The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Liberal Senator Helen Kroger, which means that it was successful.

The motion was about the sale of Cubbie Station to a foreign-owned company and an Australia-owned company. The sale was controversial because it gave the foreign-owned company 80% initial ownership and, as explained by Senator Kroger, the Station is "one of Australia's most valuable irrigation properties, with a water licence equal to 6 per cent of the water use in the northern Murray-Darling Basin"

Wording of the motion

That the Senate:

(a)   notes that:

(i)   there is bipartisan support for foreign investment, provided that the particular foreign investment is not contrary to the national interest,

(ii)   the Treasurer ( Mr Swan) has approved the potential sale of Cubbie Station to a consortium 80 per cent owned by Shandong RuYi Scientific and Technological Group Co Ltd,

(iii)   the Treasurer has failed to explain why the potential sale to a majority foreign-owned consortium of one of Australia's most valuable irrigation properties, with a water licence equal to 6 per cent of the water use in the northern Murray-Darling Basin, is not contrary to the national interest, and

(iv)   Annex II of the Treasurer's own policy on foreign investment requires him to consider the effect of the proposal on:

(A)   the quality and availability of Australia's agricultural resources, including water,

(B)   land access and use,

(C)   agricultural production and productivity,

(D)   Australia's capacity to remain a reliable supplier of agricultural production both to the Australian community and our trading partners,

(E)    biodiversity, and

(F)   employment and prosperity in Australia's local and regional communities;

(b)   calls on the Treasurer to provide a statement detailing:

(i)   how the Treasurer determined the ownership and control of the consortium, particularly in the context of the national interest,

(ii)   why the Treasurer did not publish an interim order to extend the period of consideration by 90 days as required by Australia's Foreign Investment Policy, and

(iii)   why the sale is not contrary to the national interest and release the advice to the Treasurer from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and associated documents, including what, if any, other options were considered; and

(c)   calls on the Government to ensure that foreign investment transactions are transparent by:

(i)   establishing a publicly available national register of all foreign acquisitions of Australian agricultural land,

(ii)   reducing the financial threshold for FIRB examination of foreign acquisitions of Australian agricultural land, and

(iii)   ensuring that at least one member of FIRB has experience in agricultural management.

Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 9 Yes 0 No
Richard Di Natale Victoria Yes
Sarah Hanson-Young SA Yes
Scott Ludlam WA Yes
Christine Milne Tasmania Yes
Lee Rhiannon NSW Yes
Rachel Siewert WA Yes
Larissa Waters Queensland Yes
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania Yes
Penny Wright SA Yes
Australian Labor Party (80% turnout) 0 Yes 24 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
Don Farrell SA No
John Faulkner NSW No
David Feeney Victoria No
Mark Furner Queensland No
Alex Gallacher SA No
Joe Ludwig Queensland No
Kate Lundy ACT No
Gavin Marshall Victoria No
Claire Moore Queensland 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
Bob Carr NSW Absent
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Chris Evans WA Absent
Anne McEwen SA Absent
Jan McLucas Queensland Absent
Helen Polley Tasmania 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 Absent
Liberal Party (81% turnout) 22 Yes 0 No
Christopher Back WA Yes
Cory Bernardi SA Yes
George Brandis Queensland Yes
David Bushby Tasmania Yes
Michaelia Cash WA Yes
Richard Colbeck Tasmania Yes
Mathias Cormann WA Yes
David Fawcett SA Yes
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Yes
Mitch Fifield Victoria 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
Marise Payne NSW Yes
Michael Ronaldson Victoria Yes
Anne Ruston SA Yes
Scott Ryan Victoria Yes
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Yes
Dean Smith WA Yes
Eric Abetz Tasmania Absent
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
Sue Boyce Queensland Absent
Sean Edwards SA Absent
Alan Eggleston WA 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 (83% turnout) 38 Yes – 25 No