How Larissa Waters voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should tighten the ministerial code of conduct to stop former ministers from taking up lobbying positions - including in-house positions - within five years of leaving Parliament

Division Larissa Waters Supporters vote Division outcome

22nd Jul 2019, 3:55 PM – Senate Committees - Finance and Public Administration References Committee - Reference

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to create an inquiry into the matters set out below, which means it will go ahead.

Motion text

(1) That the Senate notes—

(a) the Prime Minister's Statement of Ministerial Standards of 30 August 2018, at paragraph 2 concerning post-ministerial employment, states that "Ministers are required to undertake that, for an eighteen month period after ceasing to be a Minister, they will not lobby, advocate or have business meetings with members of the government, Parliament, public service or defence force on any matters on which they have had official dealings as Minister in their last eighteen months in office. Ministers are also required to undertake that, on leaving office, they will not take personal advantage of information to which they have had access as a Minister, where that information is not generally available to the public";

(b) that Mr Christopher Maurice Pyne served as the Minister for Defence Industry from 19 July 2016 to 28 August 2018, and as the Minister for Defence from 28 August 2018 to 11 April 2019;

(c) that Mr Pyne has taken employment with consulting firm EY and that, in his own words, he is "looking forward to providing strategic advice to EY, as the firm looks to expand its footprint in the defence industry";

(d) that media reports indicate that AusTender government contract notices show that over the past four years EY has secured over 830 contracts with the Australian Government worth more than $370 million, including 138 contracts with the Department of Defence worth $148 million;

(e) that EY has publicly identified the Australian Government's investment in new defence capabilities, including the future submarines project and the future frigate project as major business opportunities;

(f) EY's statement that Mr Pyne will help build EY's defence-related business in South Australia and elsewhere, including helping to "lead conversations about what all states need to do to meet the challenges and opportunities this defence investment will bring";

(g) EY's subsequent statement that Mr Pyne "will not be lobbying or meeting with public sector MPs, public service or defence in his EY role" and that he will be "supporting the private sector side of the business"; and

(h) Mr Pyne's further statement that he intends "to ensure that anyone I provide advice to has rigorous processes and procedures in place to ensure that I am not put in a position where the Ministerial Code might be breached".

(2) That the following matter be referred to the Finance and Public Administration References Committee for inquiry and report by 10 September 2019:

(a) compliance by former Ministers of State with the requirements of paragraph 2 of the Prime Minister's Statement of Ministerial Standards, dated 30 August 2018, including, but not limited to the undertakings given by Ministers to comply with their obligations concerning post-ministerial employment, and action taken by the Prime Minister and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to ensure full compliance by former Ministers with paragraph 2 of the Ministerial Standards; and

(b) any related matters.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

19th Sep 2018, 3:58 PM – Senate Motions - Lobbying to Political Parties - Change definition of "lobbyist"

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters (Qld), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) reports in the media that not a single lobbyist has been punished for breaching the Lobbying Code of Conduct (Code) in the past five years,

(ii) that in 2016, Mr Ian Macfarlane, 6 months after retiring as the Abbott Government Minister for Energy and Resources, took up the chief executive position at the Queensland Resources Council, advocating for the commercial interests of the very industry he was in charge of regulating only months before, and

(iii) that Mr Macfarlane is not classified by the Code as a lobbyist because he is employed directly as an in-house lobbyist by an industry peak body; and

(b) calls on the Government to update the definition of a lobbyist to ensure that in-house lobbyists for industry and industry peak bodies, such as Mr Macfarlane, are captured by the regulation of the Code.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

19th Sep 2018, 3:54 PM – Senate Motions - Lobbying to Political Parties - Change definition of "lobbyist"

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters (Qld), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) reports in the media that not a single lobbyist has been punished for breaching the Lobbying Code of Conduct (Code) in the past five years,

(ii) that in October 2013, newly retired Labor Government Minister for Energy and Resources, Mr Martin Ferguson, took up a position at the peak body for the oil and gas industry, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, advocating for the commercial interests of very industry he was in charge of regulating only months before, and

(iii) that Mr Ferguson is not classified by the Code as a lobbyist because he is employed directly as an in-house lobbyist by an industry peak body; and

(b) calls on the Government to update the definition of a lobbyist to ensure that in-house lobbyists for industry and industry peak bodies, such as Mr Ferguson, are captured by the regulation of the Code.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

18th Sep 2018, 4:58 PM – Senate Motions - Ministerial Conduct - Tighten

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters (Qld), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate:

(a) notes:

(i) that on 17th September 2018, the Guardian Australia launched a series of damning articles about the practices of lobbyists in the Australian Parliament,

(ii) that the article states that "Big business is gaining almost unfettered access to the corridors of Australia's Parliament owing to an oversight regime that is weak, unenforced, opaque and unable to keep track of the revolving door between lobbying and government", and

(iii) high profile cases such as former Resources Minister Mr Ian MacFarlane taking up a job as head of the Queensland Resources Council almost immediately after quitting politics and, Mr Bruce Billson, former Minister for Small Business, being employed by the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) in March 2016, before actually leaving the Parliament; and

(b) calls on the government to

(i) urgently tighten the ministerial code of conduct to preclude ministers from taking up jobs as lobbyists within 5 years of leaving Parliament, and

(ii) ensure that meaningful penalties are put in place for former ministers who breach the code of conduct.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest 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 1 50 50
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 3 30 30
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 80 80

*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 = 80 / 80 = 100%.

And then