The majority voted against amendments introduced by Labor MP Richard Marles, which means that they were unsuccessful. These amendments would have removed schedule 2 and item 17 of schedule 4 from the bill.

Schedule 2 relates to complementary protection, which comes from the principle of non-refoulement. This principle is drawn from provisions contained in the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the UN Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This bill increases the threshold required before Australia's non-refoulement obligations are activated. Previously, there needed to be "a real risk that the non-citizen will suffer significant harm" if they are removed from Australia. Under this bill, it needs to be "more likely than not that the non-citizen will suffer significant harm" if they are removed from Australia". (Read more about complementary protection under the bill in the bills digest. )

Item 17 of schedule 4 relates to oral decisions made by the Refugee Review Tribunal. Currently, the Tribunal can make an oral decision but must also make a written statement within 14 days. This bill provides that if the Tribunal makes an oral decision on review then it can choose to make either a written or an oral statement.

Background to the bill

The bill makes a number of changes to the Migration Act 1958, including:

  • clarifying that it is the applicant and not the Minister who has the responsibility to specify all particulars of a protection claim and to provide sufficient evidence;(A protection claim is a claim for asylum that is made by asylum seekers.)
  • creating grounds to refuse a protection visa application when an applicant refuses or fails to establish their identity, nationality or citizenship, and does not have a reasonable explanation for doing so;
  • creating grounds to refuse a protection visa application when an applicant provides false documents to establish their identity or either destroys or discards identity evidence, or has caused that evidence to be destroyed or discarded;
  • clarifying that a family member of a protection visa holder cannot be granted a protection visa on the basis of being a family member if they apply after the initial visa has been granted;
  • providing that the Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) must draw an unfavourable inference with regard to the credibility of claims or evidence that are raised for the first time before it if the review applicant has no reasonable explanation to justify why those claims and evidence were not raised before the primary decision was made by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection; and
  • clarifying Australia’s interpretation of the likelihood of harm and the types of harm necessary to engage Australia’s non-refoulement obligations.

(See the bills digest for more information about these and other changes made by the bill.)

Both the Labor Party and Greens Party have expressed concern about the changes made in this bill. (Read more about the position taken by the opposition in relation to this bill in the bills digest.)

Votes Not passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Adam Bandt Melbourne Australian Greens Yes
Australian Labor Party (78% turnout) 43 Yes 0 No
Anthony Albanese Grayndler Yes
Sharon Bird Cunningham Yes
Chris Bowen McMahon Yes
Gai Brodtmann Canberra Yes
Mark Butler Port Adelaide Yes
Terri Butler Griffith Yes
Anthony Byrne Holt Yes
Jim Chalmers Rankin Yes
Nick Champion Wakefield Yes
Lisa Chesters Bendigo Yes
Jason Clare Blaxland Yes
Sharon Claydon Newcastle Yes
Julie Collins Franklin Yes
Pat Conroy Charlton Yes
Justine Elliot Richmond Yes
Kate Ellis Adelaide Yes
Laurie Ferguson Werriwa Yes
Joel Fitzgibbon Hunter Yes
Andrew Giles Scullin Yes
Gary Gray Brand Yes
Jill Hall Shortland Yes
Chris Hayes Fowler Yes
Ed Husic Chifley Yes
Catherine King Ballarat Yes
Jenny Macklin Jagajaga Yes
Richard Marles Corio Yes
Rob Mitchell McEwen Yes
Shayne Neumann Blair Yes
Brendan O'Connor Gorton Yes
Clare O'Neil Hotham Yes
Julie Owens Parramatta Yes
Melissa Parke Fremantle Yes
Graham Perrett Moreton Yes
Bernie Ripoll Oxley Yes
Amanda Rishworth Kingston Yes
Joanne Ryan Lalor Yes
Warren Snowdon Lingiari Yes
Wayne Swan Lilley Yes
Matt Thistlethwaite Kingsford Smith Yes
Kelvin Thomson Wills Yes
Maria Vamvakinou Calwell Yes
Tim Watts Gellibrand Yes
Tony Zappia Makin Yes
Anna Burke Chisholm Absent
Tony Burke Watson Absent
Michael Danby Melbourne Ports Absent
Mark Dreyfus Isaacs Absent
David Feeney Batman Absent
Alan Griffin Bruce Absent
Stephen Jones Throsby Absent
Andrew Leigh Fraser Absent
Alannah Mactiernan Perth Absent
Tanya Plibersek Sydney Absent
Michelle Rowland Greenway Absent
Bill Shorten Maribyrnong Absent
Natasha Griggs Solomon Country Liberal Party No
Bruce Scott Maranoa Deputy Speaker No
Cathy McGowan Indi Independent Yes
Andrew Wilkie Denison Independent Yes
Bob Katter Kennedy Katter's Australian Party Absent
Liberal Party (89% turnout) 0 Yes 65 No
John Alexander Bennelong No
Karen Andrews McPherson No
Kevin Andrews Menzies No
Bob Baldwin Paterson No
Bruce Billson Dunkley No
Jamie Briggs Mayo No
Russell Broadbent McMillan No
Mal Brough Fisher No
Scott Buchholz Wright No
David Coleman Banks No
Peter Dutton Dickson No
Warren Entsch Leichhardt No
Paul Fletcher Bradfield No
Teresa Gambaro Brisbane No
Ian Goodenough Moore No
Alex Hawke Mitchell No
Sarah Henderson Corangamite No
Peter Hendy Eden-Monaro No
Joe Hockey North Sydney No
Luke Howarth Petrie No
Greg Hunt Flinders No
Eric Hutchinson Lyons No
Steve Irons Swan No
Ewen Jones Herbert No
Craig Kelly Hughes No
Andrew Laming Bowman No
Craig Laundy Reid No
Sussan Ley Farrer No
Ian Macfarlane Groom No
Nola Marino Forrest No
Louise Markus Macquarie No
Russell Matheson Macarthur No
Karen McNamara Dobell No
Scott Morrison Cook No
Andrew Nikolic Bass No
Kelly O'Dwyer Higgins No
Tony Pasin Barker No
Christian Porter Pearce No
Jane Prentice Ryan No
Melissa Price Durack No
Christopher Pyne Sturt No
Rowan Ramsey Grey No
Don Randall Canning No
Andrew Robb Goldstein No
Stuart Robert Fadden No
Wyatt Roy Longman No
Philip Ruddock Berowra No
Fiona Scott Lindsay No
Luke Simpkins Cowan No
Tony Smith Casey No
Andrew Southcott Boothby No
Ann Sudmalis Gilmore No
Michael Sukkar Deakin No
Angus Taylor Hume No
Dan Tehan Wannon No
Alan Tudge Aston No
Malcolm Turnbull Wentworth No
Bert Van Manen Forde No
Nickolas Varvaris Barton No
Brett Whiteley Braddon No
Lucy Wicks Robertson No
Matt Williams Hindmarsh No
Rick Wilson O'Connor No
Jason Wood La Trobe No
Ken Wyatt Hasluck No
Tony Abbott Warringah Absent
Julie Bishop Curtin Absent
Steven Ciobo Moncrieff Absent
Josh Frydenberg Kooyong Absent
Dennis Jensen Tangney Absent
Michael Keenan Stirling Absent
Sharman Stone Murray Absent
Ross Vasta Bonner Absent
National Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 14 No
Andrew Broad Mallee No
Darren Chester Gippsland No
George Christensen Dawson No
John Cobb Calare No
Mark Coulton Parkes No
David Gillespie Lyne No
Luke Hartsuyker Cowper No
Kevin Hogan Page No
Barnaby Joyce New England No
Michelle Landry Capricornia No
Michael McCormack Riverina No
Ken O'Dowd Flynn No
Keith Pitt Hinkler No
Warren Truss Wide Bay No
Clive Palmer Fairfax Palmer United Party Absent
Bronwyn Bishop Mackellar Speaker Absent
Totals (85% turnout) 46 Yes – 81 No