How David Fawcett voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should make it a criminal offence to share intimate images without consent (known colloquially as "revenge porn") and not just leave it up to the state-level governments to criminalise it separately in each State and Territory

Division David Fawcett Supporters vote Division outcome

14th Feb 2018, 11:54 AM – Senate Enhancing Online Safety (Non-Consensual Sharing of Intimate Images) Bill 2017 - in Committee - Criminal offences

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The majority voted in favour of an amendment introduced by Senator Stirling Griff (SA), ,which means it succeeded.

Senator Griff explained that:

This amendment introduces three new offences into the Commonwealth Criminal Code with respect to the non-consensual sharing of intimate images—namely, knowingly or recklessly producing intimate images without consent, knowingly or recklessly sharing intimate images without consent, and threatening to take and/or share intimate images without consent, irrespective of whether or not those images exist. These offences make it clear that it is the victim's consent that has paramount consideration and not whether the alleged perpetrator intended to cause harm. These take into consideration the final recommendations of the Senate inquiry into the phenomenon known as revenge porn.

What does the bill do?

The bill was introduced to:

  • prohibit the posting of, or threatening to post, an intimate image without consent on a social media service, relevant electronic service or a designated internet service;
  • establish a complaints and objections system to be administered by the eSafety Commissioner;
  • provide the commissioner with powers to issue removal notices or remedial directions;
  • establish a civil penalty regime to be administered by the commissioner; and
  • enable the commissioner to seek a civil penalty order from a relevant court, issue an infringement notice, obtain an injunction or enforce an undertaking, or issue a formal warning for contraventions of the civil penalty provisions

Note that the bill does not criminalise sharing intimate images without consent. The prohibition it creates is a civil matter, not a criminal one.

Read more in the bills digest.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

13th Feb 2018, 7:11 PM – Senate Enhancing Online Safety (Non-Consensual Sharing of Intimate Images) Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Criminalise

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to add certain words to the usual second reading motion "that the bill be read for a second time" - which is parliamentary jargon for "that the Senate agree with the main idea of the bill".

In other words, senators who supported this motion wanted to add a proviso to their support for the main idea of the bill.

What words were added?

At the end of the motion, add:

", but the Senate:

(a) notes key research findings from RMIT University that 1 in 5 Australians have experienced image-based abuse and 4 in 5 Australians agree it should be a crime to share sexual or nude images without permission;

(b) notes that in Australia there is a piecemeal legislative approach to image-based abuse, with no nationally consistent criminal laws, and that the harms associated with image based abuse warrant it being specifically classified as a criminal offence;

(c) notes that the Council of Australian Governments recommended that to clarify the serious and criminal nature of the distribution of intimate material without consent, legislation should be developed that includes strong penalties for adults who do so;

(d) notes that this Bill does not criminalise the sharing of intimate images without consent; and

(e) with the exception of depictions of persons without attire of religious or cultural significance, calls on the Government to criminalise the sharing of intimate images without consent."

Main idea of the bill

The bill was introduced to:

  • prohibit the posting of, or threatening to post, an intimate image without consent on a social media service, relevant electronic service or a designated internet service;
  • establish a complaints and objections system to be administered by the eSafety Commissioner;
  • provide the commissioner with powers to issue removal notices or remedial directions;
  • establish a civil penalty regime to be administered by the commissioner; and
  • enable the commissioner to seek a civil penalty order from a relevant court, issue an infringement notice, obtain an injunction or enforce an undertaking, or issue a formal warning for contraventions of the civil penalty provisions

Note that the bill does not criminalise sharing intimate images without consent. The prohibition it creates is a civil matter, not a criminal one.

Read more in the bills digest.

No Yes Passed by a small majority

19th Jun 2017, 1:52 PM – Senate Enhancing Online Safety for Children Amendment Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Criminalise "revenge porn"

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Nick Xenophon Team Senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore (SA), which means it was successful.

This motion doesn't actually amend the bill at all, but does send a strong message to the Government that the Senate wants new laws introduced "to criminalise the sharing of intimate images without consent".

Motion text

At the end of the motion, add:

", but the Senate:

(1) notes that Australian laws have failed to keep up with the new ways that technology is being used to cause harm, particularly to women; and

(2) calls on the Government to criminalise the sharing of intimate images without consent, pursuant to the recommendations made by the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee in its report on the phenomemon colloquially referred to as 'revenge porn'.

No Yes Passed by a small majority

How "voted very strongly 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 1 0 50
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 2 0 20
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 0 70

*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 = 0 / 70 = 0.0%.

And then