How Sue Boyce voted compared to someone who believes that the Federal Government should protect whales within Australian waters by, for example, taking action against the Japanese Government over its whaling program in the Southern Ocean

Division Sue Boyce Supporters vote Division outcome

28th Feb 2013, 12:16 PM – Senate Motions - Whaling - Seek explanation for non-compliance with injunction

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The majority disagreed that the Australian Government should seek an explanation from the Japanese Government about why it is still whaling within the International Whale Sanctuary in the Southern Ocean.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate calls on the Australian Government to seek an immediate explanation from the Government of Japan on its non-compliance with the injunction of the Federal Court of Australia in 2008 against whaling in the International Whale Sanctuary in the Southern Ocean.

2008 injunction against whaling

The Humane Society International Inc (HSI), represented by the Environmental Defender's Office (NSW), brought an action against Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd, a Japanese whaling company. In 2008, they succeeded in getting the Federal Court of Australia to declare that Kyodo was in breach of Australian law by whaling in the Australian Whale Sanctuary and to grant an injunction to restrain Kyodo from further breaches. Read more in the EDO's summary of the case.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

21st Nov 2012, 4:00 PM – Senate Motions - Seismic Survey - Harm to marine wildlife

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The majority disagreed with the motion introduced by Greens Senator Penny Wright, which opposes Bight Petroleum's application to conduct a seismic survey because of its potential to harm marine wildlife.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) notes Bight Petroleum's referral of a proposed action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Reference Number: 2012/6583);

(b) recognises the high likelihood of the proposed seismic survey encountering and having an adverse impact on:

(i) blue whales if undertaken between November and April,

(ii) southern right whales if undertaken between May and October, and

(iii) southern bluefin tuna if undertaken between December and April; and

(c) calls on the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (Mr Burke) to use his powers under the Act to reject Bight Petroleum's referral as clearly unacceptable to proceed at any time of year.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

13th May 2010, 10:13 AM – Senate Motions - Petroleum Exploration - Protect marine wildlife of Margaret River coastline

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, which tried to protect the marine wildlife of the Margaret River coastline by preventing petroleum exploration there.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Government has included in the annual release of offshore petroleum exploration areas for 2010 an area 83 km off the coast of Margaret River in south Western Australia,

(ii) the Government is expected to announce its final decision on the release of this area on 16 May 2010,

(iii) up to 90 per cent of the marine life in the south west region of Australia is unique and half of the world’s whale and dolphin species use the region,

(iv) the region is becoming increasingly important for the tourism industry,

(v) the area proposed for release overlaps the Naturaliste Plateau, which is considered likely to be a treasure trove of undiscovered species,

(vi) the south west region is currently undergoing assessment as part of the bioregional marine planning process,

(vii) the proposed new petroleum exploration area overlaps the ‘southwest corner’ area identified within this process for further assessment and potential inclusion in a network of new marine parks under the bioregional marine planning framework, and

(viii) the Montara Commission of Inquiry is still underway, and at the same time a serious oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is threatening large areas of the coast line of the United States of America; and

(b) calls on the Government not to pre-empt the marine protection process and to withdraw the area off the coast of Margaret River from the offshore petroleum exploration areas release program until a network of marine protected areas has been put in place to protect the south west’s unique marine life.

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

How "voted a mixture of for and 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 1 25 50
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 1 1 2
Total: 26 62

*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 = 26 / 62 = 42%.

And then