How Chris Ellison voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should introduce legislation that increases the protection of Australia's fresh water resources, including its river and groundwater systems

Division Chris Ellison Supporters vote Division outcome

26th Mar 2007, 3:49 PM – Senate Motions - Murray-Darling Basin - Purchase water licences

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert. This means that the motion was rejected.

The motion was:

That the Senate:

(a) notes:

(i) the listing of the Murray-Darling Basin in the WWF study ‘World’s top 10 rivers at risk’,(The WWF study is available for download here. )

(ii) that threats such as invasive species, over-allocation and climate change are the reasons the river system has been listed as ‘at risk’, and

(iii) the report’s recommendations that returning significantly greater environmental flows to the river will have major benefits in reducing the prevalence of some invasive species and improving river health; and

(b) calls on the Government to begin purchasing water licences without further delay in order to return environmental flows to the Murray-Darling river system.(Read more about water security in Australia on Wikipedia.)

References

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

26th Mar 2007, 3:45 PM – Senate Motions - World Day for Water - South Australian wetlands

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert. This means that the motion was rejected.

The motion was:

That the Senate:

(a) notes:

(i) that Thursday, 22 March 2007, has been designated World Day for Water 2007, and that this year’s theme is ‘Coping with Water Scarcity’,(The official website for World Water Day 2007 is here. )

(ii) that the South Australian Government has indicated that it will cut water flows to nine key lakes, wetlands and lagoons if its water allocation falls below 50 per cent or weir levels cannot be sustained, and

(iii) the comments by Murray-Darling Basin Commission Chief Executive Wendy Craik, that climate change will have significant long-term impacts on inflows into the Murray-Darling river system; and(The Murray-Darling Basin Commission preceded the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. Read more about the Commission here.)

(b) calls on the Government to ensure that:

(i) water allocations are acquired such that supplies to wetlands in South Australia, including Lake Bonney, Gurra Gurra Lakes, Horseshoe Lagoon, Ross Lagoon and Murbko South Wetland are maintained, and

(ii) water management plans in the Murray-Darling Basin are consistent with sustainable extraction levels and can take into account projections of reduced inflows into the basin due to climate change.

References

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

8th Feb 2007, 10:42 AM – Senate Motions - Water - Macquarie River

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

The motion was:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that:

(i) the internationally significant Ramsar-listed wetlands, the Macquarie Marshes in New South Wales are dying because of a lack of water,

(ii) water for cotton irrigation upstream on the Macquarie River has been over-allocated and has starved the Macquarie Marshes of water, specifically the periodic flooding necessary for the marsh flora and fauna to survive, and

(iii) if there is not a substantial flood in the Macquarie Marshes in the near future, a substantial area of the marsh will be permanently damaged; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) prioritise, for immediate buy-back, the over-allocation of water licences on the Macquarie River, and

(ii) ensure that a substantial and immediate environmental flow to save the marshes is allocated as soon as the drought breaks and water is available.

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

7th Dec 2006, 10:03 AM – Senate Motions - Wetlands and Floodplains - Murray Darling

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

The motion was:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that:

(i) important wetlands and floodplain areas in the Murray-Darling Basin face the threat of irretrievable ecological damage as a result of river diversions and unauthorised interception banks (in areas including, but not limited to, the Condamine, Ballonne and the southern Macquarie Marshes),

(ii) unregulated and unmetered off-stream water storage, such as Cubbie Station, places an unsustainable burden on our shared water resources and undermines efforts to manage limited resources in an equitable and sustainable fashion, and

(iii) while the drought has exacerbated this situation, even a cyclical improvement in drought conditions will not improve these threatened ecosystems while these diversions remain in place; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) work with the New South Wales and Queensland Governments to legislate and regulate to ensure uninterrupted environmental flows, and

(ii) look at options of buying out unsustainable operations such as Cubbie Station.

No Yes Not passed by a large 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 4 0 40
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 0 40

*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 / 40 = 0.0%.

And then