How Stirling Griff voted compared to someone who believes that there should be more scrutiny or oversight of the actions and powers of Australian intelligence and law enforcement agencies, including the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP)

Division Stirling Griff Supporters vote Division outcome

7th Dec 2017, 3:59 PM – Senate Motions - Security Services - Scrutiny

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The majority voted in favour of an amendment to a motion, which means the motion was amended in the manner set out below.

Original motion text

That the Senate notes—

(a) the need for the executive to respect and protect the non-political role of the security services;

(b) the need to keep confidential information secure;

(c) the importance of the principle that intelligence material should not be used for partisan purposes;

(d) the offences for communicating intelligence information under the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979, including penalties; and

(e) the recommendations of the Hope Royal Commissions on Intelligence and Security, in particular, relating to the relationship between the security services and executive government and the responsibility of the Government to protect and adhere to the above principles.

Amendment text

At the end of paragraph (e), add—

", and further affirms that enhanced scrutiny of the security services as proposed by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security Amendment Bill 2015, and extending to appropriate oversight of agency operations, would increase confidence that the security services strictly adhere to their non-political role and that intelligence material will not be used for partisan purposes."

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

17th Aug 2017, 12:27 PM – Senate Motions - Australian Secret Intelligence Service - Appear before Committee

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Senator Nick Xenophon (SA), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Foreign Minister has denied Witness K, a former public servant and Australian citizen, an Australian passport,

(ii) the denial was made on the advice of the Australian Security Intelligence Service (ASIS), a competent authority for the purpose of the Australian Passports Act 2005,

(iii) denying an Australian citizen a passport is a serious restriction of liberty, and must not be done lightly,

(iv) during Budget estimates, questions were put to the Attorney-General (representing the Foreign Minister) as to the appropriateness of ASIS being relied upon as a competent authority in the circumstances of the case – the Attorney-General took the question on notice,

(v) after consideration, the Government has advised that the questions put to the Attorney-General are properly questions for ASIS,

(vi) although there is no constraint prohibiting ASIS from appearing at estimates hearings, they do not normally do so, and

(vii) the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee has declined to invite ASIS to appear at the October 2017 supplementary Budget estimates hearings; and

(b) orders that the Australian Security Intelligence Service appear before the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee at the October 2017 supplementary Budget estimates hearings.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

8th Nov 2016, 7:24 PM – Senate Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2016 - Second Reading - Agree to the bill's main idea

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The majority voted to support the main idea of the bill's main idea. In parliamentary jargon, they voted against giving the bill a second reading.

This means that the Senate can now discuss the bill in more detail.

What is the bill's main idea?

According to the bills digest, the bill:

is the latest in a series of reforms to national security and counter-terrorism laws since mid-2014. The Government states the Bill would address issues that have come to light through recent counter-terrorism investigations and operational activity.

A key part of the bill relates to control orders. For example, the bill would lower the minimum age that a control order can be imposed from 16 to 14 years of age. It would also introduce new ‘monitoring powers’ to:

allow police to use entry, search and seizure, telecommunications interception and surveillance device powers in relation to a person subject to a control order to monitor their compliance with the order and prevent terrorist related conduct

A concerning part of the bill relates to procedural fairness and will:

allow courts to consider information that is not disclosed to the person subject to a control order or their representative for security reasons, in control order proceedings ... and introduce a system of special advocates to represent the interests of those people in proceedings from which they and their legal representatives have been excluded ...

Yes No (strong) Passed by a modest majority

How "voted a mixture of for and 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 1 0 50
MP absent 2 50 100
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 10 100 100
MP voted against policy 4 0 40
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 6 6 12
Total: 156 302

*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 = 156 / 302 = 52%.

And then