Summary

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The majority supported passing the bill in the Senate (in parliamentary jargon, they voted to give the bill a third reading). The bill will now go to the House of Representatives to see if the members of parliament (MPs) agree with the senators and also want to pass the bill. If they do, the bill will become law.

Human rights issues

The bill makes many important changes, which the bills digest discusses in some detail. In particular, it extends the powers of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS)

The bill also creates new offences that apply to any person who discloses information that relates to a special intelligence operation (SIO), with a maximum penalty of ten years in jail. Two concerns with these offences are that:

  • they don't have exceptions for public interest disclosures or whistleblowing by ASIO employees, and
  • they apply to any person, including journalists.

Background to the bill

After the major counter-terrorism raids in Sydney and Brisbane, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that the balance between freedom and security had to shift (see ABC News). This bill is part of that change.

The bill also seems to be a response to American Edward Snowden leaking classified American intelligence information last year.

Read the bills digest for more information about the bill.

Votes Passed by a modest majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (90% turnout) 0 Yes 9 No
Sarah Hanson-Young SA No
Scott Ludlam WA No
Christine Milne Tasmania No
Lee Rhiannon NSW No
Janet Rice Victoria No
Rachel Siewert WA No
Larissa Waters Queensland No
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania No
Penny Wright SA No
Richard Di Natale Victoria Absent
Australian Labor Party (71% turnout) 17 Yes 0 No
Carol Brown Tasmania Yes
Joe Bullock WA Yes
Doug Cameron NSW Yes
Jacinta Collins Victoria Yes
Stephen Conroy Victoria Yes
John Faulkner NSW Yes
Alex Gallacher SA Yes
Chris Ketter Queensland Yes
Sue Lines WA Yes
Joe Ludwig Queensland Yes
Anne McEwen SA Yes
Jan McLucas Queensland Yes
Claire Moore Queensland Yes
Deborah O'Neill NSW Yes
Helen Polley Tasmania Yes
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Yes
Penny Wong SA Yes
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Absent
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Sam Dastyari NSW Absent
Kate Lundy ACT Absent
Nova Peris NT Absent
Lisa Singh Tasmania Absent
Glenn Sterle WA Absent
Ricky Muir Victoria Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party Yes
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Yes
John Madigan Victoria Democratic Labor Party No
Gavin Marshall Victoria Deputy President Yes
Bob Day SA Family First Party Yes
Nick Xenophon SA Independent No
John Madigan Victoria Independent Absent
David Leyonhjelm NSW Liberal Democratic Party No
Liberal National Party (100% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Matthew Canavan Queensland Yes
James McGrath Queensland Yes
Liberal Party (52% turnout) 13 Yes 0 No
Christopher Back WA Yes
George Brandis Queensland Yes
David Bushby Tasmania Yes
Richard Colbeck Tasmania Yes
Sean Edwards SA Yes
David Fawcett SA Yes
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Yes
Mitch Fifield Victoria Yes
Brett Mason Queensland Yes
Linda Reynolds WA Yes
Anne Ruston SA Yes
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Yes
Dean Smith WA Yes
Eric Abetz Tasmania Absent
Cory Bernardi SA Absent
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
Michaelia Cash WA Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
Bill Heffernan NSW Absent
David Johnston WA Absent
Ian Macdonald Queensland Absent
Marise Payne NSW Absent
Michael Ronaldson Victoria Absent
Scott Ryan Victoria Absent
Zed Seselja ACT Absent
National Party (100% turnout) 4 Yes 0 No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria Yes
Fiona Nash NSW Yes
Barry O'Sullivan Queensland Yes
John Williams NSW Yes
Palmer United Party (100% turnout) 3 Yes 0 No
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Yes
Glenn Lazarus Queensland Yes
Dio Wang WA Yes
Stephen Parry Tasmania President Yes
Totals (74% turnout) 44 Yes – 12 No