How Helen Kroger voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should not put asylum seeker children into immigration detention and should release all children now in detention

Division Helen Kroger Supporters vote Division outcome

16th May 2013, 12:02 PM – Senate Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - In Committee - Vulnerable persons

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The majority voted against an amendment proposed by Greens Senator Hanson-Young, which would require that a new category of person be defined in the legislation. This category is 'vulnerable person' and would apply to a person aged under 18 years or a person who is the parent or guardian of someone aged under 18 years. This means that children and their parents or guardians would not be taken to regional processing facilities.

Someone who votes aye for this amendment supports these measures. The majority voted no to this amendment, so it was unsuccessful.

Background of the Bill

This bill was introduced in response to a report by the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, particularly Recommendation 14 which states that: "the Migration Act 1958 be amended so that arrival anywhere on Australia by irregular maritime means will not provide individuals with a different lawful status than those who arrive in an excise offshore place".(Read the full report here. )

By implementing this recommendation, the bill extends the excision regime that was introduced in 2001 following the Tampa affair. That regime provides that asylum seekers who arrive in Australia at excised offshore places are unable to apply for protection visas (in effect, refugee status under Australian law) unless the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship decides it is in the public interest that they do so. The effect of this bill will be to extend the excision provisions to the whole country.(More information on the Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012 is available on the bills digest (680 KB). Also see an ABC news report explaining the effect of this bill here.)

This means that all asylum seekers arriving by boat in either mainland Australia or an offshore Australian territory that has been excised are unable to apply for protection visas and will be sent to regional processing countries (currently Papua New Guinea and Nauru) for the processing of their refugee claims. The rationale behind this legislation is the need to discourage asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat because of the dangers involved.

References

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

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

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. This means that the motion was rejected.

The motion was:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that:

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

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

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

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

References

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

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 1 0 50
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 0 60

*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 = 0 / 60 = 0.0%.

And then