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 subsequently agreed to a motion to give the bill a third reading without division. This means that the bill was passed in the House of Representatives and can now be sent to the Senate for their consideration.

Debate in Parliament

The bill was introduced into the House of Representatives by Labor Party MP Richard Marles on behalf of Labor Party MP Kate Ellis, the Minister for Youth and Minister for Sport. Ellis MP said that that the bill delivers “our election commitment to rebuild essential student services and amenities on university campuses”.(Read MP Ellis' contribution here. )

Liberal Party MP Sophie Mirabella, the Shadow Minister for Youth, said that the bill takes choice away from students.(Read MP Mirabella's contribution here. ) She argued that students “should not be forced to pay for services or amenities they do not want and, in the case of over 130,000 external students, may never have the opportunity to use”.

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.

The Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Student Services and Amenities) Bill 2009 is the second bill introduced in 2009 by the Labor Government to re-introduce a compulsory student services and amenities fee. The first bill, the Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Student Services and Amenities, and other Measures) Bill 2009, was defeated in the Senate in August 2009.(See that division here.)


Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Labor Party (89% turnout) 72 Yes 0 No
Dick Adams Lyons Yes
Anthony Albanese Grayndler Yes
James Bidgood Dawson Yes
Sharon Bird Cunningham Yes
David Bradbury Lindsay Yes
Tony Burke Watson Yes
Mark Butler Port Adelaide Yes
Anthony Byrne Holt 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
Mark Dreyfus Isaacs Yes
Justine Elliot Richmond 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
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
Catherine King Ballarat Yes
Kirsten Livermore Capricornia Yes
Jenny Macklin Jagajaga Yes
Richard Marles Corio Yes
Maxine McKew Bennelong Yes
Bob McMullan Fraser Yes
Daryl Melham Banks Yes
John Murphy Lowe Yes
Belinda Neal Robertson 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
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
Jim Turnour Leichhardt Yes
Maria Vamvakinou Calwell Yes
Tony Zappia Makin Yes
Arch Bevis Brisbane Absent
Chris Bowen Prospect Absent
Jodie Campbell Bass Absent
Annette Ellis Canberra Absent
Gary Gray Brand Absent
Duncan Kerr Denison Absent
Robert McClelland Barton Absent
Kevin Rudd Griffith Absent
Stephen Smith Perth Absent
Anna Burke Chisholm Deputy Speaker Absent
Robert Oakeshott Lyne Independent Yes
Bob Katter Kennedy Independent Absent
Tony Windsor New England Independent Absent
Liberal Party (83% turnout) 0 Yes 44 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 Dutton Dickson No
Joanna Gash Gilmore No
Petro Georgiou Kooyong No
Barry Haase Kalgoorlie 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
Sussan Ley Farrer No
Ian Macfarlane Groom No
Nola Marino Forrest No
Louise Markus Greenway No
Margaret May McPherson No
Sophie Mirabella Indi No
Scott Morrison Cook No
Judi Moylan Pearce No
Chris Pearce Aston No
Christopher Pyne Sturt No
Rowan Ramsey Grey No
Stuart Robert Fadden 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
Wilson Tuckey O'Connor No
Danna Vale Hughes No
Mal Washer Moore No
Jason Wood La Trobe No
Tony Abbott Warringah Absent
Pat Farmer Macarthur Absent
Alex Hawke Mitchell Absent
Andrew Laming Bowman Absent
Peter Lindsay Herbert Absent
Don Randall Canning Absent
Andrew Robb Goldstein Absent
Luke Simpkins Cowan Absent
Malcolm Turnbull Wentworth Absent
National Party (89% turnout) 0 Yes 8 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
Bruce Scott Maranoa No
Warren Truss Wide Bay No
Paul Neville Hinkler Absent
Harry Jenkins Scullin Speaker Absent
Totals (84% turnout) 73 Yes – 52 No