How Peter Whish-Wilson voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should encourage Australian-based industry and secure the jobs these industries create by, for example, providing incentives for companies to stay in Australia

Division Peter Whish-Wilson Supporters vote Division outcome

4th Jul 2019, 1:11 PM – Senate Motions - Energy - Exports and cost of energy

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by West Australian Senator Louise Pratt (Labor), which means it failed.

Motion text

(a) notes that:

(i) since 2013, gas prices for manufacturers have skyrocketed, increasing by up to four times their levels in 2013,

(ii) according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, spiralling gas prices have resulted in three manufacturers closing down and threaten the viability of many more businesses,

(iii) Australia has become the world’s largest gas exporter while our own businesses face difficulties in securing affordable gas supplies,

(iv) the Federal Government continues to refuse to bring big gas companies to heel by pulling the trigger on gas export controls,

(v) under Prime Minister Morrison, power prices have continued to skyrocket, with wholesale power price futures contracts up by 33% since former Prime Minister, Mr Malcolm Turnbull was forced out of The Lodge, and

(vi) Prime Minister Morrison’s election promise to reduce wholesale power prices to $70/mwh by 2021 would only bring prices back to the levels seen under his predecessor, Mr Turnbull; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to take real action to reduce the cost of energy in Australia by:

(i) bringing big gas companies to heel by finally pulling the trigger on gas export controls and ensuring Australian users have access to affordable Australian gas,

(ii) guaranteeing a reduction in gas prices for Australian businesses to levels that can sustain competitive Australian manufacturing, as well as ensuring ample gas supply for Australian users, and

(iii) delivering a national energy policy that will end investment uncertainty and deliver a modern energy system including cheaper, reliable and clean power.

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

2nd Apr 2019, 5:17 PM – Senate Motions - Shipping - Protect Australia's shipping industry

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Anne Urquhart (Labor), which means it passed. Motions like these don't make legal changes on their own but can be politically influential since they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that only 14 Australian-flagged trading vessels operate in this country,

(ii) that up to 80 Australian seafarers were sacked following the decision by BHP and Bluescope to remove the MV Mariloula and the MV Lowlands Brilliance from their iron ore route between Port Hedland and Port Kembla, replacing them with foreign-flagged vessels with exploited foreign crews getting paid as little as $2 an hour,

(iii) the ongoing failure of the Liberal-National Government to stand up for Australian seafarers and to support the Australian shipping industry, a situation that will be made worse by its Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Amendment Bill 2017 that could open up more domestic sea freight routes, including Bass Strait, to foreign-flagged ships and exploited foreign crews, and

(iv) that the continued failure of the Liberal-National Government to guarantee that Bass Strait shipping would not be impacted by its proposed legislative changes threatens the jobs of Tasmanian seafarers and leaves Tasmanian exporters at the mercy of decisions in overseas boardrooms; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) support Australian seafarers and the Australian shipping industry and abandon the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Amendment Bill 2017, and

(ii) investigate the establishment of an Australian 'strategic merchant fleet' in areas of importance to the Tasmanian and Australian economy, such as the importation and distribution of liquid fuel, namely crude oil, aviation fuel and diesel, and quarantining the domestic sea freight task on Bass Strait as part of a 'strategic fleet'.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

7th Feb 2018, 4:05 PM – Senate Motions - Rail Industry - Rail manufacturing

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The majority voted in favour of a motion, which means it passed. These sorts of motions don't have any legal force but they can be politically influential as they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the NSW government has awarded $4 billion in contracts to build the Intercity and Waratah train fleets overseas, and

(ii) this decision by the NSW government will impact local rail manufacturers and supply chain businesses, and puts up to 15 000 existing jobs across Australia at risk; and

(b) calls on the Commonwealth and all states to cooperate and strengthen rail manufacturing in Australia by:

(i) establishing a National Rail Manufacturing Industry Plan to maximise the benefits from the $46 billion investment expected over the next decade,

(ii) working together to achieve a long-term, sustainable and efficient rail industry that will provide job security for local rail manufacturers,

(iii) harmonising safety standards that would maximise manufacturing efficiencies, and

(iv) working with the rail industry to develop Rail Industry Skills Centres at local TAFE and colleges, and ensuring the use of local apprentices, trainees and engineering cadets for at least ten per cent of the total labour hours.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

16th Feb 2017, 12:04 PM – Senate Motions - Imports - Anti-dumping system

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Senator Nick Xenophon also on behalf of Senator Kim Carr, which means it was successful.

Motions like these don't have legal force - they don't become laws or government policies - but they do express the view of the Senate and so can be influential and can encourage the government to take the action that they call for.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) dumping of imported goods on Australian shores puts the future of sustainable Australian manufacturing and agricultural production at risk,

(ii) dumping of imported goods on Australian shores is harmful to Australian jobs throughout the entire supply chain and future economic diversity of the nation,

(iii) the complexity and cost of Australia's anti-dumping system remains prohibitive to small and medium-sized manufacturers, especially at a time when Australian businesses are already suffering economic loss caused by dumped imports, and

(iv) exporters and importers of dumped goods continue to circumvent anti-dumping measures causing Australian manufacturers further harm, placing further Australian jobs at risk and defrauding the Commonwealth of revenue; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) urgently introduce administrative reform to the Australian anti-dumping system to increase the effectiveness of the system with immediate focus on small and medium-sized businesses,

(ii) immediately establish a joint taskforce between the Anti-Dumping Commission and the Australian Border Force to address the problem of circumvention of anti-dumping measures, and

(iii) where countervailing measures are not successful, pursue illegal subsidy programs through the WTO disputes settlements process, and join as third-parties such disputes instituted by other member states.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

4th May 2016, 4:28 PM – Senate Motions - Australian Electoral Commission: Election Materials - Use Australian paper

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The majority agreed with a motion that the Government should use Australian paper for ballot papers and other election materials made for the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), which means the motion was successful.

The motion has been introduced by Independant Senator Nick Xenophon.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) it is likely that a federal election will be held on Saturday, 2 July 2016,

(ii) it is estimated that some 40 million ballot papers will be required on election day, which is equivalent to some 700 tonnes of paper, and

(iii) Australia is capable of producing the quantity and quality of paper required for ballot papers as well as other election material to be printed for the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) for the 2016 Federal Election; and

(b) calls on the Government to require the use of Australian paper for ballot papers and other election materials produced for the AEC.

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

4th May 2016, 4:18 PM – Senate Motions - Transport Industry - Support the industry

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Independent Senator Glenn Lazarus (QLD), which means it was unsuccessful.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) while the abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) and associated orders has assisted to restore a competitive level playing field for the owner driver transport sector across Australia, the disruption caused by the RSRT has significantly affected industry confidence and market conditions more generally for owner driver operators, and

(ii) it may take some time for the owner driver sector to recover from the disruption, and as a result, in the meantime, many owner drivers are suffering financially; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to provide urgent assistance to owner driver operators by:

(i) conducting a survey to identify the number of owner driver operators who have lost work as a consequence of the Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016 and have not had their former work reinstated, with limited or no prospects of recovering work given the investments already made by small/large fleet operators,

(ii) establishing a national emergency financial assistance fund to provide financial payments to owner driver operators for up to 3 months,

(iii) providing owner driver operators with written acknowledgement of the abolition of the RSRT and associated orders to assist with market awareness,

(iv) calling on the financial sector to suspend payment requirements for truck and home loan facilities for owner driver operators for up to 3 months, and

(v) providing funding to a community based organisation to assist them to provide owner driver operators and their families with targeted, specialist and industry specific counselling and support services.

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

4th May 2016, 4:06 PM – Senate Motions - Sugar Industry - Act on Committee recommendations

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Independent Senator Glenn Lazarus, which called on the Government to act on the recommendations made by the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee on the Australian sugar industry.

What did the motion say?

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Australian sugarcane industry is one of Australia's largest and most important rural industries with sugarcane being Queensland's largest agricultural crop,

(ii) around 85 per cent of the raw sugar produced in Queensland is exported and generates up to $2 billion in export earnings,

(iii) the majority of mills in Australia are foreign owned and Australian grower groups are concerned about the monopoly powers of mills to misuse their market power against Australian sugarcane growers, particularly in response to changes to the industry from 2017 which may see large foreign owned milling companies taking control of the Australian sugar marketing sector, and

(iv) the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee report Current and future arrangements for the marketing of Australian sugar, tabled in June 2015, recommended the development and implementation of a mandatory sugar industry code of conduct;

(b) acknowledges that Australian sugarcane growers are urgently seeking implementation of a national industry code of conduct to protect them from large resourced companies exercising monopoly powers to dictate the commercial relationship between millers and growers, the installation of a commercial arbitration facility to support them to resolve issues with mills, and the ability to select a sugar marketing organisation of their choice; and

(c) calls on the Federal Government to support Australian sugarcane growers, to act on the recommendation in the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee report, and to work with industry as a matter of urgency to:

(i) develop and implement a code of conduct,

(ii) establish a national commercial arbitration service,

(iii) provide Australian canegrowers with the flexibility to select sugar marketing organisations of their choice, and

(iv) establish a national support service for Australian canegrowers.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

4th May 2016, 3:48 PM – Senate Motions - Defence Procurement - Shipping and maritime industry

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Independent Senator Glenn Lazarus, which called for the Government to support the Australian shipping and maritime industry.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) acknowledges the importance of Australia's shipping and maritime industry, and its contribution to the Australian economy and national defence capabilities;

(b) notes that some 7,000 people are employed directly in shipbuilding yards across Australia, and a further 24,000 people in associated industries;

(c) recognises that more than 1,800 shipbuilding jobs have been lost in Australia since 2013, and the need to protect and retain Australian jobs for Australian workers;

(d) understands the Federal Government has selected Spanish company Navantia as the preferred tenderer to build replacement supply vessels for the Australian Navy, which will create some 3,000 jobs in Spain and further decimate the Australian shipbuilding and maritime industry; and

(e) calls on the Federal Government to immediately halt further negotiations with the Spanish company and instead work with the Australian shipbuilding and maritime industry to immediately establish the capability to build the ships in Australia which will provide Australian jobs for Australian workers, and in the event that withdrawal from negotiations is not possible, immediately install requirements which maximise Australian involvement, input and content such as the build of the blocks in Australia.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

19th Apr 2016, 7:29 PM – Senate Motions - Steel Industry - Support local industry

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Robert Simms (SA), which means it was rejected.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) acknowledges that:

(i) the Australian steelworks manufacturing industry has been an important part of the Australian economy for almost 100 years, and

(ii) this is a difficult time for South Australian employees at Arrium OneSteel and the Whyalla community, with Arrium recently going into administration; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) provide urgent mental health support to the Whyalla community as part of any plan to assist in securing the future of the steel industry in South Australia,

(ii) invest in the development of greenhouse gas reducing steel-making technologies,

(iii) adopt a mandatory use of Australian Standards to assess the quality compliance of all steel-related building products used in Australia,

(iv) develop a legislated national procurement policy that ensures all government infrastructure and construction projects use at least 90 per cent locally-produced steel,

(v) as a condition of such a procurement policy, require that Australian steel producers adopt renewable sources of energy for the steel production process,

(vi) recognise That the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other free trade deals prevent federal and state governments from adopting such procurement policies should they be signed, and

(vii) reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership to protect South Australian jobs.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

19th Apr 2016, 7:01 PM – Senate Motions - Australian Steel Industry - Use Australian steel

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie (Tas), which means it was unsuccessful.

Motion text

That the Senate calls on the Government to:

(a) merge the anti-dumping and safeguards functions into one agency, for example, the Anti Dumping and Safeguards Commission, as occurs in the United States of America (US) and other jurisdictions;

(b) enable anti-dumping applications to be made by industry bodies and trade unions by amending the interested parties definition;

(c) enable and resource the Anti Dumping Commission (ADC) to:

(i) conduct faster and more comprehensive investigations particularly around circumvention countervailing activity,

(ii) share data with overseas jurisdictions that have conducted their own investigations and imposed significantly higher duties, and

(iii) regularly 'benchmark' remedies on like products with other jurisdictions around the world, and in particular the US, Asia and the European Union;

(d) commit additional resources to the ADC to enable independent verification in investigations of importer data and documentation in all applications to ensure the integrity of these processes;

(e) mandate through legislation the use of Australian-made steel in all public procurement, and ensure that all federal grants to the states for infrastructure projects do the same;

(f) apply and enforce enhanced and agreed Australian Steel Standards and Specifications which should be enforced in all federal publicly-funded projects and grants to states for this purpose and apply at every subcontracted level of activity;

(g) ensure all defence and security-sensitive procurement of steel to be Australian-made where those products are locally-produced and can, in a reasonable timeframe, be made in Australia; and

(h) develop and implement, in consultation with industry, union and community stakeholders, an Australian steel industry sustainability plan to incorporate a holistic suite of reforms and measures such as the ones listed above to ensure the survival of this industry.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

10th Sep 2015, 12:08 PM – Senate Motions - Steel Industry - Protect

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The majority voted in favour NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon (Greens) and also on behalf of Senators Madigan, Carr and Xenophon. This means it passed. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own but are politically influential because they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) urgent action is needed to ensure that Australia does not lose its steelmaking capacity, in the wake of the global steel industry crisis, and

(ii) steel-producing nations are responding to the oversupply and dumping of sub cost steel with a range of strategies that include increasing public procurement, restructuring and emergency safeguards in the form of temporary targeted tariffs; and

(b) calls on the Abbott Government to:

(i) immediately refer matters related to dumped sub-cost steel into Australia to the Anti-Dumping Commission for a preliminary report within three weeks to include an assessment of the possible harm to local industry, and options for action including duties and World Trade Organization emergency safeguards,

(ii) ensure that the Anti-Dumping Commission is suitably resourced to pursue ongoing improvements to Australia's anti-dumping system and reduce harm to local industry resulting from dumped imports,

(iii) work with the steel industry, unions, businesses and communities to minimise the impact on local jobs and living standards, particularly at the Port Kembla site in the Illawarra, from the world-wide over-supply of steel by developing:

(A) a constructive Steel Industry Plan, including comprehensive policies for improvements in Australian Industry Participation, and

(B) public procurement frameworks that include whole of life cost methods for assessing and determining procurement contracts,

(iv) prioritise structural adjustment and jobactive assistance to the Illawarra to minimise the impact on local jobs and living standards,

(v) reinstate the Local Employment Coordinator to assist steelworkers losing their jobs to retrain and gain alternative employment, and

(vi) continue the work of the International Trade Remedies Forum to address the need for ongoing improvements to Australia's anti dumping system, and any outstanding matters from the previous Government's suite of reforms to streamline Australia's anti-dumping system.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

15th Jun 2015, 4:02 PM – Senate Motions - Forestry - Support industry

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Nationals Senator for Queensland Barry O'Sullivan also on behalf of Motoring Enthusiast Senator for Tasmania Ricky Muir.

Motions like these don't have legal force but are politically influential as they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) acknowledges the valuable contribution of the sustainable forest industry to Australia's economy as the industry generates over $20 billion of economic turnover each year and employs over 70 000 people;

(b) recognises the important work conducted by the Forest and Forest Industry Market Development Mission to Japan and China to promote Australia's sustainable forest industry as the sustainable building material of the 21st century; and

(c) condemns the misinformation spread by radical environmental non governmental organisations that has resulted in sustainable Australian product being replaced by timber from less sustainable forests damaging our economy, employment and the environment.

No Yes Passed by a small majority

19th Jun 2014 – Senate Regulations and Determinations — Australian Meat and Live—stock Industry (Export of Live—stock to Egypt) Repeal Order 2014 — Disallow motion

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon. The motion was:

"That the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Export of Live-stock to Egypt) Repeal Order 2014, made under section 17 of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997, be disallowed."

Senator Rhiannon explained that this Order "undoes the 2008 prohibition on exporting live sheep to Egypt" and should be disallowed because it "takes a backward step on the conditions that cover the handling of these animals in Egypt".(Read Senator Rhiannon's full explanation of her motion here.)

Because this motion was unsuccessful, the Order was not disallowed and remained in force.

Yes No Not passed by a modest majority

13th Nov 2013, 6:02 PM – Senate Matters of Urgency — Australian Automotive Industry - Government's failure to act

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The majority voted in favour of a motion moved by Labor Senator Kim Carr on behalf of Labor Senator Claire Moore, which means that it was successful. The motion was:

That, in the opinion of the Senate, the following is a matter of urgency.

The failure of the Government to acknowledge the urgency of the crisis facing the Australian automotive industry, or act to avert it, and the anxiety this is causing for tens of thousands of Australian workers and their families about the future of the auto industry and their jobs.(Read more about this crisis here. )

This type of motion "is technically a vote on whether the matter is a matter of urgency ... [However, it] is often regarded ... as a vote on the substantive matter."(Read more about motions on whether something is a matter of urgency here.)

Yes Yes 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 3 150 150
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 4 0 40
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 220 260

*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 = 220 / 260 = 85%.

And then