The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, which means that it was rejected. The motion was:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that:

(i) on 20 September 2012 thousands of students, parents, teachers, staff and friends of Technical and Further Education (TAFE) rallied in Victoria, and in other states, to support TAFE students and staff who are bearing the brunt of state government budget cuts such as the Baillieu Government’s devastating $300 million TAFE cuts, which will lead to campus closures, job losses, more course cuts, further increases to students’ fees and charges, and will damage the economy,(Read more about the protests on ABC News here. )

(ii) the Baillieu Government’s $300 million vocational education and training (VET) budget cuts result from a drastic shift in VET market share, where private VET courses have overtaken TAFE courses for the first time, coupled with a 310 per cent growth in enrolments in private Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), a failure of state and federal VET policy that TAFE should not be punished for,

(iii) the New South Wales Government in the week beginning 9 September 2012 delivered a $1.7 billion education budget cut that includes 800 job losses at TAFE NSW and will result in a 9.5 per cent increase in TAFE NSW course fees, and(Read more about these NSW cuts to the education budget on ABC News here and on ABC's Lateline here. )

(iv) the market-based student-entitlement model that is failing in Victoria and being adopted in other states poses a risk to the viability of the TAFE system and to the economy as it is unlikely to deliver the skilled workforce mix that Australia needs; and(Read more about the market driven TAFE funding model on the Australian here.)

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) urgently introduce measures to curtail the growth in enrolments in private VET providers and RTOs which is draining state government VET budgets, and

(ii) revise the National Partnership Agreement to phase out entitlement-based funding and fee help, and instead focus on funding and developing public providers.


Votes Not passed by a modest 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 (50% turnout) 0 Yes 15 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania No
Carol Brown Tasmania No
Doug Cameron NSW No
Jacinta Collins Victoria No
Trish Crossin NT No
Alex Gallacher SA No
Kate Lundy ACT No
Gavin Marshall Victoria No
Anne McEwen SA No
Jan McLucas Queensland No
Claire Moore Queensland No
Louise Pratt WA No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Lin Thorp Tasmania No
Anne Urquhart Tasmania No
Mark Bishop WA Absent
Bob Carr NSW Absent
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Stephen Conroy Victoria Absent
Chris Evans WA Absent
Don Farrell SA Absent
John Faulkner NSW Absent
David Feeney Victoria Absent
Mark Furner Queensland Absent
Joe Ludwig Queensland Absent
Helen Polley Tasmania Absent
Lisa Singh Tasmania Absent
Ursula Stephens NSW Absent
Matt Thistlethwaite NSW Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Absent
John Madigan Victoria Democratic Labor Party Absent
Stephen Parry Tasmania Deputy President No
Nick Xenophon SA Independent Yes
Liberal Party (37% turnout) 0 Yes 10 No
Christopher Back WA No
Cory Bernardi SA No
Michaelia Cash WA No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Mathias Cormann WA No
David Fawcett SA No
Mitch Fifield Victoria No
Helen Kroger Victoria No
Anne Ruston SA No
Dean Smith WA No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Absent
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
Sue Boyce Queensland Absent
George Brandis Queensland Absent
David Bushby Tasmania Absent
Sean Edwards SA Absent
Alan Eggleston WA Absent
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Absent
Bill Heffernan NSW Absent
Gary Humphries ACT Absent
David Johnston WA Absent
Ian Macdonald Queensland Absent
Brett Mason Queensland Absent
Marise Payne NSW Absent
Michael Ronaldson Victoria Absent
Scott Ryan Victoria Absent
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Absent
National Party (40% turnout) 0 Yes 2 No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria No
Fiona Nash NSW No
Ron Boswell Queensland Absent
Barnaby Joyce Queensland Absent
John Williams NSW Absent
John Hogg Queensland President Absent
Totals (50% turnout) 10 Yes – 28 No