After the 2nd Reading of the Bill passed by 45 votes to 26, there were 2 sets of amendments put in the Committee stage of the debate – 1 on behalf of Senators Barnett & Humphries, (lost 28 votes to 44) and the other on behalf of Senators Colbeck & Scullion (lost 33 votes to 41).
The concluding 3rd Reading vote was called at 4.45pm. The result was announced at 4.52 pm
In Favour (45 )
Judith Adams, Liberal – WA; Lyn Allison, Democrat – Vic; Andrew Bartlett, Democrat – Qld; Bob Brown, Green – Tas; Carol Brown, Labor – Tas; George Campbell, Labor – NSW; Kim Carr, Labor – Vic; Richard Colbeck, Liberal – Tas; Helen Coonan, Liberal – NSW; Trish Crossin, Labor – NT; Chris Evans, Labor – WA; John Faulkner, Labor – NSW; Jeannie Ferris, Liberal – SA; Mitch Fifield, Liberal – Vic; Robert Hill, Liberal – SA; Annette Hurley, Labor – SA; David Johnston, Liberal – WA; Linda Kirk, Labor – SA; Joe Ludwig, Labor – Qld; Kate Lundy, Labor – ACT; Ian Macdonald, Liberal – Qld; Anne McEwen, Labor – SA; Jan McLucas, Labor – Qld; Gavin Marshall, Labor – Vic; Christine Milne, Green – Tas; Claire Moore, Labor – Qld; Andrew Murray, Democrat – WA; Fiona Nash, National – NSW; Kerry Nettle, Green – NSW; Kerry O’Brien, Labor – Tas; Kay Patterson, Liberal – Vic; Marise Payne, Liberal – NSW; Robert Ray, Labor – Vic; Nigel Scullion, Country Liberal – NT; Nick Sherry, Labor – Tas; Rachel Siewert, Green – WA; Glenn Sterle, Labor – WA; Natasha Stott Despoja, Democrat – SA; Judith Troeth, Liberal – Vic; Russell Trood, Liberal – Qld; Amanda Vanstone, Liberal – SA; John Watson, Liberal – Tas; Ruth Webber, Labor – WA; Penny Wong, Labor – SA; Dana Wortley, Labor – SA
Against (28 )
Eric Abetz, Liberal – Tas ; Guy Barnett, Liberal – Tas; Mark Bishop, Labor – WA; Ron Boswell, National – Qld; George Brandis, Liberal – Qld; Paul Calvert, Liberal – Tas; Grant Chapman, Liberal – SA; Stephen Conroy, Labor – Vic; Alan Eggleston, Liberal – WA; Chris Ellison, Liberal – WA; Alan Ferguson, Liberal – SA; Steve Fielding, Family First – Vic; Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Liberal – NSW; Michael Forshaw, Labor – NSW; Bill Heffernan, Liberal – NSW; John Hogg, Labor – Qld; Gary Humphries, Liberal – ACT; Steve Hutchins, Labor – NSW; Barnaby Joyce, National – Qld; Sandy Macdonald, National – NSW; Brett Mason, Liberal – Qld; Julian McGauran, Liberal – Vic; Nick Minchin, Liberal – SA; Stephen Parry, Liberal – Tas; Helen Polley, Labor – Tas; Michael Ronaldson, Liberal – Vic; Santo Santoro, Liberal – Qld; Ursula Stephens, Labor – NSW;
Did not vote:
Ian Campbell, Liberal – WA; Ross Lightfoot, Liberal – WA, Rod Kemp, Liberal – Vic.
Note: Ian Campbell has stated that he was in favour of the legislation, but didn’t vote to enable an informal ‘pair’ for Rod Kemp, who was against the legislation but couldn’t vote due to being overseas on ministerial business. I have not counted them in any of the voting breakdowns below. (Senator Kemp, our Sports Minister, was engaged in the stressful task of representing the Australian government at the winter Olympics)
Breakdown of vote by Party:
Liberal: 14 in favour, 17 against.
Labor: 21 in favour, 7 against.
National/CLP: 2 in favour, 3 against.
Democrat: 4 in favour, 0 against.
Green 4 in favour, 0 against.
Family First: 1 against.
Breakdown of vote by Gender:
Male: 21 in favour, 25 against.
Female: 24 in favour, 3 against.
Breakdown of vote by State/Territory:
ACT: 1 for, 1 against.
NSW: 6 for, 6 against.
NT: 2 for, 0 against.
Qld: 6 for, 6 against.
SA: 9 for, 3 against.
Tas: 7 for, 5 against.
Vic: 7 for, 4 against.
WA: 7 for, 3 against.
There was a much greater number of people in the public gallery to witness the final vote than is usual for a Thursday afternoon, although not as many as there were for issues like Workplace Relations. The press gallery viewing area also had 15 observers.
The Bill will now go to the House of Representatives. It will probably be debated throughout next week. I expect the government will want to get it voted on and out of the way by the end of the week. Despite the fairly comfortable majority in the Senate, it is unclear how the numbers are looking with the 150 members of the House of Representatives.
It should also be noted that, while the Bill passed by a majority of 17, some of the amendments – which sought to continue to diffferentiate the approval process for RU486 from any other drug by making it subject to a disallowance vote in the Parliament – only failed by 8 votes. It is possible the House of Representatives may agree to an amendment like this, which would mean the amended Bill would have to come back to the Senate again for further consideration.