How Kerry O'Brien voted compared to someone who believes that there should be more independent access to detention centres and more information provided about the management of asylum seekers under Australian government policy, including the interception of boats at sea

Division Kerry O'Brien Supporters vote Division outcome

24th Nov 2009, 3:41 PM – Senate Border Protection Committee of Cabinet Meeting - Order - Produce documents

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The same number of senators voted for and against the motion, which means it failed.

Motion text

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Prime Minister, no later than 2 pm on Wednesday, 25 November 2009, documents outlining or including, the following:

(a) the date, time and duration of the meetings of the Border Protection Committee of Cabinet since it was established in about April 2009;

(b) in relation to each of the meetings referred to above, details of all the attendees at each meeting, including the name and position of each attendee and the capacity in which they attended the meeting;

(c) in relation to any ministerial staff attending any meeting, the level of security clearance of all ministerial staff who attended each meeting;

(d) all documents relating to the formulation, discussion and approval (including any drafts) of the letter from Mr Jim O’Callaghan, Minister-Counsellor Immigration, Australian Embassy, Jakarta, Indonesia, entitled Message to the 78 passengers on the Oceanic Viking, dated November 2009, including by the Border Protection Committee of Cabinet or any other committee, taskforce or entity;

(e) all documents relating to the formulation, discussion and approval (including any drafts) of the letter from Mr Andrew Metcalfe, Department of Immigration and Citizenship to Senator Evans, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, dated 16 November 2009, including by the Border Protection Committee of Cabinet or any other committee, taskforce or entity;

(f) in relation to the formulation, discussion or approval referred to in paragraphs (d) and (e), which was undertaken by any other committee, taskforce or entity other than the Border Protection Committee of Cabinet, documents outlining or including:

(i) the name of the other committee, taskforce or entity,

(ii) the date, time and duration of the meeting/s of the other committee, taskforce or entity, and

(iii) details of all the attendees at each meeting of the other committee, taskforce or entity, including the name and position of each attendee and the capacity in which they attended the meeting;

(g) in relation to any ministerial staff attending any meeting, the level of security clearance of all ministerial staff who attended each meeting of the Border Protection Committee of Cabinet or any other committee, taskforce or entity;

(h) in relation to approval referred to in paragraphs (d) and (e) above, details of the date, time, duration and attendees at the meeting or meetings that resulted in such approval by the Border Protection Committee of Cabinet or any other committee, taskforce or entity;

(i) details of when the Prime Minister became aware of the decision of the Border Protection Committee of Cabinet or any other committee, taskforce or entity to make the offer referred to in paragraphs (d) and (e) above and how he became aware of this decision;

(j) in relation to the letter from Mr Jim O’Callaghan, Minister-Counsellor Immigration, Australian Embassy, Jakarta, Indonesia, entitled Message to the 78 passengers on the Oceanic Viking, dated November 2009, all documents relating to the formulation, discussion and approval (including drafts) of any arrangements, undertakings or special circumstances with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees regarding processing and resettlement of the asylum seekers;

(k) in relation to the letter from Mr Jim O’Callaghan, Minister-Counsellor Immigration, Australian Embassy, Jakarta, Indonesia, entitled Message to the 78 passengers on the Oceanic Viking, dated November 2009 and the letter from Mr Andrew Metcalfe, Department of Immigration and Citizenship to Senator Evans, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, dated 16 November 2009, all documents relating to the formulation, discussion and approval (including drafts) of any arrangements, undertakings or special circumstances with Indonesia regarding the detention, processing and resettlement of the asylum seekers; and

(l) in relation to any approval covered by paragraphs (h) and (i), a statement of whether the Prime Minister or any member of the Prime Minister’s staff approved any part, aspect, detail or condition contained in the letter from Mr Jim O’Callaghan, Minister-Counsellor Immigration, Australian Embassy, Jakarta, Indonesia, entitled Message to the 78 passengers on the Oceanic Viking, dated November 2009 and in the letter from Mr Andrew Metcalfe, Department of Immigration and Citizenship to Senator Evans, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, dated 16 November 2009.

No Yes Not passed

27th Aug 2008, 4:21 PM – Senate Motions - MV Tampa: Seventh Anniversary - Inquiry into immigration detention

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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) 26 August marked the 7th anniversary of the rescue of 433 asylum seekers by the MV Tampa,(Read more about this incident on Wikipedia.)

(ii) this rescue was followed by the refusal of the Coalition Government to allow the ship to enter Australian shores in direct violation of both maritime conventions and human rights obligations, and

(iii) the majority of the refugees, including children, were detained indefinitely on Nauru, as part of the Coalition’s ‘ Pacific Solution’; and

(b) calls on the Government, as part of the inquiry into immigration detention in Australia, to look into the psychological harm mandatory detention has caused children and their families as a matter of urgency.

References

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

10th May 2007, 10:17 AM – Senate Motions - Iraq - Information requested

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The majority voted against a motion for information in regards to the civilians displaced by the war in Iraq, which means the motion failed.

Motion text

That the Senate calls on the Government to inform the Senate by 13 June 2007 on the following matters:

(a) the number of civilians displaced by the war in Iraq, both internally and externally;

(b) the circumstances of these Iraqi refugees;

(c) what aid or assistance is going to the refugees and what component of that aid comes from the Australian Government;

(d) how many such refugees have been accommodated in Australia and what plans there are to give refuge to more; and

(e) what calls from the United Nations, the Red Cross or any other international agencies have been made to nations, including Australia, to meet the refugees’ needs.

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

2nd Mar 2006, 11:37 AM – Senate Committees - Legal and Constitutional References Committee - Refer

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The majority voted against a motion to refer certain matters to the Legal and Constitutional References Committee for inquiry and report, which means the motion failed.

Motion text

I move:

That the following matters be referred to the Legal and Constitutional References Committee for inquiry and report:

(a) all actions carried out by the Government for assisting refugee and special humanitarian visa holders in their country of departure and managing the transition of refugees and humanitarian entrants from their country of departure to their settlement in Australia;

(b) the processes used by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs to handle the migration of the family of Mr Richard Niyonsaba to Australia and the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Niyonsaba after his arrival in Australia; and

(c) recommendations for improvement in the processes for assisting refugees and humanitarian entrants in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of all future new arrivals to Australia.

Yes Yes Not passed by a small majority

How "voted moderately 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 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 1 10 10
MP voted against policy 3 0 30
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 10 40

*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 = 10 / 40 = 25%.

And then