How James Paterson voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should enter into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China to create more favourable trading conditions between China and Australia

Division James Paterson Supporters vote Division outcome

5th Dec 2019, 12:35 PM – Senate Motions - Trade - Commend entry into FTAs

Show detail

The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Queensland Senator Susan McDonald (Nationals), which means it was successful. 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) Australian farmers are highly productive, with each farmer producing enough food to feed 600 people, 150 at home and 450 overseas—feeding approximately 50 million people across the world each year,

(ii) Australia's Free Trade Agreements (FTA) give our primary producers and exporters preferential access into the growing markets across Asia,

(iii) the Federal Government's work to deliver FTA means that Australian farmers are poised to take advantage of the projected growth in Asia,

(iv) there is a high demand for Australia's safe and nutritious agricultural products across our international markets,

(v) trade has lifted the real income of Australian households by over $8400 a year, and

(vi) in 2017-18, the Australian red meat and livestock industry created employment for around 404,800 people, of these, just over 172,400 people were directly employed in the industry—the industry was also responsible for the employment of a further 232,400 people in businesses servicing the red meat and livestock industry, and as this industry exports 60 % of product, six in every ten jobs relies on our ability to trade with the world;

(b) congratulates the Federal Government on the entry into force of major FTA across north Asia, including:

(i) the China FTA which has resulted in beef exports totalling $1.75 billion in 2018-19—a 75% increase from $1 billion in 2017-18; in November 2019 alone, Australia's chilled and frozen beef exports to China reached a new record high of 34,264 tonnes, 134% above November last year; dairy product exports totalling $1.7 billion in 2018-19—a 54% increase from $1.1 billion in 2017-18,

(ii) the Japan FTA which has resulted in beef exports totalling $2.3 billion in 2018—a 14% increase from $2 billion in 2017, cheese exports totalled $498 million in 2018—a 17% increase over 2017, and

(iii) the Korean FTA which has resulted in beef exports totalling $1.37 billion in 2018—a 25% increase from $1.1 billion in 2017;

(c) notes Indonesia's demand for Australia's quality clean, green produce will continue to be built on the back of demand from its increasingly affluent 260 million strong population—under IA-CEPA, over 99% of Australian goods exports to Indonesia will enter duty free or under significantly improved and preferential arrangements; and

(d) supports the growth of Australian agriculture through the negotiation of preferential market access in export markets of the world.

Yes Yes Passed by a modest majority

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

*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 / 10 = 100%.

And then