The majority voted against a motion introduced by Australian Democrats Senator Natasha Stott Despoja. This means that the motion was rejected.

The motion was:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that:

(i) the introduction of voluntary student unionism on 1 July 2006 has resulted in the loss of numerous jobs and the closure of vital student services,

(ii) many other student services are in jeopardy,

(iii) the Government’s ‘Voluntary Student Unionism Transition Fund’ has done little to protect essential university services such as child care, welfare, counselling, advocacy and accommodation,(Read more about the fund here.)

(iv) the closure of these services is having a devastating effect on poorer students and those in regional and isolated areas, and

(v) the introduction of voluntary student unionism has undermined student autonomy and representation at universities; and

(b) calls on the Government to reverse voluntary student unionism.


Votes Not passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Democrats (100% turnout) 4 Yes 0 No
Lyn Allison Victoria Yes
Andrew Bartlett Queensland Yes
Andrew Murray WA Yes
Natasha Stott Despoja SA Yes
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 4 Yes 0 No
Bob Brown Tasmania Yes
Christine Milne Tasmania Yes
Kerry Nettle NSW Yes
Rachel Siewert WA Yes
Australian Labor Party (89% turnout) 24 Yes 0 No
Mark Bishop WA Yes
Carol Brown Tasmania Yes
George Campbell NSW Yes
Kim Carr Victoria Yes
Trish Crossin NT Yes
Chris Evans WA Yes
Michael Forshaw NSW Yes
Annette Hurley SA Yes
Steve Hutchins NSW Yes
Linda Kirk SA Yes
Joe Ludwig Queensland Yes
Kate Lundy ACT Yes
Gavin Marshall Victoria Yes
Anne McEwen SA Yes
Jan McLucas Queensland Yes
Claire Moore Queensland Yes
Kerry O'Brien Tasmania Yes
Helen Polley Tasmania Yes
Robert Ray Victoria Yes
Ursula Stephens NSW Yes
Glenn Sterle WA Yes
Ruth Webber WA Yes
Penny Wong SA Yes
Dana Wortley SA Yes
Stephen Conroy Victoria Absent
John Faulkner NSW Absent
Nick Sherry Tasmania Absent
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party No
John Hogg Queensland Deputy President Yes
Steve Fielding Victoria Family First Party No
Liberal Party (94% turnout) 0 Yes 30 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania No
Judith Adams WA No
Guy Barnett Tasmania No
Cory Bernardi SA No
George Brandis Queensland No
Ian Campbell WA No
Grant Chapman SA No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Helen Coonan NSW No
Alan Eggleston WA No
Chris Ellison WA No
Alan Ferguson SA No
Jeannie Ferris SA No
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW No
Mitch Fifield Victoria No
Bill Heffernan NSW No
David Johnston WA No
Rod Kemp Victoria No
Ross Lightfoot WA No
Ian Macdonald Queensland No
Brett Mason Queensland No
Nick Minchin SA No
Stephen Parry Tasmania No
Kay Patterson Victoria No
Marise Payne NSW No
Michael Ronaldson Victoria No
Santo Santoro Queensland No
Russell Trood Queensland No
Amanda Vanstone SA No
John Watson Tasmania No
Gary Humphries ACT Absent
Judith Troeth Victoria Absent
National Party (60% turnout) 0 Yes 3 No
Ron Boswell Queensland No
Sandy Macdonald NSW No
Fiona Nash NSW No
Barnaby Joyce Queensland Absent
Julian McGauran Victoria Absent
Paul Calvert Tasmania President No
Totals (91% turnout) 33 Yes – 36 No