How Matt O'Sullivan voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should maintain or increase its investment in and support for the Australian coal industry

Division Matt O'Sullivan Supporters vote Division outcome

11th Feb 2020, 4:07 PM – Senate Motions - Energy - Coal-fired power project

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The same number of senators voted for and against a motion introduced by Queensland Senator Pauline Hanson (One Nation), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that building new high-efficiency low-emission coal fired power stations will create jobs, lower power prices, increase competition and increase reliability in the energy system; and

(b) supports projects, like the Collinsville clean coal-fired power project, which will provide stable reliable baseload power and help lower power prices.

Yes Yes Not passed

2nd Dec 2019, 4:17 PM – Senate Motions - Mining - Withdraw support for Adani

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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) in August 2019, the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) released a briefing note concluding that the Adani Group would receive over $4.4 billion in public subsidies from the Australian and Queensland Governments over the 30-year project life of the Carmichael thermal coal mine, including:

(A) a royalties holiday deal with the Queensland government, the details of which are due to be announced by 30 November 2019,

(B) fuel tax credits, which IEEFA estimates equate to $2.4 billion over the 30-year life of the project,

(C) billions of litres of water, and

(D) various corporate tax breaks, and

(ii) the IEEFA conclude that the Adani Carmichael thermal coal mine project would not open nor survive without billions of dollars in subsidies; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) recognise that the Adani Carmichael mine would not be viable without significant taxpayer support, and

(ii) withdraw its subsidised support of the project.

No No Not passed by a modest majority

11th Nov 2019, 4:05 PM – Senate Motions - Wallarah 2 Coal Project - Cancel approval

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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) the Wallarah 2 Coal Project is a proposed longwall underground mining operation northwest of central Wyong on the New South Wales Central Coast,

(ii) the proposed mine would produce 4 to 5 million tonnes per annum of thermal coal each year for 28 years, leading to more than 264 million tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere, and

(iii) the Wallarah 2 Coal Project poses a serious risk to the Central Coast's drinking water supply; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to protect the water of Central Coast communities, and cancel all environmental approvals granted under Federal law.

No No 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.

No No Not passed by a large majority

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.

No No (strong) 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.

No No Not passed by a modest majority

11th Sep 2019, 4:35 PM – Senate Motions - Climate Change - Thermal coal

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The same number of senators voted for and against a motion introduced by Victorian Senator Richard Di Natale (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate acknowledges that the burning of thermal coal is the single biggest contributor to climate change.

No No Not passed

9th Sep 2019, 5:07 PM – Senate Motions - Energy - Clean energy industry

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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) the Clean Energy Regulator's The Renewable Energy Target 2018 Administrative ReportThe acceleration in renewables investment, highlights the record investment in large scale, commercial and industrial and household renewables over the last year,

(ii) the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that jobs in renewable energy in Queensland grew by 1,550 in 2017-2018, an increase of 44 percent on the previous year,

(iii) the Green Energy Markets 2019 update report, states that 2,012 full time equivalent Queenslanders were employed in the installation and sale of rooftop solar PV in June 2019,

(iv) the recently announced shortlist for the Queensland Government's Renewables 400 tender includes ten renewable energy generation and storage developments projected to collectively deliver 3,000 jobs in central and far north Queensland, including 350 direct jobs created by the Clarke Creek Wind and Solar Farm, west of Rockhampton, and

(v) the Adani Carmichael mine, if it proceeds, is expected to create between 800 and 1,500 jobs in the construction phase, with 100 ongoing jobs; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) deliver real jobs that last, by backing the job-creating, climate-fixing clean energy industry, and

(ii) fund industry development, training and other support to ensure that regional workers and communities, including coal workers, have secure long-term futures.

No No Not passed by a small majority

31st Jul 2019, 4:08 PM – Senate Motions - Banking and Financial Services - Transition to low carbon economy

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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) the ability to secure finance and insurance is a crucial step in the development of large-scale resources projects, providing protection for developers, government and the community,

(ii) Suncorp last week announced that it would no longer invest in, finance or insure new thermal coal mines and power plants, and will not underwrite any existing thermal coal projects after 2025,

(iii) QBE Insurance announced in March that, from 1 July 2019, it would no longer directly invest in or insure new thermal coal projects and would stop underwriting existing operations from 2030,

(iv) all Australian-based insurance companies have now effectively committed to removing coal from their investment portfolios, and

(v) many major multi-national re-insurance providers, including Allianz, AXA, Swiss Re, Munich Re and Zurich, have also restricted investment in, and underwriting of, thermal coal projects; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) pay attention to the financial signals and recognise that thermal coal projects are increasingly unviable, and

(ii) commit to action to progress a rapid and just transition to clean and renewable energy sources for a low-carbon economy.

No No Not passed by a modest 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.

No No 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 1 50 50
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 9 90 90
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 140 140

*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 = 140 / 140 = 100%.

And then