Summary

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The majority supported passing the bill in the House of Representatives (in parliamentary jargon, they supported reading the bill for a third time). It will now be sent to the Senate for them to consider.

The main idea of the bill is to recognise local governments in the Australian Constitution but it can't do this on its own. To amend the Constitution, there must be a successful referendum (as required by Section 128).

Rebellious Liberals

Liberal MPs Alex Hawke and Dennis Jensen crossed the floor to vote against the bill.

Unlike Labor Party members, Liberal members are allowed to rebel. However, it is increasingly uncommon.

What does recognising local governments mean?

Recognising local governments in the Constitution would mean that the federal government could directly fund local governments instead of having to fund them through state governments.

For an academic discussion of the effects of recognition, see Professor Anne Twomey's report (906 KB).

Background to the bill

This is the third time that the federal government has tried to change the Constitution to recognise local governments. The first time was in 1974 and the second time was in 1988.

See the bills digest (775 KB) for more background information.

Votes Passed by a large majority

There was 2 rebellions in this division.

  • Alex Hawke voted No against the majority of the Liberal Party.
  • Dennis Jensen voted No against the majority of the Liberal Party.
Party Votes
Adam Bandt Melbourne Australian Greens Yes
Australian Labor Party (96% turnout) 67 Yes 0 No
Dick Adams Lyons Yes
Anthony Albanese Grayndler Yes
Sharon Bird Cunningham Yes
Chris Bowen McMahon Yes
David Bradbury Lindsay Yes
Gai Brodtmann Canberra 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
Mark Dreyfus Isaacs Yes
Justine Elliot Richmond Yes
Kate Ellis Adelaide Yes
Craig Emerson Rankin Yes
Laurie Ferguson Werriwa Yes
Martin Ferguson Batman Yes
Joel Fitzgibbon Hunter Yes
Peter Garrett Kingsford Smith Yes
Steve Georganas Hindmarsh Yes
Steve Gibbons Bendigo Yes
Gary Gray Brand Yes
Sharon Grierson Newcastle Yes
Alan Griffin Bruce Yes
Jill Hall Shortland Yes
Chris Hayes Fowler Yes
Ed Husic Chifley Yes
Harry Jenkins Scullin Yes
Stephen Jones Throsby Yes
Catherine King Ballarat Yes
Andrew Leigh Fraser Yes
Kirsten Livermore Capricornia Yes
Geoff Lyons Bass Yes
Jenny Macklin Jagajaga Yes
Richard Marles Corio Yes
Robert McClelland Barton Yes
Daryl Melham Banks Yes
John Murphy Reid Yes
Shayne Neumann Blair Yes
Brendan O'Connor Gorton Yes
Deborah O'Neill Robertson Yes
Julie Owens Parramatta Yes
Melissa Parke Fremantle Yes
Graham Perrett Moreton Yes
Tanya Plibersek Sydney Yes
Bernie Ripoll Oxley Yes
Amanda Rishworth Kingston Yes
Michelle Rowland Greenway Yes
Nicola Roxon Gellibrand Yes
Kevin Rudd Griffith Yes
Janelle Saffin Page Yes
Bill Shorten Maribyrnong Yes
Sid Sidebottom Braddon Yes
Stephen Smith Perth Yes
Laura Smyth La Trobe Yes
Warren Snowdon Lingiari Yes
Wayne Swan Lilley Yes
Mike Symon Deakin Yes
Kelvin Thomson Wills Yes
Maria Vamvakinou Calwell Yes
Tony Zappia Makin Yes
Julia Gillard Lalor Absent
Mike Kelly Eden-Monaro Absent
Rob Mitchell McEwen Absent
Natasha Griggs Solomon Country Liberal Party Yes
Bruce Scott Maranoa Deputy Speaker Yes
Bob Katter Kennedy Independent Yes
Robert Oakeshott Lyne Independent Yes
Andrew Wilkie Denison Independent Yes
Peter Slipper Fisher Independent Absent
Craig Thomson Dobell Independent Absent
Tony Windsor New England Independent Absent
Bob Katter Kennedy Katter's Australian Party Absent
Liberal Party (88% turnout) 50 Yes 2 No
John Alexander Bennelong Yes
Karen Andrews McPherson Yes
Kevin Andrews Menzies 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
Joanna Gash Gilmore Yes
Barry Haase Durack Yes
Greg Hunt Flinders Yes
Steve Irons Swan Yes
Ewen Jones Herbert Yes
Michael Keenan Stirling 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
Scott Morrison Cook Yes
Judi Moylan Pearce 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
Philip Ruddock Berowra Yes
Alby Schultz Hume Yes
Patrick Secker Barker Yes
Luke Simpkins Cowan Yes
Tony Smith Casey Yes
Alex Somlyay Fairfax Yes
Andrew Southcott Boothby Yes
Sharman Stone Murray Yes
Malcolm Turnbull Wentworth Yes
Bert Van Manen Forde Yes
Ross Vasta Bonner Yes
Mal Washer Moore Yes
Ken Wyatt Hasluck Yes
Alex Hawke Mitchell No
Dennis Jensen Tangney No
Tony Abbott Warringah Absent
Joe Hockey North Sydney Absent
Craig Kelly Hughes Absent
Sophie Mirabella Indi Absent
Kelly O'Dwyer Higgins Absent
Dan Tehan Wannon Absent
Alan Tudge Aston Absent
National Party (82% turnout) 9 Yes 0 No
Darren Chester Gippsland Yes
George Christensen Dawson Yes
John Cobb Calare Yes
Mark Coulton Parkes Yes
John Forrest Mallee Yes
Michael McCormack Riverina Yes
Paul Neville Hinkler Yes
Ken O'Dowd Flynn Yes
Warren Truss Wide Bay Yes
Tony Crook O'Connor Absent
Luke Hartsuyker Cowper Absent
Anna Burke Chisholm Speaker Absent
Totals (89% turnout) 132 Yes – 2 No