How Mary Fisher voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should implement the international conventions that relate to seeking refuge and protection from torture. These include the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees and the non-refoulement provisions of the UN Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Division Mary Fisher Supporters vote Division outcome

28th Jun 2012, 5:05 PM – Senate Migration Legislation Amendment (The Bali Process) Bill 2012 - Second Reading - Greens Amendment

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The majority voted against an amendment introduced by Greens Senator Christine Milne.

Among other things, the amendments would have increased Australia's refugee intake, increased funding to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and call for Australia to enter discussions with Indonesia relating to refugees.

Someone who votes aye in this division supports these amendments. The majority voted no in this amendment so it was unsuccessful.

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 () 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.

References

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

11th Oct 2011 – Senate Motions - Asylum Seekers - International refugee obligations

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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 the current dismal state of debate on asylum seeker policy in Australia with:

(i)   the Prime Minister ( Ms Gillard) calling the Leader of the Opposition ( Mr Abbott) hypocritical, and

(ii)   the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Abbott) calling the Prime Minister (Ms Gillard) hypocritical; and

(b)   calls for Australia's international refugee obligations to be respected.(Australia's international refugee obligations stem from refugee law and specifically the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees ('Refugees Convention') and the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees ('Refugees Protocol').)

References

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

17th Jun 2010, 9:47 AM – Senate Motions - World Refugee Day - Concerns about policies

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (SA), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) recognises that:

(i) 20 June 2010 marks World Refugee Day 2010,

(ii) the global theme for 2010 is ‘Home’, in recognition of the plight of more than 40 million uprooted people around the world, and

(iii) as a signatory to the 1951 United Nations Geneva Convention Relating to the Status on Refugees, Australia is obliged to protect those seeking asylum from persecution;

(b) notes, with concern:

(i) the Government’s commitment to reopening desert detention centres across the country, and

(ii) the effect that the suspension of processing claims for asylum seekers from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan will have on the mental health of some of the worlds most vulnerable; and

(c) calls on the Government to immediately lift the imposed suspension and process all claims for asylum, irrespective of race or ethnicity.

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

12th May 2010, 3:52 PM – Senate Motions - Suspension of processing Sri Lankan and Afghan asylum claims

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

The motion was:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the recent decision by the Rudd Government to suspend the processing of asylum claims from Sri Lankan and Afghan nationals for 3 and 6 months respectively, and(Read more about this policy on SBS News and on ABC's The World Today and on Wikipedia. )

(ii) in 2009, Australia received just 1.6 per cent of all asylum claims lodged in the world’s 44 industrialised nations, with less than half of this number arriving by boat;

(b) recognises that this new policy is in breach of Australia’s international obligations under the:

(i) United Nations Refugee Convention,

(ii) United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and

(iii) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

(c) congratulates the joint statement from 45 non-government organisations from 16 countries, in condemning the Australian Government’s decision to suspend the processing of asylum claims for Sri Lankans and Afghans; and(Read more about this joint statement here.)

(d) calls on the Government to immediately reverse its suspension of asylum applications, restoring the right of people seeking protection from persecution to have their claims assessed in a fair and timely manner.

References

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

3rd Feb 2010, 3:49 PM – Senate Motions - Tamil Asylum Seekers - End standoff

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, which means the motion failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) more than 240 Tamil asylum seekers remain on their boat in the Indonesian port of Merak, in increasingly squalid conditions after more than 3 months, and

(ii) this boat was intercepted by Indonesia at Australia’s request in October 2009;

(b) recognises:

(i) of the 240 on board, 100 have been found to be genuine refugees by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, yet they are afraid to leave the boat under the threat of removal to Indonesian detention centres, and

(ii) Australia’s obligations as a signatory to the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees; and

(c) calls on the Government to immediately step in and end the standoff over the Tamil asylum-seekers who have been left in squalid conditions on a boat at Merak, Indonesia for 115 days.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

27th Oct 2009, 3:50 PM – Senate Motions - Asylum Seekers - Language and law

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (SA), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) recognises each senator’s role as community leaders and the collective responsibility to conduct debates on matters of public importance in a respectful and accurate manner, using language that is constructive and appropriate; and

(b) agrees that all debate on the issue of asylum seekers and border protection is framed within the law, terms and definitions of the:

(a) United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951);

(b) Migration Act 1958;

(c) Criminal Code Act 1995;

(d) Racial Discrimination Act 1975; and

(e) Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW).

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

How "voted 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 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 3 0 30
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 3 3 6
Total: 3 36

*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 = 3 / 36 = 8.3%.

And then