How Richard Di Natale voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should address the causes and consequences of climate change as a matter of urgency by, for example, lowering emissions and investing in science and technology

Division Richard Di Natale Supporters vote Division outcome

5th Dec 2019, 12:25 PM – Senate Motions - New South Wales Bushfires - Declare climate emergency

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by NSW Senator Mehreen Faruqi (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes with deep concern that:

(i) over a hundred fires continue to burn across New South Wales,

(ii) data from the New South Wales Department of Environment shows harmful pollutants in Sydney's air are already over three times worse than at any moment in the past five years during bushfire season,

(iii) the toxicity of the air in some parts of Sydney is the equivalent of smoking between four and ten cigarettes a day,

(iv) particle pollution can trigger heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and asthma attacks,

(v) New South Wales Health has stated that bushfires were to blame for an increase in people presenting to emergency departments with asthma and breathing difficulties, and

(vi) Mr Greg Mullins, the former chief of NSW Fire and Rescue, has stated that 'climate change has supercharged the bushfire problem' and that 'if anyone tells you this is part of a normal cycle or we've had fires like this before smile politely and walk away, because they don't know what they're talking about'; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to protect the health of the people of New South Wales and declare a climate emergency.

Yes Yes Not passed by a small majority

4th Dec 2019, 4:34 PM – Senate Motions - Climate Change - Public Health

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Victorian Senator Richard Di Natale (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) acknowledges that the Australian Medical Association, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Australian College of Emergency Medicine and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, representing more than 50,000 Australian doctors, have all declared climate change a public health emergency;

(b) recognises that these highly-respected health and medical organisations have stated that climate change now poses an unprecedented and deadly threat to human lives, and have urgently called on all governments to address the climate emergency by:

(i) expediting the transition from fossil fuels to zero emission renewable energy across all economic sectors, with support to affected communities,

(ii) developing and implementing a national climate change and health strategy based on the framework developed by the health sector, and

(iii) advancing comprehensive heat hazard reduction strategies to minimise heat exposure and sensitivity across Australia, paying particular attention to the needs of vulnerable populations;

(c) further acknowledges that, through the Climate and Health Alliance, more than 50 health, social welfare and conservation groups have joined together in an open letter to the Parliament, to highlight the unprecedented and profound threat of climate change on the health of people and the health system; and

(d) calls on the Federal Government to listen to the experts, and act now to follow the 965 jurisdictions in 18 countries that have already declared a climate emergency, and take the urgent actions required to protect human and environmental health.

Yes Yes Not passed by a small majority

3rd Dec 2019, 4:00 PM – Senate Motions - Great Barrier Reef - Climate change

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Queensland Senator Larissa Waters (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

(a) notes that:

(i) on 1 December 2019, the Federal Government submitted the State Party Report on the state of conservation report of the Great Barrier Reef (the Reef) World Heritage Area,

(ii) the State Party Report responds to the World Heritage Committee Decision in 2015, requesting the Government to outline how the Reef's Outstanding Universal Value is being protected to avert a World Heritage In Danger listing,

(iii) the State Party Report recognises that mass coral bleaching events in 2016 and 2017, tropical cyclones, flooding, and crown-of-thorns starfish have impacted the Outstanding Universal Value of the Reef since 2015,

(iv) the Great Barrier Reef outlook report 2019 found that the long-term outlook for the Reef 's ecosystem has deteriorated from poor to very poor, and climate change and land-based run-off remain the key threats,

(v) the State Party Report states that the Government is 'actively managing the pressures over which we have direct control through investment and regulation based on the best available science',

(vi) United Nations scientific reports have confirmed that if global temperature rises by 1.5°C, 90% of coral in the Reef will be lost and 100% of coral will be lost at 2.0°C,

(vii) the Government has established a Senate inquiry questioning the water science informing regulation of land-based run-off into the Reef,

(viii) Government representatives have advocated for the removal of climate change threats as a consideration for World Heritage In Danger listing decisions, and

(ix) fossil fuel companies have donated nearly $5 million to the Liberals, Nationals and Labor parties over the past four years; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) implement a climate policy to limit global warming to 1.5°C to protect the Great Barrier Reef,

(ii) manage the key pressures over which it has control by revoking all federal approvals for the Adani Carmichael mine and not approve any new coal in Australia, and

(iii) ban corporate donations to political parties from the fossil fuel industry, an industry which financially benefits from this Federal Government's lack of action on climate change.

Yes Yes Not passed by a large majority

2nd Dec 2019, 5:45 PM – Senate Matters of Urgency - Climate Change - Work together

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by NT Senator Malarndirri McCarthy (Labor), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate:

(1) notes:

(a) Monday 2 December 2019 marks ten years since the Senate failed to pass legislation for a comprehensive economy wide climate change policy, the Rudd Labor government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS);

(b) that implementation of the CPRS would have resulted in Australia's greenhouse gas emissions being between 27 and 81 million tonnes lower in 2020 than currently projected, would have delivered additional cumulative abatement of between 63 and 218 million tonnes over the last 10 years, and would have placed Australian emissions on a sustained and long term downward trajectory;

(c) in addition to Labor senators, the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme bills were supported by Liberal senators Sue Boyce and Judith Troeth;

(d) despite the constructive negotiations engaged in by Mr Malcolm Turnbull and Mr Ian Macfarlane, the Liberals and Nationals opposed the bills under the leadership of Mr Tony Abbott;

(e) the Australian Greens joined with the Liberals and Nationals and also opposed the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, guaranteeing its defeat;

(2) recognises the decision by the Liberals and Nationals and the Australian Greens to join together and oppose the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme precipitated:

(a) a breakdown in consensus on policy in Australia to address the challenges of climate change;

(b) a decade of policy instability preventing necessary investment in energy infrastructure leading to increases in energy prices and increased emissions; and

(3) calls on all parties to end the political opportunism and work together to agree an enduring solution to the challenges of climate change.

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

2nd Dec 2019, 4:36 PM – Senate Motions - Climate Change - Work together

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Anne Urquhart (Labor) at the request of SA Senator Penny Wong (Labor), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) 2 December 2019 marks ten years since the Senate failed to pass legislation for a comprehensive economy-wide climate change policy, the Rudd Labor Government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS),

(ii) implementation of the CPRS would have resulted in Australia's greenhouse gas emissions being between 27 and 81 million tonnes lower in 2020 than currently projected, would have delivered additional cumulative abatement of between 63 and 218 million tonnes over the last 10 years, and would have placed Australian emissions on a sustained and long-term downward trajectory,

(iii) in addition to Labor senators, the CPRS bills were supported by Liberal Senators Boyce and Troeth,

(iv) despite the constructive negotiations engaged in by Mr Turnbull and Mr Macfarlane, the Liberals and the Nationals opposed the bills under the leadership of Mr Abbott, and

(v) the Australian Greens joined with the Liberals and the Nationals, and also opposed the CPRS, guaranteeing its defeat;

(b) recognises the decision by the Liberals, the Nationals and the Australian Greens to join together to oppose the CPRS precipitated:

(i) a breakdown in consensus on policy in Australia to address the challenges of climate change, and

(ii) a decade of policy instability preventing necessary investment in energy infrastructure leading to increases in energy prices and increased emissions; and

(c) calls on all parties to end the political opportunism and work together to agree an enduring solution to the challenges of climate change.

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

13th Nov 2019, 4:49 PM – Senate Motions - Australian Bushfires - Climate Change

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by NSW Senator Mehreen Faruqi (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) states of emergency have been declared in New South Wales and Queensland due to catastrophic bushfire risk,

(ii) lives have been lost, more than 150 homes have been destroyed, and almost 1,000,000 hectares of land in New South Wales have been razed since the start of this year's unprecedented bushfire season,

(iii) in New South Wales, the Greater Sydney and Hunter areas are set to experience catastrophic fire conditions for the first time on record,

(iv) in Queensland, a state of emergency has been declared in 42 local government areas across the south east and central Queensland, with at least 11,000 hectares and more than a dozen homes lost,

(v) the climate crisis is making bushfires like these more frequent and more intense, and making fire seasons longer and more dangerous each year, and

(vi) burning coal, oil and gas is dangerously heating our planet, and Australia is the third largest exporter of carbon pollution in the world;

(b) expresses its whole-hearted support for communities across New South Wales and Queensland devastated by these raging bushfires;

(c) thanks the courageous firefighters and emergency services for their service to communities in need; and

(d) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) act decisively to build resilience in communities, and

(ii) declare a climate emergency.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

17th Oct 2019, 12:48 PM – Senate Motions - Thermal Coal - Ban new mines

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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 Senate agrees that, given we are in a climate emergency, no new thermal coal mines should be opened.

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

16th Oct 2019, 4:40 PM – Senate Motions - Climate Change, Petroleum Industry - No new coal, oil or gas projects

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by West Australian Senator Rachel Siewert (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) acknowledges that the very first step in dealing with the climate crisis is that no new coal, oil or gas projects can be built;

(b) notes the in-depth research by the International Energy Agency that global carbon budgets cannot afford a single new coal, oil or gas project to proceed in order to stay below 1 degrees of warming, as committed to under the Paris Agreement; and

(c) concludes that the Adani coalmine in Queensland, fracking the Beetaloo Gas Basin in the Northern Territory and drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight are incompatible with any declaration of a climate emergency.

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

16th Oct 2019, 4:12 PM – Senate Motions - Climate Change - Address

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The same number of senators voted for and against a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Anne Urquhart (Labor), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) climate change is a significant threat to our economy, natural environment, farming communities and national security,

(ii) Australia's annual emissions have been rising in recent years,

(iii) as a global problem, the solution to climate change requires concerted international cooperation to limit the production of greenhouse gasses,

(iv) as the only global agreement designed to address climate change, the Paris accords must play a central role in addressing climate change,

(v) the Paris accords require signatory countries to deliver actions consistent with keeping the global temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1 degrees celsius,

(vi) based on the latest scientific advice, the world is currently on track for warming of above 3 degrees, and efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions need to be strengthened to avoid catastrophic climate change impacts, and

(vii) as a result of the threat posed by climate change, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Portugal, Argentina and the Republic of Ireland have declared a climate emergency; and

(b) affirms that:

(i) Australia remains committed to delivering on its obligations under the Paris accords,

(ii) failing to meet the goals of the Paris accords would have unprecedented and devastating environmental, economic, societal and health impacts for Australia, and

(iii) the threat posed by climate change on the future prosperity and security of Australia and the globe constitutes a climate change emergency.

Yes Yes Not passed

16th Oct 2019, 4:08 PM – Senate Motions - Climate Change - Climate emergecy

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The same number of senators voted for and against an amendment to a motion, which means it failed.

Amendment text

(1) After paragraph (b), add paragraph (c):

(c) declares an environment and climate emergency.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed

15th Oct 2019, 5:11 PM – Senate Motions - Tasmania: Mining - Prohibition

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Nick McKim, also on behalf of Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) thermal coal combustion is a key driver of increasing greenhouse gas emissions and rising global temperatures,

(ii) the impact the current level of global warming of just 1 degrees is having on Tasmania includes worsening floods, East Coast drought, marine heatwaves, increased dry lightning storms causing bushfires, coastal erosion, biosecurity threats and ecosystem stress,

(iii) the scientific consensus is that the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, must end in order to limit global warming to 2 degrees and prevent further climate breakdown,

(iv) Western Australian-based Midland Energy has received around $50,000, and Queensland-based Junction Coal around $23,000, in grants from the Tasmanian Government for coal exploration in Tasmania, and

(v) it is in Tasmania's best interest to be a climate positive, clean energy island, and that any new coal mines would harm the agricultural and tourism sectors; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to implement a prohibition on any new thermal coal mines in Tasmania.

Yes Yes Not passed by a large majority

14th Oct 2019, 3:46 PM – Senate Motions - Bylong Valley Coalmine - Protect Bylong Valley

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by NSW Senator Mehreen Faruqi (Greens) also on behalf of Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the New South Wales Independent Planning Commission (the Commission) has rejected the development of the Bylong Valley coal mine near Mudgee in New South Wales, citing concerns about the long-lasting environmental, agricultural and heritage impacts of the proposed coal mine;

(ii) the Commission raised serious concerns about the proposed mine, including groundwater contamination and the mine's contribution to climate change through greenhouse gas emissions; and

(iii) the Commission also raised concerns about the intergenerational inequity of environmental costs associated with the proposal, saying that younger generations would have to bear the heavy environmental, agricultural and heritage costs of the proposed coal mine; and

(b) congratulates the community, who have been campaigning for years to protect the Bylong Valley from coal mining.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

10th Sep 2019, 6:44 PM – Senate Matters of Urgency - Climate Change - Action needed

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The same number of senators voted for and against a motion introduced by Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, which means it failed.

Motion text

Pursuant to standing order 75, I give notice that today I propose to move "That, in the opinion of the Senate, the following is a matter of urgency:

We are facing an existential climate crisis that threatens human civilisation and the government needs to act, starting by supporting the global climate strike on 20 September."

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed

10th Sep 2019, 4:17 PM – Senate Motions - Queensland - Bushfires

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Queensland Senator Larissa Waters (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that just one week after winter, Queensland is experiencing unprecedented and devastating bushfires and facing what the fire service has described as the most catastrophic bushfire season in recorded history,

(ii) that hundreds of people have been affected by the devastating fires—to date, 80 properties have been reported as damaged or destroyed, including the heritage-listed Bina Burra resort, and prior to these bushfires, a total of 40 properties had been lost to bushfire in Queensland in the previous 130 years,

(iii) the critical role that firefighting and emergency services personnel play in the frontline response to emergencies and climate-related disasters,

(iv) that the Bushfire and Natural Hazard Cooperative Research Centre's latest Seasonal Bushfire Outlook, August 2019, confirmed that Queensland fire seasons have been starting earlier and persisting longer since 1990,

(v) that drought conditions and severe water shortages in the Darling Downs and Granite Belt are expected to make fighting bushfires even more difficult across the summer, and

(vi) that, unless urgent action is taken to reduce harmful emissions and stop further global warming, bushfires, drought, and heatwaves will become more frequent and severe, putting Australian lives and properties at risk; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) urgently take action to address climate change and manage the risk and severity of bushfires,

(ii) invest in community adaptation efforts to build resilience to climate change in moderate and high risk areas, and

(iii) commit to action to progress a rapid and just transition to clean and renewable energy sources to reduce the harmful emissions driving climate change.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

9th Sep 2019, 4:55 PM – Senate Motions - Fossil Fuel Basins - Halt development

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by WA Senator Rachel Siewert (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that, on 31 July 2019, offshore petroleum exploration acreage was released, containing 64 areas available for lease:

(i) this is largest number of areas released since 2000, with more than 120,000 square kilometres available, and

(ii) fossil fuels are the leading cause of climate change; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to halt the development of any further fossil fuel basins.

Yes Yes Not passed by a large majority

24th Jul 2019, 3:47 PM – Senate Motions - Great Barrier Reef - Protect from climate change

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Queensland Senator Larissa Waters (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) on 17 July 2019, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority released a Position Statement on Climate Change, which stated: 'climate change is the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef. Only the strongest and fastest possible actions to decrease global greenhouse gas emissions will reduce the risks and limit the impacts of climate change on the Reef'... 'If we are to secure a future for the Great Barrier Reef and coral reef ecosystems globally, there is an urgent and critical need to accelerate actions to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. This must happen in parallel to taking actions to build the Reef's resilience',

(ii) in an address to the British Parliament on 9 July 2019, Sir David Attenborough criticised Australia for not taking the risks of climate change seriously, and imperilling the Great Barrier Reef,

(iii) at its meeting in 2015, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee gave the Australian Government five years to address the state of the Great Barrier Reef before it re-considered whether to include it on the World Heritage In Danger list—the Australian Government is due to submit a report addressing the protection of the Reef's Outstanding Universal Value to avert an In Danger listing by 1 December 2019,

(iv) scientific reports confirm that approximately half of the shallow water coral of the Great Barrier Reef has been lost since 2016 due to successive coral bleaching incidents,

(v) the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators has signed a Reef Climate Declaration that acknowledges climate change as "the single biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef" and states that "Australia must join the rest of the world to rapidly phase out coal and other fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy",

(vi) the Great Barrier Reef supports approximately 64,000 jobs and generates $6 billion for the Australian economy annually,

(vii) the science and the economics are clear that these jobs are at risk if strong action is not taken immediately to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C, and

(viii) fossil fuel companies have donated nearly $5 million to the Liberals, The Nationals and Labor parties over the past four years; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) affirm the advice of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority that climate change is the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef,

(ii) direct Mr Warren Entsch, Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef, to prioritise actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions,

(iii) implement a climate policy that accelerates actions to limit global warming to 1.5°C to protect the Great Barrier Reef,

(iv) take all action necessary to properly protect the Great Barrier Reef and avoid the UNESCO World Heritage Committee needing to place the Great Barrier Reef on the World Heritage In Danger list,

(v) revoke all federal approvals for the Adani Carmichael mine and not approve any new coal in Australia, and

(vi) develop a clear plan to move towards 100% clean energy, including a plan for a just transition for Australia's regional workforces affected by climate change so that regional economies can thrive and workers are protected, and ban corporate donations to political parties from the fossil fuel industry, an industry which financially benefits from this Government's lack of action on climate change.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

24th Jul 2019, 12:19 PM – Senate Future Drought Fund Bill 2019 and another - in Committee - Fossil fuels

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The majority voted against amendments introduced by Victorian Senator Janet Rice (Greens), which means it failed.

Senator Rice explained that:

These amendments are a very significant way of doing something about [climate change]—of actually making sure that the drought fund that is going to be repairing the impacts of climate change is not, at the same time, investing in the very things that are causing it. These amendments on sheet 8704 would mean that the drought fund would not invest in coal and gas and oil. Furthermore, that would then be included in the investment mandate for this fund, and furthermore these amendments say that this fund should again be a disallowable instrument, to make sure that the investment mandate is as it should be—that it is taking the reality of our climate catastrophe into account.

Motion text

(1) Clause 5, page 8 (after line 25), after the definition of person, insert:

prohibited financial asset: a financial asset is a prohibited financial asset if the financial asset includes an interest in a body corporate that produces fossil fuels.

(2) Clause 39, page 41 (line 23), at the end of subclause (1), add "that are not prohibited financial assets".

(3) Clause 41, page 43 (line 30) to page 44 (line 6), omit subclause (7), substitute:

(7) A direction under subsection (1) is a legislative instrument.

(8) Despite regulations made for the purposes of paragraphs 44(2) (b) and 54(2) (b) of the Legislation Act 2003, section 42 (disallowance) and Part 4 of Chapter 3 (sunsetting) of that Act apply to a direction under subsection (1).

(4) Heading to clause 54, page 50 (line 25), at the end of the heading, add "etc.".

(5) Clause 54, page 50 (line 31), at the end of subclause (1), add:

; or (c) an asset held by the Board as an investment of the Future Drought Fund is, or has become, a prohibited financial asset.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

24th Jul 2019, 10:43 AM – Senate Future Drought Fund Bill 2019 and another - Second Reading - Climate crisis

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson (Greens), which means it failed. The motion would have amended the usual second reading motion, which is that "the bills be read for a second time". This is parliamentary jargon for agreeing with the main idea of the bill.

Motion text

At the end of the motion, add:

", but the Senate:

(a) notes that the Bureau of Meteorology has stated that:

(i) the current drought in the Murray-Darling Basin is the most severe in 120 years of records; and

(ii) climate change is a significant cause of the severity of the drought; and

(b) calls on the Government to recognise that we are in the middle of a climate crisis which has implications for droughts in this country."

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

4th Dec 2018, 6:19 PM – Senate Matters of Urgency - Climate Change - Coal exports

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Larissa Waters (Queensland, Australian Greens) moved a motion:

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

Australia's coal exports are one of the most significant contributors to climate change globally.

This was one of ten proposed motions received by the senate before 8:30 am and was selected by lot in accordance of standing order 75.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

28th Nov 2018, 3:55 PM – Senate Motions - Coalmines in the Galilee Basin - Refuse

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters (Qld), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that MacMines Austasia 20,000-hectare China Stone thermal coal project in the Galilee Basin is one step closer to approval,

(ii) that this mine is expected to export 38 million tonnes of coal annually,

(iii) that this single Galilee Basin project is estimated to produce 128.4 metric tonnes of CO2 per year, which is equivalent to 23% of Australia's total domestic emissions in 2017, or about ten years' worth of Australia's domestic emissions over the lifetime of the mine,

(iv) that, this week, large parts of north and far north Queensland are in a severe heatwave with indication that the heatwave will spread west to the Northern Territory border,

(v) that temperature records for many Queensland towns have been broken,

(vi) that about 1500 people have been displaced, up to 600 evacuated and at least four houses lost, as unprecedented bushfires continue to burn in the Deepwater National Park region, south of Gladstone,

(vii) the emotional trauma and financial hardship that these sorts of extreme weather events can inflict on our communities,

(viii) that the work of emergency services and volunteers is to be commended,

(ix) that the Galilee Basin has 9 mega coal mines proposed, including the Adani Carmichael mine, China Stone mine, Alpha Coal Project, Kevin's Corner Project, Degulla Coal, Alpha West, Alpha North, Galilee (China First) Coal Project and South Galilee Coal Mine,

(x) that there is undeniable evidence that CO2 emissions are driving dangerous global warming which is causing extreme weather conditions unlike any we have ever seen before, and

(xi) that unless we take urgent action to stop global warming, bushfires, flooding, drought, heat waves will become more frequent and increasingly severe; and

(b) calls on the Minister for the Environment to:

(i) urgently take proactive measures against global warming,

(ii) refuse federal environmental approval for MacMines' China Stone thermal coal mine, and

(iii) not approve any coal mines in the Galilee Basin.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

27th Nov 2018, 5:11 PM – Senate Motions - School Strike 4 Climate Action - National climate and energy policy

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John (WA) also on behalf of Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi (NSW). 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) this Friday, 30 November 2018, students from the movement 'School Strike 4 Climate Action' will hold a national school strike, and

(ii) young people will live with the effects of climate change for the longest time and that, therefore, their voices and their concerns must be heard in the debate;

(b) commends all students across Australia for their commitment to action on climate change; and

(c) calls on the Federal Government to put in place a national climate and energy policy.

absent Yes Passed by a small majority

26th Nov 2018, 3:47 PM – Senate Motions - Climate Change - Develop and implement a serious policy

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (SA), which means it succeeded. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own but can be politically influential since they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes the Flinders University research published in Nature's Scientific Reports, which shows that 'climate change and human activity are dooming species at an unprecedented rate via a plethora of direct and indirect, often synergic, mechanisms';

(b) notes that climate change is, without a doubt, the biggest threat to life on our planet; and

(c) calls on the Federal Government to develop and implement a serious climate and energy policy, with a plan to reduce carbon pollution and overhaul our environmental laws to protect life on earth.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

12th Nov 2018, 4:26 PM – Senate Motions - Minister for the Environment - Apologise to Kiribati President

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (SA), which means it passed. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own, but can be politically influential since they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that the Minister for the Environment, Ms Price, made offensive remarks to former President of Kiribati, Anote Tong;

(b) further notes that former President Tong has a long history of advocating on behalf of his people, his country and the Pacific, who will be first and worst affected by climate change; and

(c) calls on the Federal Government to apologise to former President Tong, commend him for his heroic actions on behalf of his people, and take seriously the threat of climate change in the Pacific region.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

16th Oct 2018, 4:30 PM – Senate Motions - Climate Change - Donations, climate policy and Adani

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters (Qld), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecasts that warming of 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels will see the death of 100 per cent of coral reefs globally, and that warming of 1.5°C will see 90 per cent of coral reefs die,

(ii) that the IPCC forecasts that warming is likely to reach 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels between 2030 and 2052 if it continues at the current trajectory,

(iii) the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) report, released on 18 September 2018, Impacts of Climate Change on World Heritage Coral Reefs: Update to the First Global Scientific Assessment, which confirms that remaining within 1.5°C climate target is critical for survival of World Heritage-listed coral reefs,

(iv) the statement by the Chair of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation Board during the Brisbane hearing of the inquiry into the Great Barrier Reef 2050 Partnership Program, that "many reefs around the world are classified as in danger, regardless of whether UNESCO has them listed", and

(v) that 64 000 people rely on jobs supported by the Great Barrier Reef; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) ban corporate donations to political parties from the fossil fuel industry, an industry which financially benefits from this Government's lack of action on climate change,

(ii) get a climate policy that limits global warming to 1 degrees to protect the Great Barrier Reef and Australians from extreme weather events, and

(iii) revoke all federal approvals for the Adani Carmichael mine, and not approve any new coal in Australia.

Yes Yes Not passed by a large majority

15th Aug 2018, 5:21 PM – Senate Regulations and Determinations - Product Emissions Standards (Excise) Charges Regulations 2018, Product Emissions Standards (Customs) Charges Regulations 2018 - Disallow

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The majority voted against a motion to disallow two regulations, which means it failed. These regulations address the negative impacts of air pollution from certain products on human and environmental health.

This motion was moved by South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi, who explained that:

In essence, they [the regulations] are the carbon tax on whipper-snippers, lawnmowers and outboard engines that were identified at the very passage of this bill and yet they were blithely championed through and sponsored through in the absence of a great deal of information and supported by people who said they had nothing whatsoever to do with the climate agreement reached in Paris. They were wrong.

Motion text

That the Product Emissions Standards (Excise) Charges Regulations 2018, made under the Product Emissions Standards (Excise) Charges Act 2017, and the Product Emissions Standards (Customs) Charges Regulations 2018, made under the Product Emissions Standards (Customs) Charges Act 2017, be disallowed.

No No Not passed by a large majority

14th Aug 2018, 3:59 PM – Senate Motions - Paris Agreement - Withdraw

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The majority voted against a motion to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate:

(a) notes that the United States of America has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement; and

(b) calls upon the Australian Government to also withdraw from the Agreement, and cease taking any steps towards enacting at law or by policy any steps towards the Agreement's targets.

No No Not passed by a large majority

15th Feb 2018, 12:07 PM – Senate Motions - Climate Change - Action

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

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) welcomes the visit by a delegation of leaders from the Kiribati Climate Action Network and the Kiribati Ministry of Education;

(b) notes the strong bonds that exists between the people of Australia and the people of Kiribati;

(c) notes, with deep concern, the impacts that climate change is already having on Kiribati, including soil erosion and salinity, which is affecting crops and drinking water;

(d) is further concerned at reports from the 23th United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2017, that the Australian delegation pushed back against poorer countries, including Kiribati, who were calling for more funding for loss and damage caused by climate change; and

(e) calls on the Government to:

(i) increase its support to Pacific Island nations, including Kiribati, through climate finance that is separate and additional to our existing official development assistance budget,

(ii) significantly increase our commitments to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement in 2018, and take into account loss and damage caused by climate change, and

(iii) commit to no new coal mines in Australia, and rule out Adani's Carmichael coal mine.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

13th Sep 2017, 5:38 PM – Senate Motions - Energy - Transition for coal workforce required

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Richard Di Natale.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) considers coal-fired power stations in Australia will need to close in order to deal with climate change; and

(b) notes that the Government must have a plan for a managed transition of the workforce and to a clean energy future.

Yes Yes Not passed by a large majority

5th Sep 2017, 5:02 PM – Senate Motions - Energy - Coal not clean

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The majority voted in favour of a motion: That the Senate does not consider coal-fired power to be clean.

This motion was introduced by WA Senator Rachel Siewert (Greens) also on behalf of Victorian Senator Richard Di Natale (Greens).

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

19th Apr 2016, 7:39 PM – Senate Motions - Climate Change - End fossil fuel political donations

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The majority voted against a motion, which was introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters. The motion called on all political parties to ban and refuse to accept fossil fuel donations.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the unprecedented coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef which the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority describes as the worst ever mass bleaching event,

(ii) the devastating bushfires affecting areas of Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage Area which have not been burned in centuries and which may never recover,

(iii) the fact that 2014 and 2015 were both the hottest year on record, and that the United Kingdom Meteorological Office predicts that 2016 will also be the hottest year on record,

(iv) that ordinary Australians are leading the way in calling for action on global warming, in particular, the students at the University of Queensland who have occupied the Chancellery Building calling on the University to divest from fossil fuels, and

(v) that fossil fuel companies have made $3.7 million in political donations to the Coalition and the Australian Labor Party since the 2013 election; and

(b) calls on all political parties to:

(i) support a legislative ban on fossil fuel donations, and

(ii) refuse to accept any more fossil fuel donations.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

3rd Dec 2014, 4:00 PM – Senate Motions - Environment - Set national targets for emissions reductions

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The majority voted against a motion on setting a national target for the reduction of carbon emissions, which was introduced by Greens Senator Christine Milne.

Wording of motion

That the Senate—

(a) notes that Australia must declare, to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, our Intended Nationally Determined Contributions by March 2015;

(b) acknowledges the comprehensive targets and progress review of the Climate Change Authority which recommends Australia commit to a 30 to 40 per cent reduction below 2000 level emissions by 2025 and a 40 to 60 per cent reduction by 2030; and

(c) urges the Australian Government to not obstruct constructive progress in the Lima Conference of the Parties and set national targets consistent with the Climate Change Authority's recommended range.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

28th Oct 2014, 4:07 PM – Senate Motions - Mining - Acknowledge massive economic benefits

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The majority supported acknowledging "the massive economic benefits" of the black coal mining industry.

Wording of the motion

National Party Senator Barry O'Sullivan wanted the Senate to acknowledge:

the massive economic benefits delivered to this nation by the black coal industry and the importance it has for the employment fortunes of miners and other professionals in this nation, noting that Australia should maintain a diverse and sensible energy mix.

Background to the motion

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Government has been criticised for being too in favour of coal mining at the expense of addressing climate change (for example, see ABC News).

No No Passed by a modest majority

22nd Sep 2014, 5:14 PM – Senate Matters of Urgency - Climate Change - Climate Change Summit and emissions reduction target

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The majority voted against a motion moved by Greens Senator Christine Milne, which was:

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

"The need for the Prime minister to attend the United Nations Climate Summit 2014,(Read more about the UN Climate Summit 2014 on its website here. ) and to recognise that Australia's emissions reduction target is inadequate."

This means that the majority disagree with this motion and that it was rejected.

Background to the motion

The 2014 Climate Change Summit was announced by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2013 and takes place on 23 September 2014 in New York. It is a meeting on climate change with a focus on initiatives and actions. Secretary-General Ban invited leaders of governments, the private sector and civil society with the aim of these leaders using the Summit as a public platform.(Read more about the Summit on its website here.)

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

15th Jul 2014, 9:31 PM – Senate Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2014 and related bills - Second Reading - Protect from climate change

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This division relates to the Policy For a carbon price.

The majority voted against an amendment moved by Greens Senator Christine Milne, which would have amended the original motion "That these bills be now read a second time" with the following:

At the end of the motion, add:

but the Senate

(a) condemns this Bill and the related Bills;

(b) recognises that:

(i) the world is on track for 4 degrees of warming; and

(ii) warming of less than 1 degree is already intensifying extreme weather events in Australia and around the world with enormous costs to life and property;

(c) calls on the government to:

(i) protect the Australian people and environment from climate change by approving no new coal mines or extensions of existing mines, or new coal export terminals; and

(ii) adopt a trajectory of 40-60% below 2000 levels by 2030 and net carbon zero by 2050 emissions reduction target in global negotiations for a 2015 treaty.

Because the majority voted against this amendment, it was rejected.

Background to the bills

The Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2014 and related bills were introduced to remove the carbon pricing mechanism, which was introduced by the Australian Labor Party while in government. The Coalition described the mechanism as a “carbon tax” and removing it was a key policy platform during the 2013 election.(You can read more about the Coalition's policy to remove the carbon price here. )

The carbon pricing mechanism commenced on 1 July 2012.(For more information on the carbon pricing mechanism and how it works, please see the Clean Energy Regulator’s website. ) It is an emissions trading scheme that puts a price on carbon emissions. It applies to “liable entities” (a group that includes companies that emit a high level of greenhouse gases). Initially the price of carbon is fixed by the mechanism but from 1 July 2015 the price will be set by the market, though the Labor Government did announce plans to bring this forward to 1 July 2014 just before they were defeated by the Coalition in the 2013 election.

This is the third time that this package of bills have been introduced. The first time, they were rejected in the Senate during the third reading stage.(See that division here. ) The second time, they were rejected in the Senate during the committee stage.(See that division here. Read more about this second rejection of this package of bills on ABC News here or on the World Today here.)

The bills included in this package are the following:

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a large majority

17th Mar 2014, 1:46 PM – Senate Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 and related bills - Second Reading - Protect Australia from climate change

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Richard Di Natale.

The motion was for an amendment to be added to the end of the original motion, which was "That these bills be now read a second time."

The words were:

but the Senate:

(a) rejects this bill and the related bills;

(b) recognises that:

(i) the world is on track for 4 degrees of warming; and

(ii) warming of less than 1 degree is already intensifying extreme weather events in Australia and around the world with enormous costs to life and property;

(c) calls on the government to:

(i) protect the Australian people and environment from climate change by approving no new coal mines or extensions of existing mines, or new coal export terminals; and

(ii) adopt a trajectory of 40-60% below 2000 levels by 2030 and net carbon zero by 2050 emissions reduction target in global negotiations for a 2015 treaty.

Background to the bills

The Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 and related bills were introduced as a package to remove the carbon pricing mechanism, which was introduced by the Australian Labor Party while in government. The Coalition described the mechanism as a “carbon tax” and removing it was a key policy platform during the 2013 election.(You can read more about the Coalition's policy to remove the carbon price here. )

The carbon pricing mechanism commenced on 1 July 2012.(For more information on the carbon pricing mechanism and how it works, please see the Clean Energy Regulator’s website.) It is an emissions trading scheme that puts a price on carbon emissions. It applies to “liable entities” (a group that includes companies that emit a high level of greenhouse gases). Initially the price of carbon is fixed by the mechanism but from 1 July 2015 the price will be set by the market, though the Labor Government did announce plans to bring this forward to 1 July 2014 just before they were defeated by the Coalition in the 2013 election.

The ten other related bills are:

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a large majority

27th Feb 2013, 4:15 PM – Senate Motions - Climate Change and National Security - Address in Defence White Paper

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator for Tasmania Christine Milne, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) on 25 February 2013, 38 retired generals and admirals from the United States of America (US), and prominent national security experts, presented a letter calling on US policymakers to recognise the security effects of climate change and the undeniable consequences and costs of inaction in addressing climate change for vulnerable nations,

(ii) the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in 2007 called on the 2009 Defence White Paper to examine the full implication of climate change for the Australian Defence Force, and

(iii) the brief acknowledgement in the 2009 Defence White Paper that climate change has the potential to be a destabilising global force erroneously concludes that the strategic consequences of climate change will not be felt before 2030; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) recognise the undeniable security implications of climate change, the costs and consequences of inaction, and

(ii) ensure that the Defence White Paper, due to be released in May 2013, addresses the fact that climate change is shaping the contemporary security climate, is a driver of conflict and should guide procurement and deployment in Australia's national security.

Yes Yes Not 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 7 350 350
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 24 240 240
MP voted against policy 2 0 20
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 3 3 6
Total: 593 616

*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 = 593 / 616 = 96%.

And then