The majority voted in favour of a motion "That schedule 4 stand as printed", which means that the schedule will remain unchanged. This motion was put in response to a motion to oppose schedule 4, which was introduced by Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett.(Read Senator Bartlett's explanation of his amendment here. )

Schedule 4 effectively scraps the current access arrangements to Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory. Currently, a person requires a permit to access Aboriginal land unless they are an Aboriginal person who enter on the basis of Aboriginal tradition. The schedule changes this and allows entry for a wide range of people.(Read more about schedule 4 in the bills digest. )

Background to the bills

The Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Northern Territory National Emergency Response and Other Measures) Bill 2007 was introduced along with four other bills:

This legislation was introduced in response to the Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse, known as the Little Children are Sacred report, which was publicly released on 15 June 2007.(Read more about the background of the bills in the interim bills digest. ) That report came after concerns were raised on ABC's Lateline program in 2006.(Read the transcript for the Lateline programs that addressed the issue of child abuse in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory here (the May 2006 program) and here (the June 2006 program).)

Votes Passed by a large majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Democrats (50% turnout) 0 Yes 2 No
Lyn Allison Victoria No
Andrew Bartlett Queensland No
Andrew Murray WA Absent
Natasha Stott Despoja SA Absent
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 (67% turnout) 18 Yes 0 No
Mark Bishop WA Yes
George Campbell NSW Yes
Stephen Conroy Victoria Yes
Trish Crossin NT Yes
Annette Hurley SA Yes
Steve Hutchins NSW Yes
Linda Kirk SA Yes
Gavin Marshall Victoria Yes
Anne McEwen SA Yes
Jan McLucas Queensland Yes
Claire Moore Queensland Yes
Helen Polley Tasmania Yes
Robert Ray Victoria Yes
Nick Sherry Tasmania Yes
Glenn Sterle WA Yes
Ruth Webber WA Yes
Penny Wong SA Yes
Dana Wortley SA Yes
Carol Brown Tasmania Absent
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Chris Evans WA Absent
John Faulkner NSW Absent
Michael Forshaw NSW Absent
Joe Ludwig Queensland Absent
Kate Lundy ACT Absent
Kerry O'Brien Tasmania Absent
Ursula Stephens NSW Absent
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Yes
John Hogg Queensland Deputy President Yes
Steve Fielding Victoria Family First Party Yes
Liberal Party (66% turnout) 21 Yes 0 No
Judith Adams WA Yes
Cory Bernardi SA Yes
Simon Birmingham SA Yes
Sue Boyce Queensland Yes
George Brandis Queensland Yes
Grant Chapman SA Yes
Richard Colbeck Tasmania Yes
Mathias Cormann WA Yes
Alan Eggleston WA Yes
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Yes
Mitch Fifield Victoria Yes
Mary Fisher SA Yes
Gary Humphries ACT Yes
David Johnston WA Yes
Brett Mason Queensland Yes
Nick Minchin SA Yes
Stephen Parry Tasmania Yes
Kay Patterson Victoria Yes
Marise Payne NSW Yes
Michael Ronaldson Victoria Yes
John Watson Tasmania Yes
Eric Abetz Tasmania Absent
Guy Barnett Tasmania Absent
Paul Calvert Tasmania Absent
Helen Coonan NSW Absent
Chris Ellison WA Absent
Bill Heffernan NSW Absent
Rod Kemp Victoria Absent
Ross Lightfoot WA Absent
Ian Macdonald Queensland Absent
Judith Troeth Victoria Absent
Russell Trood Queensland Absent
National Party (60% turnout) 3 Yes 0 No
Barnaby Joyce Queensland Yes
Sandy Macdonald NSW Yes
Fiona Nash NSW Yes
Ron Boswell Queensland Absent
Julian McGauran Victoria Absent
Alan Ferguson SA President Absent
Totals (67% turnout) 45 Yes – 6 No