The majority voted against putting a sunset provision into the bill, which was suggested by Liberal Senator George Brandis.

Main idea of the bill

The bill was introduced to make sure that the National School Chaplaincy Program could continue after the High Court's decision in Williams v Commonwealth [2012] HCA 23 (read the decision).

Why a sunset clause?

Senator Brandis had proposed the sunset clause because the bill goes beyond ensuring the continuation of the chaplaincy program and the opposition think that Parliament should have an opportunity to further consider it later (read his contribution). However, they agree that the bill should be passed now because of the urgency of continuing the program.

Background to the bill

Williams v Commonwealth was about an agreement between the Federal Government and the Scripture Union Queensland (SCU) which funded chaplaincy services in Queensland state schools (the National School Chaplaincy Program). A parent, Ronald Williams, argued that this agreement was invalid because the Executive branch of the Federal Government didn't have the power to enter it. Because Mr Williams was successful, the agreement was invalid.

Read more in the bills digest.

Votes Not passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (89% turnout) 0 Yes 8 No
Richard Di Natale Victoria No
Sarah Hanson-Young SA No
Scott Ludlam WA No
Christine Milne Tasmania No
Lee Rhiannon NSW No
Larissa Waters Queensland No
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania No
Penny Wright SA No
Rachel Siewert WA Absent
Australian Labor Party (93% turnout) 0 Yes 28 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania No
Mark Bishop WA No
Carol Brown Tasmania No
Doug Cameron NSW No
Bob Carr NSW No
Kim Carr Victoria No
Jacinta Collins 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
Lisa Singh Tasmania No
Ursula Stephens NSW No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Matt Thistlethwaite NSW No
Lin Thorp Tasmania No
Anne Urquhart Tasmania No
Penny Wong SA No
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 Yes
Nick Xenophon SA Independent Absent
Liberal Party (85% turnout) 23 Yes 0 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Yes
Cory Bernardi SA Yes
Simon Birmingham SA Yes
Sue Boyce Queensland Yes
David Bushby Tasmania Yes
Michaelia Cash WA Yes
Richard Colbeck Tasmania Yes
Mathias Cormann WA Yes
Sean Edwards SA Yes
Alan Eggleston WA Yes
David Fawcett SA Yes
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Yes
Mitch Fifield Victoria Yes
Gary Humphries ACT Yes
David Johnston WA Yes
Helen Kroger Victoria Yes
Ian Macdonald Queensland Yes
Brett Mason Queensland Yes
Marise Payne NSW Yes
Michael Ronaldson Victoria Yes
Scott Ryan Victoria Yes
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Yes
Dean Smith WA Yes
Christopher Back WA Absent
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Mary Fisher SA Absent
Bill Heffernan NSW 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) 31 Yes – 37 No