The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bills for a second time.(Read more about the stages that bills must pass through to become law here. ) This means that the majority agree with the main idea of the bills and that they can now discuss them in more detail.

Although the bills had broad support from both sides of the Senate, the Nationals Party opposed them. The exception was Nationals MP Julian McGauran who rebelled against his party and voted 'aye' to the motion.(Read more about what it means to rebel in our FAQ Section. )

Background to the bills

Australia's wheat export market currently operates under a ' single desk' policy. This means that bulk wheat exports are directed through a single exporter of bulk wheat under the Australian Wheat Board International Limited (AWB International). The Export Wheat Commission manages the export of non-bulk wheat (that is, bagged or container wheat).

The bills establish a wheat export accreditation scheme, which will be regulated through a new statutory body called the Wheat Exports Australia.(Read more about the bills in their bills digests. The digest for the Wheat Export Marketing Bill 2008 is available here (198 KB). The digest for the Wheat Export Marketing (Repeal and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2008 is available here (53.1 KB).) This introduces competition into the bulk wheat export market. As explained by the explanatory memorandum, "[r]ather than forcing growers to sell their wheat through a single exporter they will be able to choose from a number of accredited exporters as well as domestic outlets."


Votes Passed by a large majority

There was 1 rebellion in this division.

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 (75% turnout) 3 Yes 0 No
Bob Brown Tasmania Yes
Christine Milne Tasmania Yes
Rachel Siewert WA Yes
Kerry Nettle NSW Absent
Australian Labor Party (78% turnout) 21 Yes 0 No
Mark Bishop WA Yes
Carol Brown Tasmania Yes
George Campbell NSW Yes
Jacinta Collins Victoria Yes
Trish Crossin NT Yes
Michael Forshaw NSW Yes
Annette Hurley SA Yes
Steve Hutchins NSW 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
Nick Sherry Tasmania Yes
Ursula Stephens NSW Yes
Glenn Sterle WA Yes
Ruth Webber WA Yes
Dana Wortley SA Yes
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Stephen Conroy Victoria Absent
Chris Evans WA Absent
John Faulkner NSW Absent
Linda Kirk SA Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party No
John Hogg Queensland Deputy President Yes
Steve Fielding Victoria Family First Party No
Liberal Party (88% turnout) 28 Yes 0 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Yes
Judith Adams WA Yes
Guy Barnett Tasmania Yes
Cory Bernardi SA Yes
Simon Birmingham SA Yes
Sue Boyce Queensland Yes
George Brandis Queensland Yes
David Bushby Tasmania Yes
Grant Chapman SA Yes
Richard Colbeck Tasmania Yes
Helen Coonan NSW Yes
Mathias Cormann WA Yes
Chris Ellison WA Yes
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Yes
Mary Fisher SA Yes
Gary Humphries ACT Yes
David Johnston WA Yes
Rod Kemp Victoria Yes
Ian Macdonald Queensland 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
Judith Troeth Victoria Yes
Russell Trood Queensland Yes
John Watson Tasmania Yes
Alan Eggleston WA Absent
Mitch Fifield Victoria Absent
Bill Heffernan NSW Absent
Ross Lightfoot WA Absent
National Party (80% turnout) 1 Yes 3 No
Julian McGauran Victoria Yes
Ron Boswell Queensland No
Barnaby Joyce Queensland No
Sandy Macdonald NSW No
Fiona Nash NSW Absent
Alan Ferguson SA President Yes
Totals (84% turnout) 59 Yes – 5 No