How Bob Brown voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should introduce legislation that increases the protection of Australia's fresh water resources, including its river and groundwater systems

Division Bob Brown Supporters vote Division outcome

22nd Mar 2012, 1:53 PM – Senate Motions - Mining - Moratorium on coal seam gas

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters, which was:

That the Senate-

(a)   notes that in the past 6 months since the Greens motion for a moratorium on coal seam gas mining was first defeated in the Senate, the urgent concerns of farmers, landholders and regional communities regarding the risks posed by the runaway coal seam gas industry have not been addressed;

(b)   notes that the recent Senate inquiry into the impacts of coal seam gas mining in the Murray Darling Basin heard compelling evidence that regional communities are suffering many negative impacts from the operations of coal seam gas mining companies; and

(c)   calls on the Government to implement an immediate moratorium on any new coal seam gas approvals until the long-term impacts of the industry on groundwater, agriculture, rural communities, threatened species, the climate and the Great Barrier Reef are known.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

9th Nov 2011 – Senate Motions - Coal Seam Gas - Protect water systems and the environment

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters.

This means that the motion was unsuccessful.

The motion was:

That the Senate notes:

(a)   that no coal seam gas development should proceed where it poses a significant impact on the quality of groundwater or surface water systems; and

(b)   it must absolutely clear that no coal seam gas development should occur unless it is proven safe for the environment.(Read more about coal seam gas here.)

References

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

22nd Aug 2011 – Senate Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Bill 2011 - In Committee - Excluded offsets projects

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This division relates to the Policy For carbon farming.

The majority voted against an amendment introduced by Independent Senator Nick Xenophon, which means that it was unsuccessful.

The amendment would have omitted paragraph (2)(a) on clause 56,(See the bill at the time of first reading here. ) which read at the time of first reading:

(2) In deciding whether to recommend to the Governor-General that regulations should be made for the purposes of subsection (1) specifying a particular kind of project, the Minister must have regard to whether there is a significant risk that that kind of project will have a significant adverse impact on one or more of the following:

(a) the availability of water;

Although Senator Xenophon did not provide an explanation for his amendment at the time that he moved it, he did say previously that "My concern is that the way the process will operate may be subject to a number of ambiguities and uncertainties where we will end up with certain projects being approved where there is an overall adverse impact on water security and food production."(See Senator Xenophon's explanation here at 10:32 am. ) His previous amendments also related to excluded offsets projects and more can be read about them here.

Background to the bills

The Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Bill 2011 was introduced with two other bills to establish a voluntary carbon offset scheme, to be called the Carbon Farming Initiative.(The three related bills are the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Bill 2011, the Carbon Credits (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2011 and the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units Bill 2011. ) Introducing this scheme was a Government election commitment. The Initiative will be "a voluntary scheme that aims to provide incentives for the agricultural and forestry sectors to minimise carbon emissions or maximise carbon sequestration by altering their forestry and agricultural practices".(Read more in the bills digest. ) The objectives of this scheme are:

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

22nd Aug 2011 – Senate Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Bill 2011 — In Committee — Excluded offsets projects

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This division relates to the Policy For carbon farming.

The majority voted against amendments introduced by Independent Senator Nick Xenophon, which means that they were unsuccessful.

The amendment would have added to the list of excluded offsets projects under the bill to include projects that were:

  • "established as, or as part of, a managed investment scheme; or"
  • "determined ... to have an adverse impact on: (i) the availability of water; or (ii) land and resource access for agricultural production".(Read the entirety of the proposed amendments here.

)

The dispute surrounding these amendments is that they would require assessment on an individual basis, as opposed to the broader approach favoured by the Labor Government.(See the debate on these amendments here, after 10:22 am. )

Background to the bills

The Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Bill 2011 was introduced with two other bills to establish a voluntary carbon offset scheme, to be called the Carbon Farming Initiative.(The three related bills are the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Bill 2011, the Carbon Credits (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2011 and the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units Bill 2011. ) Introducing this scheme was a Government election commitment. The Initiative will be "a voluntary scheme that aims to provide incentives for the agricultural and forestry sectors to minimise carbon emissions or maximise carbon sequestration by altering their forestry and agricultural practices".(Read more in the bills digest. ) The objectives of this scheme are:

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

22nd Jun 2010, 4:30 PM – Senate Motions - Water Supply for Adelaide

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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) there is significant opportunity for investment in stormwater harvesting and water efficiency, yet Adelaide remains reliant on the Murray River for its water supply, and()

(ii) the Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water ( Senator Wong) has demanded an environmental dividend to reduce Adelaide’s reliance on the Murray River, in exchange for Federal Government funding for a range of urban water projects; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to work with the South Australian Government to wean Adelaide off the Murray River for the long-term sustainability of the river system.

References

  • To learn more about the extent that Adelaide relies on the Murray River for its water supplies, see here.
Yes Yes Not passed by a large majority

26th Mar 2007, 3:49 PM – Senate Motions - Murray-Darling Basin - Purchase water licences

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert. This means that the motion was rejected.

The motion was:

That the Senate:

(a) notes:

(i) the listing of the Murray-Darling Basin in the WWF study ‘World’s top 10 rivers at risk’,(The WWF study is available for download here. )

(ii) that threats such as invasive species, over-allocation and climate change are the reasons the river system has been listed as ‘at risk’, and

(iii) the report’s recommendations that returning significantly greater environmental flows to the river will have major benefits in reducing the prevalence of some invasive species and improving river health; and

(b) calls on the Government to begin purchasing water licences without further delay in order to return environmental flows to the Murray-Darling river system.(Read more about water security in Australia on Wikipedia.)

References

Yes Yes Not passed by a small majority

26th Mar 2007, 3:45 PM – Senate Motions - World Day for Water - South Australian wetlands

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert. This means that the motion was rejected.

The motion was:

That the Senate:

(a) notes:

(i) that Thursday, 22 March 2007, has been designated World Day for Water 2007, and that this year’s theme is ‘Coping with Water Scarcity’,(The official website for World Water Day 2007 is here. )

(ii) that the South Australian Government has indicated that it will cut water flows to nine key lakes, wetlands and lagoons if its water allocation falls below 50 per cent or weir levels cannot be sustained, and

(iii) the comments by Murray-Darling Basin Commission Chief Executive Wendy Craik, that climate change will have significant long-term impacts on inflows into the Murray-Darling river system; and(The Murray-Darling Basin Commission preceded the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. Read more about the Commission here.)

(b) calls on the Government to ensure that:

(i) water allocations are acquired such that supplies to wetlands in South Australia, including Lake Bonney, Gurra Gurra Lakes, Horseshoe Lagoon, Ross Lagoon and Murbko South Wetland are maintained, and

(ii) water management plans in the Murray-Darling Basin are consistent with sustainable extraction levels and can take into account projections of reduced inflows into the basin due to climate change.

References

Yes Yes Not passed by a small majority

8th Feb 2007, 10:42 AM – Senate Motions - Water - Macquarie River

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Kerry Nettle. This means that the motion was rejected.

The motion was:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that:

(i) the internationally significant Ramsar-listed wetlands, the Macquarie Marshes in New South Wales are dying because of a lack of water,

(ii) water for cotton irrigation upstream on the Macquarie River has been over-allocated and has starved the Macquarie Marshes of water, specifically the periodic flooding necessary for the marsh flora and fauna to survive, and

(iii) if there is not a substantial flood in the Macquarie Marshes in the near future, a substantial area of the marsh will be permanently damaged; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) prioritise, for immediate buy-back, the over-allocation of water licences on the Macquarie River, and

(ii) ensure that a substantial and immediate environmental flow to save the marshes is allocated as soon as the drought breaks and water is available.

Yes Yes Not passed by a small majority

7th Dec 2006, 10:03 AM – Senate Motions - Wetlands and Floodplains - Murray Darling

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Kerry Nettle. This means that the motion is rejected.

The motion was:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that:

(i) important wetlands and floodplain areas in the Murray-Darling Basin face the threat of irretrievable ecological damage as a result of river diversions and unauthorised interception banks (in areas including, but not limited to, the Condamine, Ballonne and the southern Macquarie Marshes),

(ii) unregulated and unmetered off-stream water storage, such as Cubbie Station, places an unsustainable burden on our shared water resources and undermines efforts to manage limited resources in an equitable and sustainable fashion, and

(iii) while the drought has exacerbated this situation, even a cyclical improvement in drought conditions will not improve these threatened ecosystems while these diversions remain in place; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) work with the New South Wales and Queensland Governments to legislate and regulate to ensure uninterrupted environmental flows, and

(ii) look at options of buying out unsustainable operations such as Cubbie Station.

Yes Yes Not passed by a large majority

How "voted moderately 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 7 70 70
MP voted against policy 2 0 20
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 70 90

*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 = 70 / 90 = 78%.

And then