How Dio Wang voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase freedom of political communication in Australia by, for example, protecting people's right to inform others about issues and events in the public interest

Division Dio Wang Supporters vote Division outcome

26th Mar 2015 – Senate Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2015 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority of Senators agreed to pass this bill which requires telecommunications service providers to retain for two years telecommunications metadata on all of their subscribers.

More information is available in the following news articles:

Yes No (strong) Passed by a modest majority

26th Nov 2014, 12:47 PM – Senate Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority supported passing the bill in the Senate (in parliamentary jargon, they voted to give the bill a third reading). The bill will now go to the House of Representatives to see if the members of parliament (MPs) agree with the senators and also want to pass the bill. If they do, the bill will become law.

Background to the bill

This bill is the third that has been introduced since mid-2014. A number of incidents have happened before and during the course of the introduction of these bills.

There was one of the biggest counter-terrorism operations in Australian history. The Prime Minister Tony Abbott also confirmed that Australia would be sending the military to Iraq to fight the Islamic State (IS) (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)).

The scope of this bill is narrower than the earlier two but some of its measures are "significant and warrant close scrutiny" (see bills digest). In particular, the proposed expansion of the control order regime and measures that would allow the heads of Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO) to authorise activities in place of ministers in emergency circumstances.

Yes No (strong) Passed by a modest majority

26th Nov 2014 – Senate Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 - in Committee - Control orders only if support/facilitation already provided

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The majority disagreed with Greens Senator Penny Wright's amendments to the proposed paragraphs that relate to issuing and varying control orders.

The amendments

The three amendments would have replaced sections that allow control orders to be issued or varied in order to prevent a person from providing support for or facilitating a terrorist act. Instead, the amendments would have required that the person has provided support for or otherwise facilitated such acts.

In other words, the bill currently allows for an interim control order to be issued or varied before any support or facilitation has occurred, whereas the amendment would have required that that support or facilitation has already been provided.

Expand control order regime

The expansion of the control order regime that is proposed in this bill is described in the bills digest as "significant and warrant[ing] close scrutiny".

The greatest concern is the lack of clarity relating to what constitutes ‘support’ for or ‘facilitation’ of a terrorist act or engagement in hostile activities in a foreign country, because the two terms are undefined (see bills digest).

Background to the bill

This bill is the third that has been introduced since mid-2014. A number of incidents have happened before and during the course of the introduction of these bills.

There was one of the biggest counter-terrorism operations in Australian history. The Prime Minister Tony Abbott also confirmed that Australia would be sending the military to Iraq to fight the Islamic State (IS) (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)).

The scope of this bill is narrower than the earlier two but, as mentioned above, some of its measures are "significant and warrant close scrutiny" (see bills digest). In particular, the proposed expansion of the control order regime (see above) and measures that would allow the heads of Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO) to authorise activities in place of ministers in emergency circumstances.

No No (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

29th Oct 2014, 11:00 AM – Senate Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014 - in Committee - Limit who the advocating terrorism offence applies to

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The majority don't want to limit who the bill's new advocating terrorism offence applies to.

Labor Senator Jacinta Collins had proposed that the offence shouldn't apply to a person "who engages in good faith in public discussion of any genuine academic, artistic, scientific, political or religious matter".

Advocating terrorism offence

More than 40 legal, human right and community groups oppose the bill's new advocating terrorism offence (see ABC News). The offence is broad. It only requires a person to be reckless about whether another person will engage in a terrorist act, rather than having to intend them to.

Read more about the offence in the bills digest.

Background to the bill

A number of incidents happened before and after this bill's introduction. There was one of the biggest counter-terrorism operations in Australian history. The Prime Minister Tony Abbott also confirmed that Australia would be sending the military to Iraq to fight the Islamic State (IS) (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)).

Two particularly significant incidents were when:

absent Yes Not passed by a small majority

29th Oct 2014 – Senate Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority supported passing the bill in the Senate (in parliamentary jargon, they voted to give the bill a third reading). The bill will now go to the House of Representatives to see if the members of parliament (MPs) agree with the senators and also want to pass the bill. If they do, the bill will become law.

The purpose of the bill is to address the threat posed by Australians fighting in foreign conflicts and then returning home.

Human rights issues

The bill makes many important changes, which the bills digest discusses in some detail. The media has focused on how the bill will "make it easier for the Government to cancel passports and allow authorities to declare some conflicts as "no go" zones for Australian travellers" (see ABC News). These changes limit certain rights and freedoms (see ABC News).

The Government's Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights agreed that the bill will limit a broad range of human rights and freedoms but says that these limits are reasonable, necessary and proportionate.

Background to the bill

A number of incidents happened before and after this bill's introduction. There was one of the biggest counter-terrorism operations in Australian history. The Prime Minister Tony Abbott also confirmed that Australia would be sending the military to Iraq to fight the Islamic State (IS) (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)).

Two particularly significant incidents were when:

Yes No Passed by a modest majority

28th Oct 2014, 9:32 PM – Senate Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014 - In Committee - Add extra defences to unauthorise disclosure offence

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The majority were against including two more defences to the unauthorised disclosure offence. The two defences would have been that the disclosures were:

  1. made reasonably and in good faith, and in the public interest
  2. concerned corruption or misconduct in relation to the issuing or execution of a delayed notification search warrant (DNSW)

Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm had proposed to include these two exceptions.

Offence for unauthorised disclosure

A person commits the offence for unauthorised disclosure if they disclose information that relates to a delayed notification search warrant (DNSW) (maximum sentence is two years jail). The DNSW scheme will let the Australian Federal Police (AFP) do searches without letting the owner or occupier know until later.

Background to the bill

A number of incidents happened before and after this bill's introduction. There was one of the biggest counter-terrorism operations in Australian history. The Prime Minister Tony Abbott also confirmed that Australia would be sending the military to Iraq to fight the Islamic State (IS) (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)).

Two particularly significant incidents were when:

Read the bills digest for more information about the bill.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

28th Oct 2014, 7:59 PM – Senate Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014 — Second Reading - Agree with the bill's main idea

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The majority agreed with the bill's main idea (in parliamentary jargon, they voted in favour of giving the bill a second reading). This means that the senators can now discuss the bill in more detail.

The bill's main idea is to address the threat posed by Australians fighting in foreign conflicts and then returning home.

Human rights issues

The bill makes many important changes, which the bills digest discusses in some detail. The media has focused on how the bill will "make it easier for the Government to cancel passports and allow authorities to declare some conflicts as "no go" zones for Australian travellers" (see ABC News). These changes limit certain rights and freedoms (see ABC News).

The Government's Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights agreed that the bill will limit a broad range of human rights and freedoms but says that these limits are reasonable, necessary and proportionate.

Background to the bill

A number of incidents happened before and after this bill's introduction. There was one of the biggest counter-terrorism operations in Australian history. The Prime Minister Tony Abbott also confirmed that Australia would be sending the military to Iraq to fight the Islamic State (IS) (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)).

Two particularly significant incidents were when:

Yes No Passed by a modest majority

25th Sep 2014, 9:31 PM – Senate National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority supported passing the bill in the Senate (in parliamentary jargon, they voted to give the bill a third reading). The bill will now go to the House of Representatives to see if the members of parliament (MPs) agree with the senators and also want to pass the bill. If they do, the bill will become law.

Human rights issues

The bill makes many important changes, which the bills digest discusses in some detail. In particular, it extends the powers of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS)

The bill also creates new offences that apply to any person who discloses information that relates to a special intelligence operation (SIO), with a maximum penalty of ten years in jail. Two concerns with these offences are that:

  • they don't have exceptions for public interest disclosures or whistleblowing by ASIO employees, and
  • they apply to any person, including journalists.

Background to the bill

After the major counter-terrorism raids in Sydney and Brisbane, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that the balance between freedom and security had to shift (see ABC News). This bill is part of that change.

The bill also seems to be a response to American Edward Snowden leaking classified American intelligence information last year.

Read the bills digest for more information about the bill.

Yes No (strong) Passed by a modest majority

25th Sep 2014 – Senate National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 - in Committee - Remove secrecy provisions

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The majority supported the bill's secrecy provisions, which means they disagreed with Greens Senator Scott Ludlam's amendments that they should be opposed.

These secrecy provisions include deleting subsection 35P(1) from the bill, which would make it an offence punishable by five years' imprisonment for a person to disclose information that relates to a special intelligence operation (SIO) (see Senator Ludlam's explanation of these amendments).

Human rights issues

The bill makes many important changes, which the bills digest discusses in some detail. In particular, it extends the powers of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS)

The bill also creates new offences that apply to any person who discloses information that relates to a special intelligence operation (SIO), with a maximum penalty of ten years in jail. Two concerns with these offences are that:

  • they don't have exceptions for public interest disclosures or whistleblowing by ASIO employees, and
  • they apply to any person, including journalists.

Background to the bill

After the major counter-terrorism raids in Sydney and Brisbane, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that the balance between freedom and security had to shift (see ABC News). This bill is part of that change.

The bill also seems to be a response to American Edward Snowden leaking classified American intelligence information last year.

Read the bills digest for more information about the bill.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted moderately 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 5 0 250
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 2 0 20
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 1 1 2
Total: 51 322

*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 = 51 / 322 = 16%.

And then