How Sean Edwards voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should support the exportation of uranium from Australia

Division Sean Edwards Supporters vote Division outcome

12th Feb 2015, 12:15 PM – Senate Motions — Nuclear Energy

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Senator Wright proposed a motion that the senate declare it is against the establishment of nuclear power plants in Australia and that the production of uranium for fuel presents a dangerous risk.

The Senator claims that her chosen wording for the motion is taken directly from the Australian Labor Parties National Policy Platform, from which chapter 3, policy 230 reads:

Labor recognizes that the production of uranium and its use in the nuclear fuel cycle present unique and unprecedented hazards and risks, including:

  • threats to human health and the local environment in the mining and milling of uranium, which demand the enforcement of very strict safety procedures

  • the generation of products that are usable as the raw materials for nuclear weapons manufacture, which demands the enforcement of effective controls against diversion

  • the generation of highly toxic radioactive waste by-products that demand permanently safe disposal methods.

Motion:

That the Senate—

(a) opposes the establishment of nuclear power plants in Australia, based on the best available expert advice;

(b) recognizes that the production of uranium and its use in the nuclear fuel cycle presents unique and unprecedented hazards and risks, including:

(i) threats to human health and the local environment in the mining and milling of uranium,

(ii) the generation of products that are usable as the raw materials for nuclear weapons manufacture, and

(iii) the generation of highly toxic radioactive waste by-products; and

(c) rejects any efforts to move toward establishing nuclear power plants in South Australia.

No No Not passed by a modest majority

13th Mar 2013, 3:58 PM – Senate Motions — Uranium Exports - Review all bilateral uranium supply arrangements

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, which means that it was rejected. The motion was:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Australian uranium is confirmed to have been present in each of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power station on 11 March 2011,

(ii) the disaster is ongoing 2 years later, with continuing radiation leaks, and that 160 000 people remain displaced from their homes with inadequate compensation to resettle,

(iii) decommissioning is expected to take over 40 years at a cost of A$100 billion, and

(iv) approximately 2 000 samples of food and game tested for radiation between April 2012 and January 2013 exceeded the limit for human consumption of radioactive isotopes; and

(b) calls on the Australian Government to undertake an immediate review of all bilateral uranium supply arrangements to assess the risk of future disasters at nuclear power stations in countries to which Australia supplies uranium.

absent No Not passed by a modest majority

22nd Mar 2012, 1:46 PM – Senate Motions — Nuclear Energy - India and other countries standing outside the NPT

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, which means that it has been rejected. The motion was:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that a crackdown by over 6 000 police on non-violent anti-nuclear power protestors, including arrests for sedition and the prohibition on people congregating, occurred at the construction site of a nuclear reactor near the fishing village of Koodankulam in south India on 19 March and 20 March 2012,

(ii) that 20 000 people gathered on 20 March 2012 with thousands on an indefinite hunger strike until the non-violent protestors are released,

(iii) a growing mass movement in India opposed to nuclear power includes protests in Jaitapur, Maharashtra and Gorakhpur, Haryana,

(iv) the sale of uranium to India while that country refuses to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) would be illegal under the Treaty of Rarotonga, signed by the Australian Government in 1985,

(v) the 1998 United National Security Council resolution 1172 'encourages all States to prevent the export of equipment, materials or technology that could in any way assist programmes in India or Pakistan for nuclear weapons or for ballistic missiles capable of delivering such weapons, and welcomes national policies adopted and declared in this respect', and

(vi) the Nuclear Security Summit will be held on 26 March and 27 March 2012 in South Korea; and

(b) calls on the Government to utilise all diplomatic channels to:

(i) protest the Indian Government's unprecedented deployment of police around Koodankulam and the harassment of peaceful protestors as inconsistent with the democratic right to peaceful protest,

(ii) caution the Indian Government against loading uranium fuel rods into the reactor at Koodankulam without conducting any safety or evacuation drills, mandatory exercises under the Indian Atomic Energy Regulatory Board rules,

(iii) promote the independence of nuclear regulators from industry and government as best international practice, and

(iv) not sell uranium to countries that stand outside the NPT and its associated safeguards system.

No No Not passed by a modest majority

23rd Nov 2011 – Senate Motions — Uranium Exports - For export of uranium to India

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Liberal Senator Eric Abetz, which means that it was rejected. The motion was:

That the Senate—

(a) notes the Howard Government's 2007 decision to sell uranium to India subject to appropriate bilateral and international safeguards;

(b) calls on the Australian Labor Party National Conference to approve the sale of Australian uranium to India;

(c) looks forwards to the improved trade and security relations with India which will flow from this initiative;

(d) recognises the positive contribution nuclear energy makes to reducing greenhouse emissions; and

(e) rejects the view that alternative technologies can provide a comparable low emissions baseload energy source for India.

Yes Yes Not passed by a small majority

31st Oct 2011 – Senate Motions — Nuclear Nonproliferation - Identify countries that won't sell to

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, which means that it was rejected. The motion was:

That the Senate—

(a) congratulates the Government for maintaining Australia's longstanding policy of predicating bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements on the condition of membership to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons; and

(b) calls on the Government to identify the countries to which it will not permit the sale of uranium.

No No 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 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* 1 1 2
Total: 41 42

*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 = 41 / 42 = 98%.

And then