How Nita Green voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should protect threatened forest and bushland habitats from logging.

Division Nita Green Supporters vote Division outcome

26th Aug 2020, 4:21 PM – Senate Motions - Victoria: Forestry - Protect old-growth and high conservation value forests

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by WA Senator Rachel Siewert (Labor), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Federal Court of Australia has made formal declarations of unlawful logging by VicForests in 66 forest areas under Victoria's Regional Forest Agreement,

(ii) the Bob Brown Foundation has launched a separate legal action, arguing that logging under the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement is unsustainable and illegal, and

(iii) handing environmental approvals to the states will make the rest of our environment subject to the same systemic failure as our forests have been suffering under the Regional Forests Agreements; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) abandon the failed, flawed Regional Forest Agreements,

(ii) immediately protect all old-growth and high conservation value forests,

(iii) abandon attempts to rush through changes to environmental laws that make it easier for big miners and developers to damage our environment and wildlife, and

(iv) create an independent environmental watchdog with teeth.

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

15th Jun 2020, 4:32 PM – Senate Motions - Environmental Conservation: New South Wales - Convert to national park

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by NSW Senator Mehreen Faruqi (Labor), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that the New South Wales (NSW) government has included the former IBM site at 55 Coonara Avenue West Pennant Hills in its planning acceleration program, despite the proposal for rezoning from Business to Residential and Environmental use being opposed by the Hills Shire Council and Hornsby Shire Council,

(ii) that the proposal for high-density residential development on the site requires the removal of 2,000 trees, including Blue Gum High Forest and Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion, both of which are listed as a critically endangered ecological communities under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth),

(iii) the sustained opposition of local residents, civic associations, environmentalists and elected councillors to the development,

(iv) that the NSW Natural Resource Commission has identified the Sydney Basin Bioregion as being at "high biodiversity risk", and

(v) that land clearing has turned Australia into a global deforestation hot-spot and is exacerbating the climate emergency;

(b) opposes the destruction of ecological communities listed as critically endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth), and

(c) calls on the NSW Government to reject Mirvac's rezoning application and instead convert the Cumberland State Forest and adjacent forest at 55 Coonara Ave West Pennant Hills into national park.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

11th Jun 2020, 4:52 PM – Senate Motions - Forestry - Protect native forests

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Regional Forest Agreements are federal–state agreements under which native forest logging operations have been exempted from federal environment law (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)) for more than 20 years;

(ii) the Federal Court has found that:

(A) VicForests logging operations breached its Code of Practice for Timber Production and did not apply the precautionary principle when assessing impacts on the Greater Glider or Leadbeater's Possum, and

(B) these breaches of the Code mean that the native forest logging exemption does not apply, and the Central Highlands logging operation must be assessed under the EPBC Act,

(iii) this landmark decision sets an important legal precedent—meaning the exemption for native forest logging operations does not apply if they are in breach of rules that apply under the RFAs, and planned logging with a significant impact on federally listed threatened species must be assessed under the provisions of the EPBC Act; and

(iv) this decision has implications for native forest logging in all 10 areas under Regional Forest Agreements:

(A) Tasmania, with implications for iconic species such as the Tasmanian devil, Swift parrot, Eastern quoll, Giant freshwater crayfish, masked owl and others which are at serious risk due to logging;

(B) New South Wales in Eden, the North East NSW and Southern region, including implications for the feathertail glider, brushtail possum, koalas and others;

(C) Victoria in the Central Highlands, East Gippsland, Gippsland, West, and North East, including implications for the spot-tailed quoll, the smoky mouse and others; and

(D) Western Australia, including implications for the Western ringtail possum, remaining continental populations of quokkas, the forest red-tailed black cockatoo, Carnaby's black cockatoo, the numbat and other species, and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) accept the Federal Court decision that, in circumstances where the rules underpinning Regional Forest Agreements are not complied with, logging operations that will impact on Matters of National Environmental Significance need to be assessed under the provisions of the EPBC Act, and

(ii) take immediate, urgent action to ensure Australia's native forests are protected for their values including threatened species habitat, carbon storage, water supplies, and regional tourism.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

13th Feb 2020, 12:11 PM – Senate Motions - Coal Seam Gas Mining - Protect Pilliga Forest & Great Artesian Basin

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by NSW Senator Mehreen Faruqi (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Prime Minister Scott Morrison has signed off on a $2 billion deal with the New South Wales Government that would fast track the Narrabri Gas Project (NGP), which will extract gas from coal seams lying deep beneath the mighty Pilliga Forest,

(ii) the NGP is fiercely opposed by local communities, farmers, and ecologists because it threatens the Pilliga Forest, the Great Artesian Basin, farmers' livelihoods, and food and water security, and

(iii) the NGP will further delay the shift to renewables and exacerbate the climate crisis; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to protect the Pilliga Forest and the Great Artesian Basin from any new fossil fuel projects including the NGP.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

12th Feb 2020, 4:30 PM – Senate Motions - Climate Change - Logging in the Tarkine

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) urgent action is required to mitigate climate change,

(ii) the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report on Climate Change and Land, stated that, in the short term, leaving existing forests standing is the most effective way to manage forests to mitigate climate change, and

(iii) the plans by the Tasmanian Government to allow logging in the Tarkine in north-west Tasmania will result in an increase in carbon emissions; and

(b) calls on the Tasmanian Government to abandon its plans to allow logging in the Tarkine.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

4th Dec 2019, 4:22 PM – Senate Motions - Forestry - Victoria

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by NSW Senator Perin Davey (Nationals), which means it passed. Motions like these don't make legal changes themselves, but are politically influential because they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which advised the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, stated in their 4th Assessment: 'A sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit',

(ii) all Australia's native forests, including the Victorian native forest estate, are certified to the global standard of Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, which is the world's largest certification scheme for forestry and is only available to countries that practise sustainable forest management,

(iii) on 7 November 2019, the Victorian Labor Government announced it will cease all native forest harvesting in state forests by 2030, stepping down production from 2024,

(iv) the annual economic impact on the native forestry value chain and regional communities is expected to be more than $297.3 million,

(v) more than 4700 workers, their families and communities will be negatively impacted as a result of the Victorian Labor Government's decision,

(vi) regional towns and communities across Victoria, including Orbost, Benalla, Heyfield, Noojee, Violet Town, Powelltown and Corryong, are likely to be negatively affected by this decision, and

(vii) this decision creates a disturbing precedent undermining confidence in communities relying on native forestry across Australia; and

(b) calls on all parties to:

(i) recognise the significant contribution the Victorian native hardwood forestry industry contributes to the economy and to rural and regional communities,

(ii) condemn the Victorian Labor Government for seeking to destroy the Victorian native timber industry and forestry workers right to earn a living, and

(iii) call on the Victorian Labor Government to listen to the regional communities directly affected, and reverse this decision.

No No Passed by a small majority

10th Sep 2019, 4:23 PM – Senate Motions - Endangered Species - Protect

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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 a study entitled Lots of loss with little scrutiny: The attrition of habitat critical for threatened species in Australia, which was published on 8 September 2019, and found that:

(i) Australia has one of the worst extinction rates of any nation, yet there has been little assessment of the effect of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), to prevent species extinction,

(ii) 7.7 million hectares of potential habitat for terrestrial threatened species, terrestrial migratory species, and threatened ecological communities has been cleared between 2000 and 2017,

(iii) of this loss, 7.1 million hectare (93%) was not referred to the Federal Government for assessment,

(iv) this non-compliance means that potential habitat for terrestrial threatened species, terrestrial migratory species, and threatened ecological communities have been lost without assessment, regulation, or enforcement under the EPBC Act,

(v) additionally, when an action has been referred, most habitat loss has been approved, sometimes with conditions, and therefore has resulted in large areas of cumulative habitat loss,

(vi) the EPBC Act is ineffective at protecting potential habitat for terrestrial threatened species, terrestrial migratory species, or threatened ecological communities, and

(vii) without strict, comprehensive application and enforcement, as well as explicit guidance and requirements, policies such as the EPBC Act will remain ineffective at regulating habitat loss and protecting biodiversity;

(b) notes that:

(i) last week, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) revealed that the Federal Government authorised the clearing of north Queensland woodland, despite its own environment department finding it was likely to destroy habitat critical to the vulnerable greater glider – former Deputy Prime Minister Mr Joyce had written to the former Minister for the Environment and Energy, Mr Frydenberg, asking for no unnecessary intervention under the EPBC Act in relation to the land clearing,

(ii) GuardianAustralia recently revealed that a company part-owned by Mr Angus Taylor, MP and his brother were under investigation by the Department of the Environment and Energy for alleged unlawful destruction of critically-endangered grasslands when Minister Taylor met with departmental staff, including a compliance officer investigating the clearing allegations, and he also approached the former Minister for the Environment and Energy, Mr Frydenberg, about amending the critically-endangered listing of the grassland species, and

(iii) the ABC revealed last year that the former Minister for the Environment and Energy, Mr Frydenberg, ignored advice from his own Department that he should reject an application for the Toondah Harbour apartment and marina proposal in Queensland because of the damage it would do to an internationally protected wetland, home to critically-endangered migratory shorebirds, instead allowing the project to progress to the next stage of assessment; and

(c) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) implement the study's recommendations, including that when scientifically determinable, critical habitat is demarcated for listed species and communities, which provides absolute protection that is enforced, monitored, and investigated by the regulator,

(ii) ensure that the current review of the EPBC Act address its fundamental failure to actually protect the environment, biodiversity and conservation, and

(iii) audit all decisions made by Mr Frydenberg in his capacity as the Minister for the Environment and Energy, as they relate to land clearing and critical habitat destruction.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted moderately 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 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 1 10 10
MP voted against policy 3 0 30
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 3 3 6
Total: 13 46

*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 = 13 / 46 = 28%.

And then