How Carol Brown voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should introduce legislation that reduces the gap in income between women and men and ensures both sexes are paid equally well

Division Carol Brown Supporters vote Division outcome

23rd Jun 2021, 4:14 PM – Senate Motions - Discrimination - Against affirmative action

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A large majority of senators voted against a motion introduced by Queensland Senator Malcolm Roberts (One Nation), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Investigation Arista by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) found that:

(A) the Queensland Police Service (QPS) engaged in 'corrupt manipulation' and 'discriminatory' practices to achieve a 50% female hiring target,

(B) the discriminatory practices saw different standards applied to female and male applicants, with females selected in preference to the male applicants who had performed to a higher standard across entry assessments,

(C) some female applicants were approved for entry despite failing the cognitive, physical, or psychological assessment, and

(D) if the discriminatory practices had not been implemented, the CCC estimates 200 more meritorious male applicants who had passed the assessments would have been successful in joining the QPS, and

(ii) the use of discriminatory recruitment practices devalues the achievements of both females and males who achieve the required application standards; and

(b) further notes that:

(i) policies that discriminate based on gender are sexist,

(ii) policies that discriminate based on race are racist, and

(iii) judgements should only be made based on the merit of the individual and not other characteristics.

absent No Not passed by a large majority

8th Dec 2020, 4:53 PM – Senate Motions - Women's Economic Security - Retirement incomes

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The same number of senators vote for and against a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Catryna Bilyk (Labor), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) on average, women retire with superannuation balances 50% lower than those of men,

(ii) 40% of older single retired women live in poverty and experience economic insecurity in retirement,

(iii) an estimated 220,000 women miss out on a combined $125 million of superannuation contributions as they do not meet the requirement to earn $450 per month from one employer, and

(iv) the Government deliberately excluded consideration of systemic problems in the superannuation system for women from the terms of reference of its retirement incomes review, despite 100 prominent Australians in senior business roles writing to the Treasurer and calling on him to do so; and

(b) calls on the Morrison Government to help women achieve equality in retirement by responding to the inequality raised in the retirement incomes review's final report and look at the systemic issues that lead to inequality between men's and women's retirement incomes.

absent Yes Not passed

26th Aug 2020, 4:02 PM – Senate Motions - Superannuation - Inequality

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Helen Polley (Labor), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate notes that—

(a) COVID-19 and the associated recession should not be used to justify changes to the scheduled superannuation payment increase from 9.5% to 12% by July 2025 – too many people retire with insufficient retirement savings, and data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics does not show that an increase in superannuation leads to a decrease in wages;

(b) with superannuation withdrawals at $32 billion, and predictions that this will reach $42 billion by the end of the year, Australians will regard this temporary measure that is allowing early access to super as careless policy management and a complete lack of foresight;

(c) there have already been 560,000 Australians who have completely cleared out their retirement savings, with 82% of these people under the age of 35 – young people will already fare worse following this pandemic and this has aggravated the problem;

(d) females are already worse off, with women retiring with approximately 47% less super than men – this is due to higher levels of part-time and casual work and repeated career breaks; and

(e) there also needs to be a more targeted approach to reducing inequalities females face, and prevent them from retiring in poverty.

absent Yes Not passed by a small majority

20th Sep 2018, 12:33 PM – Senate Motions - Superannuation - Gender gap + low income earners

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters (Qld), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate:

(a) notes that women retire with around 40 per cent less superannuation than men, and supports legislative change to close this gap as quickly as possible;

(b) acknowledges that if the Gillard Government had adopted The Greens amendment to the Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010, to ensure superannuation was paid to primary parents on leave, this gender retirement income gap would now be smaller;

(c) notes that the flat 15 per cent tax rate on superannuation contributions is regressive, with a disproportionate impact on the retirement savings for women, as they make up the majority of low income earners below the median wage; and

(d) calls on this or future governments to significantly boost the retirement balances of women by:

(i) making super contribution taxes progressive by setting them at 15 per cent below marginal tax rates, and

(ii) increasing the Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset for earners below the tax-free threshold, in order to ensure all workers gain an equal tax benefit from superannuation.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

19th Jun 2013, 3:43 PM – Senate Motions - Health - Inquiry into unpaid care

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The majority disagreed that the Productivity Commission should be asked to conduct an inquiry into mechanisms for recognising and valuing unpaid care.

This motion was introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) notes that unpaid caring work being undertaken by Australian individuals is leading to inequality over the life-cycle of women and the emergence of gender-based disparity in retirement incomes; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) direct the Productivity Commission to conduct an inquiry into mechanisms for recognising and valuing unpaid care which might reduce the gender gap, including, but not limited to, options and models for superannuation and tax offsets, carer's leave, child care, aged pension supplements, and additional paid parental leave measures, and

(ii) specify That the inquiry examine the merits and feasibility of a system of 'carer credits' in the form of direct credits to the superannuation accounts of individuals with parent care responsibilities or carer responsibilities.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

22nd Nov 2012, 8:30 PM – Senate Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Amendment Bill 2012 - Second Reading - Agree with the bill's main idea

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The majority agreed with the main idea of the bill (in parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill a second time). This means that they can now discuss the bill in more detail.

Main idea of the bill

The bill makes three main changes. It will:

  • widen the applicability of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999 from just women to both women and men and so also change its name to the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012;
  • introduce a new and simplified process for employers to report how they are meeting certain gender equality indicators; and
  • increase compliance with the Act.

Background to the bill

During the 2010 election campaign, the Labor Government made a commitment to reduce gender inequality. Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Penny Wong, said that this bill is part of that commitment.

Read more about the background in the bills digest.

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

23rd Aug 2012, 12:08 PM – Senate Motions - Inequality - Introduce a Federal Equality Act

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The majority voted against introducing "a stand-alone Federal Equality Act", which was suggested by Greens Senator Penny Wright.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) recognises that discrimination and inequality are alive and well in Australia, for example, in August 2010, women earned 16.9 per cent less than men on average per week, with the total earnings gap increasing to 34.8 per cent per week when taking into account part time and casual work; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) seize the opportunity to introduce a stand-alone Federal Equality Act that adopts global best-practice standards and brings Australian law into line with our international human rights obligations, and

(ii) ensure that new equality legislation includes, among other things, a specific duty to promote equality and eliminate discrimination, prohibits discrimination in all areas of public life and removes arbitrary and blanket exemptions.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

7th Feb 2007, 3:49 PM – Senate Motions - Commission on the Status of Women - End discrimination and gender-based violence

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Australian Democrats Senator Lyn Allison, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate:

(a) welcomes the fifty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women taking place from 26 February to 9 March 2007, with a theme of ‘The elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child’;

(b) acknowledges the vital role of the Commission in bringing the concerns of women and girls to the attention of the world community and in promoting women’s rights;

(c) stresses that it is important for world democracy that women should take a full and equal part in political, social, economic and cultural life;

(d) condemns the continuing grave violations of the human rights of women and girls throughout the world;

(e) expresses grave concern over continued restrictions on women’s access to education and health care, employment outside the home, freedom of movement and freedom from intimidation, harassment and violence in many countries;

(f) notes that women in many parts of the world still lack the capacity and support to speak out against violence and discrimination;

(g) emphasises that violence and discrimination against women and girls is a public issue and societal responsibility and that the education and development of men and boys is inextricably linked to advancing the rights and well-being of women and girls;

(h) encourages the Government to expand its support and funding for international organisations and programs providing high-quality education for girls, nutrition for early growth and development, sexual and reproductive health services, and safe spaces, legal structures and advocacy for girls;

(i) urges the Government to support organisations and programs that engage men in tackling discrimination and violence against women and girls, including changing harmful traditions and practices; and

(j) calls for Government leadership to end gender-based violence and eliminate discrimination against women and girls in Australia.

Yes Yes Not passed by a small 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 1 50 50
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 1 10 10
MP voted against policy 2 0 20
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 4 4 8
Total: 64 88

*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 = 64 / 88 = 73%.

And then