The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Liberal MP Scott Morrison. However, since an absolute majority is required to suspend standing and sessional orders (as the motion attempted to do), it was unsuccessful.

The motion was:(Read Mr Morrison's whole explanation of his motion and the related debate here. )

That so much of standing and sessional orders be suspended as to allow the member for Cook to move the following motion:

That given the Government’s refusal to answer questions in this House and their refusal to establish an independent inquiry into the Government’s ‘light touch’ handling of national security issues regarding the detention and processing of a convicted terrorist who arrived illegally by boat in and around May 2012 that:(Read more about this incident on ABC News here.)

(1) a Select Committee on the ‘National security issues relating to the processing and detention of a convicted terrorist who arrived by boat in and around May 2012 and other related matters involving the Government’s handling of national security issues for irregular maritime arrivals’ be appointed to inquire into and report on, having regard to the following circumstances,:

(a) in or around May 2012, an Egyptian adult male accompanied by his family arrived illegally by boat at Christmas Island claiming asylum. After initial processing the man and family were transferred to the Inverbrackie Alternative Place of Detention, a detention facility for low risk asylum seeker families in the Adelaide Hills;

(b) by end August 2012 it was established by ASIO that this man was convicted of multiple terrorist offences, a member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad which merged with Al Qaeda in June 2001. He was the subject of an Interpol Red Notice; and

(c) the man and family remained in low security detention at Inverbrackie until April 2013 when they were transferred to higher security detention facilities at Villawood in Sydney;

(2) the Select Committee should:

(a) establish the facts surrounding the case in relation to:

(i) the full chronology of the events relating to the man and his family’s arrival and detention in Australia and associated security and criminal investigations;

(ii) how and when relevant agencies and Ministers became aware of the man’s terrorist conviction and what action was taken in response to that knowledge;

(iii) the adequacy of interagency co-operation, and in particular co-operation between DIAC, ASIO and the AFP, in identifying, sharing information, and taking steps to appropriately deal with the individual concerned;

(iv) why the individual was left so long at the Inverbrackie low security facility before being transferred to Villawood;

(v) the current location and security arrangements for the man and family;

(vi) the current status of immigration processing of his asylum or any other claim; and

(vii) action being taken in relation to his extradition to Egypt and the point of responsibility for ongoing management of this national security case;

(b) review the facts and make an assessment of any failings in the Government’s handling of this case and who will be responsible;

(c) identify and establish the facts relating to the Government’s handling of other cases, involving national security issues including, but not restricted to:

(i) a Sri Lankan national suspected of murder who was released into the community before being taken to Villawood detention centre;

(ii) a suspected Iranian drug smuggler who arrived via boat and is now in a mental health facility;

(iii) asylum seeker claims involving membership of the group the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam; and

(iv) any other asylum seeker claim that has received a negative ASIO security assessment; and

(d) make recommendations to address issues identified in the review;

(3) the committee consist of seven members, three members to be nominated by the Government Whip or Whips, three members to be nominated by the Opposition Whip or Whips, and one non-aligned member;

(4) the committee may supplement its membership by up to four members, with a maximum of two extra government and two extra opposition or non-aligned members. Supplementary members shall have the same participatory rights as other members, but may not vote;

(5) every nomination of a member of the committee be notified in writing to the Speaker of the House of Representatives;

(6) the members of the committee hold office as a select committee until presentation of the committee's report or the House of Representatives is dissolved or expires by effluxion of time, whichever is the earlier;

(7) the committee elect a government or a non-government member as chair at its first meeting;

(8) the committee elect a member as its deputy chair who shall act as chair of the committee at any time when the chair is not present at a meeting of the committee, and at any time when the chair and deputy chair are not present at a meeting of the committee the members present shall elect another member to act as chair at that meeting;

(9) in the event of an equally divided vote, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, have a casting vote;

(10) three members of the committee constitute a quorum of the committee provided that in a deliberative meeting the quorum shall include one government member and one non-government member;

(11) the committee have power to appoint sub-committees consisting of three or more of its members and to refer to any sub-committee any matter which the committee is empowered to examine;

(12) the committee appoint the chair of each sub-committee who shall have a casting vote only and at any time when the chair of a sub-committee is not present at a meeting of the sub-committee the members of the sub-committee present shall elect another member of that sub-committee to act as chair at that meeting;

(13) two members of a sub-committee constitute the quorum of that sub-committee;

(14) members of the committee who are not members of a sub-committee may participate in the proceedings of that sub-committee but shall not vote, move any motion or be counted for the purpose of a quorum;

(15) the committee or any sub-committee have power to call for witnesses to attend and for documents to be produced;

(16) the committee or any sub-committee may conduct proceedings at any place it sees fit;

(17) the committee or any sub-committee have power to adjourn from time to time and to sit during any adjournment of the House of Representative;

(18) the committee may report from time to time but that it present its final report no later than 30 June 2013; and

(19) the provisions of this resolution, so far as they are inconsistent with the standing orders, have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the standing orders.


Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Adam Bandt Melbourne Australian Greens No
Australian Labor Party (91% turnout) 0 Yes 64 No
Dick Adams Lyons No
Sharon Bird Cunningham No
Chris Bowen McMahon No
David Bradbury Lindsay No
Gai Brodtmann Canberra No
Tony Burke Watson No
Mark Butler Port Adelaide No
Anthony Byrne Holt No
Nick Champion Wakefield No
Darren Cheeseman Corangamite No
Jason Clare Blaxland No
Julie Collins Franklin No
Greg Combet Charlton No
Simon Crean Hotham No
Yvette D'Ath Petrie No
Michael Danby Melbourne Ports No
Mark Dreyfus Isaacs No
Justine Elliot Richmond No
Kate Ellis Adelaide No
Craig Emerson Rankin No
Laurie Ferguson Werriwa No
Martin Ferguson Batman No
Joel Fitzgibbon Hunter No
Peter Garrett Kingsford Smith No
Steve Georganas Hindmarsh No
Steve Gibbons Bendigo No
Julia Gillard Lalor No
Gary Gray Brand No
Sharon Grierson Newcastle No
Alan Griffin Bruce No
Jill Hall Shortland No
Chris Hayes Fowler No
Harry Jenkins Scullin No
Stephen Jones Throsby No
Catherine King Ballarat No
Andrew Leigh Fraser No
Kirsten Livermore Capricornia No
Geoff Lyons Bass No
Jenny Macklin Jagajaga No
Richard Marles Corio No
Robert McClelland Barton No
Rob Mitchell McEwen No
John Murphy Reid No
Shayne Neumann Blair No
Brendan O'Connor Gorton No
Deborah O'Neill Robertson No
Julie Owens Parramatta No
Melissa Parke Fremantle No
Graham Perrett Moreton No
Tanya Plibersek Sydney No
Amanda Rishworth Kingston No
Michelle Rowland Greenway No
Nicola Roxon Gellibrand No
Kevin Rudd Griffith No
Janelle Saffin Page No
Bill Shorten Maribyrnong No
Sid Sidebottom Braddon No
Laura Smyth La Trobe No
Warren Snowdon Lingiari No
Wayne Swan Lilley No
Mike Symon Deakin No
Kelvin Thomson Wills No
Maria Vamvakinou Calwell No
Tony Zappia Makin No
Anthony Albanese Grayndler Absent
Ed Husic Chifley Absent
Mike Kelly Eden-Monaro Absent
Daryl Melham Banks Absent
Bernie Ripoll Oxley Absent
Stephen Smith Perth Absent
Natasha Griggs Solomon Country Liberal Party Yes
Bruce Scott Maranoa Deputy Speaker Yes
Bob Katter Kennedy Independent Yes
Peter Slipper Fisher Independent Yes
Andrew Wilkie Denison Independent Yes
Robert Oakeshott Lyne Independent No
Craig Thomson Dobell Independent No
Tony Windsor New England Independent No
Bob Katter Kennedy Katter's Australian Party Absent
Liberal Party (93% turnout) 55 Yes 0 No
Tony Abbott Warringah Yes
John Alexander Bennelong Yes
Karen Andrews McPherson Yes
Bob Baldwin Paterson Yes
Bruce Billson Dunkley Yes
Bronwyn Bishop Mackellar Yes
Julie Bishop Curtin Yes
Jamie Briggs Mayo Yes
Russell Broadbent McMillan Yes
Scott Buchholz Wright Yes
Steven Ciobo Moncrieff Yes
Peter Dutton Dickson Yes
Warren Entsch Leichhardt Yes
Paul Fletcher Bradfield Yes
Josh Frydenberg Kooyong Yes
Teresa Gambaro Brisbane Yes
Barry Haase Durack Yes
Alex Hawke Mitchell Yes
Joe Hockey North Sydney Yes
Greg Hunt Flinders Yes
Steve Irons Swan Yes
Dennis Jensen Tangney Yes
Ewen Jones Herbert Yes
Michael Keenan Stirling Yes
Craig Kelly Hughes Yes
Andrew Laming Bowman Yes
Sussan Ley Farrer Yes
Ian Macfarlane Groom Yes
Nola Marino Forrest Yes
Louise Markus Macquarie Yes
Russell Matheson Macarthur Yes
Sophie Mirabella Indi Yes
Scott Morrison Cook Yes
Judi Moylan Pearce Yes
Kelly O'Dwyer Higgins Yes
Jane Prentice Ryan Yes
Christopher Pyne Sturt Yes
Rowan Ramsey Grey Yes
Don Randall Canning Yes
Andrew Robb Goldstein Yes
Stuart Robert Fadden Yes
Wyatt Roy Longman Yes
Alby Schultz Hume Yes
Luke Simpkins Cowan Yes
Tony Smith Casey Yes
Alex Somlyay Fairfax Yes
Andrew Southcott Boothby Yes
Sharman Stone Murray Yes
Dan Tehan Wannon Yes
Alan Tudge Aston Yes
Malcolm Turnbull Wentworth Yes
Bert Van Manen Forde Yes
Ross Vasta Bonner Yes
Mal Washer Moore Yes
Ken Wyatt Hasluck Yes
Kevin Andrews Menzies Absent
Joanna Gash Gilmore Absent
Philip Ruddock Berowra Absent
Patrick Secker Barker Absent
National Party (82% turnout) 9 Yes 0 No
Darren Chester Gippsland Yes
George Christensen Dawson Yes
Mark Coulton Parkes Yes
John Forrest Mallee Yes
Luke Hartsuyker Cowper Yes
Michael McCormack Riverina Yes
Paul Neville Hinkler Yes
Ken O'Dowd Flynn Yes
Warren Truss Wide Bay Yes
John Cobb Calare Absent
Tony Crook O'Connor Absent
Anna Burke Chisholm Speaker Absent
Totals (91% turnout) 69 Yes – 68 No