How Susan McDonald voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should protect Australia's logging industry and the jobs it represents

Division Susan McDonald Supporters vote Division outcome

12th May 2021, 4:30 PM – Senate Motions - Forestry Industry, Beef Industry - Condemn green groups

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Jonathon Duniam (Liberal), which means it passed. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own but are politically influential because they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

GENERAL BUSINESS NOTICE OF MOTION NO. 1092

That the Senate—

(a) notes the decision of the full Federal Court of Australia to unanimously uphold the appeal from VicForests against the action taken by the Friends of Leadbeater's Possum that sought to undermine the forestry industry;

(b) further notes the judgement is a big win for Victoria and Australia's native forest industry and supports the long-held position of this Government and the industry, and that Regional Forest Agreements provide a framework that achieves environmental, economic and social outcomes for our native forests;

(c) acknowledges that the Australian forest industry uses world-class sustainable forest management practices and supports the employment of more than 52,000 hardworking Australians making it an industry that deserves to be celebrated; and

(d) condemns the green groups that continue to use the courts to try to decimate the livelihoods of working Australians.

Yes Yes Passed by a large majority

15th Feb 2021, 5:28 PM – Senate Motions - Forestry - Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement

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The majority voted in support of a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Jonathon Duniam (Liberal), which means it passed. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own but can be politically influential because they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that the recent decision of the Full Federal Court of Australia has now provided a clear determination on the validity of the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA);

(b) further notes the judgement was a big win for Australia's forest industry and supports the long-held position of this Government, the state of Tasmania and industry that RFAs remain the best way of balancing environmental, economic and social demands for our native forests;

(c) acknowledges that the Australian forest industry uses world-class sustainable forest management practices and supports the employment of more than 52,000 hardworking Australians making it an industry that deserves to be celebrated;

(d) recognises native forestry has a strong future in Australia, and notes that Neville Smith Forest Products this month announced 40 new Tasmanian jobs driven by demand for sustainably produced native forest products;

(e) condemns the Bob Brown Foundation for their consistent use of the Australian courts to decimate the livelihoods of working Australians; and

(f) calls on the Bob Brown Foundation and the Australian Greens to accept the decision of the court in what they branded 'the Great Forest Case' and heed Mr Brown's own advice: 'It is time we moved on'.

absent Yes Passed by a modest majority

10th Dec 2020, 7:10 PM – Senate Regulations and Determinations - Industry Research and Development (Forestry Recovery Development Fund Program) Instrument 2020 - Disallow

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The majority voted against a motion to disallow the Industry Research and Development (Forestry Recovery Development Fund Program) Instrument 2020, which was introduced by Victorian Senator Janet Rice (Greens). This means the motion failed.

Why was this motion introduced?

According to Senator Rice:

this fund will be subsidising ongoing destructive native forest logging. It is clearly recognised as being destructive by the Federal Court, by the government conservation regulator in Victoria, by the amazing scientists who have put in decades of research on these forests, by First Nations people and by the communities who are living with seeing their precious forests being devastated and who are putting their bodies on the line to protect these forests.

Motion text

That the Industry Research and Development (Forestry Recovery Development Fund Program) Instrument 2020, made under the Industry Research and Development Act 1986, be disallowed [F2020L01081].

No No Not passed by a modest majority

1st Sep 2020, 4:26 PM – Senate Motions - Forestry Industry - Condemn Greens

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Jonathon Duniam (Liberal), which means it passed. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own but are politically influential because they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that a report used by the Australian Greens to assert that forestry operations cause bushfires has been retracted and withdrawn after insistence from the academic community;

(b) further notes that the withdrawal of this paper was required because of the number of significant errors and wrong conclusions and that it did not meet the standard for 'high-quality scientific works' as required by the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI);

(c) condemns the Australian Greens and the Bob Brown Foundation for consistent use of bodgy science to attempt to back-up their falsehoods about forestry; and

(d) calls on the Bob Brown Foundation and the Australian Greens to apologise to the hardworking men and women of the forestry industry that they use misinformation to demonise.

absent Yes Passed by a large majority

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 No Not passed by a large 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 No 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.

No No Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted 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 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 4 40 40
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 3 3 6
Total: 43 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 = 43 / 46 = 93%.

And then