How Michaelia Cash 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 Michaelia Cash Supporters vote Division outcome

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.

absent 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.

absent 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.

absent 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.

absent 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.

absent 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.

absent No Not passed by a modest majority

4th Dec 2018, 6:19 PM – Senate Matters of Urgency - Climate Change - Coal exports

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Larissa Waters (Queensland, Australian Greens) moved a motion:

That, in the opinion of the Senate, the following is a matter of urgency:

Australia's coal exports are one of the most significant contributors to climate change globally.

This was one of ten proposed motions received by the senate before 8:30 am and was selected by lot in accordance of standing order 75.

absent No Not passed by a modest majority

4th Dec 2018, 4:42 PM – Senate Motions - Mining - Support Adani

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The same number of senators voted Yes and No to this motion, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) recognises:

(i) the Liberal-National Coalition Government's enduring support for investment in Central and North Queensland,

(ii) the Liberal-National Coalition Government's unmatched support for the creation of jobs and new opportunities in Central and North Queensland,

(iii) the Liberal-National Coalition Government's support for Adani's Carmichael Mine project, and

(iv) that in the previous financial year, the resources sector contributed $62 billion to Queensland's economy and was responsible for more than 54,000 full-time jobs;

(b) further recognises that the Adani Carmichael Mine project is overwhelmingly supported by the Wangan and Jagalingou people, the Traditional Owners;

(c) notes that it was announced on 29 November 2018 that Adani's Carmichael Mine project would proceed; and

(d) welcomes the jobs and prosperity that this project will bring to the people of Central and North Queensland.

absent Yes Not passed

28th Nov 2018, 3:55 PM – Senate Motions - Coalmines in the Galilee Basin - Refuse

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters (Qld), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that MacMines Austasia 20,000-hectare China Stone thermal coal project in the Galilee Basin is one step closer to approval,

(ii) that this mine is expected to export 38 million tonnes of coal annually,

(iii) that this single Galilee Basin project is estimated to produce 128.4 metric tonnes of CO2 per year, which is equivalent to 23% of Australia's total domestic emissions in 2017, or about ten years' worth of Australia's domestic emissions over the lifetime of the mine,

(iv) that, this week, large parts of north and far north Queensland are in a severe heatwave with indication that the heatwave will spread west to the Northern Territory border,

(v) that temperature records for many Queensland towns have been broken,

(vi) that about 1500 people have been displaced, up to 600 evacuated and at least four houses lost, as unprecedented bushfires continue to burn in the Deepwater National Park region, south of Gladstone,

(vii) the emotional trauma and financial hardship that these sorts of extreme weather events can inflict on our communities,

(viii) that the work of emergency services and volunteers is to be commended,

(ix) that the Galilee Basin has 9 mega coal mines proposed, including the Adani Carmichael mine, China Stone mine, Alpha Coal Project, Kevin's Corner Project, Degulla Coal, Alpha West, Alpha North, Galilee (China First) Coal Project and South Galilee Coal Mine,

(x) that there is undeniable evidence that CO2 emissions are driving dangerous global warming which is causing extreme weather conditions unlike any we have ever seen before, and

(xi) that unless we take urgent action to stop global warming, bushfires, flooding, drought, heat waves will become more frequent and increasingly severe; and

(b) calls on the Minister for the Environment to:

(i) urgently take proactive measures against global warming,

(ii) refuse federal environmental approval for MacMines' China Stone thermal coal mine, and

(iii) not approve any coal mines in the Galilee Basin.

No No Not passed by a modest majority

27th Nov 2018, 4:51 PM – Senate Motions - Mining - Water environmental assessment

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters (Qld), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) 58% of Queensland is drought declared,

(ii) the Adani Carmichael mine has applied to extract 12.5 billion litres of water from the Suttor River every year, nearly as much as all other local users combined,

(iii) the China Stone coal mine, which is now one step closer to approval, is expected to extract another 12.5 billion litres of water, from the very same river system,

(iv) the Queensland Government has granted the Adani Carmichael mine an unlimited groundwater extraction licence for 60 years,

(v) it is expected that the China Stone mine will draw a similar volume of groundwater as the Adani Carmichael mine,

(vi) polling conducted by ReachTel shows voters are concerned about water extraction by Adani, and 70% agreed the groundwater extraction licence should be revoked to safeguard water for farmers, and

(vii) the Queensland Coordinator General has asked for MacMines' China Stone mine to provide extra revised groundwater impact assessment, as well as an associated water licence before the mine could be approved; and

(b) calls on the Minister for the Environment to require MacMines Austasia to conduct a cumulative water environmental assessment for coal mines in the Galilee Basin before any decision is made whether to approve the China Stone coal mine project.

absent No Not passed by a modest majority

26th Nov 2018, 5:20 PM – Senate Motions - Coal-Fired Power Stations - Good for economy and regional jobs

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by National Party Senator John Williams (NSW) also on behalf of National Party Senator Barry O'Sullivan (Qld), which means it succeeded. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own but are politically influential because they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate notes that—

(a) throughout the world, 2440 coal-fired power stations with a capacity of at least 30 megawatts continue to provide a reliable source of energy;

(b) a further 270 coal-fired power stations of similar capacity are under construction;

(c) in its latest World Energy Outlook, the International Energy Agency (the Agency) estimates the growth in demand for coal in the Asia Pacific will increase by 492 million tonnes of coal equivalent by 2040;

(d) the Agency has forecast Australia's net exports of coal would grow by around 20% to around 430 million tonnes of coal equivalent by 2040;

(e) the Agency notes that, in Australia, in order to expand export volumes in the future, new basins and new transport infrastructure would need to be developed, including railway connections between new mines in the Galilee Basin in Queensland, such as Adani's Carmichael mine, and export ports; and

(f) the production and export of Australian high quality coal is good for jobs in regional Australia and the broader economy.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

27th Jun 2018, 4:20 PM – Senate Motions - Energy - More coal-fired power stations

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Senator Pauline Hanson (Qld), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate calls on the government to facilitate the building of new coal-fired power stations and the retrofitting of existing base load power stations.

absent Yes Not passed by a small majority

13th Sep 2017, 5:38 PM – Senate Motions - Energy - Transition for coal workforce required

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Richard Di Natale.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) considers coal-fired power stations in Australia will need to close in order to deal with climate change; and

(b) notes that the Government must have a plan for a managed transition of the workforce and to a clean energy future.

No No Not passed by a large majority

11th Sep 2017 – Senate Motions - Energy - Liddell power station

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Richard Di Natale, which means the motion failed.

Motion text

That the Senate supports the closure of the Liddell power station in 2022, as currently planned, and calls on the Government to:

(a) abandon any attempts to extend the life of this aging coal-fired power station;

(b) address any issues of security of supply through means identified by the Australian Energy Market Operator, such as dispatchable renewables, storage and demand management; and

(c) develop a plan for the orderly retirement of coal-fired power stations in Australia.

No No Not passed by a large majority

16th Aug 2017, 12:16 PM – Senate Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Amendment Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Stop Adani mine

Show detail

The majority voted against adding certain words to the motion that the agree with the main idea of the bill (known as a second reading motion), which means the following words will not be added:

At the end of the motion, add:

", but the Senate notes that global warming is the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef and calls on the government to immediately take all available steps to stop the Adani Carmichael coal mine."

No No Not passed by a modest majority

22nd Mar 2017, 5:05 PM – Senate Motions - Energy - Transition plan for coal workers

Show detail

The majority voted in favour of a motion to introduce a transition plan for coal workers, which was introduced by Greens Party Leader Senator Richard Di Natale. These motions have no legal force, but represent the will of the Senate.

Motions

That the Senate—

(a) notes that the Government has had no choice but to walk away from funding coal-fired power stations as they now look to invest in storage technologies to support the unstoppable potential of clean energy;

(b) acknowledges that thermal coal is in structural decline and has no long-term future in Australia; and

(c) urges the Government to implement a just transition plan for the benefit of coal workers, before it is too late.

No No Passed by a small majority

1st Dec 2016, 4:30 PM – Senate Motions - Coal Industry - For technology neutral policies

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by National Party Senator John Williams, which means it was unsuccessful.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) supports the 53 000 workers directly employed by the coal industry;

(b) recognises that the forced closure of coal–fired power stations would increase the living expenses of Australian families through increased electricity prices;

(c) acknowledges that the forced closure of coal–fired power stations would jeopardise Australia's energy security and put thousands of jobs at risk in our manufacturing sector which relies on access to cheap and affordable power;

(d) acknowledges that coal is an affordable, abundant and increasingly clean domestic energy resource that is vital to providing reliable low-cost electricity, and that it will continue to be integral to Australia; and

(e) supports technology neutral policies that deliver emission reduction targets.

Yes Yes Not passed by a small 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 No Not passed by a modest majority

10th Nov 2015, 3:55 PM – Senate Business - Coalmining - Oppose Shenhua Watermark coal mine

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon.

The motion opposed the government approvals of the Shenhua Watermark coal mine in the Liverpool Plains.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Shenhua Australia Holdings is seeking to develop a 35 square kilometre coal mine on the Liverpool Plains in north west New South Wales,

(ii) the Liverpool Plains is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the nation, with productivity 40 per cent above the national average,

(iii) the proposed mine threatens the most significant underground water resources in the Murray -Darling Basin, and farmers are dependent on access to these water resources for their survival,

(iv) if the mine proceeds it would:

(A) comprise three open-cut pits, plus associated infrastructure, to mine up to 10 million tonnes of coal per year for 30 years and rail infrastructure to take the coal to the Port of Newcastle for export, and

(B) destroy significant areas of local Indigenous heritage, including grinding grooves that were used by Gomeroi warriors to sharpen spears,

(v) the proposal to relocate Indigenous artefacts does not acknowledge connections to land and country,

(vi) as the price of coal is in structural decline it is irresponsible to risk valuable farming land for a coal mine when renewable energy is commercially viable, and

(vii) more than 750 people attended the Harvest Festival to support the call for no mining on the Liverpool Plains; and

(b) calls on:

(i) the Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull, to reverse the Federal Government's approval of the Shenhua Watermark coal mine; and

(ii) the New South Wales Government not to grant a mining licence for the Shenhua Watermark coal mine.

No No 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 No Not passed by a modest majority

25th Mar 2015, 5:25 PM – Senate Business - Great Barrier Reef - Galilee Basin

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Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the recent report of the Australian Coral Reef Society which stated that policies for a safe climate are inconsistent with the opening of new fossil fuel industries like the mega coal mines of the Galilee Basin, and

(ii) the comments of Professor Terry Hughes on ABC Radio that it is an impossible task to open up the mega coal mines of the Galilee Basin while sustaining the Great Barrier Reef for future generations; and

(b) agrees that Galilee Basin coal must stay in the ground in order to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

No No Not passed by a modest majority

3rd Mar 2015 – Senate Motions — Liverpool Plains

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Greens Senator for Queensland Larissa Waters moved that the Senate:

(a) notes that:

  • (i) the Liverpool Plains is one of the most important agricultural regions in Australia with rare and highly productive black soils, excellent water resources and a favourable local climate,

  • (ii) farming has occurred on the Liverpool Plains for generations and the agricultural productivity of the area is up to 40 per cent above the national average for all farming regions of Australia,

  • (iii) highly productive agricultural land, like that of the Liverpool Plains, is a finite resource,

  • (iv) the New South Wales Planning Assessment Commission has recently approved the development of Chinese state-owned company Shenhua's Watermark open-cut coal mine on the Liverpool Plains, which will extract 268 million tonnes of coal over 30 years, 3 kilometres from the town of Breeza,

  • (v) farmers in the region are angry and extremely concerned that if this coal mine goes ahead their soils and the highly interconnected groundwater aquifers they rely on will be irreversibly damaged,

  • (vi) the Northern Daily Leader reported on 4 July 2014 That the Minister for Agriculture (Mr Joyce) said, 'I think the idea of a coalmine on the Breeza Plains is an absurdity' and 'I think it's most likely that it's going to have a deleterious effect on the aquifers', and

  • (vii) the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported on 9 September 2014 that the Minister for Agriculture said of the Liverpool Plains, 'I've always said from the start that I don't believe that it is the appropriate place for a coal mine'; and

(b) believes That the Liverpool Plains should be permanently off limits to coal mining and coal seam gas extraction.

absent No Not passed by a modest majority

24th Nov 2014, 5:13 PM – Senate Motions - Mining - Galilee Basin

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Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Queensland Premier, Mr Campbell Newman, has announced that he will use public money from the sale, or long term lease, of public assets to build a coal railway for mining magnates,

(ii) Premier Newman has already announced that public money will be used to pay for dredging in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and dumping on the nationally significant Caley Valley wetlands near Abbot Point, and

(iii) Queensland's existing industries, our safety, our environment, including the Great Barrier Reef, and our very way of life are at risk from climate change which is driven by burning fossil fuels; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to rule out allowing federal public funds to be used to pay for coal mines, railways or coal ports associated with the Galilee Basin.

No No Not 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).

Yes Yes Passed by a modest majority

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

Show detail

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 No Not passed by a modest majority

10th Sep 2009, 9:41 AM – Senate Motions - Coal Exploration and Mining in the Galilee Basin - Concerns

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by Tasmanian Greens Senator Bob Brown, which means the motion was unsuccessful.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) supports the protection of farming and conservation areas from coal exploration and mining and its effects in the Galilee Basin in Queensland;

(b) declares that it does not support the massive increase in coal exports flowing from the Galilee Basin through Abbot Point and Hay Point because of the climate change ramifications of burning more coal; and

(c) expresses concern about the potential impact of the industrialisation of Abbot Point on the Caley Valley wetlands and the endangered and vulnerable bird species that depend on that area.

absent No Not passed by a large majority

How "voted moderately 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 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 1 25 50
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 14 140 140
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 14 14 28
Total: 179 218

*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 = 179 / 218 = 82%.

And then