The majority voted against a motion "That part 1 of schedule 2 [of the Paid Parental Leave (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2010] stand as printed". In other words, the senators were voting on whether they supported that part.

Someone who voted Aye supported the part. Since the majority voted No, an amendment to oppose the part will be attached to the bill when it is returned to the House of Representatives for their consideration. The House will then decide whether it agrees with the amendment or not.

In this case, the House rejected the amendment to oppose the part and so it remained as it was. The bill was ultimately passed because the opposition did not insist on the amendment.(See Senator Fifield's statement to that effect here. )

Debate in Parliament

The motion on whether to support the part was put after Liberal Party Senator Mitchell Fifield moved an amendment that it should be opposed. The part transferred the responsibility for making payments under the paid parental leave scheme to the employer rather than the department secretary. Senator Fifield explained that the purpose of that amendment was to keep the administrative burden of the scheme on the government rather than on employers and it was ancillary to other more substantive amendments proposed in respect to the Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010 that had the same purpose.(Read Senator Fifield's explanation here. See the other relevant divisions here and here. )

Background to the bills

The Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010 and the Paid Parental Leave (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2010 were introduced by the Labor Government to establish a Government-funded Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme from 1 January 2011.(Read more about the Government's paid parental leave scheme in the bill's digest (522 KB) and the Department of Human Services website.)


Votes Not passed by a small 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 (84% turnout) 26 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
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
Ursula Stephens NSW Yes
Glenn Sterle WA Yes
Penny Wong SA Yes
Dana Wortley SA Yes
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Chris Evans WA Absent
John Faulkner NSW Absent
Louise Pratt WA Absent
Nick Sherry Tasmania 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 Absent
Liberal Party (87% turnout) 0 Yes 26 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania No
Judith Adams WA No
Christopher Back WA No
Guy Barnett Tasmania No
Cory Bernardi SA No
Sue Boyce Queensland No
George Brandis Queensland No
David Bushby Tasmania No
Michaelia Cash WA No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Helen Coonan NSW No
Alan Eggleston WA No
Mitch Fifield Victoria No
Mary Fisher SA No
Bill Heffernan NSW No
Gary Humphries ACT No
Helen Kroger Victoria No
Ian Macdonald Queensland No
Brett Mason 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
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Absent
David Johnston WA 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 (87% turnout) 32 Yes – 34 No