How Stephen Conroy voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase investment in renewable energy technologies

Division Stephen Conroy Supporters vote Division outcome

15th Sep 2016, 11:35 PM – Senate Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to pass the bill in the Senate. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a third time.

Since the bill's already passed in the House of Representatives, it will now become law.

What does this bill do?

This bill does a lot of work! It crosses eight different portfolios, from Education to the Treasury. Read more about it in the bills digest.

For example, the bill:

absent No Passed by a modest majority

15th Sep 2016, 10:27 PM – Senate Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 - in Committee - ARENA

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absent No Passed by a modest majority

15th Sep 2016, 9:25 PM – Senate Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 - Second Reading - Agree to the main idea

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill for a second time. In other words, they agreed with the main idea of the bill and will now discuss it in more detail.

What does this bill do?

This bill does a lot of work! It crosses eight different portfolios, from Education to the Treasury. Read more about it in the bills digest.

For example, the bill:

absent No Passed by a modest majority

15th Sep 2016, 9:12 PM – Senate Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 - Second Reading - ARENA funding

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters, which means it was unsuccessful.

Motion text

At the end of the motion, add:

, but the Senate condemns this bill for ripping $500 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency's clean energy innovation grants as a dangerous and irresponsible act of sabotage, especially in a climate emergency and global transition to clean energy, and because it leaves the Coalition and Labor parties with no meaningful plan to meet Australia's Renewable Energy Target and pollution reduction target agreed at the Paris climate conference.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

3rd May 2016, 4:02 PM – Senate Motions - Budget - Australian Renewable Energy Agency

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The majority voted against a motion that called for the Senate to resolve that funding for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) won't be reduced. The motion was introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) how well positioned Australia is to take advantage of the huge jobs and commercial opportunities from investing in research and development in clean energy technologies,

(ii) That the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is the institution that will enable us to be global leaders in clean technology innovation, and

(iii) That the 2014 Budget proposed $1.3 billion in cuts to ARENA for the financial years 2017-18 to 2021-22 which have so far been blocked but which have caused considerable uncertainty for ARENA; and

(b) resolves That the $1.5 billion of currently legislated funding for ARENA for the financial years 2016-17 to 2021-22 will not be reduced.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

17th Mar 2016, 12:39 PM – Senate Motions - Climate Change - Support a rapid transition to clean energy

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters. It called for the government to stop supporting new coal mining developments and start supporting a rapid transition to clean energy.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, stated on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Q&A program that Australia is 'losing the battle' against global warming,

(ii) Professor Terry Hughes has told 'The Conversation' that Australia can either develop new coal mines or protect the Great Barrier Reef, but 'we can't possibly do both',

(iii) coral bleaching caused by global warming has already caused the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to raise its bleaching alert to Level 2, and the United States' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has upgraded its Coral Reef Watch warning for the far northern Great Barrier Reef to Alert Level 2, the highest threat level, and

(iv) the mining and burning of coal is driving dangerous global warming which threatens the Great Barrier Reef; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to abandon its support for the Adani mega coal mine and Abbot Point coal port expansion, and support a rapid transition to 100 per cent clean energy as soon as possible, and at least 90 per cent clean energy by 2030.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

9th Sep 2015, 4:28 PM – Senate Motions - Newcastle City Council Investment Policies - Environmental investment

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

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Newcastle City Council recently passed an update to its investment policies that notes the Council's preference for environmentally and socially responsible investment, and notes reports that this policy will see the Council shift its investments away from coal and fossil fuels,

(ii) the decision has been heavily criticised by the Minister for Industry and Science (Mr Macfarlane), despite warnings from scientists that Australia must act to stave off catastrophic climate change, and

(iii) an opinion poll conducted after the Council's decision found that only one in four Newcastle residents think investing in coal is financially safe; and

(b) congratulates the Newcastle City Council on updating its investment policy and joining councils across New South Wales, such as Lake Macquarie City Council, Willoughby Council, the City of Sydney, Marrickville Council, Leichhardt Council and Lismore City Council, in adopting policies regarding environmentally and socially responsible investment.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

23rd Jun 2015, 11:03 PM – Senate Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2015 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to pass the bill (in parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a third time).

Purpose of the bill

The bill amends the Commonwealth Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme by, for example, reducing the large-scale renewable energy target (LRET) and replacing the requirement for two-yearly reviews of the operation of the RET scheme with annual statements by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER). Further detail is available in the bills digest.

Read more on ABC News.

absent No Passed by a modest majority

17th Jun 2015, 6:02 PM – Senate Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2015 - Second Reading - Agree to the bill's main idea

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to agree with the bill's main idea (in parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a second time).

Main idea of the bill

The bill amends the Commonwealth Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme by, for example, reducing the large-scale renewable energy target (LRET) and replacing the requirement for two-yearly reviews of the operation of the RET scheme with annual statements by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER). Further detail is available in the bills digest.

absent No 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).

absent No Passed by a modest majority

17th Jul 2014, 10:41 AM – Senate Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2014 — In Committee — Funding to ARENA

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The majority voted in favour of a motion "that schedule 5 stand as printed", which means that the schedule will remain unchanged. This motion was put in response to an amendment to oppose that schedule, which was introduced by Greens Senator Christine Milne.

Schedule 5 amends the funding for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency ('ARENA').(Read more about this schedule in the explanatory memorandum. ) Senator Milne explained that "if the government's schedule stands, ARENA's funding would drop from just over a billion dollars down to $341 million".(Read Senator Milne's full explanation and the associated debate here, after 10.28 am. )

Background to the bills

The Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2014 and related bills were introduced to repeal 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:

No No Passed by a small majority

10th Jul 2014, 12:12 PM – Senate Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 [No. 2] - In Committee - Schedule 5

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This division relates to the Policy For a carbon price.

The majority voted against a motion "that schedule 5 stand as printed", which means that the majority opposed the schedule.

This motion was put in response to an earlier motion to oppose schedule 5 introduced by Greens Senator Christine Milne. Schedule 5 provides for a reduction in funding for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.(Read more about schedule 5 in the bill's explanatory memorandum. )

Background to the bills

The Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 (No. 2) 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 second time that this package of bills has been introduced, after they were rejected in the Senate during the third reading stage the first time round.(See that division here. )

The other related bills that were introduced along with the Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 (No. 2) are:

The Clean Energy (Income Tax Rates and Other Amendments) Bill 2013 (No. 2) was previously rejected in the Senate at second reading stage.(See that division here.)

No No Not passed by a small majority

18th Jun 2014, 11:46 AM – Senate Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Abolition) Bill 2013 [No. 2] - Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill for a third time.(Read more about the stages a bill must pass through here. ) This means that the majority reject the main idea of the bill and that it will no longer be considered.

Because this is the second time this bill has been rejected in the Senate (see below), it is potentially a trigger for a double dissolution. However, it is up to the Government to use it to call a full Senate and House of Representatives election.(Read more on ABC News here. )

Background to the bill

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Abolition) Bill 2013 (No. 2) was introduced after the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Abolition) Bill 2013 was rejected in the Senate last year.(See that division here.)

The bill has been introduced to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which was created by the previous Labor Government with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Bill 2012. It is a fund dedicated to investing in renewable energy generation.

References

absent No Not passed by a small majority

10th Dec 2013, 2:02 PM – Senate Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Abolition) Bill 2013 — Second Reading — Read a second time

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The majority voted against a motion that: the bill, as amended, now be read a second time.

This means that the majority of senators rejected the main idea of the bill, which was to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Background to the bill

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation was created by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Bill 2012, which was introduced while the Australian Labor Party was in government. It is a fund dedicated to investing in renewable energy generation.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Abolition) Bill 2013 was introduced into Parliament as part of a package of eleven bills to remove the carbon pricing mechanism and abolish both the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Climate Change Authority.(Read more about the Clean Energy Finance Corporation here and the Climate Change Authority here.)

The ten other bills are:

No No Not passed by a small majority

28th Feb 2013, 11:30 AM – Senate Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment (Excessive Noise from Wind Farms) Bill 2012 - Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted against a motion to read the bill for a second time.

This means that the majority of senators reject the main idea of the act, which was to provide the Clean Energy Regulator with powers to ensure that accredited power stations that are wind farms do not create excessive noise.(Read more about the bill here, including its explanatory memorandum. )

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced by Democratic Labor Party Senator John Madigan, also on behalf of Independent Senator Nick Xenophon.

Currently, there are questions about whether the noise generated by wind farms may cause health problems.(For example, read about the divided reactions surrounding a proposed major wind farm project in South Australia here. ) However, this is widely disputed.(For example, the South Australian Environmental Protection Authority rejected the link between wind farms and health almost a month before this vote took place (see here. ) These concerns reflect similar debates around the world in communities that are affected by wind farms.(Read more about these debates here.)

References

absent No Not passed by a small majority

20th Sep 2012, 12:03 PM – Senate Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment (Excessive Noise from Wind Farms) Bill 2012 - Reference to Committee

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Democratic Labor Party Senator John Madigan on behalf of himself and Independent Senator Nick Xenophon.

The motion was:

That the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment (Excessive Noise from Wind Farms) Bill 2012 be referred to the Environment and Communications References Committee for inquiry and report by 29 November 2012.

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced by Senator Madigan, also on behalf of Senator Xenophon, to provide the Clean Energy Regulator with powers to ensure that accredited power stations that are wind farms do not create excessive noise.(Read more about the bill here, including its explanatory memorandum. )

Currently, there are questions about whether the noise generated by wind farms may cause health problems.(For example, read about the divided reactions surrounding a proposed major wind farm project in South Australia here. ) However, this is widely disputed.(For example, the South Australian Environmental Protection Authority rejected the link between wind farms and health almost a month before this vote took place (see here. ) These concerns reflect similar debates around the world in communities that are affected by wind farms.(Read more about these debates here.)

References

No No Not passed by a small majority

25th Jun 2012, 8:28 PM – Senate Clean Energy Finance Corporation Bill 2012 - Third Reading - Read a third time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill for a third time.

Its purpose was to establish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

This means that the majority of senators agree that the bill should be passed in the Senate. Since the bill has already passed in the House of Representatives, the bill can now become law.

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to establish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation as a body corporate and establish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Special Account.(Learn more about the Clean Energy Finance Corporation on Radio National Breakfast. ) The development and managing of this account is referred at as the 'investment mandate'.(Read more about the investment mandate here. See also the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Investment Mandate Direction 2013 here.) Its purpose is to invest strategically in renewable energy, low emissions and energy efficiency projects and technologies in Australia.

References

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

25th Jun 2012, 8:24 PM – Senate Clean Energy Finance Corporation Bill 2012 - Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill for a second time.

This means that the majority of senators agree with the main idea of the bill, which was to establish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Now the bill can be discussed in greater detail.

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to establish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation as a body corporate and establish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Special Account.(Learn more about the Clean Energy Finance Corporation on Radio National Breakfast. ) The development and managing of this account is referred at as the 'investment mandate'.(Read more about the investment mandate here. See also the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Investment Mandate Direction 2013 here.) Its purpose is to invest strategically in renewable energy, low emissions and energy efficiency projects and technologies in Australia.

References

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

15th Mar 2012, 12:12 PM – Senate Motions - Coal - From coal to clean energy market

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Christine Milne, which means the motion was unsuccessful.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) China's twelfth 5 year plan is expected to introduce caps on coal use from 2015,

(ii) the price of coking coal has already dropped some 40 per cent in the past year, due in large part to a drop in China's demand for imported coal,

(iii) China expects utility scale solar power to out-compete new coal-fired power stations by the end of the decade, while the Indian Government expects the cost crossover as soon as 2016,

(iv) India's economic giant, Tata Power, has publicly stated that its new investments will favour renewable energy, as coal power is becoming 'impossible' to develop,

(v) the Australian Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics (BREE) continues to predict that coal exports will double over the next two decades, and

(vi) Australia is leaving itself economically exposed by focusing on the development of coal export infrastructure; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) require BREE to review its modelling based on the current geopolitics of coal, and

(ii) rethink Australia's economic settings, which assume ongoing increases in the coal export market, and instead look to broaden Australia's economic base and build a more competitive clean energy economy.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

8th Feb 2012, 4:30 PM – Senate Motions - Wind Farms - Act on the Community Affairs References Committee's recommendations

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The majority voted in favour of an amendment introduced by Senator Simon Birmingham.

The original motion that Senator Birmingham wanted to amend was introduced by Senator John Madigan. It was:

"That the Senate—

(a) notes that on 23 June 2011 the Community Affairs References Committee tabled its final report,(Read the full report here (2.7 MB). Read the Government's response to the report's recommendations here (344 KB). More information about the health concerns related to wind farms is available here.) Social and economic impact of rural wind farms containing seven recommendations, including recommendations calling for studies on the effects of wind farms on human health; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) immediately act on the committee's recommendations in the report, and

(ii) support a moratorium on the construction of further wind turbines until the recommendations have been satisfactorily addressed."

Senator Birmingham's amendment to this motion was:

"That the Senate—

Omit subparagraph (b)(ii), so that paragraph (b) now reads:

(b) calls on the Government to immediately act on the committee's recommendations in the report."

References

absent Yes Passed by a small majority

22nd Jun 2010, 4:00 PM – Senate Motions - Transition to Renewable Energy - Undertake a study

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Christine Milne. This means that it was rejected. The motion was:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that the Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan released by Beyond Zero Emissions and the University of Melbourne shows:

(i) that it is technically possible for Australia to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy within a decade, and

(ii) that the technologies to achieve this goal, including baseload solar thermal energy with storage, are commercially available today;(Read more about thermal energy storage here.)

(b) applauds the organisations involved for their vision and efforts; and

(c) calls on the Australian Government to direct the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism and the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency to undertake a similar study to examine the potential for a swift transition to 100 per cent renewable energy in Australia.

References

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

10th Sep 2009, 9:46 AM – Senate Motions - Solar Flagship Program - Support program

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Christine Milne. This means that it was unsuccessful. The motion was:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that United States of America company, First Solar, has signed a memorandum of understanding to build a 2GW solar power station in China and that this single plant will be eight times larger than projects called for by the Solar Flagship Program (the program), (ii) that the program depends for success on significant levels of private sector capital, (iii) that the global financial crisis is exacerbating difficulties Australian companies are experiencing in accessing private sector capital for innovative renewable technologies, (iv) that, in Australia, Solar Systems has gone into voluntary administration because of a lack of investment capital, and (v) the lack of a comprehensive or coherent policy framework to encourage private sector investment in renewable energy; and (b) calls on the Government to underpin the success of the program by: (i) providing loan guarantees for commercial-scale demonstration projects, (ii) implementing a gross national feed-in tariff for small to utility scale renewable energy projects, and (iii) planning and funding electricity grid extensions to connect remote utility scale projects.

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

14th Feb 2008, 10:32 AM – Senate Montions - Solar Energy Technology - Provide incentives

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Democrats Senator Lyn Allison. This means it was unsuccessful. The motion was:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) in December 2007 Ausra Inc. announced that it will build a manufacturing plant in Nevada for solar thermal power systems, (ii) Ausra’s innovations in mirror systems have brought the price of solar power down to the level of gas-fired power and is expected soon to be price competitive with coal-fired power, and (iii) the plant will produce 700 MW a year in solar thermal power systems for the American Southwest;

(b) congratulates the founder of Ausra, world-renowned, Dr David Mills, for this development and for his longstanding solar technology innovation at the University of Sydney, including:

(i) the evacuated tube solar water heater technology that is now in use in 60 per cent of these units worldwide, (ii) the Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector for use in solar thermal energy, (iii) photovoltaic systems, and (iv) a solar steriliser design which won a World Health Organization award in 2002;

(c) regrets that the economic benefits of this important innovation in renewable, clean, base load power have been lost to Australia; and (d) urges the Government to:

(i) recognise that Australia, like Nevada and California, has excellent sources of solar energy from which to generate solar thermal base load power, and (ii) provide the necessary incentives for the technology to also be established in Australia.

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

7th Aug 2007, 3:53 PM – Senate Motions - Desalination Plant - Renewable energy

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Australian Democrats Senator Lyn Allison, which means it was unsuccessful. The motion was:

That the Senate:

(a) notes:

(i) the announcement by the Victorian State Government that a desalination plant costing $3.1 billion will be built near Wonthaggi to provide a third of Melbourne’s demand for water, approximately 150 billion litres, by 2012,(Read more about this proposed desalination plant on Wikipedia here.) (ii) that the desalination plant and associated pumping of more than 200 km will likely emit more than a million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year and increase electricity use in Victoria by 2 per cent, (iii) that the Victorian Government intends to ‘offset’ greenhouse emissions through the purchase of renewable energy, (iv) that the ongoing drought in Victoria is highly likely to be related to climate change, (v) that 95 per cent of Victoria’s electricity is from ageing, low efficiency, brown coal-fired generators, (vi) that $3.1 billion could fund rebates for approximately 2 million household water tanks that could provide 80 billion litres of water for cistern, laundry and garden use, and (vii) that coal-fired power generation in Victoria uses approximately 400 billion litres of water a year;

(b) urges the Victorian State Government to develop desalination only if necessary after:

(i) stringent standards are implemented for water appliances, (ii) substantial quantities of potable water have been displaced by stormwater or other harvested water, (iii) water reticulation infrastructure leaks have been fixed, (iv) water intensive industry and commercial operations are water efficient, (v) all Victorians have low flow shower heads, dual flush cisterns and grey water systems, and (vi) there is widespread application of water sensitive urban design; and

(c) encourages the Victorian State Government to ensure that any desalination still required, uses only renewable-powered technology.

References

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

28th Feb 2007, 3:49 PM – Senate Motions - Renewable Energy - Introduce effective policies

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Australian Democrats Senator Lyn Allison, which means that it was unsuccessful. The motion was:

That the Senate:

(a) notes the recent polling conducted by the Australian Research Group on community attitudes to climate change solutions which found that:

(i) Australians want to embrace new, clean renewable energy technologies to deal with the challenge of climate change,

(ii) Australians support a future based on new renewable energy industries rather than a continuing reliance on coal or a move to nuclear power, and

(iii) the renewable options of more solar panels (91 per cent support) and more wind turbines (82 per cent support) were favoured alongside the proposal of reducing overall energy consumption (78 per cent support); and

(b) calls on the Government to introduce effective policies that will result in significant clean energy investment and greenhouse abatement through support for:

(i) the renewable energy market, by extending and expanding the existing Mandatory Renewable Energy Target, a renewable energy trading ‘green’ certificate scheme,

(ii) the increased deployment of solar power through dual market of continuing the photovoltaic rebate scheme and introducing a feed-in-tariff,

(iii) energy efficiency markets, by introducing a national energy efficiency target and an energy efficiency trading ‘white’ certificate scheme, and

(iv) a transition to clean energy, by introducing a carbon emissions target and carbon emissions trading ‘black’ certificate scheme.

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

7th Feb 2007, 4:00 PM – Senate Motions - Wind Energy - Increase Mandatory Renewable Energy Target

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Democrats Senator Lyn Allison. This means that the motion was unsuccessful. The motion was:

That the Senate: (a) notes that: (i) the World Wind Association has reported that the global installed capacity of wind energy at the end of December 2006 was 73 904 MW, (ii) based on the accelerated wind development in 2006, the World Wind Energy Association has increased its prediction for 2010 and now expects 160 000 MW to be installed by the end of 2010, (iii) the wind industry worldwide between 1997 and 2006 experienced a tenfold increase in installed capacity worldwide, (iv) the currently installed wind power capacity generates more than 1 per cent of global electricity consumption, (v) Germany has the highest proportion of installed capacity, where 5 per cent of electricity consumption is from wind, while Denmark’s is as high as 20 per cent,(Read more about the wind power in Germany here and wind power in Denmark here. ) and (vi) this compares to wind energy in Australia in 2006 representing only 0.5 per cent of Australia’s electricity consumption;(Read more about wind power in Australia here.) and (b) calls on the Government to increase and extend the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target to support wind energy and other renewable technologies in order to meet with world minimum practice and to strive to world best practice.

References

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

28th Nov 2006, 4:04 PM – Senate Motions - Renewable Energy

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Australian Democrats Senator Lyn Allison.

This means that the motion was rejected.

The motion was:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that:

(i) in 2000, Germany introduced a solar scheme requiring electricity companies to buy back electricity generated from household panels connected to the grid at premium price rather than at the normal wholesale electricity rate,

(ii) the German scheme has meant approximately 400 000 households have now installed solar panels,

(iii) the German scheme has lead to a boom in the photovoltaic (PV) industry with revenues expected to be $25 billion in 2006, increasing to $100 billion by 2010,

(iv) Germany’s success with the scheme has led to Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Canada introducing almost identical schemes,

(v) in 2004, Germany passed a new law that guaranteed people who built solar parks a minimum price for each kilowatt of electricity that was two to three times the market price, for example, a German pig farmer struggling with drought took advantage of the scheme and covered his 200 acre farm with 10 050 solar panels, which at full capacity could supply power to all 7 000 residents of the local village resulting in the farmer making more than $600 000 a year from the sale of this electricity, and

(vi) California has developed the ‘ Million Solar Roofs’ plan that will provide 3 000 megawatts of additional solar generation by 2018 using a combination of regulatory and market mechanisms;

(b) notes that an Australia-wide feed-in tariff could increase the number of PV units in Australia from 10 000 to 150 000 by 2010; and

(c) calls on the Federal Government to work with state governments to introduce a solar scheme similar to that in Germany.

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

8th Aug 2006, 4:58 PM – Senate Matters of Urgency - Wind Farms - Bald Hills wind farm

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Labor Senator Kim Carr. This means that the motion was unsuccessful.

The motion was:

"That, in the opinion of the Senate, the following is a matter of urgency:(Read more about what a 'matter of urgency' is here. ) The failure of the Minister for the Environment and Heritage (Senator Ian Campbell) to follow due process in assessing the environmental impact of the Bald Hills wind farm in Victoria, thereby undermining the legitimacy of national environmental approval processes."(Read more about Senator Campbell's controversial decision on ABC News here and on The World Today here.)

References

Yes Yes Not passed by a small majority

9th Feb 2006, 9:40 AM – Senate Motions - Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation - Renewable energy

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Christine Milne.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the announcement by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) that it will redirect its energy research work away from renewable energy towards ‘cleaning up’ coal, a priority of the Australian Government,

(ii) a breakthrough in solar energy technology, developed by the CSIRO and a private company, with a turbine that has the potential to replace coal-fired power stations in 20 years, and

(iii) that the CSIRO has had to look offshore for investment funding to advance its work on the solar turbine technology; and

(b) calls on the Australian Government to re-prioritise its policy and funding objectives to provide more support for renewable energy so that Australian breakthrough research is not forced offshore for further development and commercialisation.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a large majority

How "voted a mixture of for and 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 1 50 50
MP voted against policy 1 0 50
MP absent 2 50 100
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 5 50 50
MP voted against policy 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 19 19 38
Total: 169 298

*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 = 169 / 298 = 57%.

And then