How Ben Small voted compared to someone who believes that there should be more scrutiny or oversight of the actions and powers of Australian intelligence and law enforcement agencies, including the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP)

Division Ben Small Supporters vote Division outcome

10th Dec 2020, 1:09 PM – Senate Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Amendment Bill 2020 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority voted in favour of passing the bill in the Senate. Because the bill has already passed in the House of Representatives, it can now become law.

What does this bill do?

According to the bills digest:

The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Act to replace the existing framework for questioning warrants and questioning and detention warrants with a revised questioning warrant framework, make related changes to the Act and other legislation, and amend provisions in the Act relating to the use of surveillance devices.

Changes include:

  • expanding the purposes of questioning from terrorism offences to politically motivated violence, espionage and foreign interference
  • lowering the minimum age for the subject of a warrant from 16 to 14 years of age
  • having the Attorney-General issue warrants directly in place of an issuing authority
  • allowing for requests for warrants to be made, and warrants to be issued, orally in some circumstances
  • creating a new framework to allow the use of certain tracking devices by ASIO with internal authorisation from higher level officers (currently the use of such devices requires a warrant)
Yes No Passed by a modest majority

10th Dec 2020, 1:04 PM – Senate Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Amendment Bill 2020 - in Committee - Oversight

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The majority voted against amendments introduced by SA Senator Rex Patrick (Independent), which means they failed.

What did these amendment do?

According to Senator Patrick, the amendments:

propose that the parliament expand the mandate of the PJCIS to include review of intelligence agency operations and not be limited to scrutiny of just administrative and financial matters.

What does this bill do?

According to the bills digest:

The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Act to replace the existing framework for questioning warrants and questioning and detention warrants with a revised questioning warrant framework, make related changes to the Act and other legislation, and amend provisions in the Act relating to the use of surveillance devices.

Changes include:

  • expanding the purposes of questioning from terrorism offences to politically motivated violence, espionage and foreign interference
  • lowering the minimum age for the subject of a warrant from 16 to 14 years of age
  • having the Attorney-General issue warrants directly in place of an issuing authority
  • allowing for requests for warrants to be made, and warrants to be issued, orally in some circumstances
  • creating a new framework to allow the use of certain tracking devices by ASIO with internal authorisation from higher level officers (currently the use of such devices requires a warrant)
No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

10th Dec 2020, 12:48 PM – Senate Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Amendment Bill 2020 - Second Reading - Agree with bill's 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 voted to agree with the main idea of the bill. The Senate can now consider the bill in more detail.

What does this bill do?

According to the bills digest:

The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Act to replace the existing framework for questioning warrants and questioning and detention warrants with a revised questioning warrant framework, make related changes to the Act and other legislation, and amend provisions in the Act relating to the use of surveillance devices.

Changes include:

  • expanding the purposes of questioning from terrorism offences to politically motivated violence, espionage and foreign interference
  • lowering the minimum age for the subject of a warrant from 16 to 14 years of age
  • having the Attorney-General issue warrants directly in place of an issuing authority
  • allowing for requests for warrants to be made, and warrants to be issued, orally in some circumstances
  • creating a new framework to allow the use of certain tracking devices by ASIO with internal authorisation from higher level officers (currently the use of such devices requires a warrant)
Yes No Passed by a modest majority

How "voted very strongly against" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 3 0 30
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 0 30

*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 = 0 / 30 = 0.0%.

And then