How Stephen Parry voted compared to someone who believes that environmental and conservation groups should be able to challenge the legality of federal government decisions made under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) (in other words, they should have standing to seek judicial review under that Act)

Division Stephen Parry Supporters vote Division outcome

11th Nov 2015 – Senate Motions - Legal System - Stop environmental groups from challenging government decisions

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Liberal National Party Senator Matthew Canavan that asked for the Labor Party "to support legislative amendments to close legal loopholes being exploited by green groups".

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the importance of a robust and clear legal system that allows for timely judicial review and certainty for investors and the community alike,

(ii) that the latest legal challenge brought by the Melbourne-based Australian Conservation Foundation to the development of the Galilee Basin is another cynical attempt to abuse due process,

(iii) that ongoing green law-fare is holding Queensland families to ransom, and jeopardising Australia's reputation as a place to do business, and

(iv) that rather than protecting the environment, the replacement of the Galilee Basin's lower-emission coal by higher-emission coal from other countries could instead cause an increase in global emissions; and

(b) calls on the Australian Labor Party to support legislative amendments to close legal loopholes being exploited by green groups.

Background to the motion

The "legislative amendments" mentioned in the motion refers to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Standing) Bill 2015. That bill attempts to remove the right of groups involved in environmental protection, conservation or research to challenge government decisions made under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

If that bill is passed, then groups like the Australian Conservation Foundation wouldn't be able to challenge the legality of Government decisions like the one to approve the proposed Carmichael mine in the Galiliee Basin.

Note that the bill doesn't just stop "green groups" from bringing actions like these, but any group involved in environmental protection, conservation or research, which is why farming groups also oppose it (see the bills digest).

Yes No (strong) Not passed by a small majority

20th Aug 2015, 12:18 PM – Senate Motions - Galilee Basin - Stop legal actions by anti-coal activists

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An equal number of Senators voted for and against the motion, which means it was unsuccessful. The motion concerned mining operations in the Galilee Basin and Abbot Point and called on the Government to "remov[e] legal loopholes that allow for the hijacking of approval processes for political purposes".

Motion text

That the Senate notes:

(a) the importance of the Galilee Basin and Abbot Point to the future development of northern Australia;

(b) the ongoing support of the Queensland and the Australian governments for the responsible and sustainable development of the Galilee Basin and Abbot Point;

(c) the actions of anti coal activists which have delayed billions of dollars in investment and thousands of much needed jobs; and

(d) the importance of maintaining the reputation of Queensland and Australia as a mining and resource hub by removing legal loopholes that allow for the hijacking of approval processes for political purposes.

absent No (strong) Not passed

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 1 0 50
MP absent 1 25 50
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 25 100

*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 = 25 / 100 = 25%.

And then