How Bridget McKenzie voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should introduce legislation and regulations that protect and conserve Australia's marine ecosystems such as the Great Barrier Reef

Division Bridget McKenzie Supporters vote Division outcome

31st Jul 2019, 3:55 PM – Senate Committees - Environment and Communications References Committee - Reference

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the following matter be referred to the Environment and Communications References Committee for inquiry and report by 11 November 2019:

The impact of seismic testing on fisheries and the marine environment, with particular reference to:

(a) recent scientific findings;

(b) the regulation of seismic testing in both Commonwealth and state waters;

(c) the approach taken to seismic testing internationally; and

(d) any other related matters.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

12th Feb 2019 – Senate Motions - Great Australian Bight - End oil and gas drilling

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by SA Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) a six year survey of the Great Australian Bight (the Bight), conducted as part of a joint effort by the South Australian Research and Development Institute, CSIRO, the University of Adelaide, Flinders University and BP, has discovered more than 400 previously unknown species,

(ii) the Bight is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet,

(iii) BP and Equinor's own modelling of an oil spill in the Bight shows the scale of disaster that is possible, and

(iv) Equinor plans to commence drilling in the Bight as early as next year; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to suspend all current oil and gas exploration and drilling licences, and move to ban future oil and gas drilling in the Bight.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

4th Dec 2018, 4:46 PM – Senate Motions - East Coast Inshore Fin Fish Fishery - Add conditions to accreditation

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson (Tas), which means the motion passed. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own but can be politically influential as they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the East Coast Inshore Fin-Fish Fishery (ECIFFF) is Queensland's largest fishery, running adjacent to the entire east coast,

(ii) the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's most recent Outlook Report (2014) identifies the management of the ECIFFF by the Queensland Government as a risk to the reef's ecosystem and heritage values, particularly through the taking of predators, and the bycatching of endangered wildlife, such as snubfin dolphins and dugongs,

(iii) the Queensland Government's Sustainable Fisheries Strategy 2017-2027 outlines its commitment to the reform of fisheries management,

(iv) the Minister for the Environment is considering the ecological sustainability of the ECIFFF for export approval,

(v) scalloped hammerhead sharks were recently listed as Conservation Dependent, following advice from the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), but are still being taken from the ECIFFF, and

(vi) the TSSC recommended that scalloped hammerhead sharks be landed with fins attached, as is the case in Commonwealth, South Australian, New South Wales, Victorian and Tasmanian managed fisheries; and

(b) calls on the Minister for the Environment to ensure that strong, time-bound conditions are attached to the accreditation of the ECIFFF for export approval, including:

(i) a requirement to ensure an independent observer and monitoring program is implemented,

(ii) analysis of high conservation values to snubfin dolphins and dugongs, and implementation of area closures to reduce bycatch following the principles of adaptive management (noting that work is ongoing in regard to real-time tracking of dolphins and dugongs in an effort to reduce bycatch), and

(iii) a requirement for scalloped hammerhead sharks to be landed with fins attached.

No Yes Passed by a small majority

3rd Dec 2018, 4:39 PM – Senate Motions - Shark Mitigation - Non-lethal methods

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson (Tas), which means it succeeded.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the two tragic human-shark interactions in Cid Harbour, the Whitsundays, in September 2018, and the trauma and hurt that has resulted,

(ii) that the Queensland Government culled at least six sharks in response to these interactions,

(iii) the fatality of Dr Daniel Christidis in Cid Harbour, in November 2018, from a shark bite after these culls; and extends condolences to his family and friends,

(iv) that there is no evidence that lethal shark mitigation methods, such as nets or drum lines, make the ocean safe,

(v) an ancient 4.65-metre Great White Shark was recently killed by shark nets at Maroubra Beach, Sydney,

(vi) that the Great White Shark is a threatened species and protected in Australia by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999; and is protected internationally through a number of mechanisms,

(vii) that, as apex predators, sharks play an important role in the ecosystem by maintaining the species below them in the food chain and serving as an indicator for ocean health; and that a number of scientific studies have demonstrated that the depletion of sharks results in the loss of commercially important finfish and shellfish species down the food chain, including key fisheries such as tuna that maintain the health of coral reefs, and

(viii) the recommendation of the Environment and Communications References Committee inquiry into shark mitigation and deterrent measures, that the Australian Government should establish a national working group to develop strategies and facilitate information-sharing about non-lethal measures with the objective of ending lethal shark control programs; and

(b) calls upon:

(i) the Australian Government to establish this working group, and

(ii) the State and Federal Governments to phase-out the use of lethal shark mitigation methods and invest in non-lethal methods as a way of protecting the environment without putting human lives at risk.

No Yes Passed by a small majority

14th Nov 2018, 7:24 PM – Senate Committees - Environment and Communications References Committee - Refer matter

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the following matter be referred to the Environment and Communications References Committee for inquiry and report by 30 March 2019:

The impact of seismic testing on fisheries and the marine environment, with particular reference to:

(a) the regulation of seismic testing, and the responsibilities of federal and state governments;

(b) the consultation process regarding the approval of seismic testing;

(c) how potential impacts are taken into account during the consultation process;

(d) applications for seismic testing in the Otway Basin; off the coast of Newcastle, New South Wales; and the waters surrounding Kangaroo Island, South Australia;

(e) recent scientific findings; and

(f) any other related matters.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

12th Nov 2018, 4:32 PM – Senate Committees - Environment and Communications References Committee - Refer matter

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the following matter be referred to the Environment and Communications References Committee for inquiry and report by 29 March 2019:

The impact of seismic testing on fisheries and the marine environment, with particular reference to:

(a) the regulation of seismic testing in both Commonwealth and state waters, and the responsibilities of federal and state governments;

(b) the consultation process regarding the approval of seismic testing;

(c) the extent to which potential impacts are taken into account during the consultation process;

(d) the protections provided by Australian Marine Parks against any potential impacts;

(e) the approach taken to seismic testing internationally;

(f) recent scientific findings; and

(g) any other related matters.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

16th Aug 2018, 4:14 PM – Senate Regulations and Determinations - Marine Parks Network Management Plans - Disallow

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The majority voted against a motion to disallow four marine parks management plans, meaning that the plans remain in force.

Greens Senators Louise Pratt and Peter Whish-Wilson introduced these disallowance motions, arguing that the plans (along with one other):

revoke about 40 million hectares of high-level national marine parks, almost twice the area of Victoria. This is equivalent to revoking half of Australia's national parks on land.

Motion text

That the South-west Marine Parks Network Management Plan 2018, made under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, be disallowed [F2018L00326].

That the North Marine Parks Network Management Plan 2018, made under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, be disallowed [F2018L00324].

That the North-west Marine Parks Network Management Plan 2018, made under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, be disallowed [F2018L00322].

That the Temperate East Marine Parks Network Management Plan 2018, made under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, be disallowed [F2018L00321].

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

16th Aug 2018, 4:10 PM – Senate Regulations and Determinations - Marine Parks Network Management Plan - Disallow

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The majority voted against a motion meaning that the plan remains in force.

Greens Senators Louise Pratt and Peter Whish-Wilson introduced this disallowance motion, arguing that the plan (along with four others):

revoke about 40 million hectares of high-level national marine parks, almost twice the area of Victoria. This is equivalent to revoking half of Australia's national parks on land.

Motion text

That the Coral Sea Marine Park Management Plan 2018, made under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, be disallowed [F2018L00327].

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

25th Jun 2018, 4:11 PM – Senate Motions - Great Australian Bight - World Heritage Listing

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (SA), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) around 85 per cent of marine life within the Great Australian Bight is found nowhere else on Earth, and

(ii) British Petroleum (BP) claimed in an application to the Commonwealth offshore petroleum regulator that an oil spill in the Great Australian Bight would be "socially acceptable", further claiming "in most instances, the increased activity associated with cleanup operations will be a welcome boost to local economies";

(b) recognises that:

(i) Mayo's coastal communities would be among the hardest hit if oil spilled in the Bight, and

(ii) 74 per cent of Mayo residents want World Heritage Listing for the Great Australian Bight; and

(c) calls on the government to respect the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Mayo residents, by beginning the process of listing the Great Australian Bight for World Heritage Status—not only to protect, but to celebrate what's great about the Bight.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

27th Mar 2018, 7:38 PM – Senate Regulations and Determinations - Marine Parks Network Management Plans - Disallow

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The majority voted against a motion to stop certain legal instruments from having force in law. In parliamentary jargon, they voted against disallowing these instruments.

Labor Senator Louise Pratt, who introduced the motion, explained these instruments as "environmental vandalism", though other senators disagreed. Read their opinions in the debate for an overview of the different positions.

Motion text

That the following instruments, made under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, be disallowed:

absent Yes Not passed by a small majority

27th Mar 2018, 4:08 PM – Senate Motions - Oil Exploration - Seismic testing in the Great Australian Bight

Show detail

The majority voted against this motion, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) is currently considering an application from Petroleum Geoservices Australia to conduct 3D and 2D seismic surveys in environmentally sensitive waters off Port Lincoln and Kangaroo Island,

(ii) seismic testing involves blasting 260 decibels of sound every 10 seconds, and

(iii) this volume is louder than a space shuttle launch from its launch pad, a nuclear bomb from its epicentre, and the sound produced at the epicentre of Krakatoa's volcanic eruption in 1883, which was audible 4 500 kms away from its source;

(b) further notes that:

(i) if approved, the seismic testing program would impact the direct migratory path of southern Bluefin tuna, southern right whales and sperm whales, and

(ii) a seismic test of this proposed scale can result in death;

(c) commends the actions of the Kangaroo Island Council, the Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association, Sea Shepherd, the Australian Marine Conservation Society, the Wilderness Society, Greenpeace and concerned local community members in drawing attention to the potential harm that this seismic testing program could create if approved by NOPSEMA; and

(d) call on the Federal Government to prohibit seismic testing the Great Australian Bight.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

22nd Jun 2017, 12:24 PM – Senate Motions - Aquaculture Industry - Okehampton Bay salmon farm

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson (Tas), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the damage caused to the Macquarie Harbour World Heritage Area, including the threat to the endangered Maugean Skate, as a result of the overstocking of salmon farms in the harbour,

(ii) the proceedings brought by Huon Aquaculture in the Federal Court and the Tasmanian Supreme Court against the Tasmanian Government for failing to properly regulate salmon farming by Tassal in Macquarie Harbour,

(iii) that the Commonwealth is investigating whether conditions imposed as part of the 2012 expansion of salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour have been breached,

(iv) the decision of the Hodgman Government to grant permission to Tassal to establish an 800 000 fish salmon farm in Okehampton Bay on Tasmania's pristine east coast, and

(v) concerns from a wide cross-section of the community over the proposed Okehampton Bay salmon farm, including the concerns expressed by around 1 000 people who attended FloatMo in Hobart on 18 June 2017; and

(b) calls on the Hodgman Government to withdraw permission for a salmon farm in Okehampton Bay given the record of atrocious mismanagement and poor regulation of Tasmania's aquaculture industry.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

12th Oct 2016, 4:06 PM – Senate Motions - Oil Exploration - Great Australian Bight

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by SA Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, which means it was unsuccessful.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) welcomes the decision by BP to withdraw its application to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight; and

(b) calls on the Turnbull Government to permanently ban all oil exploration and drilling in the Great Australian Bight.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

2nd Mar 2016, 4:32 PM – Senate Motions - Protection of Shark Species - Full protection to five species

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The majority voted against a motion, which means that it was unsuccessful.

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert had proposed the motion to give full protection to five shark species that don't have that at the moment.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) recognises that:

(i) sharks play an important role as apex predators in marine ecosystems, and

(ii) world shark populations are falling by between 63 to 273 million per year due to fisheries overexploitation;

(b) notes that the Australian Government has entered reservations against five shark species (big-eyed, pelagic and common thresher sharks, and scalloped and great hammerheads) under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, removing those shark species from the full protection otherwise provided by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the Act); and

(c) calls on the Australian Government to remove reservations for those five shark species, and to provide them full protection under the Act, by continuing to list Appendices I and II species on the Convention on Migratory Species as 'migratory species' under the Act.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

15th Oct 2015, 12:42 PM – Senate Motions - Oil Exploration - Release Environmental Plan

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by South Australian Senator Robert Simms (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the intention of British Petroleum (BP) to perform high-risk exploratory drilling in the Great Australian Bight,

(ii) that the current environmental and safety evaluation being performed by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) for exploration lease approval requires BP to release sufficient information so stakeholders can make informed assessment of the project and its possible consequences,

(iii) that BP has not released critical information such as its:

(a) Environmental Plan,

(b) oil spill modelling, or

(c) oil spill emergency plan,

(iv) that given:

(a) the natural beauty of the Great Australian Bight,

(b) the ecological uniqueness of the Great Australian Bight and its critical importance for marine life, including blue, southern right, sperm, killer and humpback whales,

(c) that an oil spill of this nature could devastate the $442 million South Australian fishing industry, as well as the state’s $1 billion coastal tourism industries,

(d) that 90 per cent of oil spills take place during exploratory drilling,

(e) that the Great Australian Bight contains some of the roughest and most remote open waters on the planet, and

(f) that in the event of an oil spill, it may take up to 157 days to cap an oil well,

that this lack of environmental transparency does not meet the sufficient information criteria for NOPSEMA’s 28 day approval process; and

(b) calls on BP to release their Environmental Plan, and, failing that, NOPSEMA to reject BP’s exploration lease application.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

7th Sep 2015, 3:45 PM – Senate Refer 'supertrawlers' to the Environment and Communications References Committee

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The majority of Senators agreed to the following motion:

That the following matter be referred to the Environment and Communications References Committee for inquiry and report by 30 April 2016:

The environmental, social and economic impacts of large capacity fishing vessels commonly known as 'supertrawlers' operating in Australia's marine jurisdiction, with particular reference to:

(a) the effect of large fishing vessels on the marine ecosystem, including:

  • (i) impacts on fish stocks and the marine food chain, and

  • (ii) bycatch and interactions with protected marine species;

(b) current research and scientific knowledge;

(c) social and economic impacts, including effects on other commercial fishing activities and recreational fishing;

(d) the effectiveness of the current regulatory framework and compliance arrangements; and

(e) any other related matters.

No Yes Passed by a small majority

12th Feb 2015, 1:38 PM – Senate Bills – Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 – in Committee – Amendment: extend protections to all threatened species

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The Senate voted not to accept an amendment to the Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013, moved by Senator Larissa Waters.

According to the summary on the “bill’s homepage” on the Parliament’s website, this bill:

amends the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 to provide additional protection for dugong and turtle populations from the threats of poaching, illegal trade and illegal transportation.

Senator Waters explained the aim of their amendment:

This government has sought to introduce increased protection just for turtles and dugongs ... if the argument is that the penalties for turtles and dugongs are inadequate then surely that argument would logically extend to all of the penalties for the take of threatened species being indeed inadequate. And so we will move this amendment, the purpose of which is to say, 'Well, clearly, protection for threatened species is inadequate and does need to be increased.' This amendment would increase the penalties for the unlawful take of threatened species across the board, so that we are not just cherry picking and saying that turtles and dugongs deserve additional protection but no other threatened species do.

Senator Senator Simon Birmingham explained the Government’s opposition to this amendment:

Very briefly, the government will not be supporting these amendments. This policy about tripling penalties in relation to turtles and dugongs is one we took to the election ... We have made sure that we have worked hard to get broad support for this. To do so to other species would necessitate further public consultation, and that is why we do not believe that the amendments proposed by Senator Waters at this time are appropriate.

More detail is available through the debate and bill links.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

16th Jun 2014, 5:54 PM – Senate Documents - World Heritage Committee - Protect the Fitzroy Delta, Keppel Bay, north Curtis Island and northern section of the reef

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters, which means that it was unsuccessful. The motion was:

That the Senate-

(a) notes:

(i) the World Heritage Committee's request that Australia ensure the Fitzroy Delta, Keppel Bay, north Curtis Island and the northern section of the reef are all protected from port development and industrialisation,

(ii) the withdrawal of Xstrata Glencore and the recent lapsing of the Mitchell Group's plans for proposed export facilities within the Fitzroy Delta means there are currently no major projects on foot in this pristine region,

(iii) that under current Queensland and federal laws these precious areas are still at risk from future port and industrial developments, and

(iv) That the World Heritage Committee will be considering the Australian and Queensland governments' management of the reef at its annual meeting in Qatar from 15 June to 25 June 2014;

(b) welcomes the World Heritage Committee's latest draft decision that notes Australia has advised the World Heritage Committee secretariat that it intends to protect the Fitzroy Delta, Keppel Bay, and north Curtis Island from port developments; and

(c) calls on the Australian Government to permanently protect the Fitzroy Delta, Keppel Bay, north Curtis Island and the northern section of the reef from ports and industrial developments, including trans-shipping, under Australia's national laws.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a large majority

9th Dec 2013, 4:26 PM – Senate Motions - Kangaroo Island - Reject seismic testing proposal

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion moved by Greens Senator Penny Wright which is:

That the Senate-

(a) notes the public comment period has started for Bight Petroleum’s referral (reference number 2013/6770) under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the Act), which sets out its intention to do seismic testing in Commonwealth waters, to the west of Kangaroo Island in South Australia;(Read more about the Greens Party's opposition to Bright Petroleum's proposal in the media here.)

(b) recognises the economic, ecological and social importance of the Kangaroo Island marine environment, first and foremost for the Kangaroo Island community, but also for South Australia as a whole; and

(c) calls on the Minister for the Environment to use his powers under the Act to decide against the proposed action.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

13th Nov 2013, 4:08 PM – Senate Motions - Great Barrier Reef - Reject the Abbot Point coal port expansion proposal

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters, which is:

That the Senate-

(a) notes:

(i) the concern shared by Great Barrier Reef dive operators, charter boat companies, tourism operators, scientists and the community at large, and the World Heritage Committee, about the destructive dredging and offshore dumping for the proposed Abbot Point coal port expansion, planned to be the largest coal port in the world, and

(ii) the withdrawal of BHP Billiton from the proposed T2 terminal at Abbot Point, citing lack of need for additional port capacity; and(Read more about their withdrawal on ABC News here.)

(b) calls on the Government to listen to the community and our scientific experts and reject the Abbot Point dredging and dumping application and save the reef's waters, our coral reefs, fishing grounds and seagrass meadows from another 3 million tonnes of smothering dredge spoil.

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

26th Jun 2013, 4:14 PM – Senate Motions - Marine Parks - Support Goverment's network of marine parks

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Labor Senator Louise Pratt, that was:

That the Senate-

(a) supports the world's largest network of marine parks put in place by this Government; and(Read more about this network on ABC News here.)

(b) supports the management plans for the marine parks.

References

No Yes Passed by a small majority

20th Jun 2013, 12:15 PM – Senate Motions - Environment - Amend environment laws

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters.

The motion read:

I move:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that Australia's national environment laws only regulate this country's most environmentally destructive projects which threaten our most precious species and wild places; and

(b) calls on the Government to amend our national environment laws before this Parliament rises to ensure these responsibilities cannot be handed to state or territory governments.

This means that the majority were against amending federal environment laws to ensure that responsibilities for Australia's 'most precious species and wild places' remain with the federal government.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

17th Jun 2013, 3:57 PM – Senate Motions - Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area - Maintain heritage status

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The majority voted against a motion moved by Greens Senator Larissa Waters, which was:

That the Senate-

(a) notes:

(i) the World Heritage Committee's draft decision on the Great Barrier Reef states that to avoid the reef being added to the World Heritage in Danger list, Australia must turn around the 'limited progress' to date, and take 'urgent and decisive' action on its earlier recommendations to prevent new ports in pristine areas, and reject damaging port expansions,

(ii) the World Heritage Committee specifically identifies That the Fitzroy Delta, including Port Alma and Balaclava Island, should not be developed,

(iii) that Queensland's draft Ports Strategy considers Port Alma and Balaclava Island part of the Gladstone Port available for development, and

(iv) that Glencore Xstrata has just withdrawn its plans to develop a major coal port on pristine Balaclava Island; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) implement the World Heritage Committee's recommendations regarding ports immediately so that Australia does not become the only developed country with a site on the World Heritage in Danger list, and

(ii) immediately rule out any industrial development in the Fitzroy Delta and reflect this in our national environment laws.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

22nd Mar 2012, 1:56 PM – Senate Motions - Great Barrier Reef - Oppose offshore dumping

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters, what was:

That the Senate-

(a)   notes that:

(i)   a recent Galaxy poll found 88 per cent of Queenslanders oppose offshore dumping of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, and

(ii)   the Government has approved offshore dumping of over 22 million cubic metres of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area in the past 5 years; and

(b)   calls on the Government to stop approving offshore dumping in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

22nd Mar 2012, 1:53 PM – Senate Motions - Mining - Moratorium on coal seam gas

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters, which was:

That the Senate-

(a)   notes that in the past 6 months since the Greens motion for a moratorium on coal seam gas mining was first defeated in the Senate, the urgent concerns of farmers, landholders and regional communities regarding the risks posed by the runaway coal seam gas industry have not been addressed;

(b)   notes that the recent Senate inquiry into the impacts of coal seam gas mining in the Murray Darling Basin heard compelling evidence that regional communities are suffering many negative impacts from the operations of coal seam gas mining companies; and

(c)   calls on the Government to implement an immediate moratorium on any new coal seam gas approvals until the long-term impacts of the industry on groundwater, agriculture, rural communities, threatened species, the climate and the Great Barrier Reef are known.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

22nd Mar 2012, 1:50 PM – Senate Motions - Marine Conservation - Moratorium on issuing oil and gas leases

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Penny Wright, which was:

That the Senate-

(a)   notes that:

(i)   up to 90 per cent of marine life within the Great Australian Bight is found nowhere else on Earth,

(ii)   the Great Australian Bight is an important feeding and migration area to approximately 30 species of whales and dolphins, including sperm whales, beaked whales, southern right whales and the critically endangered blue whale, and

(iii)   less than 1 per cent of this area is protected from oil and gas operations;

(b)   recognises that:

(i)   over the past 3 years, the Government has progressively opened up more areas in the Great Australian Bight to oil and gas exploration,

(ii)    BP holds four oil and gas exploration leases in the Great Australian Bight, the boundaries of which overlap with the Great Australian Bight Marine Park,

(iii)   BP is currently conducting seismic testing in marine park areas to explore for oil and gas, and such testing is moving into known whale feeding regions,

(iv)   grave concerns have been expressed by a number of environmental groups about the risks associated with seismic testing occurring too close to whales, including organ and lung damage, hearing damage and haemorrhaging, which can result in death, and

(v)   the Great Australia Bight is an iconic and globally significant area for marine life and its unique ecology and environment must be protected and preserved for the benefit of future generations; and

(c)   calls on the Government to:

(i)   prioritise the protection and preservation of marine life in the Great Australian Bight by creating a network of large marine sanctuaries,(Read more about Commonwealth marine reserves here.)

(ii)   impose a moratorium on the issuing of oil and gas leases in the Great Australian Bight until after final decisions have been made regarding the establishment of marine sanctuaries in the Great Australian Bight through the Commonwealth marine bioregional planning process, and

(iii)   prohibit night-time seismic testing and require the mandatory use of passive acoustic technology when conducting such testing in the Great Australian Bight.

References

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

10th Nov 2011 – Senate Motions - Great Barrier Reef - Suspend applications and approvals until after UNESCO assessment

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters.

This means that the motion was not successful.

The motion was:

That the Senate-

(a)   notes:

(i)   that the Government and the Opposition did not support the Australian Greens' motion on 9 November 2011 that 'all applications and approvals made under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 [the Act] which would have a significant impact on the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area to be suspended until the conclusion of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO] requested strategic assessment, to allow consideration of all cumulative impacts of coal and coal seam gas ports and other developments on this internationally significant biodiversity icon',

(ii)   the comments by the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities ( Mr Burke) on Four Corners on Monday, 7 November 2011, that he would 'prefer a situation where as much as possible is able to be dealt with once we've concluded the strategic assessment, but people have legal rights under law to commence the process and those processes continue in the interim', and

(iii)   the Act already provides a suspension process for applications and approvals in particular circumstances and a revocation process for approvals in particular circumstances, both without compensation rights flowing to the proponent; and

(b)   calls on the Government to:

(i)   confirm that sections 130(5), 132, 144 and 145 of the Act allow the Minister to suspend all applications and approvals made under the Act that would have a significant impact on the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area until the conclusion of the UNESCO requested strategic assessment, and(Read more about the status of the Great Barrier Reef on UNESCO.)

(ii)   if necessary, urgently amend the Act to confer on the Minister the power to suspend all applications and approvals made under the Act that would have a significant impact on the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area until the conclusion of the UNESCO requested strategic assessment, to allow that strategic assessment to properly consider all cumulative impacts of coal and coal seam gas ports and other developments on this internationally significant biodiversity icon.

References

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

9th Nov 2011 – Senate Motions - Coral Sea - Declare marine national park

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Bob Brown.

This means that the motion was not successful.

The motion was:

(a)   notes the unique biodiversity and natural heritage of the Coral Sea that is home to the critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle and endangered green turtle;

(b)   recognises that 2012 will be the 70th anniversary of the historically important Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942 that changed the face of World War II; and

(c)   calls on the Government to declare the Coral Sea the world's largest marine national park.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

9th Nov 2011 – Senate Motions - Great Barrier Reef - Suspend applications and approvals until after UNESCO assessment

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters.

This means that the motion was not successful.

The motion was:

That the Senate calls for all applications and approvals made under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 which would have a significant impact on the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area to be suspended until the conclusion of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization requested strategic assessment, to allow consideration of all cumulative impacts of coal and coal seam gas ports and other developments on this internationally significant biodiversity icon.(Read more about the status of the Great Barrier Reef on UNESCO.)

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted 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 7 0 350
MP absent 1 25 50
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 16 0 160
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 5 5 10
Total: 30 570

*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 = 30 / 570 = 5.3%.

And then