How Andrew McLachlan voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should give the private sector control over running and managing its services (such as public welfare and health services) by either outsourcing or privatisation

Division Andrew McLachlan Supporters vote Division outcome

12th Nov 2020, 1:40 PM – Senate Services Australia Governance Amendment Bill 2020 - Second Reading - Staffing caps and privatisation

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The same number of senators voted for and against a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Carol Brown (Labor). The motion would have added certain words (see below) to the usual second reading motion - "that the bill be read a second time" - which is parliamentary jargon for agreeing with the main idea of the bill.

Senator Brown explained the purpose of this amendment, saying that:

The reality is that the ASL [Average Staffing Level] staffing cap is both a cut in real staffing numbers and privatisation policy by stealth. Agencies are forced to outsource, contract out, spend exorbitant amounts on consultants and/or engage labour hire contractors to staff departments to make up for the lack of in-house resources. Too many phone calls to Services Australia go unanswered every year, and Australians waste too much time on hold trying to access Centrelink services, causing great, unnecessary distress.

Motion text

At the end of the motion, add ", but the Senate calls on the Government to:

(a) abolish the "ASL offset rule", which has the effect of capping average staffing levels within Services Australia;

(b) stop the excessive use of consultancy firms and contractors to outsource important government services including Centrelink; and

(c) recognise that the staffing cap is a false economy that undermines the quality of government services, especially those delivered by Services Australia".

No No Not passed

26th Feb 2020, 4:30 PM – Senate Motions - Aged Care - Privatisation

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The same number of senators voted for and against the motion, which means it failed. It was introduced by NSW Senator Deborah O'Neill (Labor).

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACAT) are teams of experienced, qualified and highly trained medical, clinical and allied health professionals who are responsible for assessing the level of government-funded care that ageing Australians should receive,

(ii) the Morrison Government sees ageing as a problem and the market as the solution,

(iii) the Morrison Government has announced that it intends to privatise ACAT from April 2021,

(iv) the New South Wales (NSW) Minister for Health and Medical Research, Mr Brad Hazzard, has been highly critical of the Morrison Government's decision to privatise ACAT,

(v) Minister Hazzard has said that "NSW has major concerns" about the Government's plan to privatise ACAT,

(vi) Minister Hazzard has said that "It would worry me if a private company had accountability that went beyond the pure interest of the elderly person",

(vii) Minister Hazzard has said that "It seems pre-emptive and unreasonable to be effectively privatising health aged-care services while the royal commission into aged care is still under way", and

(viii) Minister Hazzard concluded that the Government's decision to privatise ACAT demonstrated that there was "Not a lot of logic there"; and

(b) calls on the Morrison Government to:

(i) listen to the concerns of their colleague Minister Hazzard in the NSW State Government, and

(ii) stop the privatisation of ACAT services.

absent No Not passed

26th Feb 2020, 4:22 PM – Senate Motions - Aged Care - ACAT privatisation

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Anne Urquhart (Labor), which means it failed.

Motion text

That—

(1) The Senate notes that:

(a) the Morrison Government has announced that it intends to privatise Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACAT) from April 2021;

(b) the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians said claimed he is implementing a recommendation from the Tune Review;

(c) the Tune Review made no such recommendation;

(d) the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians also claimed he is implementing a recommendation from the Royal Commission into the Aged Care Quality and Safety; and

(e) the Royal Commission made no such recommendation.

(2) The Senate condemns the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians for failing to adequately explain his decision to privatise the ACAT, despite neither the Tune Review nor Royal Commission making any such recommendation.

(3) At 9:30 am on 27 February 2020, before government business is called on, the Senate requires the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians to attend the Senate to:

(a) provide an explanation as to why the Morrison Government is continuing with its tender of ACAT services despite the fact the Royal Commission has stated that it has yet to make recommendations about which sector or mechanism should deliver ACAT-type services; and

(b) that a senator may, at the conclusion of the explanation, move without notice, that the Senate take note of the explanation.

No No Not passed by a small majority

25th Feb 2020, 4:56 PM – Senate Motions - Aged Care - Privatising Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACAT)

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Anne Urquhart (Labor), which means it was successful. 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:

(i) all Australians deserve the best possible healthcare, especially older Australians,

(ii) our community is ageing, with population projections for Australia suggesting that there will be 4 million people aged between 65-84 years by 2022, with the over 65 and over 85 cohorts rapidly accelerating over the next decade,

(iii) a third of this cohort live outside of major cities in rural and regional Australia,

(iv) as our population ages, our community will increasingly rely on appropriate aged care services for good health, support and dignity,

(v) Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACAT) are teams of experienced, qualified and highly trained medical, clinically and allied health professionals who are responsible for assessing the level of government-funded care that ageing Australians should receive,

(vi) in 2018-19, ACATs provided over 178,000 assessments,

(vii) ACAT teams are local, know their communities, have enormous expertise over 30 years, and their role is to independently assess what older Australians need and identify the best options,

(viii) ACAT teams are independent of private service providers and owe no allegiance or preference for any particular provider, and

(ix) the Morrison Government has announced it intends to privatise the ACAT workforce and put out a tender for these vital services;

(b) rejects the Morrison Government for its plans to privatise ACAT, which would threaten the quality and independence of services provided to ageing Australians, and jeopardise the jobs and independence of Australian healthcare professionals; and

(c) seeks concurrence for this motion in the House.

No No Passed by a small majority

24th Feb 2020, 4:05 PM – Senate Motions - Public Transport - Privatisation

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Anne Urquhart (Labor), which means it was successful. Motions like these don't make any legal changes, but they are politically influential because they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) recognises that:

(i) the impending privatisation of buses in Sydney will be a disaster for commuters and transit staff,

(ii) the Rail Tram and Bus Union of New South Wales (NSW) which represents the staff of the bus networks is adamantly opposed to the privatisation plans,

(iii) the recent bus privatisations in the Inner West and Newcastle have resulted in reduced on-time running, cut routes, closing stops and poorer working conditions, and

(iv) tens of thousands of Sydney residents have already signed petitions and rallied against privatisation;

(b) calls on the NSW Government to:

(i) protect the jobs and working conditions of the around 35,000 workers who are due to have only three years of job security under this reckless scheme,

(ii) scrap this reckless privatisation scheme, and

(iii) invest in better publicly run and publicly funded transport services; and

(c) supports the work of the Rail Tram and Bus Union NSW Branch and Unions NSW in the fight for better public transport services and better working conditions for its members.

No No Passed by a small majority

6th Feb 2020, 12:21 PM – Senate Motions - Aged-Care Assessments - Privatisation + consult with states

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by SA Senator Stirling Griff (Centre Alliance), which means it passed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) with deep concern, the Government's decision to privatise aged care assessments from April 2021 with a tender to be held this year, and

(ii) the Government's decision was not made in consultation with State Health Ministers;

(b) recognises that there are eighty aged care assessment teams (ACAT) operating across the nation which include state-employed multi-disciplinary teams of nurses, geriatricians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists and social workers who work at public hospitals, to expertly assess the more complex level of care required by individual elderly Australians;

(c) further notes the recent statement by the Chair of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety on ACAT privatisation that:

(i) the Royal Commission's Interim Report did not endorse the Government's position on privatising ACAT, and

(ii) the Commission has not yet made a recommendation about which sector or mechanism will best achieve an integration of Regional Assessment Services and the Aged Care Assessment Teams;

(d) acknowledges that:

(i) health experts argue that no private providers can offer the expertise to adequately assess the often complex needs of hundreds of thousands of elderly Australians, and

(ii) outsourcing assessment teams would have a serious detrimental impact on the delivery of proper care; and

(e) calls on the Federal Government to consult with the state health ministers on the issue of ACAT privatisation, as a matter of urgency.

absent No Passed by a small 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 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* 2 2 4
Total: 42 44

*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 = 42 / 44 = 95%.

And then