How Mary Fisher voted compared to someone who believes that asylum seekers who arrive in Australia without a visa, particularly those who arrive by boat, should have their asylum claims processed regionally in a country such as the Republic of Nauru or Papua New Guinea (See the policy "For offshore processing of asylum seekers" for more on processing asylum seeker claims in Australian territories like Christmas Island)

Division Mary Fisher Supporters vote Division outcome

28th Jun 2012, 5:12 PM – Senate Migration Legislation Amendment (The Bali Process) Bill 2012 - Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted against a motion to read the bill for a second time.

This means that the majority of senators do not agree with the main idea of the bill and that it will not be considered any further.

Background to Bill

The bill was introduced by Independent MP Rob Oakeshott in response to the High Court's decision in Plaintiff M70/2011 v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship [2011] HCA 32, which put an end to the Labor Government's Malaysia Solution policy.(Read more about the decision on Wikipedia here and on ABC News here. Read more about the effect of this decision on the Malaysia Solution here. )

To this end, the bill amends the Migration Act 1958 to replace the existing framework for taking offshore entry persons to another country to assess their refugee claims.(More information about this bill and context can be found here.) It also amends the Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act 1946 in relation to making and implementing any decision to remove, deport or take a non-citizen child from Australia. However, these amendments would only have effect for a period of 12 months.

By making these amendments, the bill attempts to codify the Bali Process into domestic law.


absent Yes Not passed by a small majority

25th Aug 2011 – Senate Motions - Immigration: MV Tampa - End offshore processing

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. This means that the motion was rejected.

The motion was:

That the Senate-

(a)   notes that:

(i)   26 August 2011, marks the 10th anniversary of the rescue of 433 asylum seekers by the MV Tampa,(This rescue is known as the Tampa Affair.)

(ii)   this rescue was followed by the refusal of the Coalition Government to allow the ship to enter Australian shores in direct violation of both maritime conventions and human rights obligations,

(iii)   the majority of the asylum seekers, including children, were detained indefinitely on Nauru, as part of the Coalition's ' Pacific Solution', and

(iv)   10 years later, the Labor Government is still pursuing offshore processing, through Australia's agreement with Malaysia, and Australia's Memorandum of Understanding with Manus Island;

(b)   recognises a majority of Australians want asylum seekers processed on the mainland, according to The Age/Neilson poll published on 16 August 2011; and

(c)   calls on the Government to abandon offshore processing.


absent No (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

How "never voted" is worked out

Normally a person's votes count towards a score which is used to work out a simple phrase to summarise their position on a policy. However in this case Mary Fisher was absent during all divisions for this policy. So, it's impossible to say anything concrete other than that they have "never voted" on this policy.