The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill for a third time.(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through here. ) This means that the majority of senators agree with the bill, as amended.

Although the House of Representatives had already agreed to read the bill for a third time and this would ordinarily mean that the bill could now become law, in this case the bill must return to the House for them to consider the amendments agreed to in the Senate. If the House agrees with the Senate's amendments, the bill can then become law.

Background to the bill

When announcing his intention to amend the mechanics of the Native Title process, the Attorney-General said that the amendments would not affect the substance of the Native Title legislation.(Read more about native title in Australia here. Read more about the background to this bill, including the Attorney General's policy commitment, in its bills digest. )

The bill amends the _ Native Title Act 1993_ to:

  • introduce a new regime for representative Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander bodies;
  • implement recommendations made by an independent review into the native title claims resolution process,(More information about the inquiry, including its final report, here.) particularly in relation to increased powers and functions of the National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT); and
  • implement changes to the prescribed bodies corporate governance regime and the native title non-claimants financial assistance program.


Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Democrats (100% turnout) 0 Yes 4 No
Lyn Allison Victoria No
Andrew Bartlett Queensland No
Andrew Murray WA No
Natasha Stott Despoja SA No
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 0 Yes 4 No
Bob Brown Tasmania No
Christine Milne Tasmania No
Kerry Nettle NSW No
Rachel Siewert WA No
Australian Labor Party (81% turnout) 0 Yes 22 No
Mark Bishop WA No
Carol Brown Tasmania No
George Campbell NSW No
Kim Carr Victoria No
Stephen Conroy Victoria No
Trish Crossin NT No
Michael Forshaw NSW No
Annette Hurley SA No
Steve Hutchins NSW No
Joe Ludwig Queensland No
Kate Lundy ACT No
Gavin Marshall Victoria No
Anne McEwen SA No
Jan McLucas Queensland No
Claire Moore Queensland No
Kerry O'Brien Tasmania No
Helen Polley Tasmania No
Ursula Stephens NSW No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Ruth Webber WA No
Penny Wong SA No
Dana Wortley SA No
Chris Evans WA Absent
John Faulkner NSW Absent
Linda Kirk SA Absent
Robert Ray Victoria Absent
Nick Sherry Tasmania Absent
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Yes
John Hogg Queensland Deputy President No
Steve Fielding Victoria Family First Party Yes
Liberal Party (84% turnout) 27 Yes 0 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Yes
Judith Adams WA Yes
Guy Barnett Tasmania Yes
Cory Bernardi SA Yes
George Brandis Queensland Yes
Ian Campbell WA Yes
Grant Chapman SA Yes
Richard Colbeck Tasmania Yes
Alan Eggleston WA Yes
Chris Ellison WA Yes
Alan Ferguson SA Yes
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Yes
Mitch Fifield Victoria Yes
Bill Heffernan NSW Yes
Gary Humphries ACT Yes
David Johnston WA Yes
Rod Kemp Victoria Yes
Ian Macdonald Queensland Yes
Brett Mason Queensland Yes
Stephen Parry Tasmania Yes
Kay Patterson Victoria Yes
Marise Payne NSW Yes
Michael Ronaldson Victoria Yes
Santo Santoro Queensland Yes
Russell Trood Queensland Yes
Amanda Vanstone SA Yes
John Watson Tasmania Yes
Helen Coonan NSW Absent
Jeannie Ferris SA Absent
Ross Lightfoot WA Absent
Nick Minchin SA Absent
Judith Troeth Victoria Absent
National Party (100% turnout) 5 Yes 0 No
Ron Boswell Queensland Yes
Barnaby Joyce Queensland Yes
Sandy Macdonald NSW Yes
Julian McGauran Victoria Yes
Fiona Nash NSW Yes
Paul Calvert Tasmania President Yes
Totals (87% turnout) 35 Yes – 31 No