The majority voted in favour of disagreeing to the amendments, which means they failed. Kingston MP Amanda Rishworth (Labor), who introduced the amendments, explained that:

… this amendment before the House gives families relief from childcare fees during government directed lockdowns.

It is a feature of the current childcare subsidy system that, under normal circumstances, providers are legally required to enforce payment of their hourly sessional fees... But, in these unusual circumstances, what this has meant is that families are slugged with gap fees during pandemic lockdowns, unless the government chooses to grant an exemption… The government chose to use this power during the national lockdown last year and the second lockdown in Victoria but unfortunately did not choose to use this power for more recent city based lockdowns in Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne. Under these public health lockdowns, most families were directed by their state governments to stay at home with their children to protect the community. The childcare centres, though, had to stay open to serve essential workers. These centres have been legally required to charge all the families gap fees during those lockdown periods. This is a sensible amendment. It removes the inequitable minister's discretion, as they've been using it, and it puts it in the bill so that the exemption is automatically triggered when a stay-at-home order is issued. In other words, it gives services an automatic exemption from charging gap fees as soon as a lockdown is proclaimed.

Amendment text

(1) Clause 2, page 2 (table item 8, column 1), omit "Part 8", substitute "Parts 8 and 9".

(2) Schedule 1, page 17 (after line 8), at the end of the Schedule, add:

Part 9—Exception to duty to enforce payment of hourly session fees because of stay at home directions etc.

A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999

54 After subsection 201B(1)


Exception because of stay at home directions etc.

(1AA) The provider is not required to take reasonable steps in relation to a session of care provided by the service to the child if the child is not able to attend the session of care because of a law of a State or Territory (e.g. a public health direction) that:

(a) is enacted or made in response to the coronavirus known as COVID-19; and

(b) restricts the ability of persons to:

(i) leave their homes; or

(ii) travel a certain distance from their homes.

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters mentioned in this subsection: see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code and section 96 of the Regulatory Powers Act.

55 After paragraph 201C(1)(a) Insert:

(aa) if the provider is not taking reasonable steps in relation to the session of care because of subsection 201B(1AA)—the provider charged immediately before the coming into force of the relevant restriction mentioned in that subsection; or

56 After paragraph 201C(1A)(a)


(aa) if the provider is not taking reasonable steps in relation to the session of care because of subsection 201B(1AA)—the provider charged immediately before the coming into force of the relevant restriction mentioned in that subsection; or

57 After section 201C(1A)


(1AA) If the approved provider of a child care service is not taking reasonable steps in relation to a session of care provided by the service to a child because of subsection 201B(1AA), the provider must not charge an individual who is eligible for CCS for the session of care an hourly session fee that exceeds the hourly session fee that the provider charged immediately before the coming into force of the relevant restriction mentioned in that subsection.

58 Subsections 201C(2) and (3) After "(1A)", insert ", (1AA)".

Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Adam Bandt Melbourne Australian Greens No
Australian Labor Party (79% turnout) 0 Yes 54 No
Anthony Albanese Grayndler No
Anne Aly Cowan No
Sharon Bird Cunningham No
Chris Bowen McMahon No
Tony Burke Watson No
Linda Burney Barton No
Josh Burns Macnamara No
Mark Butler Hindmarsh No
Terri Butler Griffith No
Anthony Byrne Holt No
Jim Chalmers Rankin No
Nick Champion Spence No
Jason Clare Blaxland No
Libby Coker Corangamite No
Julie Collins Franklin No
Milton Dick Oxley No
Mark Dreyfus Isaacs No
Justine Elliot Richmond No
Joel Fitzgibbon Hunter No
Mike Freelander Macarthur No
Steve Georganas Adelaide No
Andrew Giles Scullin No
Patrick Gorman Perth No
Chris Hayes Fowler No
Julian Hill Bruce No
Ed Husic Chifley No
Stephen Jones Whitlam No
Ged Kearney Cooper No
Matt Keogh Burt No
Catherine King Ballarat No
Madeleine King Brand No
Andrew Leigh Fenner No
Kristy McBain Eden-Monaro No
Emma McBride Dobell No
Brian Mitchell Lyons No
Rob Mitchell McEwen No
Daniel Mulino Fraser No
Peta Murphy Dunkley No
Shayne Neumann Blair No
Brendan O'Connor Gorton No
Alicia Payne Canberra No
Fiona Phillips Gilmore No
Tanya Plibersek Sydney No
Amanda Rishworth Kingston No
Joanne Ryan Lalor No
Bill Shorten Maribyrnong No
Anne Stanley Werriwa No
Susan Templeman Macquarie No
Matt Thistlethwaite Kingsford Smith No
Kate Thwaites Jagajaga No
Tim Watts Gellibrand No
Anika Wells Lilley No
Josh Wilson Fremantle No
Tony Zappia Makin No
Lisa Chesters Bendigo Absent
Sharon Claydon Newcastle Absent
Pat Conroy Shortland Absent
Luke Gosling Solomon Absent
Peter Khalil Wills Absent
Richard Marles Corio Absent
Clare O'Neil Hotham Absent
Julie Owens Parramatta Absent
Graham Perrett Moreton Absent
Michelle Rowland Greenway Absent
David Smith Bean Absent
Warren Snowdon Lingiari Absent
Meryl Swanson Paterson Absent
Maria Vamvakinou Calwell Absent
Rebekha Sharkie Mayo Centre Alliance No
Mark Coulton Parkes Deputy Speaker Yes
Craig Kelly Hughes Independent Yes
Helen Haines Indi Independent No
Zali Steggall Warringah Independent No
Andrew Wilkie Clark Independent No
Bob Katter Kennedy Katter's Australian Party Yes
Liberal National Party (100% turnout) 5 Yes 0 No
Angie Bell Moncrieff Yes
Garth Hamilton Groom Yes
Julian Simmonds Ryan Yes
Phillip Thompson Herbert Yes
Terry Young Longman Yes
Liberal Party (80% turnout) 43 Yes 0 No
John Alexander Bennelong Yes
Katie Allen Higgins Yes
Karen Andrews McPherson Yes
Kevin Andrews Menzies Yes
Bridget Archer Bass Yes
Russell Broadbent Monash Yes
Vince Connelly Stirling Yes
Peter Dutton Dickson Yes
Warren Entsch Leichhardt Yes
Jason Falinski Mackellar Yes
Paul Fletcher Bradfield Yes
Nicolle Flint Boothby Yes
Josh Frydenberg Kooyong Yes
Ian Goodenough Moore Yes
Celia Hammond Curtin Yes
Alex Hawke Mitchell Yes
Greg Hunt Flinders Yes
Steve Irons Swan Yes
Andrew Laming Bowman Yes
Julian Leeser Berowra Yes
Sussan Ley Farrer Yes
Gladys Liu Chisholm Yes
Fiona Martin Reid Yes
Melissa McIntosh Lindsay Yes
Scott Morrison Cook Yes
Ted O'Brien Fairfax Yes
Tony Pasin Barker Yes
Gavin Pearce Braddon Yes
Melissa Price Durack Yes
Rowan Ramsey Grey Yes
Stuart Robert Fadden Yes
Dave Sharma Wentworth Yes
James Stevens Sturt Yes
Michael Sukkar Deakin Yes
Angus Taylor Hume Yes
Alan Tudge Aston Yes
Bert Van Manen Forde Yes
Ross Vasta Bonner Yes
Andrew Wallace Fisher Yes
Rick Wilson O'Connor Yes
Tim Wilson Goldstein Yes
Ken Wyatt Hasluck Yes
Trent Zimmerman North Sydney Yes
Scott Buchholz Wright Absent
David Coleman Banks Absent
Trevor Evans Brisbane Absent
Andrew Hastie Canning Absent
Luke Howarth Petrie Absent
Nola Marino Forrest Absent
Ben Morton Tangney Absent
Christian Porter Pearce Absent
Dan Tehan Wannon Absent
Lucy Wicks Robertson Absent
Jason Wood La Trobe Absent
National Party (80% turnout) 12 Yes 0 No
Darren Chester Gippsland Yes
George Christensen Dawson Yes
Pat Conaghan Cowper Yes
Damian Drum Nicholls Yes
Andrew Gee Calare Yes
David Gillespie Lyne Yes
Barnaby Joyce New England Yes
David Littleproud Maranoa Yes
Michael McCormack Riverina Yes
Ken O'Dowd Flynn Yes
Keith Pitt Hinkler Yes
Anne Webster Mallee Yes
Kevin Hogan Page Absent
Michelle Landry Capricornia Absent
Llew O'Brien Wide Bay Absent
Tony Smith Casey Speaker Absent
Totals (81% turnout) 63 Yes – 59 No