How Don Farrell voted compared to someone who believes that even though public housing is controlled by our state governments, the federal government should also take action to increase the availability of affordable public housing around Australia

Division Don Farrell Supporters vote Division outcome

20th Sep 2018, 12:43 PM – Senate Motions - Homelessness - National strategy

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi (NSW) and Labor Senator Doug Cameron (NSW), which means it succeeded.

Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own. However, they are politically influential as they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Coalition Government has failed to commit to any specific targets to reduce homelessness,

(ii) homelessness has risen by 14 per cent, and the number of people sleeping rough has risen by an alarming 20 per cent since 2011, and

(iii) homelessness service providers are calling for a national solution to end homelessness; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to develop and implement a well-resourced National Homelessness Strategy that:

(i) has specific targets to reduce homelessness,

(ii) develops and implements approaches, in partnership with states and territories, to prevent homelessness, and

(iii) develops and implements a framework of continued support for people to break the cycle of homelessness.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

19th Jun 2018, 4:33 PM – Senate Motions - Social Housing - Reject charging market rates

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The majority supported a motion introduced by Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon also in the name of Labor Senator Doug Cameron, which means it succeeded. Motions like these don’t change the law by themselves but can be politically influential as they represent the political will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the latest census data indicates that there has been a 13 per cent rise in homelessness since 2011,

(ii) a well-functioning social housing system that is affordable for tenants is important in reducing homelessness,

(iii) charging tenants a proportion of income as rent, as opposed to market rent, has proved an effective way to ensure affordability, and

(iv) the Productivity Commission's report no. 85, Introducing Competition and Informed User Choice into Human Services: Reforms to Human Services, recommends state and territory governments charge new social housing tenant market rents; and

(b) calls on the Turnbull Government to reject the recommendation that state and territory governments charge social housing tenants market rates.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

4th Dec 2017, 4:44 PM – Senate Motions - Older People and Homelessness - Increase funding

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The majority voted in favour of a motion calling for the Government to raise funding for homelessness services and social housing, with a particular emphasis on services for older Australians.

Motions like this don't have legal force on their own, but can be influential as they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that, according to:

(i) census data, the proportion of renting households in housing stress, whose reference person is aged 65 years or over, has risen from 31.7 per cent in 1996 to 54.2 per cent in 2016,

(ii) the 2017 report Older People at Risk of Homelessness in New South Wales, since 2012, the number of households in housing stress in receipt of Commonwealth Rent Assistance, whose reference person is aged 65 years or over, has increased 53.7 per cent, and

(iii) the Society of St Vincent de Paul, women aged 55 or over make up the fastest growing group of people experiencing homelessness; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) raise real levels of funding for homelessness services and social housing,

(ii) work with stakeholders to ensure the specific needs of older people are addressed in National Housing and Homelessness Agreement negotiations with states, and

(iii) review the Commonwealth Assistance with Care and Housing Sub-Programme to ensure it is meeting the needs of Australia’s ageing population.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

13th Sep 2017, 5:32 PM – Senate Motions - Homelessness - LGBTIQ community

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The same number of senators voted for and against a motion, which means the motion failed. It had been introduced by Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Australian Human Rights Commission estimates that one in four of the 20,000 homeless young people in NSW is gay or lesbian,

(ii) there is a general lack of Australian research on LGBTIQ homelessness,

(iii) international research, for example, 'LGBT Selective Victimization: Unprotected Youth on the Streets' (Ventimiglia, 2012), shows that LGBTIQ people, especially trans people and young people, are disproportionately affected by homelessness, and

(iv) university campuses have been working with students and the Australian Queer Student Network to provide crisis accommodation on campus after LGBTIQ students have been discovered sleeping in classrooms and university spaces set aside for LGBTIQ students; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) work with community stakeholders to develop plans for ending LGBTIQ homelessness, including targeted strategies to support students and young people in LGBTIQ communities who are experiencing homelessness,

(ii) collaborate with stakeholders to secure national data on LGBTIQ homelessness, and

(iii) ensure specific LGBTIQ homelessness programs and an urgent assessment of funding and resourcing needs are addressed in National Housing and Homelessness Agreement negotiations with states.

Yes Yes Not passed

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* 0 0 0
Total: 40 40

*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 = 40 / 40 = 100%.

And then