The majority voted in favour of a motion to agree with the main idea of the bill. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a second time. This means that the House can now discuss the bill in more detail.

What is the bill's main idea?

According to the bills digest, the bill was introduced for many reasons, including to:

  • allow the Minister to revoke citizenship on the grounds of fraud or misrepresentation in the citizenship process, without the requirement for a conviction of relevant criminal offences
  • extend the good character requirement to include applicants under 18 years of age
  • include the bar on approval for criminal offences in all citizenship streams
  • include reference to contemporary sentencing practices in the bar on approval for criminal offences
  • enable the Minister to cancel approval of citizenship by conferral prior to the Pledge of Commitment if the Minister is satisfied that the applicant is no longer eligible
  • allow the Minister to defer the applicant taking the Pledge of Commitment for up to two years and align the grounds for deferral with the grounds for cancellation of approval
  • require those who automatically acquire citizenship on adoption in Australia to have commenced the adoption process before turning 18 years of age
  • require a standardised 12 month waiting period for resumption of citizenship
  • clarify the residence requirements by specifying when the four year lawful period commences and that the 12 month period as a permanent resident must be continuous
  • clarify who is covered by the partner discretion in the residence requirement and insert a minimum physical presence requirement for those claiming the partner discretion for absences from Australia
  • provide the power to make a legislative instrument setting out when a period of unlawful presence may be treated as lawful presence
  • put beyond doubt that children born in Australia to parents with diplomatic and other privileges and immunities are not eligible for Australian citizenship
  • provide a discretion to revoke citizenship by descent in place of the current operation of law provision
  • limit automatic acquisition of citizenship at ten years of age to those persons who have maintained lawful residence in Australia throughout the ten years
  • clarify the provision giving citizenship to a child found abandoned in Australia
  • make holders of prescribed visas eligible for citizenship by conferral before entering Australia
  • enable use and disclosure of personal information collected about a client under the Migration Act to be used for the purposes of the Citizenship Act and vice versa
  • provide that personal decisions made by the Minister, taken in the public interest, are not subject to merits review
  • provide the Minister with the power to set aside decisions of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) concerning character and identity if it would be in the public interest to do so
  • align access to merits review for conferral applicants under 18 years of age with citizenship eligibility requirements and
  • provide that the Australian Citizenship Regulations 2007 (the Citizenship Regulations) may confer on the Minister the power to make legislative instruments.

Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Adam Bandt Melbourne Australian Greens No
Australian Labor Party (85% turnout) 0 Yes 47 No
Anthony Albanese Grayndler No
Sharon Bird Cunningham No
Chris Bowen McMahon No
Gai Brodtmann Canberra No
Anna Burke Chisholm No
Tony Burke Watson No
Mark Butler Port Adelaide No
Terri Butler Griffith No
Anthony Byrne Holt No
Jim Chalmers Rankin No
Nick Champion Wakefield No
Lisa Chesters Bendigo No
Jason Clare Blaxland No
Sharon Claydon Newcastle No
Julie Collins Franklin No
Pat Conroy Charlton No
Michael Danby Melbourne Ports No
Justine Elliot Richmond No
Kate Ellis Adelaide No
David Feeney Batman No
Laurie Ferguson Werriwa No
Joel Fitzgibbon Hunter No
Gary Gray Brand No
Jill Hall Shortland No
Ed Husic Chifley No
Stephen Jones Throsby No
Catherine King Ballarat No
Andrew Leigh Fraser No
Jenny Macklin Jagajaga No
Alannah Mactiernan Perth No
Richard Marles Corio No
Shayne Neumann Blair No
Brendan O'Connor Gorton No
Clare O'Neil Hotham 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
Joanne Ryan Lalor No
Warren Snowdon Lingiari No
Wayne Swan Lilley No
Matt Thistlethwaite Kingsford Smith No
Kelvin Thomson Wills No
Tony Zappia Makin No
Mark Dreyfus Isaacs Absent
Andrew Giles Scullin Absent
Alan Griffin Bruce Absent
Chris Hayes Fowler Absent
Rob Mitchell McEwen Absent
Bill Shorten Maribyrnong Absent
Maria Vamvakinou Calwell Absent
Tim Watts Gellibrand Absent
Natasha Griggs Solomon Country Liberal Party Yes
Bruce Scott Maranoa Deputy Speaker Yes
Cathy McGowan Indi Independent Yes
Andrew Wilkie Denison Independent No
Bob Katter Kennedy Katter's Australian Party Absent
Liberal Party (90% turnout) 66 Yes 0 No
John Alexander Bennelong Yes
Kevin Andrews Menzies Yes
Bob Baldwin Paterson Yes
Bruce Billson Dunkley Yes
Julie Bishop Curtin Yes
Jamie Briggs Mayo Yes
Russell Broadbent McMillan Yes
Mal Brough Fisher Yes
Scott Buchholz Wright Yes
Steven Ciobo Moncrieff Yes
David Coleman Banks Yes
Peter Dutton Dickson Yes
Warren Entsch Leichhardt Yes
Paul Fletcher Bradfield Yes
Josh Frydenberg Kooyong Yes
Teresa Gambaro Brisbane Yes
Ian Goodenough Moore Yes
Alex Hawke Mitchell Yes
Sarah Henderson Corangamite Yes
Peter Hendy Eden-Monaro Yes
Luke Howarth Petrie Yes
Greg Hunt Flinders Yes
Eric Hutchinson Lyons Yes
Dennis Jensen Tangney Yes
Ewen Jones Herbert Yes
Michael Keenan Stirling Yes
Craig Kelly Hughes Yes
Andrew Laming Bowman Yes
Craig Laundy Reid Yes
Sussan Ley Farrer Yes
Ian Macfarlane Groom Yes
Nola Marino Forrest Yes
Louise Markus Macquarie Yes
Russell Matheson Macarthur Yes
Karen McNamara Dobell Yes
Scott Morrison Cook Yes
Andrew Nikolic Bass Yes
Tony Pasin Barker Yes
Christian Porter Pearce Yes
Jane Prentice Ryan Yes
Melissa Price Durack 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
Fiona Scott Lindsay Yes
Luke Simpkins Cowan Yes
Tony Smith Casey Yes
Andrew Southcott Boothby Yes
Ann Sudmalis Gilmore Yes
Michael Sukkar Deakin Yes
Angus Taylor Hume Yes
Dan Tehan Wannon Yes
Alan Tudge Aston Yes
Malcolm Turnbull Wentworth Yes
Bert Van Manen Forde Yes
Nickolas Varvaris Barton Yes
Brett Whiteley Braddon Yes
Lucy Wicks Robertson Yes
Matt Williams Hindmarsh Yes
Rick Wilson O'Connor Yes
Jason Wood La Trobe Yes
Ken Wyatt Hasluck Yes
Tony Abbott Warringah Absent
Karen Andrews McPherson Absent
Joe Hockey North Sydney Absent
Steve Irons Swan Absent
Kelly O'Dwyer Higgins Absent
Sharman Stone Murray Absent
Ross Vasta Bonner Absent
National Party (93% turnout) 13 Yes 0 No
Andrew Broad Mallee Yes
Darren Chester Gippsland Yes
George Christensen Dawson Yes
John Cobb Calare Yes
Mark Coulton Parkes Yes
David Gillespie Lyne Yes
Luke Hartsuyker Cowper Yes
Kevin Hogan Page Yes
Barnaby Joyce New England Yes
Michelle Landry Capricornia Yes
Michael McCormack Riverina Yes
Ken O'Dowd Flynn Yes
Keith Pitt Hinkler Yes
Warren Truss Wide Bay Absent
Clive Palmer Fairfax Palmer United Party Absent
Bronwyn Bishop Mackellar Speaker Absent
Totals (87% turnout) 82 Yes – 49 No