The majority voted in favour of disagreeing with amendments introduced by Berowra MP Julian Leeser (Liberal), which means they failed.

Amendment text

(9) Schedule 4, page 22 (line 1) to page 25 (line 12), omit the Schedule.

(10) Schedule 5, page 26 (line 1) to page 28 (line 28), omit the Schedule.

What did the amendments do?

Regarding amendment (9), Mr Leeser explained that:

These amendments deal with representative actions and costs orders. Schedule 4 of the bill seeks to amend the Human Rights Commission Act to make it easier for unions and other representative groups to bring representative claims in the Federal Court. The amendments would allow bodies to commence legal proceedings on behalf of other parties rather than the aggrieved person taking the matter for themselves. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has explained why this provision is not necessary. The ACCI has argued that representative groups are not prohibited from providing financial or legal support to parties pursuing a representative proceeding in the courts. Rather, they're simply prevented from commencing the proceedings on their behalf. It's not clear how allowing trade unions to commence legal proceedings on behalf of aggrieved persons would lead to better outcomes for these persons, especially in light of support that representative groups can already provide.

Fundamentally, litigants in representative actions need to be aggrieved persons, not bodies that represent or merely purport to represent their interest. This is how the existing avenue for class actions rightly operates. The interests of representative bodies do not always align with those they represent. Allowing these bodies to commence and run representative actions on their behalf could lead to the aggrieved person's interests being neglected in favour of other motives, such as a desire for a more lucrative settlement or political objectives. Further, representative bodies are not those whose reputations, finances and relationships are vulnerable during litigation. Allowing representative bodies to be the party instructing lawyers on the running of legal proceedings risks the pursuit of interests that are unrelated to those of the affected individuals.

Regarding amendment 10, he explained that:

In relation to costs, in schedule 5 the bill inserts a cost-neutral arrangement into the Human Rights Commission Act. This means that parties are expected to bear their own costs, with courts having power to make an alternative determination, considering the factors in the legislation, including: the financial circumstances of each party to the proceedings; the conduct of the parties, including conduct dealing with the commission; whether any parties have been wholly unsuccessful; whether any party has made an offer in writing to settle; whether the subject matter of the proceedings involves an issue of public importance; or any other matter the court considers relevant. We think discretion as to costs best sits with the court, and our amendments will remove schedule 5 of the bill and leave costs determinations at the discretion of the court, with the principle being that costs follow the event.

Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 4 Yes 0 No
Adam Bandt Melbourne Yes
Stephen Bates Brisbane Yes
Max Chandler-Mather Griffith Yes
Elizabeth Watson-Brown Ryan Yes
Australian Labor Party (93% turnout) 71 Yes 0 No
Anne Aly Cowan Yes
Michelle Ananda-Rajah Higgins Yes
Chris Bowen McMahon Yes
Tony Burke Watson Yes
Matt Burnell Spence Yes
Linda Burney Barton Yes
Josh Burns Macnamara Yes
Mark Butler Hindmarsh Yes
Alison Byrnes Cunningham Yes
Jim Chalmers Rankin Yes
Andrew Charlton Parramatta Yes
Lisa Chesters Bendigo Yes
Jason Clare Blaxland Yes
Sharon Claydon Newcastle Yes
Libby Coker Corangamite Yes
Julie Collins Franklin Yes
Mark Dreyfus Isaacs Yes
Justine Elliot Richmond Yes
Cassandra Fernando Holt Yes
Mike Freelander Macarthur Yes
Carina Garland Chisholm Yes
Steve Georganas Adelaide Yes
Andrew Giles Scullin Yes
Patrick Gorman Perth Yes
Luke Gosling Solomon Yes
Julian Hill Bruce Yes
Ed Husic Chifley Yes
Stephen Jones Whitlam Yes
Ged Kearney Cooper Yes
Matt Keogh Burt Yes
Peter Khalil Wills Yes
Catherine King Ballarat Yes
Madeleine King Brand Yes
Tania Lawrence Hasluck Yes
Jerome Laxale Bennelong Yes
Andrew Leigh Fenner Yes
Sam Lim Tangney Yes
Richard Marles Corio Yes
Zaneta Mascarenhas Swan Yes
Kristy McBain Eden-Monaro Yes
Emma McBride Dobell Yes
Louise Miller-Frost Boothby Yes
Brian Mitchell Lyons Yes
Rob Mitchell McEwen Yes
Daniel Mulino Fraser Yes
Shayne Neumann Blair Yes
Brendan O'Connor Gorton Yes
Clare O'Neil Hotham Yes
Alicia Payne Canberra Yes
Graham Perrett Moreton Yes
Fiona Phillips Gilmore Yes
Tanya Plibersek Sydney Yes
Sam Rae Hawke Yes
Dan Repacholi Hunter Yes
Amanda Rishworth Kingston Yes
Tracey Roberts Pearce Yes
Michelle Rowland Greenway Yes
Joanne Ryan Lalor Yes
Marion Scrymgour Lingiari Yes
Bill Shorten Maribyrnong Yes
Sally Sitou Reid Yes
David Smith Bean Yes
Anne Stanley Werriwa Yes
Meryl Swanson Paterson Yes
Susan Templeman Macquarie Yes
Matt Thistlethwaite Kingsford Smith Yes
Kate Thwaites Jagajaga Yes
Maria Vamvakinou Calwell Yes
Tim Watts Gellibrand Yes
Anika Wells Lilley Yes
Tony Zappia Makin Yes
Anthony Albanese Grayndler Absent
Pat Conroy Shortland Absent
Peta Murphy Dunkley Absent
Gordon Reid Robertson Absent
Josh Wilson Fremantle Absent
Rebekha Sharkie Mayo Centre Alliance No
Mark Coulton Parkes Deputy Speaker No
Kate Chaney Curtin Independent Yes
Zoe Daniel Goldstein Independent Yes
Helen Haines Indi Independent Yes
Monique Ryan Kooyong Independent Yes
Sophie Scamps Mackellar Independent Yes
Allegra Spender Wentworth Independent Yes
Zali Steggall Warringah Independent Yes
Kylea Tink North Sydney Independent Yes
Andrew Wilkie Clark Independent Yes
Dai Le Fowler Independent No
Bob Katter Kennedy Katter's Australian Party Absent
Liberal National Party (88% turnout) 0 Yes 7 No
Angie Bell Moncrieff No
Colin Boyce Flynn No
Henry Pike Bowman No
Phillip Thompson Herbert No
Andrew Wallace Fisher No
Andrew Willcox Dawson No
Terry Young Longman No
Garth Hamilton Groom Absent
Liberal Party (92% turnout) 0 Yes 33 No
Karen Andrews McPherson No
Bridget Archer Bass No
Russell Broadbent Monash No
Scott Buchholz Wright No
David Coleman Banks No
Peter Dutton Dickson No
Warren Entsch Leichhardt No
Paul Fletcher Bradfield No
Ian Goodenough Moore No
Andrew Hastie Canning No
Alex Hawke Mitchell No
Julian Leeser Berowra No
Sussan Ley Farrer No
Nola Marino Forrest No
Melissa McIntosh Lindsay No
Zoe McKenzie Flinders No
Scott Morrison Cook No
Ted O'Brien Fairfax No
Tony Pasin Barker No
Gavin Pearce Braddon No
Melissa Price Durack No
Rowan Ramsey Grey No
Stuart Robert Fadden No
James Stevens Sturt No
Michael Sukkar Deakin No
Angus Taylor Hume No
Alan Tudge Aston No
Ross Vasta Bonner No
Aaron Violi Casey No
Jenny Ware Hughes No
Rick Wilson O'Connor No
Keith Wolahan Menzies No
Jason Wood La Trobe No
Luke Howarth Petrie Absent
Dan Tehan Wannon Absent
Bert Van Manen Forde Absent
National Party (85% turnout) 0 Yes 11 No
Sam Birrell Nicholls No
Pat Conaghan Cowper No
David Gillespie Lyne No
Kevin Hogan Page No
Barnaby Joyce New England No
Michelle Landry Capricornia No
David Littleproud Maranoa No
Michael McCormack Riverina No
Llew O'Brien Wide Bay No
Keith Pitt Hinkler No
Anne Webster Mallee No
Darren Chester Gippsland Absent
Andrew Gee Calare Absent
Milton Dick Oxley Speaker Absent
Totals (91% turnout) 84 Yes – 54 No