As an independent member of a minor party, I had the freedom and the responsibility to vote on legislation based on the evidence and my consultation with our community.
My Centre Alliance Senate colleagues and I take the view that new legislation should only be supported if it is "sound public policy". We worked diligently to consult widely, to do our research and to put forward amendments for the Government to consider.
For me, consultation means listening to our community and taking into account the impact of legislation on our community.
In my time as the Member for Mayo, my voting record across all divisions in the House of Representatives, including procedural matters (including, for example, 'gag motions') was:
- 49% with the Government
- 41% with the Opposition
- 2% against them both
- 8% abstain.
But when it comes to actual votes on legislation, a total of 219 Bills had passed Parliament during my term as the Member for Mayo, up to the time of my resignation.
There were 35 substantive votes on contentious Bills. Of those 35 votes, I voted with the Government 16 times, and I voted against the Government 13 times. I abstained on 6 occasions.
Of the 13 times that I voted against the Government, on four occasions the Bill was amended in the Senate and I supported the final version of the Bill when it returned to the House of Representatives.
When casting a vote on any piece of legislation, I not only consult widely with policy experts, but with the Mayo community. Where I have cast substantive votes against the most recent version of a Government's Bill, it has been in direct response to the community concerns about this legislation.
As your local and independent voice in Parliament, you can count on me to represent your interests on the national stage.