The majority voted against an amendment introduced by Independent Senator Nick Xenophon, which means that it was rejected.

Senator Xenophon explained that "[u]nder this amendment it will be considered an unfair contract term if businesses charge customers additional fees for paying bills in person or with cash - with legal tender".(Read Senator Xenophon's whole explanation of the amendment and the associated debate here, after 6:27 pm. )

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced in response to an inquiry by the Productivity Commission into the consumer policy framework and a subsequent government consultation.(Read about that inquiry and the subsequent government consultation in the bills digest. ) It is the first of two bills to implement a national consumer law regime, to be called the Australian Consumer Law. This first bill will set the ground work for the regime and will only introduce the provisions about unfair contract terms, which are terms "that disadvantage one party but that are not reasonably necessary to protect the legitimate interests of the other".(More information about this bill and its soon-to-be-introduced counterpart can be found in the bills digest.)

The second bill, which has not yet been introduced, will implement the bulk of the Australian Consumer Law reforms.

Votes Not passed by a large majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 5 Yes 0 No
Bob Brown Tasmania Yes
Sarah Hanson-Young SA Yes
Scott Ludlam WA Yes
Christine Milne Tasmania Yes
Rachel Siewert WA Yes
Australian Labor Party (74% turnout) 0 Yes 23 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania No
Mark Bishop WA No
Carol Brown Tasmania No
Doug Cameron NSW No
Jacinta Collins Victoria No
Stephen Conroy Victoria No
Trish Crossin NT No
Chris Evans WA No
Don Farrell SA No
David Feeney Victoria No
Michael Forshaw NSW No
Mark Furner Queensland No
Annette Hurley SA No
Joe Ludwig Queensland 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
Louise Pratt WA No
Ursula Stephens NSW No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Mark Arbib NSW Absent
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
John Faulkner NSW Absent
Steve Hutchins NSW Absent
Kate Lundy ACT Absent
Nick Sherry Tasmania Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Dana Wortley SA Absent
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Absent
Alan Ferguson SA Deputy President Absent
Steve Fielding Victoria Family First Party Yes
Nick Xenophon SA Independent Yes
Liberal Party (27% turnout) 0 Yes 8 No
Christopher Back WA No
Guy Barnett Tasmania No
Cory Bernardi SA No
Simon Birmingham SA No
Michaelia Cash WA No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Stephen Parry Tasmania No
Judith Troeth Victoria No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Absent
Judith Adams WA Absent
Sue Boyce Queensland Absent
George Brandis Queensland Absent
David Bushby Tasmania Absent
Helen Coonan NSW Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
Alan Eggleston WA Absent
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Absent
Mitch Fifield Victoria Absent
Mary Fisher SA 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
Marise Payne NSW Absent
Michael Ronaldson Victoria Absent
Scott Ryan Victoria Absent
Russell Trood Queensland Absent
National Party (80% turnout) 0 Yes 4 No
Ron Boswell Queensland No
Barnaby Joyce Queensland No
Julian McGauran Victoria No
John Williams NSW No
Fiona Nash NSW Absent
John Hogg Queensland President No
Totals (57% turnout) 7 Yes – 36 No