The majority voted against an amendment to the Clean Energy Bill 2011, moved by Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham and Independent Senator Nick Xenophon.

Senator Birmingham explained that "[t]hese amendments would ensure that at least 90 per cent of the up-front costs associated with the advance purchase of permits by electricity generators would be removed".(Read the rest of Senator Birmingham's and the associated debate here. The relevant debate commences at 11:04 am.) He said that this would "ensure that unnecessary electricity price rises above the gross electricity price rises already imposed under this legislation could be avoided".

The Clean Energy Bill 2011 is one of a package of eighteen bills to implement a carbon pricing mechanism, which is a key policy of the Australian Labor Party while in Government.

The eighteen bills were:

Background to the bills

The carbon pricing mechanism would commence on 1 July 2012. It is an emissions trading scheme that will put a price on carbon emissions. It will apply to “liable entities” (a group that includes companies that emit a high level of greenhouse gases). Initially the price of carbon will be fixed by the mechanism but from 1 July 2015 the price will be set by the market.

For more information on the carbon pricing mechanism and how it works, please see the Clean Energy Regulator’s website.


Votes Not passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 0 Yes 9 No
Bob Brown Tasmania No
Richard Di Natale Victoria No
Sarah Hanson-Young SA No
Scott Ludlam WA No
Christine Milne Tasmania No
Lee Rhiannon NSW No
Rachel Siewert WA No
Larissa Waters Queensland No
Penny Wright SA No
Australian Labor Party (87% turnout) 0 Yes 26 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania No
Mark Bishop WA No
Carol Brown Tasmania No
Doug Cameron NSW No
Kim Carr Victoria No
Trish Crossin NT No
Chris Evans WA No
Don Farrell SA No
John Faulkner NSW No
Mark Furner Queensland No
Alex Gallacher SA No
Joe Ludwig Queensland No
Kate Lundy ACT No
Gavin Marshall Victoria No
Anne McEwen SA No
Jan McLucas Queensland No
Claire Moore Queensland No
Helen Polley Tasmania No
Louise Pratt WA No
Nick Sherry Tasmania No
Lisa Singh Tasmania No
Ursula Stephens NSW No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Matt Thistlethwaite NSW No
Anne Urquhart Tasmania No
Penny Wong SA No
Mark Arbib NSW Absent
Jacinta Collins Victoria Absent
Stephen Conroy Victoria Absent
David Feeney Victoria Absent
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Yes
John Madigan Victoria Democratic Labor Party Yes
Stephen Parry Tasmania Deputy President Absent
Nick Xenophon SA Independent Yes
Liberal Party (89% turnout) 24 Yes 0 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Yes
Judith Adams WA Yes
Cory Bernardi SA Yes
Simon Birmingham SA Yes
Sue Boyce Queensland Yes
George Brandis Queensland Yes
David Bushby Tasmania Yes
Michaelia Cash WA Yes
Richard Colbeck Tasmania Yes
Mathias Cormann WA Yes
Alan Eggleston WA Yes
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Yes
Mary Fisher SA Yes
Bill Heffernan NSW Yes
Gary Humphries ACT Yes
David Johnston WA Yes
Helen Kroger Victoria Yes
Ian Macdonald Queensland Yes
Brett Mason Queensland Yes
Stephen Parry Tasmania Yes
Marise Payne NSW Yes
Michael Ronaldson Victoria Yes
Scott Ryan Victoria Yes
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Yes
Christopher Back WA Absent
Sean Edwards SA Absent
David Fawcett SA Absent
Mitch Fifield Victoria Absent
National Party (100% turnout) 5 Yes 0 No
Ron Boswell Queensland Yes
Barnaby Joyce Queensland Yes
Bridget McKenzie Victoria Yes
Fiona Nash NSW Yes
John Williams NSW Yes
John Hogg Queensland President No
Totals (89% turnout) 32 Yes – 36 No