The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, which means that it was successful. The motion is:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that in its first budget the Abbott Coalition Government is cutting $5.8 billion from public higher education, including:(Read more about the 2014 federal budget and its impacts on higher education on Wikipedia here. )

(i) $3.2 billion from changes to the HECS-HELP repayment threshold and increased interest rates for HECS-HELP debt,

(ii) $1.1 billion from cuts to Commonwealth funding for course fees,

(iii) $504 million from removing the grandfathering provisions included in the conversion of Student Start-Up Scholarships into loans,(Read more about this budget initiative here.)

(iv) $290 million from cutting funding to Relocation Scholarships,

(v) $204 million from decreasing indexation rates for grants,

(vi) $170 million from research training cuts,

(vii) $121 million from cutting higher education reward funding,

(viii) $87.7 million from removing the HECS-HELP discount for priority courses redundant,

(ix) $75 million ARC funding cuts,

(x) $51 million from cuts to Access and Participation Grants, and

(xi) $31million from cuts to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standard Agency;

(b) acknowledges the crucial role played by public higher education in providing millions of Australians with skills that benefit the broader community; and

(c) calls on the Government to immediately reverse these budget cuts and commit to a well funded and accessible public higher education system.


Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (89% turnout) 8 Yes 0 No
Richard Di Natale Victoria Yes
Sarah Hanson-Young SA Yes
Scott Ludlam WA Yes
Lee Rhiannon NSW Yes
Rachel Siewert WA Yes
Larissa Waters Queensland Yes
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania Yes
Penny Wright SA Yes
Christine Milne Tasmania Absent
Australian Labor Party (83% turnout) 25 Yes 0 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Yes
Mark Bishop WA Yes
Carol Brown Tasmania Yes
Kim Carr Victoria Yes
Jacinta Collins Victoria Yes
Stephen Conroy Victoria Yes
Sam Dastyari NSW Yes
Don Farrell SA Yes
John Faulkner NSW Yes
Mark Furner Queensland Yes
Alex Gallacher SA Yes
Sue Lines WA Yes
Joe Ludwig Queensland Yes
Kate Lundy ACT Yes
Gavin Marshall Victoria Yes
Anne McEwen SA Yes
Jan McLucas Queensland Yes
Claire Moore Queensland Yes
Nova Peris NT Yes
Louise Pratt WA Yes
Lisa Singh Tasmania Yes
Ursula Stephens NSW Yes
Lin Thorp Tasmania Yes
Mehmet Tillem Victoria Yes
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Yes
Doug Cameron NSW Absent
Deborah O'Neill NSW Absent
Helen Polley Tasmania Absent
Glenn Sterle WA 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 (81% turnout) 0 Yes 22 No
Christopher Back WA No
Cory Bernardi SA No
Simon Birmingham SA No
Sue Boyce Queensland No
David Bushby Tasmania No
Michaelia Cash WA No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Sean Edwards SA No
Alan Eggleston WA No
David Fawcett SA No
Mitch Fifield Victoria No
Bill Heffernan NSW No
Helen Kroger Victoria No
Ian Macdonald Queensland No
Brett Mason Queensland No
Marise Payne NSW No
Michael Ronaldson Victoria No
Anne Ruston SA No
Scott Ryan Victoria No
Zed Seselja ACT No
Arthur Sinodinos NSW No
Dean Smith WA No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Absent
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Absent
David Johnston WA Absent
National Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 5 No
Ron Boswell Queensland No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria No
Fiona Nash NSW No
Barry O'Sullivan Queensland No
John Williams NSW No
Nick Xenophon SA Nick Xenophon Team Absent
John Hogg Queensland President Yes
Totals (83% turnout) 35 Yes – 28 No