The majority voted against an amendment introduced by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert to the original motion, which means that it was unsuccessful.

The original motion was "that the bill be read a second time", to which Senator Siewert suggested the following amendment:

At the end of the motion, add:

"and the Senate calls on the Government:

(a) to increase Newstart by $50 a week; and

(b) to provide additional financial support to single parents to lift them and their children out of poverty."

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to amend the Social Security Act 1991 to implement several employment assistance initiatives announced by the Government in the 2013–14 Budget. The initiatives are to:

  • increase and also index the income test free area for allowance payments;
  • extend access to the Pensioner Education Supplement to Newstart Allowance recipients who are principal carers of at least one child and are not members of a couple; and
  • extend access to the Pensioner Concession Card for a single parent who loses access to the Card because they: have lost access to Parenting Payment-Single as their youngest child has turned eight years old; and no longer qualify for income support due to earnings from employment.(Read more about these initiatives in the bills digest.)

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 (73% turnout) 0 Yes 22 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania No
Mark Bishop WA No
Carol Brown Tasmania No
Doug Cameron NSW No
Trish Crossin NT No
John Faulkner NSW No
David Feeney Victoria No
Mark Furner Queensland No
Alex Gallacher SA No
Sue Lines WA No
Joe Ludwig Queensland No
Kate Lundy ACT No
Gavin Marshall Victoria 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
Bob Carr NSW Absent
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Jacinta Collins Victoria Absent
Stephen Conroy Victoria Absent
Don Farrell SA Absent
Anne McEwen SA Absent
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Absent
John Madigan Victoria Democratic Labor Party No
Stephen Parry Tasmania Deputy President No
Nick Xenophon SA Independent Absent
Liberal Party (48% turnout) 0 Yes 13 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania No
Christopher Back WA No
Cory Bernardi SA No
David Bushby Tasmania No
Michaelia Cash WA No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Sean Edwards SA No
David Fawcett SA No
Mitch Fifield Victoria No
David Johnston WA No
Brett Mason Queensland No
Anne Ruston SA No
Dean Smith WA No
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
Sue Boyce Queensland Absent
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
Alan Eggleston WA Absent
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Absent
Bill Heffernan NSW Absent
Gary Humphries ACT Absent
Helen Kroger Victoria Absent
Ian Macdonald 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
John Williams NSW No
Ron Boswell Queensland Absent
Barnaby Joyce Queensland Absent
Fiona Nash NSW Absent
John Hogg Queensland President Absent
Totals (63% turnout) 9 Yes – 39 No