How Cory Bernardi voted compared to someone who believes that the Federal Government should respond to reports about high levels of child sexual abuse in some Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory by introducing the Northern Territory National Emergency Response or the very similar Stronger Futures Policy, also referred to as "the intervention"

Division Cory Bernardi Supporters vote Division outcome

28th Jun 2012, 11:07 PM – Senate Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 - Leave schedule 1 as it is

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Yes Yes Passed by a modest majority

28th Jun 2012, 2:13 AM – Senate Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2011 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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absent Yes (strong) Passed by a modest majority

28th Jun 2012, 12:57 AM – Senate Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 - Agree to Australian Greens amendments reducing sunset clause periods

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absent No Not passed by a large majority

28th Jun 2012, 12:01 AM – Senate Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 - Leave schedule 2 as it is

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absent Yes Passed by a large majority

21st Jun 2011 – Senate Motions - Northern Territory Emergency Response - Repeal

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The majority voted against a motion moved by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, which means that it was unsuccessful. The motion was:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that it has been 4 years since the Northern Territory Emergency Response began,

(ii) that investment in the program now exceeds $1.5 billion,

(iii) that the Closing the Gap report indicated that incarceration rates have risen, and that school attendance and

child nutrition have not improved, and

(iv) the growing crisis in Alice Springs as many people move from community into Alice Springs;

(b) draws attention to:

(i) the statement being launched in Darwin, ' Rebuilding from the ground up – an alternative to the Northern Territory Intervention' which calls for a new approach based on principles of self-determination, community control and a commitment to land rights, and

(ii) the serious concern raised by the United Nations' Universal Periodic Review and the United Nations' Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination over Australia's failure to eliminate discrimination; and

(c) calls for:

(i) the repeal of the Northern Territory Emergency Response legislation, and

(ii) the development of a long-term plan in partnership with Aboriginal communities to equalise life opportunities and outcomes, backed up with a sustained investment of resources, particularly in community-based organisations.

absent No Not passed by a large majority

27th Nov 2008, 9:04 PM – Senate Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Emergency Response Consolidation) Bill 2008 - Third Reading - Read a third time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion That this bill be now read a third time.(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through to become law here. ) This means that the majority agree with the bill and want it to pass in the Senate. The bill will now be returned to the House of Representatives for them to consider amendments agreed to in the Senate.

Background to the bill

In 2007, the Northern Territory National Emergency Response ('the Intervention') was introduced in response to a report called Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle Little Children are Sacred: The Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse.(Read more about the Little Children are Sacred report here. ) The intervention was controversial and has been a source of ongoing debate.

This latest bill changes and removes some of the measures introduced as part of the Intervention. In summary, it:

  • prohibits certain pay television licensees from providing television channels that contain a large amount of R18+ programming to certain prescribed areas;
  • permits transporting pornographic material through a prescribed area to a place outside the prescribed area (currently its presence for any purpose is prohibited);
  • reintroduces elements of the permit system, which requires visitors to certain Aboriginal areas to first seek permission to enter the area; and
  • enables community dependent roadhouses to be licensed as community stores.(See the bills digest for more information.)
Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

27th Nov 2008, 8:52 PM – Senate Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Emergency Response Consolidation) Bill 2008 - In Committee - 'Must' use discretion

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The majority voted in favour of an amendment introduced by Senator Nigel Scullion, which means that it was successful. The amendment was:

(11) Page 18 (after line 12), after Schedule 3, insert:

Schedule 3A—Access to Aboriginal land

Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976

1 Subsection 70B(2)

Omit “may” (first occurring), substitute “must”.

Senator Scullion explained that this amendment "deals with the current discretion of the minister in whether or not they change regulations or impact on regulations to ensure that the permit system changes are invoked".(Read Senator Scullion's full explanation here. Read more about the permit system in the bills digest. )

Background to the bill

In 2007, the Northern Territory National Emergency Response ('the Intervention') was introduced in response to a report called Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle Little Children are Sacred: The Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse.(Read more about the Little Children are Sacred report here. ) The intervention was controversial and has been a source of ongoing debate.

This latest bill changes and removes some of the measures introduced as part of the Intervention. In summary, it:

  • prohibits certain pay television licensees from providing television channels that contain a large amount of R18+ programming to certain prescribed areas;
  • permits transporting pornographic material through a prescribed area to a place outside the prescribed area (currently its presence for any purpose is prohibited);
  • reintroduces elements of the permit system, which requires visitors to certain Aboriginal areas to first seek permission to enter the area; and
  • enables community dependent roadhouses to be licensed as community stores.(See the bills digest for more information.)
Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

27th Nov 2008, 7:00 PM – Senate Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Emergency Response Consolidation) Bill 2008 - In Committee - Keep the permit system

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The majority voted against a motion "that schedule 3 stand as printed". This means that the majority do not want schedule 3 to remain as it is.

This motion was put in response to an earlier motion to oppose schedule 3, which was introduced by Country Liberal Senator Nigel Scullion. This schedule repeals most of the permit provisions introduced by the Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Northern Territory National Emergency Response and Other Measures) Act 2007.(Read more about this schedule and the permit system in the bills digest. )

Background to the bill

In 2007, the Northern Territory National Emergency Response ('the Intervention') was introduced in response to a report called Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle Little Children are Sacred: The Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse.(Read more about the Little Children are Sacred report here. ) The intervention was controversial and has been a source of ongoing debate.

This latest bill changes and removes some of the measures introduced as part of the Intervention. In summary, it:

  • prohibits certain pay television licensees from providing television channels that contain a large amount of R18+ programming to certain prescribed areas;
  • permits transporting pornographic material through a prescribed area to a place outside the prescribed area (currently its presence for any purpose is prohibited);
  • reintroduces elements of the permit system, which requires visitors to certain Aboriginal areas to first seek permission to enter the area; and
  • enables community dependent roadhouses to be licensed as community stores.(See the bills digest for more information.)
No No Not passed by a small majority

27th Nov 2008, 5:51 PM – Senate Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Emergency Response Consolidation) Bill 2008 - In Committee - Exempts from discrimination laws

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The majority voted in favour of a motion "that clause 13 in schedule 1, item 10, stand as printed." In other words, the majority wanted that clause to remain unchanged.

This motion was put in response to an earlier motion to oppose that clause, which was introduced by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.(Read Senator Siewert's explanation of her motion here. ) Clause 13 relates to the measures that prohibit certain pay television licensees from providing television channels that contain large amounts of R18+ programming to certain prescribed areas. The clause "provide explicitly that they over-ride [Northern Territory] laws dealing with discrimination".(Read more in the bills digest. )

Background to the bill

In 2007, the Northern Territory National Emergency Response ('the Intervention') was introduced in response to a report called Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle Little Children are Sacred: The Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse.(Read more about the Little Children are Sacred report here. ) The intervention was controversial and has been a source of ongoing debate.

This latest bill changes and removes some of the measures introduced as part of the Intervention. In summary, it:

  • prohibits certain pay television licensees from providing television channels that contain a large amount of R18+ programming to certain prescribed areas;
  • permits transporting pornographic material through a prescribed area to a place outside the prescribed area (currently its presence for any purpose is prohibited);
  • reintroduces elements of the permit system, which requires visitors to certain Aboriginal areas to first seek permission to enter the area; and
  • enables community dependent roadhouses to be licensed as community stores.(See the bills digest for more information.)
absent Yes Passed by a large majority

16th Aug 2007, 10:50 PM – Senate Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Payment Reform) Bill 2007 - In Committee - Keep clauses 4 to 7 unchanged

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The majority voted in favour of a motion "That clauses 4 to 7 stand as printed", which means that the clauses will remain unchanged. The motion was put in response to an earlier motion to oppose these clauses, which was moved by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

These clauses relate to the application of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 and Queensland and Northern Territory laws. Senator Siewert argued that these laws are "discriminatory and they treat people in the Northern Territory as a different set of citizens".(Read Senator Siewert's full explanation of her motion here. )

Background to the bills

The Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Payment Reform) Bill 2007 was introduced along with four other bills:

This legislation was introduced in response to the Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse, known as the Little Children are Sacred report, which was publicly released on 15 June 2007.(Read more about the background of the bills in the interim bills digest. ) That report came after concerns were raised on ABC's Lateline program in 2006.(Read the transcript for the Lateline programs that addressed the issue of child abuse in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory here (the May 2006 program) and here (the June 2006 program).)

Yes Yes Passed by a large majority

16th Aug 2007, 9:28 PM – Senate Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Northern Territory National Emergency Response and Other Measures) Bill 2007 - In Committee - Access to Aboriginal land

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The majority voted in favour of a motion "That schedule 4 stand as printed", which means that the schedule will remain unchanged. This motion was put in response to a motion to oppose schedule 4, which was introduced by Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett.(Read Senator Bartlett's explanation of his amendment here. )

Schedule 4 effectively scraps the current access arrangements to Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory. Currently, a person requires a permit to access Aboriginal land unless they are an Aboriginal person who enter on the basis of Aboriginal tradition. The schedule changes this and allows entry for a wide range of people.(Read more about schedule 4 in the bills digest. )

Background to the bills

The Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Northern Territory National Emergency Response and Other Measures) Bill 2007 was introduced along with four other bills:

This legislation was introduced in response to the Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse, known as the Little Children are Sacred report, which was publicly released on 15 June 2007.(Read more about the background of the bills in the interim bills digest. ) That report came after concerns were raised on ABC's Lateline program in 2006.(Read the transcript for the Lateline programs that addressed the issue of child abuse in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory here (the May 2006 program) and here (the June 2006 program).)

Yes Yes Passed by a large majority

16th Aug 2007, 5:45 PM – Senate Northern Territory National Emergency Response Bill 2007 - In Committee - Keep part 8 unchanged

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The majority voted in favour of a motion "That part 8 stand as printed", which means that the majority wanted part 8 to remain unchanged. This motion was put in response to an earlier motion to oppose that part, which was introduced by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

Part 8 is a miscellaneous provision. It contains a number of technical provisions as well the doing the following:

  • it allows the Minister to delegate any of their functions or powers under the proposed Act to the Secretary or an SES level officer; and
  • it excludes the operation of any law of the NT which deal with discrimination.(Read more about part 8 in the bills digest.

)

Background to the bills

The Northern Territory National Emergency Response Bill 2007 was introduced along with four other bills:

This legislation was introduced in response to the Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse, known as the Little Children are Sacred report, which was publicly released on 15 June 2007.(Read more about the background of the bills in the interim bills digest. ) That report came after concerns were raised on ABC's Lateline program in 2006.(Read the transcript for the Lateline programs that addressed the issue of child abuse in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory here (the May 2006 program) and here (the June 2006 program).)

Yes Yes Passed by a large majority

16th Aug 2007, 1:40 PM – Senate Northern Territory National Emergency Response Bill 2007 - In Committee - Publicly funded computers, acquisition of rights/titles/etc, business management, bail & sentencing

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The majority voted in favour of the motion "That parts 3 to 6 stand as printed", which means that it was successful. This means that these parts will remain unchanged.

This motion was put in response to a motion to oppose these parts, which was introduced by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.(Read Senator Siewert's explanation of the motion and the associated debate here, after 12:28 pm. )

The bills digest provides more detailed information about parts 3 to 6. In summary:

  • part 3 relates to filtering publicly funded computers in order to prevent or block access to specified content;
  • part 4 provides for the acquisition of right, titles and interests in land and for the grants of leases for 5 years;
  • part 5 introduces stringent Commonwealth control over a number of aspects of community governance in Indigenous communities; and
  • part 6 amends Northern Territory law to prohibit a relevant authority that is exercising bail or sentencing discretion from taking customary law into consideration to lessen or aggravate the seriousness of the criminal behaviour of alleged offenders.(Read the bills digest for further detail on these parts and their background.

)

Background to the bills

The Northern Territory National Emergency Response Bill 2007 was introduced along with four other bills:

This legislation was introduced in response to the Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse, known as the Little Children are Sacred report, which was publicly released on 15 June 2007.(Read more about the background of the bills in the interim bills digest. ) That report came after concerns were raised on ABC's Lateline program in 2006.(Read the transcript for the Lateline programs that addressed the issue of child abuse in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory here (the May 2006 program) and here (the June 2006 program).)

Yes Yes Passed by a large majority

16th Aug 2007, 12:25 PM – Senate Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Payment Reform) Bill 2007 and related bills - Third Reading - Read a third time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Payment Reform) Bill 2007, the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Bill 2007 and the Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Northern Territory National Emergency Response and Other Measures) Bill 2007 for a third time.(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through to become law here. ) This means that the bills have now passed in the Senate. Because they had previously been passed in the House of Representatives, they will now become law.

Note that the two related appropriation bills were agreed to without division just before this vote.(Read more about why some votes are decided without division in our FAQ Section. )

Background to the bills

The Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Payment Reform) Bill 2007 was introduced along with four other bills:

This legislation was introduced in response to the Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse, known as the Little Children are Sacred report, which was publicly released on 15 June 2007.(Read more about the background of the bills in the interim bills digest. ) That report came after concerns were raised on ABC's Lateline program in 2006.(Read the transcript for the Lateline programs that addressed the issue of child abuse in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory here (the May 2006 program) and here (the June 2006 program).)

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a large majority

16th Aug 2007, 10:49 AM – Senate Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Payment Reform) Bill 2007 - In Committee - Leave schedules unchanged

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The majority voted in favour of a motion "that schedules 1 to 3 stand as printed", which means that these schedules will remain unchanged. This motion was put in response to a motion introduced by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert to oppose these schedules.

Senator Siewert explained that "[t]his essentially covers all of the substantive areas" of the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Payment Reform) Bill 2007.(Read Senator Siewert's full explanation of her motion here. )

Background to the bills

The Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Payment Reform) Bill 2007 was introduced along with four other bills:

This legislation was introduced in response to the Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse, known as the Little Children are Sacred report, which was publicly released on 15 June 2007.(Read more about the background of the bills in the interim bills digest. ) That report came after concerns were raised on ABC's Lateline program in 2006.(Read the transcript for the Lateline programs that addressed the issue of child abuse in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory here (the May 2006 program) and here (the June 2006 program).)

Yes Yes Passed by a large majority

15th Aug 2007, 12:22 PM – Senate Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Payment Reform) Bill 2007 and related bills - In Committee - Acquisition of rights, titles and interests in land

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The majority voted in favour of a motion "That part 4, clauses 31 to 64, stand as printed." This means that the part will remain unchanged. This motion was put in response to a motion introduced by Australian Democrats Andrew Bartlett to oppose these clauses in this part, which related to the acquisition of rights, titles and interests in land.

Senator Bartlett argued that "[t]hese measures are clumsy and ideological" and that "[t]hey are not necessary and they are not related to child protection."(Read Senator Bartlett's full explanation of his motion here. )

Background to the bills

The Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Payment Reform) Bill 2007 was introduced along with four other bills:

This legislation was introduced in response to the Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse, known as the Little Children are Sacred report, which was publicly released on 15 June 2007.(Read more about the background of the bills in the interim bills digest. ) That report came after concerns were raised on ABC's Lateline program in 2006.(Read the transcript for the Lateline programs that addressed the issue of child abuse in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory here (the May 2006 program) and here (the June 2006 program).)

Yes Yes Passed by a modest majority

14th Aug 2007, 6:15 PM – Senate Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Payment Reform) Bill 2007 - Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion "That these bills be now read a second time".(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through to become law here. ) This means that the majority agreed with the main idea of the bills and that the Senate can now discuss them in more detail.

Background to the bills

The Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Payment Reform) Bill 2007 was introduced along with four other bills:

This legislation was introduced in response to the Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse, known as the Little Children are Sacred report, which was publicly released on 15 June 2007.(Read more about the background of the bills in the interim bills digest. ) That report came after concerns were raised on ABC's Lateline program in 2006.(Read the transcript for the Lateline programs that addressed the issue of child abuse in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory here (the May 2006 program) and here (the June 2006 program).)

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a large majority

14th Aug 2007, 6:10 PM – Senate Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Payment Reform) Bill 2007 and related bills - Second Reading - Delay passage of bill

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The majority voted against an amendment introduced by Greens Senator Bob Brown, which means that it was rejected. The motion would have changed the original motion "that the bills be read a second time"(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through here. ) with the following:

Omit all words after “That”, substitute:

(a) For the reasons set out in paragraph (c), further consideration of the bills be postponed and be made an order of the day for the first day of sitting in October 2007;

(b) Senators who have spoken to the motion “that this bill be now read a second time” may speak again to that motion for up to 20 minutes each when the bill is again called on;

(c) The reasons referred to in paragraph (a) are as follows:

(i) the Northern Territory Government is reviewing the impact of the bills and will provide its legislative response;

(ii) the need to delay further consideration of the bills pending a fuller understanding of their operation and effect is in accordance with the wishes of the Combined Aboriginal Organisations of the Northern Territory and the New South Wales Aboriginal Council”.

Background to the bills

The Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Payment Reform) Bill 2007 was introduced along with four other bills:

This legislation was introduced in response to the Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse, known as the Little Children are Sacred report, which was publicly released on 15 June 2007.(Read more about the background of the bills in the interim bills digest. ) That report came after concerns were raised on ABC's Lateline program in 2006.(Read the transcript for the Lateline programs that addressed the issue of child abuse in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory here (the May 2006 program) and here (the June 2006 program).)

No No Not passed by a large 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 2 100 100
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 1 25 50
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 11 110 110
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 4 4 8
Total: 239 268

*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 = 239 / 268 = 89%.

And then