How Robert Simms voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase the protection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage sites

Division Robert Simms Supporters vote Division outcome

3rd May 2016, 3:57 PM – Senate Motions - Budget - Radioactive Waste

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam that was against the nomination of Barndioota site in the Flinders Ranges for the National Radioactive Waste project.

Read more about the nomination in ABC News.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) on 27 November 2015 the Adnyamathanha traditional owners released a statement outlining their opposition to the nomination of Barndioota station to host a National Radioactive Waste facility with the statement detailing environmental conditions in the area, including flooding and yarta ngurra-ngurrandha (earthquakes and tremors), the importance of ground water and many mound springs close to the proposed site,

(ii) on 29 April 2016 press releases were issued from three different organisations that represent the Adnyamathanha traditional owners detailing their opposition to the nomination of Barndioota station,

(iii) the area is of cultural significance to Adnyamathanha,

(iv) Yappala was declared an Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) by the Federal Government in 2014,

(v) there is extensive archaeological evidence of occupation in the surrounding area, and

(vi) there has been a lack of consultation with Adnyamathanha; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) acknowledge the opposition from the Adnyamathanha traditional owners, and

(ii) respect previous commitments on non-imposition and the importance of community consent, and remove the Barndioota site as a nominated site.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

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 1 50 50
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 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 50 50

*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 = 50 / 50 = 100%.

And then