The majority voted in favour of a motion to disagree with amendments (3) to (7) introduced by Warringah MP Zali Steggall (Independent), which means they failed.

What did the amendment do?

Ms Steggall explained that:

Amendment (5) relates to setting a deadline for the tabling of reports from inquiries. Section 149 of the bill requires a commissioner to prepare a report on an investigation, and section 154 requires him or her to give a report to certain persons but provides no time frame in which that report should be provided. Parties subject to an investigation should have certainty around when a report will be released. This is so we don't have a situation such as the current one in New South Wales with the investigation into Gladys Berejiklian, where the report's release keeps getting delayed with no clear explanation, creating uncertainty for all sides. My proposal is that the report should be tabled within a year of the completion of public hearings or, where public hearings were not held, within a year of the last private hearing. This amendment will also require the tabling of reports to parliament to improve the transparency and accountability of the commission.

Amendments (6) and (7) set a deadline for the opportunity to respond to findings. Section 157 of the bill provides for the opportunity for any persons who have an adverse finding against them in a report to have a reasonable opportunity to respond. I believe this should be replaced with a fixed time frame in which to respond. The amendment proposes changing a reasonable opportunity to three months or such longer period as determined by the commissioner. Again, it is all about trying to provide a timeliness framework to investigations and reporting so that we don't have parties with deep pockets and an ability to bring on successive challenges in the legal sense that would delay the provision of reports. It is also because it can be politicised—we know this—and reports left without a specific time frame means they can be delayed purposefully or from an unintended consequence relating to when elections and other issues might be arising.

Amendments (3) and (4) relate to changing the threshold for the use of legal professional privilege so it cannot be so easily abused to avoid public hearings. The commissioner should have discretion in deciding whether or not to hear private evidence that may disclose legal advice or a communication protected by legal professional privilege. I agree with the Centre for Public Integrity to make this mandatory. The current legislation says it 'must be private in all circumstances', so to make it mandatory would be to leave it open to well-funded litigants to exploit this right, with the effect of delaying or disrupting the commission's work.

Read more about the bill in its bills digest.

Amendment text

(3) Clause 74, page 69 (lines 16 and 17), omit subparagraph (b)(ii).

(4) Page 69 (after line 21), after clause 74, insert:

74A Evidence involving legal professional privilege

The Commissioner may determine that evidence is to be given in private if giving the evidence would disclose a communication that is protected against disclosure by legal professional privilege.

(5) Clause 149, page 122 (after line 6), after subclause (1), insert:

(1A) The investigation report must be completed and tabled in each House of the Parliament as soon as practicable, and in any event within 12 months, after:

(a) if any public hearings are held in the course of the corruption investigation—the conclusion of the last public hearing that is held; or

(b) otherwise—the conclusion of the last hearing that is held in the course of the corruption investigation.

(6) Clause 155, page 128 (lines 5 to 7), omit all the words from and including "must" to the end of the clause, substitute:

must, within 14 days after receiving the report:

(c) table the report in each House of the Parliament; or

(d) if a House is not sitting—present the report to the Presiding Officer of that House for circulation to the members of that House.

(7) Clause 157, page 128 (line 32), omit "a reasonable opportunity", substitute "the period of 3 months, or such longer period as is determined by the Commissioner,".

Votes Passed by a large majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (50% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Stephen Bates Brisbane Yes
Elizabeth Watson-Brown Ryan Yes
Adam Bandt Melbourne Absent
Max Chandler-Mather Griffith Absent
Australian Labor Party (42% turnout) 32 Yes 0 No
Matt Burnell Spence Yes
Andrew Charlton Parramatta Yes
Lisa Chesters Bendigo Yes
Sharon Claydon Newcastle Yes
Libby Coker Corangamite Yes
Mark Dreyfus Isaacs Yes
Justine Elliot Richmond Yes
Cassandra Fernando Holt Yes
Steve Georganas Adelaide Yes
Patrick Gorman Perth Yes
Julian Hill Bruce Yes
Catherine King Ballarat Yes
Tania Lawrence Hasluck Yes
Jerome Laxale Bennelong Yes
Zaneta Mascarenhas Swan Yes
Louise Miller-Frost Boothby Yes
Shayne Neumann Blair Yes
Alicia Payne Canberra Yes
Graham Perrett Moreton Yes
Fiona Phillips Gilmore Yes
Sam Rae Hawke Yes
Gordon Reid Robertson Yes
Dan Repacholi Hunter Yes
Tracey Roberts Pearce Yes
Michelle Rowland Greenway Yes
Joanne Ryan Lalor Yes
Sally Sitou Reid Yes
David Smith Bean Yes
Anne Stanley Werriwa Yes
Matt Thistlethwaite Kingsford Smith Yes
Kate Thwaites Jagajaga Yes
Tony Zappia Makin Yes
Anthony Albanese Grayndler Absent
Anne Aly Cowan Absent
Michelle Ananda-Rajah Higgins Absent
Chris Bowen McMahon Absent
Tony Burke Watson Absent
Linda Burney Barton Absent
Josh Burns Macnamara Absent
Mark Butler Hindmarsh Absent
Alison Byrnes Cunningham Absent
Jim Chalmers Rankin Absent
Jason Clare Blaxland Absent
Julie Collins Franklin Absent
Pat Conroy Shortland Absent
Mike Freelander Macarthur Absent
Carina Garland Chisholm Absent
Andrew Giles Scullin Absent
Luke Gosling Solomon Absent
Ed Husic Chifley Absent
Stephen Jones Whitlam Absent
Ged Kearney Cooper Absent
Matt Keogh Burt Absent
Peter Khalil Wills Absent
Madeleine King Brand Absent
Andrew Leigh Fenner Absent
Sam Lim Tangney Absent
Richard Marles Corio Absent
Kristy McBain Eden-Monaro Absent
Emma McBride Dobell Absent
Brian Mitchell Lyons Absent
Rob Mitchell McEwen Absent
Daniel Mulino Fraser Absent
Peta Murphy Dunkley Absent
Brendan O'Connor Gorton Absent
Clare O'Neil Hotham Absent
Tanya Plibersek Sydney Absent
Amanda Rishworth Kingston Absent
Marion Scrymgour Lingiari Absent
Bill Shorten Maribyrnong Absent
Meryl Swanson Paterson Absent
Susan Templeman Macquarie Absent
Maria Vamvakinou Calwell Absent
Tim Watts Gellibrand Absent
Anika Wells Lilley Absent
Josh Wilson Fremantle Absent
Rebekha Sharkie Mayo Centre Alliance Absent
Mark Coulton Parkes Deputy Speaker Yes
Helen Haines Indi Independent Yes
Monique Ryan Kooyong Independent Yes
Kate Chaney Curtin Independent No
Zoe Daniel Goldstein Independent No
Sophie Scamps Mackellar Independent No
Allegra Spender Wentworth Independent No
Zali Steggall Warringah Independent No
Kylea Tink North Sydney Independent No
Dai Le Fowler Independent Absent
Andrew Wilkie Clark Independent Absent
Bob Katter Kennedy Katter's Australian Party Absent
Liberal National Party (0% turnout) Absent
Angie Bell Moncrieff Absent
Colin Boyce Flynn Absent
Garth Hamilton Groom Absent
Henry Pike Bowman Absent
Phillip Thompson Herbert Absent
Andrew Wallace Fisher Absent
Andrew Willcox Dawson Absent
Terry Young Longman Absent
Liberal Party (19% turnout) 7 Yes 0 No
Bridget Archer Bass Yes
Paul Fletcher Bradfield Yes
Ian Goodenough Moore Yes
Julian Leeser Berowra Yes
Tony Pasin Barker Yes
Gavin Pearce Braddon Yes
Keith Wolahan Menzies Yes
Karen Andrews McPherson Absent
Russell Broadbent Monash Absent
Scott Buchholz Wright Absent
David Coleman Banks Absent
Peter Dutton Dickson Absent
Warren Entsch Leichhardt Absent
Andrew Hastie Canning Absent
Alex Hawke Mitchell Absent
Luke Howarth Petrie Absent
Sussan Ley Farrer Absent
Nola Marino Forrest Absent
Melissa McIntosh Lindsay Absent
Zoe McKenzie Flinders Absent
Scott Morrison Cook Absent
Ted O'Brien Fairfax Absent
Melissa Price Durack Absent
Rowan Ramsey Grey Absent
Stuart Robert Fadden Absent
James Stevens Sturt Absent
Michael Sukkar Deakin Absent
Angus Taylor Hume Absent
Dan Tehan Wannon Absent
Alan Tudge Aston Absent
Bert Van Manen Forde Absent
Ross Vasta Bonner Absent
Aaron Violi Casey Absent
Jenny Ware Hughes Absent
Rick Wilson O'Connor Absent
Jason Wood La Trobe Absent
National Party (8% turnout) 1 Yes 0 No
Michael McCormack Riverina Yes
Sam Birrell Nicholls Absent
Darren Chester Gippsland Absent
Pat Conaghan Cowper Absent
Andrew Gee Calare Absent
David Gillespie Lyne Absent
Kevin Hogan Page Absent
Barnaby Joyce New England Absent
Michelle Landry Capricornia Absent
David Littleproud Maranoa Absent
Llew O'Brien Wide Bay Absent
Keith Pitt Hinkler Absent
Anne Webster Mallee Absent
Milton Dick Oxley Speaker Absent
Totals (34% turnout) 45 Yes – 6 No