The majority voted against a motion that the bills be read for a second time.(Read more about the stages that a bill needs to pass through before becoming law here. ) This means that the majority disagreed with the main idea of the bills and that they will not be proceeding.

Background to the bills

The three bills are:

They were introduced as a package to create three private health insurance tiers in order to:

  • reduce the amount of private health insurance rebate eligible taxpayers with complying private health insurance are entitled to when their income for surcharge purposes is above the relevant Medicare levy surcharge threshold;(Read more about the proposed reduction of the rebate in the bills digest (419 KB) for the Fairer Private Health Insurance Incentives Bill 2009.


  • increase the rate of Medicare levy surcharge for certain taxpayers who do not have complying health insurance and whose income for surcharge purposes is above the relevant Medicare levy surcharge threshold.(Read more about the proposed increase in the rate of Medicare levy surcharge the bills digest (339 KB) for Fairer Private Health Insurance Incentives (Medicare Levy Surcharge) Bill 2009 and the bills digest (346 KB) for the Fairer Private Health Insurance Incentives (Medicare Levy Surcharge - Fringe Benefits) Bill 2009.)

Votes Not passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 0 Yes 5 No
Bob Brown Tasmania No
Sarah Hanson-Young SA No
Scott Ludlam WA No
Christine Milne Tasmania No
Rachel Siewert WA No
Australian Labor Party (77% turnout) 24 Yes 0 No
Mark Arbib NSW Yes
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Yes
Mark Bishop WA Yes
Carol Brown Tasmania Yes
Doug Cameron NSW Yes
Jacinta Collins Victoria Yes
Stephen Conroy Victoria Yes
Trish Crossin NT Yes
Don Farrell SA Yes
David Feeney Victoria Yes
Michael Forshaw NSW Yes
Mark Furner Queensland Yes
Annette Hurley SA Yes
Steve Hutchins NSW Yes
Joe Ludwig Queensland Yes
Kate Lundy ACT 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
Dana Wortley SA Yes
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Chris Evans WA Absent
John Faulkner NSW Absent
Gavin Marshall Victoria Absent
Louise Pratt WA Absent
Glenn Sterle WA Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party No
Alan Ferguson SA Deputy President No
Steve Fielding Victoria Family First Party No
Nick Xenophon SA Independent No
Liberal Party (77% turnout) 0 Yes 23 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania No
Judith Adams WA No
Christopher Back WA No
Guy Barnett Tasmania No
Cory Bernardi SA No
Simon Birmingham SA No
David Bushby Tasmania No
Michaelia Cash WA No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Mathias Cormann WA No
Alan Eggleston WA No
Mitch Fifield Victoria No
Mary Fisher SA No
Bill Heffernan NSW No
David Johnston WA No
Ian Macdonald Queensland No
Nick Minchin SA No
Stephen Parry Tasmania No
Marise Payne NSW No
Michael Ronaldson Victoria No
Scott Ryan Victoria No
Judith Troeth Victoria No
Russell Trood Queensland No
Sue Boyce Queensland Absent
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Helen Coonan NSW Absent
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Absent
Gary Humphries ACT Absent
Helen Kroger Victoria Absent
Brett Mason Queensland Absent
National Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 5 No
Ron Boswell Queensland No
Barnaby Joyce Queensland No
Julian McGauran Victoria No
Fiona Nash NSW No
John Williams NSW No
John Hogg Queensland President Yes
Totals (82% turnout) 25 Yes – 37 No