The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. This means that the motion was rejected.

The motion as amended was:

(a) notes: (i) the release in January 2009, of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2008 Immigration detention report, and (ii) this report highlights, among other things, that asylum seekers, including children, are able to still be held indefinitely, despite assurances by the Rudd Government that detention is only being used as a last resort, and for the shortest possible time; (b) recognises that the lack of available merits and judicial review for people detained in immigration detention has resulted in people being held wrongfully, unlawfully and for a period of years; and (c) calls on the Government to translate its ‘new directions’ for Australia’s immigration detention system into policy, practice and legislative change as soon as possible.

Background to the motion

Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Evans announced the Labor Government's 'new directions' policy in a speech on 29 July 2008 to the Centre for International and Public Law at the Australian National University. Under this new policy, detaining people should be as a "last resort" rather than as standard practice. However, offshore processing at Christmas Island would continue as it "will signal that the Australian Government maintains a very strong anti peoplesmuggling stance" (see Senator Evans full speech here).

Votes Not passed by a large majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (80% turnout) 4 Yes 0 No
Bob Brown Tasmania Yes
Sarah Hanson-Young SA Yes
Scott Ludlam WA Yes
Christine Milne Tasmania Yes
Rachel Siewert WA Absent
Australian Labor Party (77% turnout) 0 Yes 24 No
Mark Arbib NSW No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania No
Mark Bishop WA No
Doug Cameron NSW No
Kim Carr Victoria No
Jacinta Collins Victoria No
Stephen Conroy Victoria No
Trish Crossin NT No
Don Farrell SA No
David Feeney Victoria No
Mark Furner Queensland No
Annette Hurley SA No
Steve Hutchins NSW No
Joe Ludwig Queensland No
Kate Lundy ACT No
Gavin Marshall Victoria No
Jan McLucas Queensland No
Claire Moore Queensland No
Kerry O'Brien Tasmania No
Helen Polley Tasmania No
Louise Pratt WA No
Nick Sherry Tasmania No
Ursula Stephens NSW No
Dana Wortley SA No
Carol Brown Tasmania Absent
Chris Evans WA Absent
John Faulkner NSW Absent
Michael Forshaw NSW Absent
Anne McEwen SA Absent
Glenn Sterle WA Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Absent
Alan Ferguson SA Deputy President No
Steve Fielding Victoria Family First Party Yes
Nick Xenophon SA Independent Yes
Liberal Party (45% turnout) 0 Yes 13 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania No
Cory Bernardi SA No
Sue Boyce Queensland No
David Bushby Tasmania No
Michaelia Cash WA No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Mathias Cormann WA No
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW No
Mary Fisher SA No
Stephen Parry Tasmania No
Marise Payne NSW No
Michael Ronaldson Victoria No
Judith Troeth Victoria No
Judith Adams WA Absent
Guy Barnett Tasmania Absent
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Helen Coonan NSW Absent
Alan Eggleston WA Absent
Mitch Fifield Victoria Absent
Bill Heffernan NSW Absent
Gary Humphries ACT Absent
David Johnston WA Absent
Helen Kroger Victoria Absent
Ian Macdonald Queensland Absent
Brett Mason Queensland Absent
Nick Minchin SA Absent
Scott Ryan Victoria Absent
Russell Trood Queensland Absent
National Party (60% turnout) 0 Yes 3 No
Barnaby Joyce Queensland No
Fiona Nash NSW No
John Williams NSW No
Ron Boswell Queensland Absent
Julian McGauran Victoria Absent
John Hogg Queensland President No
Totals (64% turnout) 6 Yes – 42 No