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 they can now consider the bill in more detail.

What does the bill do?

The bill was put through parliament so quickly that the parliamentary library has not had time to summarise what it does. The explanatory memorandum - which is prepared by the Government, who introduced the bill - describes it like this:

Schedule 1 to the Bill inserts Part IVBB into the CCA [Competition and Consumer Act 2010] to create an overarching framework to enable the Government to regulate the gas market. Two kinds of legislative instruments will underpin the new framework; gas market codes and gas market emergency price orders. These instruments are collectively referred to as gas market instruments.

First, the Governor-General may, through regulations, make gas market codes. Gas market codes may prescribe a broad range of matters relating to the supply and acquisition of gas commodities, including:

  • regulating dealings between persons who supply or acquire a gas commodity, including negotiations between them; and

  • dealing with and resolving disputes or complaints between persons who supply or acquire a gas commodity.

Second, the Minister may make gas market emergency price orders regulating the terms on which gas commodities are supplied or acquired, specifically including price. A gas market emergency price order is designed to provide short-term relief from the current energy crisis. The Minister’s power to make gas market emergency price orders sunsets 12 months after the commencement of any order, or 12 months after commencement of the enabling provision in Schedule 1 to the Bill if no order is made. The Minister must consult the ACCC [Australian Competition and Consumer Commission] prior to making a gas market emergency price order, and an order is automatically repealed after 12 months. Gas market emergency price orders provide the basis for emergency price regulation of gas, primarily to reduce domestic prices and address the current energy crisis.

Schedule 1 to the Bill includes a range of mechanisms that are aimed at detecting, deterring and addressing non-compliance with Part IVBB and gas market instruments. The ACCC has the power to require the production of certain information and documents, investigate suspected non-compliance and utilise a range of sanctions that are appropriate and proportionate to the non-compliance.

The consequences of contravening relevant provisions of Part IVBB or a gas market instrument include civil penalties, infringement notices, warning notices and orders under Part VI.

Schedule 1 to the Bill prohibits avoidance schemes that are designed to avoid the application of a civil penalty provision of a gas market instrument.

Votes Passed by a modest 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 (95% turnout) 72 Yes 0 No
Anthony Albanese Grayndler Yes
Anne Aly Cowan Yes
Michelle Ananda-Rajah Higgins Yes
Chris Bowen McMahon 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
Peta Murphy Dunkley 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
Gordon Reid Robertson 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
Anika Wells Lilley Yes
Josh Wilson Fremantle Yes
Tony Zappia Makin Yes
Tony Burke Watson Absent
Pat Conroy Shortland Absent
Sam Rae Hawke Absent
Tim Watts Gellibrand Absent
Rebekha Sharkie Mayo Centre Alliance Absent
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 Absent
Bob Katter Kennedy Katter's Australian Party Absent
Liberal National Party (63% turnout) 0 Yes 5 No
Henry Pike Bowman No
Phillip Thompson Herbert No
Andrew Wallace Fisher No
Andrew Willcox Dawson No
Terry Young Longman No
Angie Bell Moncrieff Absent
Colin Boyce Flynn Absent
Garth Hamilton Groom Absent
Liberal Party (69% turnout) 0 Yes 25 No
Karen Andrews McPherson No
Bridget Archer Bass No
Russell Broadbent Monash No
Scott Buchholz Wright No
Peter Dutton Dickson No
Paul Fletcher Bradfield No
Ian Goodenough Moore No
Andrew Hastie Canning No
Luke Howarth Petrie No
Julian Leeser Berowra No
Nola Marino Forrest No
Zoe McKenzie Flinders No
Ted O'Brien Fairfax No
Tony Pasin Barker No
Gavin Pearce Braddon No
Melissa Price Durack No
Rowan Ramsey Grey No
James Stevens Sturt No
Michael Sukkar Deakin No
Angus Taylor Hume No
Dan Tehan Wannon No
Alan Tudge Aston No
Ross Vasta Bonner No
Aaron Violi Casey No
Jenny Ware Hughes No
David Coleman Banks Absent
Warren Entsch Leichhardt Absent
Alex Hawke Mitchell Absent
Sussan Ley Farrer Absent
Melissa McIntosh Lindsay Absent
Scott Morrison Cook Absent
Stuart Robert Fadden Absent
Bert Van Manen Forde Absent
Rick Wilson O'Connor Absent
Keith Wolahan Menzies Absent
Jason Wood La Trobe Absent
National Party (69% turnout) 0 Yes 9 No
Sam Birrell Nicholls No
Darren Chester Gippsland 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
Keith Pitt Hinkler No
Andrew Gee Calare Absent
Michael McCormack Riverina Absent
Llew O'Brien Wide Bay Absent
Anne Webster Mallee Absent
Milton Dick Oxley Speaker Absent
Totals (83% turnout) 85 Yes – 40 No