Clive Palmer has taken out the award for worst attendance in the House of Representatives, followed by Andrew Robb and Bob Katter.
Gary Gray, Julie Bishop, Steven Ciobo, Alan Tudge, Louise Markus and Anna Burke also made the top 10 worst attendance list.
The House:Divided project tallied MPs’ absences across the current parliamentary term, from November 12, 2013 to the beginning of this year, a total of 166 sitting days.
Some MPs’ absences may be attributed to their ministerial portfolios.
For example, Robb’s 63 absences are likely to be linked to his role as former Minister for Trade and Investment and Bishop’s 25 absences related to her duties as Minister for Foreign Affairs. Ciobo is also the current Minister for Trade and Investment—although his 22 absences predate his appointment to the position in February this year.
Palmer was absent 66 times—almost 40% of the sitting days analysed—while Katter was absent 34 times, Gray 31 times, Markus and Tudge 21 times each and Burke 20 times.
Members are recorded as attending if they are present at any point during the sitting day.
The overall absentee rate in the lower house (not including approved leave, which was tallied separately) was 4.24%—a figure that would be considered high in most workplaces.
The House:Divided data, which was collected by Bond University journalism students, also compared absences with other factors—like politicians’ age, gender and number of terms in office—to see what kind of politicians were likely to be strong on attendance.
Those who spoke up about local issues were less likely to be absent, people who were younger or had been in office for fewer terms were less likely to be absent and Dorothy Dixer questioners were also less likely to be absent.
Women had 6.65 absences, on average, and men had 7.17.
The highest number of House of Representatives absences, 47 missing politicians, fell on the November 14, 2014, when the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, gave a special address.
Earlier that year when both chambers were supposed to be sitting for the winter budget session there were 37 lower house absences.
There were only three out of 166 days when all members of parliament were in attendance.
All members attended the first parliamentary session after the election on November 12, 2013.
During the winter budget session 2014 the House of Representatives sat with no absences on May 14 and 15.
Fifteen politicians had perfect attendance during the period studied: Kevin Andrews, Bronwyn Bishop, Scott Buchholz, Terri Butler, Jim Chalmers, David Gillespie, Ian Goodenough, Jill Hall, Peter Hendy, Eric Hutchinson, Craig Kelly, Joanne Ryan, Bruce Scott, Brett Whitely and Tony Zappia.