How Judith Troeth voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should implement the international conventions that relate to seeking refuge and protection from torture. These include the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees and the non-refoulement provisions of the UN Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Division Judith Troeth Supporters vote Division outcome

17th Jun 2010, 9:47 AM – Senate Motions - World Refugee Day - Concerns about policies

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

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) recognises that:

(i) 20 June 2010 marks World Refugee Day 2010,

(ii) the global theme for 2010 is ‘Home’, in recognition of the plight of more than 40 million uprooted people around the world, and

(iii) as a signatory to the 1951 United Nations Geneva Convention Relating to the Status on Refugees, Australia is obliged to protect those seeking asylum from persecution;

(b) notes, with concern:

(i) the Government’s commitment to reopening desert detention centres across the country, and

(ii) the effect that the suspension of processing claims for asylum seekers from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan will have on the mental health of some of the worlds most vulnerable; and

(c) calls on the Government to immediately lift the imposed suspension and process all claims for asylum, irrespective of race or ethnicity.

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

12th May 2010, 3:52 PM – Senate Motions - Suspension of processing Sri Lankan and Afghan asylum claims

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

The motion was:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the recent decision by the Rudd Government to suspend the processing of asylum claims from Sri Lankan and Afghan nationals for 3 and 6 months respectively, and(Read more about this policy on SBS News and on ABC's The World Today and on Wikipedia. )

(ii) in 2009, Australia received just 1.6 per cent of all asylum claims lodged in the world’s 44 industrialised nations, with less than half of this number arriving by boat;

(b) recognises that this new policy is in breach of Australia’s international obligations under the:

(i) United Nations Refugee Convention,

(ii) United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and

(iii) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

(c) congratulates the joint statement from 45 non-government organisations from 16 countries, in condemning the Australian Government’s decision to suspend the processing of asylum claims for Sri Lankans and Afghans; and(Read more about this joint statement here.)

(d) calls on the Government to immediately reverse its suspension of asylum applications, restoring the right of people seeking protection from persecution to have their claims assessed in a fair and timely manner.

References

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

3rd Feb 2010, 3:49 PM – Senate Motions - Tamil Asylum Seekers - End standoff

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, which means the motion failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) more than 240 Tamil asylum seekers remain on their boat in the Indonesian port of Merak, in increasingly squalid conditions after more than 3 months, and

(ii) this boat was intercepted by Indonesia at Australia’s request in October 2009;

(b) recognises:

(i) of the 240 on board, 100 have been found to be genuine refugees by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, yet they are afraid to leave the boat under the threat of removal to Indonesian detention centres, and

(ii) Australia’s obligations as a signatory to the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees; and

(c) calls on the Government to immediately step in and end the standoff over the Tamil asylum-seekers who have been left in squalid conditions on a boat at Merak, Indonesia for 115 days.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

27th Oct 2009, 3:50 PM – Senate Motions - Asylum Seekers - Language and law

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

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) recognises each senator’s role as community leaders and the collective responsibility to conduct debates on matters of public importance in a respectful and accurate manner, using language that is constructive and appropriate; and

(b) agrees that all debate on the issue of asylum seekers and border protection is framed within the law, terms and definitions of the:

(a) United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951);

(b) Migration Act 1958;

(c) Criminal Code Act 1995;

(d) Racial Discrimination Act 1975; and

(e) Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW).

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

26th Feb 2007, 5:03 PM – Senate Matters of Urgency - Asylum Seekers - Non-refoulment

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett (Qld), which means it failed.

Motion text

That, in the opinion of the Senate, the following is a matter of urgency:

The need for the Australian government to unequivocally guarantee that the latest group of boat people, reportedly including 83 asylum seekers from Sri Lanka, will immediately have access to independent assistance, have their refugee claims assessed openly and fairly and will not be subjected to the risk of refoulment, consistent with our international obligations.

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

20th Jun 2006, 4:05 PM – Senate Motions - World Refugee Day - Refugee Convention

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Kerry Nettle. This means that the motion is rejected.

The motion was:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) 20 June 2006 is World Refugee Day and the day’s theme is ‘keeping the flame of hope alive’,

(ii) there are more than 19 million refugees and 5.5 million internally displaced people in the world looking for protection,

(iii) many countries assist hundreds of thousands of refugees who have no choice but to flee persecution,

(iv) the Government has changed its policy, breaching the Refugee Convention, in response to the arrival of 43 refugees, and(Senator Nettle is referring to an incident where 43 West Papuan asylum seekers sought asylum in Australia. To read more about the incident see here and to read more about the Government's response see here.)

(v) the Government’s new policy will mean many asylum seekers who arrive by boat are exiled to Nauru or Manus Island; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) drop its policy of appeasing Indonesia and ensure Australia’s refugee laws conform fully with the Refugee Convention, and

(ii) consider increasing Australia’s intake of refugees and offer asylum seekers real hope, durable solutions and significantly improved settlement services.

References

No Yes Not passed by a small 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 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 5 0 50
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 1 1 2
Total: 1 52

*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 = 1 / 52 = 1.9%.

And then