How Murray Watt voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should allow companies to mine coal seam (CSG), tight and shale gas

Division Murray Watt Supporters vote Division outcome

12th Feb 2019 – Senate Motions - Great Australian Bight - End oil and gas drilling

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by SA Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) a six year survey of the Great Australian Bight (the Bight), conducted as part of a joint effort by the South Australian Research and Development Institute, CSIRO, the University of Adelaide, Flinders University and BP, has discovered more than 400 previously unknown species,

(ii) the Bight is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet,

(iii) BP and Equinor's own modelling of an oil spill in the Bight shows the scale of disaster that is possible, and

(iv) Equinor plans to commence drilling in the Bight as early as next year; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to suspend all current oil and gas exploration and drilling licences, and move to ban future oil and gas drilling in the Bight.

No No Not passed by a modest majority

29th Nov 2018, 12:39 PM – Senate Motions - Coal Seam Gas Mining - Condemn lifting WA fracking moratorium

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John (WA), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) on 27 November 2018, the West Australian Labor Government lifted a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (known as fracking) in all but the Perth, Peel and South-West regions of the state, meaning the practice will now be allowed on existing petroleum titles,

(ii) existing petroleum titles cover 5.1 million hectares of Western Australia, a vast area almost the size of Tasmania, and threaten the ecologically-fragile Kimberley region, the Pilbara and Mid-West,

(iii) the final report of the Independent Scientific Panel Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation in Western Australia 2018, handed down on 26 November 2018, stated: "Western Australia is the only Australian jurisdiction that has experienced a significant increase in GHG emissions since 2000, largely due to the predominance of the State's extractive industries (particularly conventional gas) ...",

(iv) a recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that we have just 12 years to halt the worst impacts of climate change and keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5C, and

(v) on 27 November 2018, WA Greens MLC, Mr Robin Chapple, gave notice he would urgently introduce a bill to the Legislative Council to ban fracking in the wake of the WA Labor Government's decision to lift the moratorium; and

(b) condemns the West Australian Government for lifting the moratorium on fracking, and failing to acknowledge that development of this toxic industry will only further worsen the state's ability to mitigate and adapt to the damaging impacts of climate change.

No No Not passed by a modest majority

18th Oct 2018, 12:32 PM – Senate Motions - Underground Coal Gasification - Ban

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (SA), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate:

(a) notes that:

(i) Leigh Creek Energy has produced its first syngas using underground coal gasification (UCG), and

(ii) UCG was banned in 2016 in Queensland after the Linc Energy disaster in Chinchilla, which was declared Queensland's worst environmental disaster;

(b) further notes that UCG has been responsible for incidents of poisoning the water table and contaminating soil and air, and has been linked to an increase in cancers, including lung and breast cancers; and

(c) calls on the Federal Government to urgently intervene and stop the Leigh Creek project from progressing any further and ban UCG across the country.

absent No (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

15th Nov 2017, 3:59 PM – Senate Motions - Coal Seam Gas Mining: Liverpool Plains - Moratorium

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion calling for:

the Government to protect agricultural groundwater systems by placing a moratorium on Commonwealth approval of proposed coal and coal seam gas mining projects on the Liverpool Plains, Namoi Valley and Gunnedah Basin.

This means the motion failed.

Full motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) sustainable food and fibre production on the Liverpool Plains requires an integrated and strategic approach to water reform,

(ii) the Liverpool Plains contains some of the most productive and fertile soil in Australia and farmers need certainty about water resources to assist their farming practices, and

(iii) the high degree of connectivity between groundwater systems throughout the Namoi Valley indicates that mining impacts on Liverpool Plains groundwater can extend well beyond one local site into surrounding agricultural systems; and

(b) calls on the Government to protect agricultural groundwater systems by placing a moratorium on Commonwealth approval of proposed coal and coal seam gas mining projects on the Liverpool Plains, Namoi Valley and Gunnedah Basin.

No No Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted moderately 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 1 25 50
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: 55 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 = 55 / 80 = 69%.

And then