The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill a second time.

This means that the majority of members agree with the main idea of the bill.

Someone who voted Aye supported the main idea of the bill, which was to allow universities to impose an annual capped compulsory student services and amenities fee. Since the majority voted Aye, the bill can now be discussed in greater detail.

However, in this case, the members agreed to give the bill a third reading immediately after this division.(That division is available here. ) This means that the bill was passed in the House of Representatives and would now be sent to the Senate for their consideration.

Debate in Parliament

The bill was introduced by Labor Party MP Kate Ellis, the Minister for Youth and Minister for Sport. She said that the bill delivers “the government’s election commitment to rebuild important university student services and to also ensure that students have representation on campus”.(See MP Ellis' full discussion of the bill here. )

Liberal Party MP Sophie Mirabella, the Shadow Minister for Youth, claimed that the bill’s "primary purpose is to impose a new tax on the one million students attending universities across the nation, whether the students are full time, part time, studying on campus or external".(See MP Mirabella's contribution here. )

Background to the bill

Compulsory student union fees were abolished under then Prime Minister John Howard’s Coalition Government with the Higher Education Support Amendment (Abolition of Compulsory Upfront Student Union Fees) Bill 2005. This meant that universities could no longer require students to pay a compulsory fee for facilities, amenities or services that were not of an academic nature.

This bill aims to re-introduce a compulsory student services and amenities fee.(More information about this bill and its context can be found here.)


Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Labor Party (93% turnout) 75 Yes 0 No
Dick Adams Lyons Yes
Anthony Albanese Grayndler Yes
Arch Bevis Brisbane Yes
James Bidgood Dawson Yes
Sharon Bird Cunningham Yes
Chris Bowen Prospect Yes
David Bradbury Lindsay Yes
Tony Burke Watson Yes
Mark Butler Port Adelaide Yes
Anthony Byrne Holt Yes
Jodie Campbell Bass Yes
Nick Champion Wakefield Yes
Darren Cheeseman Corangamite Yes
Jason Clare Blaxland Yes
Julie Collins Franklin Yes
Greg Combet Charlton Yes
Simon Crean Hotham Yes
Yvette D'Ath Petrie Yes
Michael Danby Melbourne Ports Yes
Bob Debus Macquarie 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
Gary Gray Brand Yes
Sharon Grierson Newcastle Yes
Alan Griffin Bruce Yes
Damian Hale Solomon Yes
Jill Hall Shortland Yes
Chris Hayes Werriwa Yes
Julia Irwin Fowler Yes
Sharryn Jackson Hasluck Yes
Mike Kelly Eden-Monaro Yes
Duncan Kerr Denison Yes
Catherine King Ballarat Yes
Kirsten Livermore Capricornia Yes
Jenny Macklin Jagajaga Yes
Richard Marles Corio Yes
Robert McClelland Barton Yes
Bob McMullan Fraser Yes
Daryl Melham Banks Yes
John Murphy Lowe Yes
Shayne Neumann Blair Yes
Brendan O'Connor Gorton Yes
Julie Owens Parramatta Yes
Melissa Parke Fremantle Yes
Graham Perrett Moreton Yes
Tanya Plibersek Sydney Yes
Roger Price Chifley Yes
Brett Raguse Forde Yes
Kerry Rea Bonner Yes
Bernie Ripoll Oxley Yes
Amanda Rishworth Kingston Yes
Nicola Roxon Gellibrand Yes
Janelle Saffin Page Yes
Bill Shorten Maribyrnong Yes
Sid Sidebottom Braddon Yes
Stephen Smith Perth Yes
Warren Snowdon Lingiari Yes
Jon Sullivan Longman Yes
Wayne Swan Lilley Yes
Mike Symon Deakin Yes
Lindsay Tanner Melbourne Yes
Craig Thomson Dobell Yes
Kelvin Thomson Wills Yes
Chris Trevor Flynn Yes
Maria Vamvakinou Calwell Yes
Tony Zappia Makin Yes
Mark Dreyfus Isaacs Absent
Julia Gillard Lalor Absent
Maxine McKew Bennelong Absent
Belinda Neal Robertson Absent
Kevin Rudd Griffith Absent
Jim Turnour Leichhardt Absent
Anna Burke Chisholm Deputy Speaker Yes
Robert Oakeshott Lyne Independent Yes
Bob Katter Kennedy Independent Absent
Tony Windsor New England Independent Absent
Liberal Party (89% turnout) 0 Yes 49 No
Tony Abbott Warringah No
Kevin Andrews Menzies No
Fran Bailey McEwen No
Bob Baldwin Paterson No
Bruce Billson Dunkley No
Bronwyn Bishop Mackellar No
Julie Bishop Curtin No
Jamie Briggs Mayo No
Russell Broadbent McMillan No
Steven Ciobo Moncrieff No
Peter Costello Higgins No
Peter Dutton Dickson No
Pat Farmer Macarthur No
Joanna Gash Gilmore No
Petro Georgiou Kooyong No
Barry Haase Kalgoorlie No
Alex Hawke Mitchell No
David Hawker Wannon No
Joe Hockey North Sydney No
Greg Hunt Flinders No
Steve Irons Swan 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
Nola Marino Forrest No
Margaret May McPherson No
Sophie Mirabella Indi No
Scott Morrison Cook No
Brendan Nelson Bradfield No
Chris Pearce Aston No
Christopher Pyne Sturt No
Rowan Ramsey Grey No
Don Randall Canning No
Andrew Robb Goldstein No
Stuart Robert Fadden No
Philip Ruddock Berowra No
Alby Schultz Hume No
Patrick Secker Barker No
Luke Simpkins Cowan No
Peter Slipper Fisher No
Tony Smith Casey No
Alex Somlyay Fairfax No
Sharman Stone Murray No
Danna Vale Hughes No
Mal Washer Moore No
Jason Wood La Trobe No
Peter Lindsay Herbert Absent
Louise Markus Greenway Absent
Judi Moylan Pearce Absent
Andrew Southcott Boothby Absent
Wilson Tuckey O'Connor Absent
Malcolm Turnbull Wentworth Absent
National Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 9 No
Darren Chester Gippsland No
John Cobb Calare No
Mark Coulton Parkes No
John Forrest Mallee No
Luke Hartsuyker Cowper No
Kay Hull Riverina No
Paul Neville Hinkler No
Bruce Scott Maranoa No
Warren Truss Wide Bay No
Harry Jenkins Scullin Speaker Absent
Totals (90% turnout) 77 Yes – 58 No