How Stephen Parry voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should introduce legislation that increases consumer protections by, for example, encouraging competition

Division Stephen Parry Supporters vote Division outcome

26th Nov 2010, 12:39 PM – Senate Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010 — Third Reading - Read a third time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill for a third time.(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through to become law here. ) This means that the bill is passed in the Senate and that it will now be returned to the House of Representatives so that the members can consider the Senate's amendments. If the House agree to them, the bill will become law.

Background to the bill

This bill was introduced following the lapse of the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2009 and relates to the regulation of consumer protection, competition and licensing in telecommunications markets. While substantially the same as the earlier bill, it includes some additional provisions.

According to the bills digest, significant changes made by this bill include:

  • improving the conditions for competition in telecommunications markets by requiring Telstra to be structurally or functionally separated
  • making the telecommunications access regime less susceptible to deliberate delay and obstruction
  • removing a technical impediment to the operation of the anti-competitive conduct regime applying to telecommunications markets
  • clarifying the universal service obligation (USO) and customer service guarantee (CSG) to make it more enforceable
  • extending the obligation to provide priority assistance to those with life threatening conditions to service providers other than Telstra, and
  • enabling breaches of civil penalty provisions - including some concerning the USO and the CSG - to be dealt with by issuing infringement notices.(More information about the bill is available in its bills digest.)

With these measures, the bill seeks to address the issues that result from the monopoly caused by Telstra's vertically and horizontally integrated telecommunications network.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

26th Nov 2010, 11:00 AM – Senate Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010 — In Committee — No—disadvantage test

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The majority voted against an amendment introduced by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, which means that it was unsuccessful.

Senator Ludlam explained that the amendment related to creating "a no-disadvantage test to apply in the long transition period between the passage of the bill and the full migration of all of Telstra’s traffic across to NBN Co".(Read Senator Ludlam's full explanation of the bill and the related discussion here, after 10:47 am. ) This would have protected consumers from potentially being forced into an unfavourable access agreement.

Background to the bill

This bill was introduced following the lapse of the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2009 and relates to the regulation of consumer protection, competition and licensing in telecommunications markets. According to the bills digest, significant changes made by this bill include:

  • improving the conditions for competition in telecommunications markets by requiring Telstra to be structurally or functionally separated
  • making the telecommunications access regime less susceptible to deliberate delay and obstruction
  • removing a technical impediment to the operation of the anti-competitive conduct regime applying to telecommunications markets
  • clarifying the universal service obligation (USO) and customer service guarantee (CSG) to make it more enforceable
  • extending the obligation to provide priority assistance to those with life threatening conditions to service providers other than Telstra, and
  • enabling breaches of civil penalty provisions - including some concerning the USO and the CSG - to be dealt with by issuing infringement notices.(More information about the bill is available in its bills digest.)

With these measures, the bill seeks to address the issues that result from the monopoly caused by Telstra's vertically and horizontally integrated telecommunications network.

Although this bill is substantially the same as the earlier bill of the same name, it does have some additional provisions.

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

26th Nov 2010, 10:24 AM – Senate Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010 — In Committee - Merits review

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An equal number of senators voted in favour and against amendments introduced by Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham, which means they were unsuccessful. The amendments related to the bill's merits review provisions.(Read Senator Birmingham's explanation of the amendments and the associated debate here, at 10:01 am. )

Background to the bill

This bill was introduced following the lapse of the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2009 and relates to the regulation of consumer protection, competition and licensing in telecommunications markets. According to the bills digest, significant changes made by this bill include:

  • improving the conditions for competition in telecommunications markets by requiring Telstra to be structurally or functionally separated
  • making the telecommunications access regime less susceptible to deliberate delay and obstruction
  • removing a technical impediment to the operation of the anti-competitive conduct regime applying to telecommunications markets
  • clarifying the universal service obligation (USO) and customer service guarantee (CSG) to make it more enforceable
  • extending the obligation to provide priority assistance to those with life threatening conditions to service providers other than Telstra, and
  • enabling breaches of civil penalty provisions - including some concerning the USO and the CSG - to be dealt with by issuing infringement notices.(More information about the bill is available in its bills digest.)

With these measures, the bill seeks to address the issues that result from the monopoly caused by Telstra's vertically and horizontally integrated telecommunications network.

Although this bill is substantially the same as the earlier bill of the same name, it does have some additional provisions.

No No Not passed

25th Nov 2010, 9:22 PM – Senate Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010 — In Committee - Competition and Consumer Act and ACCC to apply

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The majority voted against amendments introduced by Senator Simon Birmingham, which means that they were rejected.

Senator Birmingham explained that the amendments would reinstate the normal operative provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act (formerly the Trade Practices Act) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to a deal involving Telstra and NBN Co.(Read Senator Birmingham's full explanation of his amendments and the associated debate here, after 9:10 pm. )

Background to the bill

This bill was introduced following the lapse of the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2009 and relates to the regulation of consumer protection, competition and licensing in telecommunications markets. According to the bills digest, significant changes made by this bill include:

  • improving the conditions for competition in telecommunications markets by requiring Telstra to be structurally or functionally separated
  • making the telecommunications access regime less susceptible to deliberate delay and obstruction
  • removing a technical impediment to the operation of the anti-competitive conduct regime applying to telecommunications markets
  • clarifying the universal service obligation (USO) and customer service guarantee (CSG) to make it more enforceable
  • extending the obligation to provide priority assistance to those with life threatening conditions to service providers other than Telstra, and
  • enabling breaches of civil penalty provisions - including some concerning the USO and the CSG - to be dealt with by issuing infringement notices.(More information about the bill is available in its bills digest.)

With these measures, the bill seeks to address the issues that result from the monopoly caused by Telstra's vertically and horizontally integrated telecommunications network.

Although this bill is substantially the same as the earlier bill of the same name, it does have some additional provisions.

Yes No Not passed by a small majority

25th Nov 2010, 9:06 PM – Senate Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010 — In Committee — Transparency

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The majority voted against amendments introduced by Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham, which means that they were rejected. Senator Birmingham explained that his amendments would have ensured "that any ministerial direction given to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) regarding the criteria for acceptance of a functional separation or a structural separation [of Telstra] would be a disallowable instrument and therefore subject to the scrutiny of this place and of course the other place".(Read Senator Birmingham's full explanation of his amendments and the associated debate here, after 8:48 pm. )

Background to the bill

This bill was introduced following the lapse of the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2009 and relates to the regulation of consumer protection, competition and licensing in telecommunications markets. According to the bills digest, significant changes made by this bill include:

  • improving the conditions for competition in telecommunications markets by requiring Telstra to be structurally or functionally separated
  • making the telecommunications access regime less susceptible to deliberate delay and obstruction
  • removing a technical impediment to the operation of the anti-competitive conduct regime applying to telecommunications markets
  • clarifying the universal service obligation (USO) and customer service guarantee (CSG) to make it more enforceable
  • extending the obligation to provide priority assistance to those with life threatening conditions to service providers other than Telstra, and
  • enabling breaches of civil penalty provisions - including some concerning the USO and the CSG - to be dealt with by issuing infringement notices.(More information about the bill is available in its bills digest.)

With these measures, the bill seeks to address the issues that result from the monopoly caused by Telstra's vertically and horizontally integrated telecommunications network.

Although this bill is substantially the same as the earlier bill of the same name, it does have some additional provisions.

Yes No Not passed by a small majority

25th Nov 2010, 7:51 PM – Senate Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010 — In Committee — Keep items and divisions unchanged

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The majority voted in favour of a motion "that the following items in schedule 1 stand as printed [i.e. remain unchanged]: items 1 to 6, items 11 to 15, item 18, item 21, item 24, item 25, items 28 and 29, divisions 3, 4 and 6 in item 30, and part 10 in item 31". These items and divisions related to spectrum and pay TV, the disallowance of instruments and competition. This motion was put in response to an earlier motion to oppose these items and divisions put by Liberal Senator Ian Macdonald.(Read Senator Macdonald's explanation of his motion and the associated debate here, after 4:29 pm. )

Background to the bill

This bill was introduced following the lapse of the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2009 and relates to the regulation of consumer protection, competition and licensing in telecommunications markets. While substantially the same as the earlier bill, it includes some additional provisions.

According to the bills digest, significant changes made by this bill include:

  • improving the conditions for competition in telecommunications markets by requiring Telstra to be structurally or functionally separated
  • making the telecommunications access regime less susceptible to deliberate delay and obstruction
  • removing a technical impediment to the operation of the anti-competitive conduct regime applying to telecommunications markets
  • clarifying the universal service obligation (USO) and customer service guarantee (CSG) to make it more enforceable
  • extending the obligation to provide priority assistance to those with life threatening conditions to service providers other than Telstra, and
  • enabling breaches of civil penalty provisions - including some concerning the USO and the CSG - to be dealt with by issuing infringement notices.(More information about the bill is available in its bills digest.)

With these measures, the bill seeks to address the issues that result from the monopoly caused by Telstra's vertically and horizontally integrated telecommunications network.

No Yes Passed by a small majority

25th Nov 2010, 7:47 PM – Senate Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010 — In Committee - Spectrum and pay TV

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The majority voted against amendments introduced by Liberal Senator Ian Macdonald. Those amendments were opposition amendments (1), (5), (6), (8), (9), (11), (12), (14), (15), (17), (24), (34), (36) to (40), (45) to (57), (64) and (65) and they related to spectrum and pay TV.(Read Senator Macdonald's explanation of the amendments and the associated debate here, after 4:29 pm. )

Background to the bill

This bill was introduced following the lapse of the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2009 and relates to the regulation of consumer protection, competition and licensing in telecommunications markets. While substantially the same as the earlier bill, it includes some additional provisions.

According to the bills digest, significant changes made by this bill include:

  • improving the conditions for competition in telecommunications markets by requiring Telstra to be structurally or functionally separated
  • making the telecommunications access regime less susceptible to deliberate delay and obstruction
  • removing a technical impediment to the operation of the anti-competitive conduct regime applying to telecommunications markets
  • clarifying the universal service obligation (USO) and customer service guarantee (CSG) to make it more enforceable
  • extending the obligation to provide priority assistance to those with life threatening conditions to service providers other than Telstra, and
  • enabling breaches of civil penalty provisions - including some concerning the USO and the CSG - to be dealt with by issuing infringement notices.(More information about the bill is available in its bills digest.)

With these measures, the bill seeks to address the issues that result from the monopoly caused by Telstra's vertically and horizontally integrated telecommunications network.

Yes No Not passed by a small majority

24th Nov 2010, 11:05 AM – Senate Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010 — Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill for a second time.(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through to become law here. ) This means that the majority agree with the main idea of the bill and that they can now discuss it in more detail.

Background to the bill

This bill was introduced following the lapse of the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2009 and relates to the regulation of consumer protection, competition and licensing in telecommunications markets. While substantially the same as the earlier bill, it includes some additional provisions.

According to the bills digest, significant changes made by this bill include:

  • improving the conditions for competition in telecommunications markets by requiring Telstra to be structurally or functionally separated
  • making the telecommunications access regime less susceptible to deliberate delay and obstruction
  • removing a technical impediment to the operation of the anti-competitive conduct regime applying to telecommunications markets
  • clarifying the universal service obligation (USO) and customer service guarantee (CSG) to make it more enforceable
  • extending the obligation to provide priority assistance to those with life threatening conditions to service providers other than Telstra, and
  • enabling breaches of civil penalty provisions - including some concerning the USO and the CSG - to be dealt with by issuing infringement notices.(More information about the bill is available in its bills digest.)

With these measures, the bill seeks to address the issues that result from the monopoly caused by Telstra's vertically and horizontally integrated telecommunications network.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

16th Mar 2010, 6:59 PM – Senate Trade Practices Amendment (Australian Consumer Law) Bill 2009 — In Committee - Sending private information offshore

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

Senator Xenophon explained that: "Currently, data, including credit card numbers, passport details, PINs, licence numbers, marital status, home address and employment details can be, and are, sent to offshore locations without a customer’s consent". This amendment, he said, "will require banking institutions to obtain written, informed consent from customers before their personal information can be transferred to a person outside Australia".(Read Senator Xenophon's full explanation of the amendment and the associated debate here, after 6:48 pm. )

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced in response to an inquiry by the Productivity Commission into the consumer policy framework and a subsequent government consultation.(Read about that inquiry and the subsequent government consultation in the bills digest. ) It is the first of two bills to implement a national consumer law regime, to be called the Australian Consumer Law. This first bill will set the ground work for the regime and will only introduce the provisions about unfair contract terms, which are terms "that disadvantage one party but that are not reasonably necessary to protect the legitimate interests of the other".(More information about this bill and its soon-to-be-introduced counterpart can be found in the bills digest.)

The second bill, which has not yet been introduced, will implement the bulk of the Australian Consumer Law reforms.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

16th Mar 2010, 6:45 PM – Senate Trade Practices Amendment (Australian Consumer Law) Bill 2009 — In Committee — Additional fees for payment in person or in cash

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

Senator Xenophon explained that "[u]nder this amendment it will be considered an unfair contract term if businesses charge customers additional fees for paying bills in person or with cash - with legal tender".(Read Senator Xenophon's whole explanation of the amendment and the associated debate here, after 6:27 pm. )

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced in response to an inquiry by the Productivity Commission into the consumer policy framework and a subsequent government consultation.(Read about that inquiry and the subsequent government consultation in the bills digest. ) It is the first of two bills to implement a national consumer law regime, to be called the Australian Consumer Law. This first bill will set the ground work for the regime and will only introduce the provisions about unfair contract terms, which are terms "that disadvantage one party but that are not reasonably necessary to protect the legitimate interests of the other".(More information about this bill and its soon-to-be-introduced counterpart can be found in the bills digest.)

The second bill, which has not yet been introduced, will implement the bulk of the Australian Consumer Law reforms.

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

12th Nov 2008, 11:38 AM – Senate National Fuelwatch (Empowering Consumers) Bill 2008 and related bill — Second Reading — Read a second time

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An equal number of senators voted in favour and against the motion to read the bills for a second time,(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through to become law here. ) which means that it was unsuccessful and that the bills will not be considered any further.

Background to the bills

This National Fuelwatch (Empowering Consumers) Bill 2008 was introduced along with the National Fuelwatch (Empowering Consumers) (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2008 to establish a National Fuelwatch Scheme, which would be created and administered by by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).(Read more about the Scheme on ABC News here. ) The National Fuelwatch Scheme would require petrol retailers "to notify the ACCC of their next day’s fuel prices by 2 pm each day and maintain this notified price for a 24-hour period from 6 am the next day".(Read more about the bill, including its explanatory memorandum, here. )

The National Fuelwatch Scheme was proposed in response to an ACCC inquiry into the price of unleaded petrol, which found that:

  • there is an imbalance in fuel pricing information between petrol retailers and consumers at the retail level; and
  • consumers' capacity to take advantage of the lowest prices is limited by intraday fuel price changes (sometimes as often as three or four times per day).(Read more about the ACCC's inquiry in the explanatory memorandum.)
No Yes (strong) Not passed

How "voted very strongly 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 3 0 150
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 1 10 10
MP voted against policy 7 0 70
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 10 230

*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 / 230 = 4.3%.

And then