How Richard Di Natale voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should get rid of the Gold Travel Pass, which gives free domestic air travel to certain former politicians, such as former Prime Ministers

Division Richard Di Natale Supporters vote Division outcome

16th Feb 2017, 7:10 PM – Senate Parliamentary Entitlements Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 - in Committee - Gold Pass travel entitlement

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The majority voted against amendments introduced by Senator Pauline Hanson (Qld), which means they were unsuccessful.

What were the amendments?

Senator Hanson explained that:

... at present we still have five former prime ministers on the taxpayer payroll. I am moving amendments here to address the gold leaf that they and their spouses have for their travel...

... I believe that if we are going to ask the people of Australia to pull their belts in and we are going to take money out of their pockets or pull back on essential services for them then we as leaders of this nation should show by example.

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

16th Feb 2017, 6:43 PM – Senate Parliamentary Entitlements Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 - in Committee - Prime ministers

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Australian Conservatives Senator Cory Bernardi (SA).

While the rest of the Liberal Party voted against the motion, Liberal Senator Ian Macdonald rebelled against his party and voted Yes.

This motion would limit the prime minister entitlements included in the Act to prime ministers who have been in the position for at least four consecutive years, which would exclude our three most recent former prime ministers: Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd.

Motion text

(1) Schedule 1, item 8, page 6 (after line 23), after the definition of Parliamentary Retirement Travel Entitlement, insert:

Prime Minister: see section 4AB.

(2) Schedule 1, item 9, page 7 (after line 5), after section 4AA, insert:

4AB Prime Ministers

For the purposes of this Act, a member is only taken to be the Prime Minister if the member has been the Prime Minister for a period of at least 4 consecutive years.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

16th Feb 2017, 6:18 PM – Senate Parliamentary Entitlements Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 - in Committee - Former PMs and the gold pass

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to keep item 11 of schedule 1 unchanged after Australian Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon (NSW) moved that it should be rejected.

What was item 11?

Item 11 states that the Life Gold Pass, a post-retirement travel entitlement, will be closed to new members except for former prime ministers.

Wording of item 11

11 Before subsection 4A(1)

Insert:

(1A) Nothing in this section prevents a former member who has been the Prime Minister from becoming a holder of a Parliamentary Retirement Travel Entitlement.

No No Passed by a modest majority

16th Feb 2017, 5:48 PM – Senate Parliamentary Entitlements Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 - in Committee - Get rid of gold pass

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The majority voted against amendments introduced by Australian Greens Lee Rhiannon (NSW), which means it was unsuccessful.

There was one rebel voter: Liberal Party Senator Ian Macdonald (Qld). He voted Yes against the majority of the Liberal Party, alongside former Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi (SA), who now belongs to the Australian Conservatives Party.

What were the amendments?

The purpose of the amendments was to completely get rid of the gold pass, a post-retirement travel benefit. For example, "[f]rom 1 July 2012, a Life Gold Pass holder is entitled, in a financial year, to a maximum of 10 domestic return trips".

Amendment text

See OpenAustralia for the motion text.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted 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 1 50 50
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 2 20 20
MP voted against policy 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 70 80

*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 = 70 / 80 = 88%.

And then