How Larissa Waters voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should introduce legislation to end illegal logging and prevent the importation of timber that has been illegally harvested.

Division Larissa Waters Supporters vote Division outcome

19th Nov 2012, 8:42 PM – Senate Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill 2012 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority voted in favour of passing the bill in the Senate. In parliamentary jargon, they read the bill for a third time. Because the bill had already passed in the House of Representatives, it will now become law.

Background of the bill

The bill will prohibit:

  • importing and selling all timber products that contain illegally logged timber; and
  • processing illegally harvested domestically grown raw logs.

It will also introduce due diligence requirements and require products that are legally logged to be accurately described before being put up for sale in Australia.

Read more about the bill in its bill summary.

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

15th Aug 2012, 3:56 PM – Senate Motions - Forestry - Westpac and logging on the Solomon Islands

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

Wording of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Westpac's environmental credentials have assisted it to promote the bank's business,

(ii) Westpac was the first Australian bank to adopt the Equator Principles, agreeing not to fund projects that endanger communities or the environment, and is a signatory to the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative,

(iii) the Solomon Islands is listed as having the highest percentage loss of rainforest in the Pacific,

(iv) logging in the Solomon Islands is unsustainable and has led to significant pressure on the natural environment, friction within local communities, threats to food security and breaches of human rights, including the sexual exploitation of women and children,

(v) recent investigations show Westpac has provided loans to companies in the Solomon Islands which have been involved in illegal tree-felling, hiring of illegal workers and alleged non-payment of compensation for illegal logging,

(vi) Westpac claims it has reduced lending to the forestry industry to 9 per cent of its loan book in the Solomon Islands and is taking on no new business in the Solomon Islands, yet it has recently gone guarantor for a new project to log pristine rainforest on Vella Lavella,

(vii) the Australian Greens have written to the Banksia Environmental Foundation asking it to consider withdrawing past awards to Westpac because of this involvement, and

(viii) Westpac has refused to investigate the loans it has made to those involved in illegal logging or to withdraw immediately from financing logging operations in the Solomon Islands; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) approach the Banksia Environmental Foundation, which administers the Prime Minister's Environmentalist of the Year awards with Government funding, to ask the foundation to review and consider withdrawing Westpac's past awards,

(ii) initiate talks with Westpac seeking a commitment to immediately end links with forestry in the Solomon Islands and contribute to forest restoration, and

(iii) conduct an investigation into the collapse of the forestry industry due to illegal practices which will impact on the whole Solomon Islands' economy and bring hardship to local people, if Westpac does not in the short-term withdraw from financing logging operations.

Yes Yes 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 2 20 20
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 70 70

*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 = 70 / 70 = 100%.

And then