The majority voted against a motion to amend the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2013.(More information about the bill and the context surrounding it can be found here. The text of the proposed amendment can be found here. )

The amendment was introduced by Liberal Party MP Sussan Ley and would have removed the right of entry provisions from the bill. These provisions expanded the rights of permit holders (such as union officials who have received a permit from the Fair Work Commission) to enter work premises for investigation and discussion purposes.

Someone who voted Aye supported the amendment. An equal number of members voted Aye and No so the Speaker had to give a casting vote to break the tie. As there is a principle that a casting vote on an amendment should leave the bill in its original form, the Speaker voted with the Noes. This means that the amendment was unsuccessful and that the right of entry provisions remained in the bill.

(Note: there is an error in Parliament's data that incorrectly shows this division as drawn. We're working to fix this problem.)

Debate in Parliament

The day before this amendment was introduced into the House of Representatives, the Labor Government and Coalition Opposition had reached an agreement to remove the right of entry provisions from the Bill. However, the Government subsequently decided to keep the provisions.

Labor MP Bill Shorten, speaking on behalf of the Government, said that the right of entry provisions were based on recommendations made by the independent Fair Work Act Review Panel and that the provisions “better balance the right of unions representing employees to be able to represent their members professionally, with the need for their employers to go about their business productively”.(Read MP Shorten's contribution here. )

Liberal Party MP Sussan Ley said that the Opposition was concerned that union officials would take advantage of the provisions.(Read MP Ley's contribution here.)

Background to the bill

This bill was partly made in response to a review of the Fair Work Act 2009 (‘the Act’) by an independent review panel in 2012. The Panel found that the Act was broadly meeting its objectives and so its recommendations were mainly technical. Approximately one third of these recommendations were implemented by the Fair Work Amendment Act 2012 and this bill was introduced to implement several more of the recommendations as well as other reforms.


Votes Not passed

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Adam Bandt Melbourne Australian Greens No
Australian Labor Party (90% turnout) 0 Yes 63 No
Dick Adams Lyons No
Anthony Albanese Grayndler 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
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
Julia Gillard Lalor No
Gary Gray Brand No
Sharon Grierson Newcastle No
Alan Griffin Bruce No
Jill Hall Shortland No
Chris Hayes Fowler No
Ed Husic Chifley No
Harry Jenkins Scullin No
Stephen Jones Throsby No
Catherine King Ballarat No
Andrew Leigh Fraser No
Geoff Lyons Bass No
Jenny Macklin Jagajaga 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
Bernie Ripoll Oxley No
Amanda Rishworth Kingston No
Michelle Rowland Greenway No
Nicola Roxon Gellibrand No
Janelle Saffin Page No
Bill Shorten Maribyrnong No
Sid Sidebottom Braddon No
Stephen Smith Perth 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
Simon Crean Hotham Absent
Steve Gibbons Bendigo Absent
Mike Kelly Eden-Monaro Absent
Kirsten Livermore Capricornia Absent
Richard Marles Corio Absent
Daryl Melham Banks Absent
Kevin Rudd Griffith Absent
Natasha Griggs Solomon Country Liberal Party Yes
Bruce Scott Maranoa Deputy Speaker Yes
Robert Oakeshott Lyne Independent Yes
Peter Slipper Fisher Independent Yes
Craig Thomson Dobell Independent No
Andrew Wilkie Denison Independent No
Tony Windsor New England Independent Absent
Bob Katter Kennedy Katter's Australian Party Absent
Liberal Party (92% turnout) 54 Yes 0 No
Tony Abbott Warringah Yes
John Alexander Bennelong Yes
Karen Andrews McPherson Yes
Kevin Andrews Menzies Yes
Bob Baldwin Paterson Yes
Bruce Billson Dunkley Yes
Bronwyn Bishop Mackellar 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
Alex Hawke Mitchell 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
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
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
Dan Tehan Wannon Yes
Bert Van Manen Forde Yes
Ross Vasta Bonner Yes
Mal Washer Moore Yes
Ken Wyatt Hasluck Yes
Julie Bishop Curtin Absent
Joe Hockey North Sydney Absent
Sophie Mirabella Indi Absent
Alan Tudge Aston Absent
Malcolm Turnbull Wentworth 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
Luke Hartsuyker Cowper Yes
Michael McCormack Riverina Yes
Paul Neville Hinkler Yes
Ken O'Dowd Flynn Yes
Warren Truss Wide Bay Yes
Tony Crook O'Connor Absent
John Forrest Mallee Absent
Anna Burke Chisholm Speaker No
Totals (89% turnout) 67 Yes – 67 No