The majority voted against an amendment moved by Liberal MP Michael Ferguson, which means that it was rejected.

The amendment omits and replaces section 23A of Schedule 1, which at first reading was:

"A person commits an offence if:

(a) the person uses precursor cells taken from a human embryo or a human fetus, intending to create a human embryo, or intentionally develops an embryo so created; and

(b) the person engages in activities mentioned in paragraph (a) without being authorised by a licence, and the person knows or is reckless as to that fact.

Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 10 years."

Mr Ferguson proposed to replace that section to rule out any possibility of using precursor cells from a human embryo or a human fetus to create a human embryo.(Read Mr Ferguson's explanation of his amendment and the related debate here. )

Due to the sensitive subject matter of this bill, the parties have agreed to allow it to be a free vote.(Read more about what a free vote is in our FAQ Section. More information about the decision to have a free vote on this bill is available on ABC News here. )

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to amend the Prohibition of Human Cloning Act 2002 and Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002. The amendments will permit certain human embryo research under licence but retain existing prohibitions on human reproductive cloning and other assisted reproductive technology activities.(Read information about the bill, including its explanatory memorandum and bills digest, here. ) For example, it proposes to allow for therapeutic cloning.(Read more about therapeutic cloning here. )

The amendments are based on recommendations by the Lockhart Review.(Read more about the Lockhart Review and the federal government’s response in the bills digest.)


Votes Not passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Labor Party (81% turnout) 7 Yes 41 No
Anthony Byrne Holt Yes
Craig Emerson Rankin Yes
Chris Hayes Werriwa Yes
John Murphy Lowe Yes
Gavan O'Connor Corio Yes
Roger Price Chifley Yes
Kevin Rudd Griffith Yes
Dick Adams Lyons No
Anthony Albanese Grayndler No
Arch Bevis Brisbane No
Sharon Bird Cunningham No
Ann Corcoran Isaacs No
Simon Crean Hotham No
Graham Edwards Cowan No
Justine Elliot Richmond No
Annette Ellis Canberra No
Laurie Ferguson Reid No
Martin Ferguson Batman No
Joel Fitzgibbon Hunter No
Steve Georganas Hindmarsh No
Steve Gibbons Bendigo No
Julia Gillard Lalor No
Sharon Grierson Newcastle No
Alan Griffin Bruce No
Jill Hall Shortland No
Michael Hatton Blaxland No
Kelly Hoare Charlton No
Julia Irwin Fowler No
Harry Jenkins Scullin No
Duncan Kerr Denison No
Carmen Lawrence Fremantle No
Kirsten Livermore Capricornia No
Jenny Macklin Jagajaga No
Robert McClelland Barton No
Bob McMullan Fraser No
Daryl Melham Banks No
Brendan O'Connor Gorton No
Julie Owens Parramatta No
Tanya Plibersek Sydney No
Nicola Roxon Gellibrand No
Rod Sawford Port Adelaide No
Bob Sercombe Maribyrnong No
Stephen Smith Perth No
Warren Snowdon Lingiari No
Wayne Swan Lilley No
Lindsay Tanner Melbourne No
Maria Vamvakinou Calwell No
Kim Wilkie Swan No
Kim Beazley Brand Absent
Chris Bowen Prospect Absent
Anna Burke Chisholm Absent
Tony Burke Watson Absent
Michael Danby Melbourne Ports Absent
Kate Ellis Adelaide Absent
Peter Garrett Kingsford Smith Absent
Jennie George Throsby Absent
Catherine King Ballarat Absent
Bernie Ripoll Oxley Absent
Kelvin Thomson Wills Absent
Dave Tollner Solomon Country Liberal Party Absent
Ian Causley Page Deputy Speaker Absent
Peter Andren Calare Independent Yes
Bob Katter Kennedy Independent Yes
Tony Windsor New England Independent Yes
Harry Quick Franklin Independent Absent
Liberal Party (92% turnout) 33 Yes 34 No
Tony Abbott Warringah Yes
Kevin Andrews Menzies Yes
Bruce Baird Cook Yes
Mark Baker Braddon Yes
Bob Baldwin Paterson Yes
Phillip Barresi Deakin Yes
Kerry Bartlett Macquarie Yes
Alan Cadman Mitchell Yes
Steven Ciobo Moncrieff Yes
Peter Costello Higgins Yes
Trish Draper Makin Yes
Peter Dutton Dickson Yes
David Fawcett Wakefield Yes
Michael Ferguson Bass Yes
Gary Hardgrave Moreton Yes
Stuart Henry Hasluck Yes
John Howard Bennelong Yes
David Jull Fadden Yes
Jackie Kelly Lindsay Yes
Jim Lloyd Robertson Yes
Louise Markus Greenway Yes
Sophie Mirabella Indi Yes
Chris Pearce Aston Yes
Christopher Pyne Sturt Yes
Kym Richardson Kingston Yes
Andrew Robb Goldstein Yes
Alby Schultz Hume Yes
Patrick Secker Barker Yes
Peter Slipper Fisher Yes
Tony Smith Casey Yes
Danna Vale Hughes Yes
Ross Vasta Bonner Yes
Barry Wakelin Grey Yes
Fran Bailey McEwen No
Bruce Billson Dunkley No
Bronwyn Bishop Mackellar No
Julie Bishop Curtin No
Russell Broadbent McMillan No
Mal Brough Longman No
Kay Elson Forde No
Warren Entsch Leichhardt No
Pat Farmer Macarthur No
Teresa Gambaro Petrie No
Joanna Gash Gilmore No
Petro Georgiou Kooyong No
Barry Haase Kalgoorlie No
Joe Hockey North Sydney No
Greg Hunt Flinders No
Dennis Jensen Tangney No
Michael Johnson Ryan No
Michael Keenan Stirling No
Andrew Laming Bowman No
Sussan Ley Farrer No
Ian Macfarlane Groom No
Margaret May McPherson No
Stewart McArthur Corangamite No
Judi Moylan Pearce No
Brendan Nelson Bradfield No
Geoff Prosser Forrest No
Alex Somlyay Fairfax No
Andrew Southcott Boothby No
Sharman Stone Murray No
Cameron Thompson Blair No
Wilson Tuckey O'Connor No
Malcolm Turnbull Wentworth No
Mal Washer Moore No
Jason Wood La Trobe No
Alexander Downer Mayo Absent
Peter Lindsay Herbert Absent
Gary Nairn Eden-Monaro Absent
Don Randall Canning Absent
Philip Ruddock Berowra Absent
Ken Ticehurst Dobell Absent
National Party (100% turnout) 10 Yes 1 No
John Anderson Gwydir Yes
John Forrest Mallee Yes
Luke Hartsuyker Cowper Yes
Kay Hull Riverina Yes
De-Anne Kelly Dawson Yes
Peter McGauran Gippsland Yes
Paul Neville Hinkler Yes
Bruce Scott Maranoa Yes
Warren Truss Wide Bay Yes
Mark Vaile Lyne Yes
John Cobb Parkes No
David Hawker Wannon Speaker Absent
Totals (86% turnout) 53 Yes – 76 No