How Larissa Waters voted compared to someone who believes that even though public housing is controlled by our state governments, the federal government should also take action to increase the availability of affordable public housing around Australia

Division Larissa Waters Supporters vote Division outcome

17th Jun 2015, 3:57 PM – Senate Motions - Housing Affordability - First home buyers and public housing

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The majority voted against a motion on housing affordability introduced by Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, which means it was unsuccessful.

Note that housing is primarily a matter for the state governments, rather than the federal government.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the median Sydney house price has increased from $73 000 in 1985 to over $914 000 in 2015,

(ii) the ratio of housing price to income in Sydney has increased from 3.4 to 11.4 over that same period,

(iii) currently 41 per cent of all housing finance is for the purposes of investment, compared to 16 per cent in 1992, and

(iv) a poll published in the week beginning 14 June 2015 found that 80 per cent of Sydneysiders said housing was not affordable, compared to a national average of 69 per cent; and

(b) calls on the Government to immediately review the existing beneficial tax arrangements for property investment with a view to improving housing affordability for first home buyers, and providing housing for those on social housing waiting lists and those experiencing homelessness.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

15th Jul 2014, 3:55 PM – Senate Motions - Affordable Housing - Increase funding for affordable public housing

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon (NSW), which means it was successful.

A motion like this expresses the will of the Senate but it cannot force the Government to take any particular action on its own. However, it may encourage a Government to take particular action.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the New South Wales Coalition Government has:

(A) announced the sale of 293 public housing properties at Millers Point and The Rocks in Sydney, with the move expected to displace more than 400 public housing tenants,

(B) made the announcement without notifying the tenants first,

(C) left residents without answers about the disruption to their community and their lives,

(D) failed to undertake a complete assessment of the housing stock in question, and

(E) failed to require provision of any serious amounts of affordable housing units in the state's largest construction site at Barangaroo, adjacent to The Rocks;

(ii) the 1970s Green Bans organised by local residents and the Builders Labourers Federation won protection for the low cost and public housing in the Millers Point and The Rocks area, and

(iii) affordable and appropriate housing is a basic human right and there is already too little social housing stock within Sydney's CBD and surrounds; and

(b) calls on:

(a) the New South Wales Government to cease selling public housing in Millers Point, and

(b) the Federal Government to increase funding for affordable public housing.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

How "voted very strongly for" 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 4 40 40
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 40 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 = 40 / 40 = 100%.

And then