How Andrew McLachlan voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should allow live animal export and place minimal restrictions on it

Division Andrew McLachlan Supporters vote Division outcome

3rd Sep 2020, 4:39 PM – Senate Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Amendment (Dairy Cattle Export Charge) Bill 2020 - Second Reading - Against live export

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The majority voted against an amendment introduced by the Australian Greens, which means it failed. The amendment would have added the text below to the usual second reading motion "that the bill be read a second time." Reading a bill for a second time is parliamentary jargon for agreeing with the main idea of the bill.

Amendment text

At the end of the motion, add ", but the Senate:

(a) notes with concern:

(i) the inherent cruelty of the live export trade, including the well documented impacts of heat stress on sheep and cattle during voyages departing Australia, and

(ii) that thousands of animals die from heat stress and overcrowding on live export ships; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) bring an end to the live export industry in Australia,

(ii) ensure that all funds raised by the dairy export cattle charge, including co-contributions from the Australian Government, be allocated directly to animal health and welfare initiatives, and

(iii) ensure that all animal health and welfare initiatives, including research, is undertaken transparently with regular public reporting and appropriate oversight."

What is the bill's main idea?

According to the bills digest, the purpose of the bill is to:

  • provide for the imposition of an export charge on the export of dairy cattle and
  • amend the rate provision to provide for two different rates of charges—a per head charge on dairy cattle and a per kilogram charge on cattle other than dairy cattle.
No No Not passed by a modest majority

16th Jun 2020, 5:00 PM – Senate Motions - Live Animal Exports - Stop RETWA ship

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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) on 2 June 2020 the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment denied live exporter Rural Export and Trading (WA) Pty Ltd RETWA an exemption to new rules which prohibit the export of sheep by sea to the Middle East during the northern summer,

(ii) on 13 June 2020, the Department back-flipped on this decision, granting an exemption to allow approximately 50,000 sheep to be exported;

(b) recognises that the new rules, only recently introduced, were designed to protect sheep from the dangerously hot and humid conditions which will lead to inevitable suffering from heat stress, and put the animals at serious risk of death; and

(c) calls on the Minister for Agriculture to intervene and stop the RETWA ship from departing Australia.

No No Not passed by a modest majority

16th Jun 2020, 4:34 PM – Senate Motions - Live Animal Exports - Do not appeal Federal Court decision

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Queensland Senator Malcolm Roberts (One Nation), which means it was successful. Motions like these don't have any legal force but are politically influential because they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that the 2011 Gillard Government decision to suspend live exports:

(i) gravely affected the live export industry, and

(ii) was declared invalid by the Federal Court earlier in June; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to rule out appealing the Federal Court’s decision.

Yes Yes 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 3 30 30
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 30 30

*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 = 30 / 30 = 100%.

And then