How Kerry O'Brien voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government needs to support research and conservation initiatives that aim to put a stop to the current trajectory of animal and plant extinctions in Australia

Division Kerry O'Brien Supporters vote Division outcome

8th Sep 2009, 3:44 PM – Senate Motions - National Threatened Species Day - Management plans

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The majority voted against a motion that:

calls on the Government to increase funding for the listing and protection of threatened species, habitats and communities and the preparation and implementation of management plans.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that Monday, 7 September 2009 is National Threatened Species Day;

(b) acknowledges the significance of the date which is the anniversary of the death of the last known thylacine (Tasmanian tiger) in captivity in 1936 at Hobart’s Beaumaris Zoo;

(c) expresses:

(i) concern at the continuing decline of Australia’s biodiversity and the increasing levels of threat and endangerment faced by Australia’s endemic species, with 125 endemic species now listed as critically endangered, and

(ii) alarm at accelerating levels of species threat in northern Australia, as noted by a meeting of wildlife experts in Darwin in February 2009 that reported on a ‘new and potentially catastrophic wave of mammalian extinctions’;

(d) notes that Australia leads the world in mammalian extinctions, with 40 species lost over the past 200 years; and

(e) calls on the Government to increase funding for the listing and protection of threatened species, habitats and communities and the preparation and implementation of management plans.

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

13th Aug 2007, 3:50 PM – Senate Motions - Yangtze River Dolphin - Implement management plans

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The majority voted against a motion that "calls on the Government to ensure the implementation of Australian law, requiring management plans to lift creatures facing extinction to greater safety in Australia".

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes with regret:

(i) news of the extinction of the Yangtze River dolphin, and

(ii) that this is the first large vertebrate to be forced to extinction by human activity in 50 years and only the fourth time since the year 1500 that an entire evolutionary line of mammals has vanished from the face of the earth; and

(b) calls on the Government to ensure the implementation of Australian law, requiring management plans to lift creatures facing extinction to greater safety in Australia.

Yes Yes Not passed by a small majority

7th Sep 2006, 10:10 AM – Senate Motions - National Threatened Species Day - Legislation to protect threatened species

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The majority voted against a motion that "urges the Government to immediately develop and implement legislation that does protect threatened species".

Motion text

That, on National Threatened Species Day, the Senate—

(a) recognises that habitat destruction and fragmentation together with alien invasive species exacerbated by global warming are the main drivers of species extinction globally;

(b) notes that:

(i) since 1788, 52 plants and 55 animal species have gone to extinction in Australia including the Thylacine, which was last seen in Tasmania 70 years ago today, and

(ii) in 2006 there are 1 243 plants, 91 mammals, 107 birds, 52 reptiles, 27 frogs, 39 fishes and 22 invertebrates listed as either critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable or conservation dependent in Australia;

(c) expresses concern that only 21 per cent of nationally-listed threatened species have recovery plans, none of which any longer have implementation schedules or life of the project funding plans;

(d) calls on the Government to recognise that protection of threatened species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 has failed and does not fulfil Australia’s obligations to protect threatened species under the Convention on Biological Diversity; and

(e) urges the Government to immediately develop and implement legislation that does protect threatened species.

Yes Yes Not passed by a small majority

28th Mar 2006, 3:52 PM – Senate Motions - Wedge-Tailed Eagle - Protect habitat

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The majority voted against a motion to alter the logging plans in north-east Tasmania in order to save the habitat of the endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) notes a study by the University of Melbourne and Forestry Tasmania which estimates that the threat of extinction of the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle in north east Tasmania rises from 65 per cent to 99 per cent if current logging plans go ahead; and

(b) calls on the Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments to address this finding by altering the proposed logging so that the eagle’s prospects of survival are improved rather than worsened.

absent 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 2 20 20
MP voted against policy 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 1 1 2
Total: 21 32

*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 = 21 / 32 = 66%.

And then