The majority voted against a motion introduced by Labor MP Warren Snowdon, which means that it was unsuccessful.

Mr Snowdon explained that his motion related to intertidal claims and would ensure procedural fairness for people affected by certain Senate amendments.(Read Mr Snowdon's full explanation of his motion and the related debate here. Read more about the Senate amendments related to intertidal claims on ABC News. )

The motion was put while the House of Representatives considered a series of amendments proposed by the Senate. If the House agrees with the Senate's amendments then the bill can be passed and become law.

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to amend the _ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005_ and the _ Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976_ to:(Read more about the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 here. )

  • increase access to Aboriginal land for development, especially exploration and mining;
  • facilitate the leasing of Aboriginal land and the mortgaging of leases;
  • provide for a tenure system for townships on Aboriginal land that will allow individuals to have property rights;
  • devolve decision-making powers to regional Aboriginal communities;
  • clarify provisions for the establishment of new Land Councils;
  • increase accountability of Land Councils and incorporated bodies which receive payments for the use of Aboriginal land and provide for funding on the basis of workloads; and
  • dispose of land claims which cannot be heard or finalised or which are clearly inappropriate to grant.(Read more about the bill here. More information is available in the bills digest.)

According to the bill's explanatory memorandum, this bill implements reforms drawn from three reviews of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 conducted over the last nine years.


Votes Not passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Labor Party (92% turnout) 54 Yes 0 No
Dick Adams Lyons Yes
Anthony Albanese Grayndler Yes
Kim Beazley Brand Yes
Arch Bevis Brisbane Yes
Sharon Bird Cunningham Yes
Chris Bowen Prospect Yes
Tony Burke Watson Yes
Ann Corcoran Isaacs Yes
Simon Crean Hotham Yes
Michael Danby Melbourne Ports Yes
Graham Edwards Cowan Yes
Justine Elliot Richmond Yes
Annette Ellis Canberra Yes
Kate Ellis Adelaide Yes
Craig Emerson Rankin Yes
Laurie Ferguson Reid Yes
Martin Ferguson Batman Yes
Joel Fitzgibbon Hunter Yes
Peter Garrett Kingsford Smith Yes
Steve Georganas Hindmarsh Yes
Jennie George Throsby Yes
Steve Gibbons Bendigo Yes
Julia Gillard Lalor Yes
Sharon Grierson Newcastle Yes
Alan Griffin Bruce Yes
Jill Hall Shortland Yes
Michael Hatton Blaxland Yes
Chris Hayes Werriwa Yes
Kelly Hoare Charlton Yes
Julia Irwin Fowler Yes
Harry Jenkins Scullin Yes
Duncan Kerr Denison Yes
Catherine King Ballarat Yes
Carmen Lawrence Fremantle Yes
Kirsten Livermore Capricornia Yes
Jenny Macklin Jagajaga Yes
Bob McMullan Fraser Yes
Daryl Melham Banks Yes
John Murphy Lowe Yes
Gavan O'Connor Corio Yes
Julie Owens Parramatta Yes
Tanya Plibersek Sydney Yes
Roger Price Chifley Yes
Bernie Ripoll Oxley Yes
Nicola Roxon Gellibrand Yes
Kevin Rudd Griffith Yes
Rod Sawford Port Adelaide Yes
Bob Sercombe Maribyrnong Yes
Warren Snowdon Lingiari Yes
Wayne Swan Lilley Yes
Lindsay Tanner Melbourne Yes
Kelvin Thomson Wills Yes
Maria Vamvakinou Calwell Yes
Kim Wilkie Swan Yes
Anna Burke Chisholm Absent
Anthony Byrne Holt Absent
Robert McClelland Barton Absent
Brendan O'Connor Gorton Absent
Stephen Smith Perth Absent
Dave Tollner Solomon Country Liberal Party No
Ian Causley Page Deputy Speaker No
Peter Andren Calare Independent Yes
Harry Quick Franklin Independent Yes
Tony Windsor New England Independent No
Bob Katter Kennedy Independent Absent
Liberal Party (90% turnout) 0 Yes 66 No
Tony Abbott Warringah No
Kevin Andrews Menzies No
Fran Bailey McEwen No
Bruce Baird Cook No
Mark Baker Braddon No
Bob Baldwin Paterson No
Phillip Barresi Deakin No
Kerry Bartlett Macquarie No
Bruce Billson Dunkley No
Bronwyn Bishop Mackellar No
Julie Bishop Curtin No
Russell Broadbent McMillan No
Mal Brough Longman No
Alan Cadman Mitchell No
Peter Costello Higgins No
Alexander Downer Mayo No
Kay Elson Forde No
Warren Entsch Leichhardt No
Pat Farmer Macarthur No
David Fawcett Wakefield No
Michael Ferguson Bass No
Teresa Gambaro Petrie No
Joanna Gash Gilmore No
Petro Georgiou Kooyong No
Barry Haase Kalgoorlie No
Gary Hardgrave Moreton No
Stuart Henry Hasluck No
Joe Hockey North Sydney No
Greg Hunt Flinders No
Dennis Jensen Tangney No
Michael Johnson Ryan No
David Jull Fadden No
Michael Keenan Stirling No
Jackie Kelly Lindsay No
Andrew Laming Bowman No
Sussan Ley Farrer No
Peter Lindsay Herbert No
Jim Lloyd Robertson No
Ian Macfarlane Groom No
Louise Markus Greenway No
Margaret May McPherson No
Stewart McArthur Corangamite No
Sophie Mirabella Indi No
Judi Moylan Pearce No
Gary Nairn Eden-Monaro No
Chris Pearce Aston No
Geoff Prosser Forrest No
Christopher Pyne Sturt No
Don Randall Canning No
Kym Richardson Kingston No
Andrew Robb Goldstein No
Philip Ruddock Berowra No
Alby Schultz Hume No
Patrick Secker Barker No
Peter Slipper Fisher No
Tony Smith Casey No
Alex Somlyay Fairfax No
Andrew Southcott Boothby No
Sharman Stone Murray No
Cameron Thompson Blair No
Ken Ticehurst Dobell No
Wilson Tuckey O'Connor No
Malcolm Turnbull Wentworth No
Ross Vasta Bonner No
Mal Washer Moore No
Jason Wood La Trobe No
Steven Ciobo Moncrieff Absent
Trish Draper Makin Absent
Peter Dutton Dickson Absent
John Howard Bennelong Absent
Brendan Nelson Bradfield Absent
Danna Vale Hughes Absent
Barry Wakelin Grey Absent
National Party (91% turnout) 0 Yes 10 No
John Anderson Gwydir No
John Forrest Mallee No
Luke Hartsuyker Cowper No
Kay Hull Riverina No
De-Anne Kelly Dawson No
Peter McGauran Gippsland No
Paul Neville Hinkler No
Bruce Scott Maranoa No
Warren Truss Wide Bay No
Mark Vaile Lyne No
John Cobb Parkes Absent
David Hawker Wannon Speaker Absent
Totals (90% turnout) 56 Yes – 79 No