 – Senate Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority supported passing the bill in the Senate (in parliamentary jargon, they voted to give the bill a third reading). The bill will now go to the House of Representatives to see if the members of parliament (MPs) agree with the senators and also want to pass the bill. If they do, the bill will become law.

The purpose of the bill is to address the threat posed by Australians fighting in foreign conflicts and then returning home.

Human rights issues

The bill makes many important changes, which the bills digest discusses in some detail. The media has focused on how the bill will "make it easier for the Government to cancel passports and allow authorities to declare some conflicts as "no go" zones for Australian travellers" (see ABC News). These changes limit certain rights and freedoms (see ABC News).

The Government's Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights agreed that the bill will limit a broad range of human rights and freedoms but says that these limits are reasonable, necessary and proportionate.

Background to the bill

A number of incidents happened before and after this bill's introduction. There was one of the biggest counter-terrorism operations in Australian history. The Prime Minister Tony Abbott also confirmed that Australia would be sending the military to Iraq to fight the Islamic State (IS) (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)).

Two particularly significant incidents were when:

absent No Passed by a modest majority

28th Oct 2014, 9:55 PM – Senate Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014 - In Committee - Add sunset clause for delayed notification search warrant

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The majority were against adding a sunset clause into the delayed notification search warrant (DNSW) so that a DNSW cannot be issued after 7 September 2018. The DNSW scheme will let the Australian Federal Police (AFP) do searches without telling the owner or occupier until later.

Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm had proposed to include this sunset clause.

Background to the bill

A number of incidents happened before and after this bill's introduction. There was one of the biggest counter-terrorism operations in Australian history. The Prime Minister Tony Abbott also confirmed that Australia would be sending the military to Iraq to fight the Islamic State (IS) (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)).

Two particularly significant incidents were when:

Read the bills digest for more information about the bill.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

28th Oct 2014, 9:10 PM – Senate Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014 - In Committee - Extend sunset clauses

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The majority supported extending the sunset clauses of particular security measures like preventative detention orders by an extra ten years. This means that those security measures can continue for another ten years before they will be reviewed.

This division was called after Greens Senator Penny Wright introduced a motion to oppose this extension.

Background to the bill

A number of incidents happened before and after this bill's introduction. There was one of the biggest counter-terrorism operations in Australian history. The Prime Minister Tony Abbott also confirmed that Australia would be sending the military to Iraq to fight the Islamic State (IS) (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)).

Two particularly significant incidents were when:

Read the bills digest for more information about the bill.

Yes No Passed by a modest majority

28th Oct 2014, 7:59 PM – Senate Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014 — Second Reading - Agree with the bill's main idea

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The majority agreed with the bill's main idea (in parliamentary jargon, they voted in favour of giving the bill a second reading). This means that the senators can now discuss the bill in more detail.

The bill's main idea is to address the threat posed by Australians fighting in foreign conflicts and then returning home.

Human rights issues

The bill makes many important changes, which the bills digest discusses in some detail. The media has focused on how the bill will "make it easier for the Government to cancel passports and allow authorities to declare some conflicts as "no go" zones for Australian travellers" (see ABC News). These changes limit certain rights and freedoms (see ABC News).

The Government's Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights agreed that the bill will limit a broad range of human rights and freedoms but says that these limits are reasonable, necessary and proportionate.

Background to the bill

A number of incidents happened before and after this bill's introduction. There was one of the biggest counter-terrorism operations in Australian history. The Prime Minister Tony Abbott also confirmed that Australia would be sending the military to Iraq to fight the Islamic State (IS) (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)).

Two particularly significant incidents were when:

Yes No Passed by a modest majority

25th Sep 2014 – Senate National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 - in Committee - Against increase in penalty for unauthorised disclosure

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The majority supported increasing the penalty for unauthorised disclosure of intelligence related information from a maximum of two years to ten years imprisonment. This means they disagreed with Greens Senator Scott Ludlam's amendment that it should be opposed (see his explanation).

Human rights issues

The bill makes many important changes, which the bills digest discusses in some detail. In particular, it extends the powers of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS)

Senator Ludlam was particularly concerned about the new offences that apply to any person who discloses information that relates to a special intelligence operation (SIO), with a maximum penalty of ten years in jail. Two concerns with these offences are that:

  • they don't have exceptions for public interest disclosures or whistleblowing by ASIO employees, and
  • they apply to any person, including journalists.

Read more about these offences in the bills digest.

Background to the bill

After the major counter-terrorism raids in Sydney and Brisbane, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that the balance between freedom and security had to shift (see ABC News). This bill is part of that change.

The bill also seems to be a response to American Edward Snowden leaking classified American intelligence information last year.

Read the bills digest for more information about the bill.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

25th Sep 2014 – Senate National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 - in Committee - Remove secrecy provisions

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The majority supported the bill's secrecy provisions, which means they disagreed with Greens Senator Scott Ludlam's amendments that they should be opposed.

These secrecy provisions include deleting subsection 35P(1) from the bill, which would make it an offence punishable by five years' imprisonment for a person to disclose information that relates to a special intelligence operation (SIO) (see Senator Ludlam's explanation of these amendments).

Human rights issues

The bill makes many important changes, which the bills digest discusses in some detail. In particular, it extends the powers of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS)

The bill also creates new offences that apply to any person who discloses information that relates to a special intelligence operation (SIO), with a maximum penalty of ten years in jail. Two concerns with these offences are that:

  • they don't have exceptions for public interest disclosures or whistleblowing by ASIO employees, and
  • they apply to any person, including journalists.

Background to the bill

After the major counter-terrorism raids in Sydney and Brisbane, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that the balance between freedom and security had to shift (see ABC News). This bill is part of that change.

The bill also seems to be a response to American Edward Snowden leaking classified American intelligence information last year.

Read the bills digest for more information about the bill.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

24th Sep 2014, 10:53 AM – Senate National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 - Second Reading - Independent oversight of Australia's intelligence services

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The majority disagreed that an independent committee should be created to oversee Australia's intelligence services. This was proposed by Independent Senator Nick Xenophon (see his explanation).

Senator Xenophon suggested that the committee should be similar to the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court or the German Parliamentary Control Panel, G10 Commission and Confidential Committee of the Budget Committee.

Background to the bill

After the major counter-terrorism raids in Sydney and Brisbane, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that the balance between freedom and security had to shift (see ABC News). This bill is part of that change.

The bill also seems to be a response to American Edward Snowden leaking classified American intelligence information last year.

Read the bills digest for more information about the bill.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

28th Feb 2012, 3:42 PM – Senate Documents — Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security; Order for the Production of Documents

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Senator Bob Brown moved:

That there be laid on the table by 13 March 2012, by the Minister representing the Prime Minister (Senator Evans), the report undertaken by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the actions of the relevant Australian agencies in relation to the arrest and detention overseas of Mr Mamdouh Habib.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

13th Nov 2008, 12:58 PM – Senate Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws Bill 2008 [No. 2] - Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill for a second time.(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through before becoming law here.) This means that the majority agree with the main idea of the bill. The senators can now consider the bill in detail.

Background to the bill

Like the previous Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws Bill 2008 (which is not proceeding), this bill provides for the appointment of an independent person to review the operation, effectiveness and implications of laws relating to terrorism.

References

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

9th Aug 2007, 10:30 AM – Senate Committees - Australia’s Antiterrorism Laws Committee - Establishment

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Australian Democrats Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, which means that it was rejected.

The motion was:

(1) That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee on Australia’s Anti-terrorism Laws be established to inquire into and report upon Australia’s anti-terrorism laws in light of the case of Dr Mohamed Haneef, including whether the laws which enabled the detention and charging of Dr Haneef:

(a) adequately safeguard Australian citizens from the threat of terrorism;

(b) reasonably and adequately define ‘terrorism’ and terrorism-related offences;

(c) provide reasonable and adequate guidance on matters of policy, practice and procedure to investigative and enforcement agencies, such as the Australian Federal Police;

(d) maintain an appropriate balance between the need to curtail individual freedoms in situations involving a terrorist threat and the fundamental civil liberties and human rights of Australian citizens;

(e) have affected fundamental principles of justice such as the presumption of innocence and habeus corpus, and the granting of bail;

(f) allow for periods of indefinite detention of suspects while being questioned or contain provisions allowing for periods of ‘dead time’ which require amendment or review;

(g) are in accordance with notions of procedural fairness and natural justice;

(h) contain or require provisions allowing parliamentary or judicial review;

(i) are compatible with Australia’s obligations under international law;

(j) interact appropriately with other powers of detention or deportation, for example immigration laws; and

(k) any other related matters pertaining to the operation of the laws.

(2) That the committee present its final report on or before 1 December 2007.

(3) That the committee consist of 9 senators, as follows:

(a) 4 to be nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate;

(b) 3 to be nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate; and

(c) 2 to be nominated by minority groups or independents.

(4) That the committee may proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that all members have not been duly nominated and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.

(5) That the committee elect as chair one of the members nominated by the non-government parties in the Senate.

(6) That the chair of the committee may, from time to time, appoint another member of the committee to be the deputy chair of the committee, and that the member so appointed act as chair of the committee at any time when there is no chair or the chair is not present at a meeting of the committee.

(7) That, in the event of an equality of voting, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, have a casting vote.

(8) That the quorum of the committee be 5 members.

(9) That the committee and any subcommittee have power to send for and examine persons and documents, to move from place to place, to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives, and have leave to report from time to time its proceedings and the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit.

(10) That the committee have power to appoint subcommittees consisting of 3 or more of its members, and to refer to any such subcommittee any of the matters which the committee is empowered to consider, and that the quorum of a subcommittee be a majority of the senators appointed to the subcommittee.

(11) That the committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources and be empowered to appoint persons with specialist knowledge for the purposes of the committee with the approval of the President.

(12) That the committee be empowered to print from day to day such papers and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in public.

No Yes Not passed by a large 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 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 5 0 50
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 2 2 4
Total: 2 254

*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 / 254 = 0.79%.

And then