Summary

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The majority disagreed with the main idea of the bill (in parliamentary jargon, they refused to give the bill a second reading). This means the bill is now rejected and won't be considered any more. Read more about this division in ABC News.

Main idea of the bill

The main idea of the bill is to introduce broad ranging changes to the higher education sector, including the three changes mentioned below.

1. Deregulating university fees

One of the most controversial aspects of the bill is that it will remove any restrictions on the amount that universities can charge students for tuition in Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs). It is not known how much tuition fees would rise if this bill is passed and becomes law (read more in the bills digest).

2. Indexing HECS-HELP debt by ten year bond rate

The bill will also introduce new indexation arrangements for Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) debts (also known as HECS-HELP debts). Currently, these debts are indexed by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The bill proposes to index them by the generally higher ten year bond rate, with a cap at 6%.

3. Charging fees for postgraduate research degrees

Currently, postgraduate students in research degrees don't have to pay any tuition costs. The bill will allow universities to charge these students fees of up to $3,900 per unit for high-cost courses and $1,700 for low-cost courses.

Background to the bill

As part of its 2014-15 Budget, Prime Minister Tony Abbott's Government has announced a series of changes to government funding arrangements and this bill is part of those changes (read more in the bills digest).

Votes Not passed by a small 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 (79% turnout) 0 Yes 19 No
Joe Bullock WA No
Doug Cameron NSW No
Kim Carr Victoria No
Sam Dastyari NSW No
Alex Gallacher SA No
Chris Ketter Queensland No
Sue Lines WA No
Joe Ludwig Queensland No
Kate Lundy ACT No
Anne McEwen SA No
Jan McLucas Queensland No
Claire Moore Queensland No
Deborah O'Neill NSW No
Nova Peris NT No
Helen Polley Tasmania No
Lisa Singh Tasmania No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Anne Urquhart Tasmania No
Penny Wong SA No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Absent
Carol Brown Tasmania Absent
Jacinta Collins Victoria Absent
Stephen Conroy Victoria Absent
John Faulkner NSW Absent
Ricky Muir Victoria Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party Yes
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Absent
Gavin Marshall Victoria Deputy President No
Bob Day SA Family First Party Yes
John Madigan Victoria Independent Yes
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Independent No
Nick Xenophon SA Independent No
David Leyonhjelm NSW Liberal Democratic Party Yes
Liberal National Party (100% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Matthew Canavan Queensland Yes
James McGrath Queensland Yes
Liberal Party (80% turnout) 20 Yes 0 No
Christopher Back WA Yes
Cory Bernardi SA Yes
Simon Birmingham SA Yes
David Bushby Tasmania Yes
Michaelia Cash WA Yes
Richard Colbeck Tasmania Yes
Sean Edwards SA Yes
David Fawcett SA Yes
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Yes
Mitch Fifield Victoria Yes
Bill Heffernan NSW Yes
Ian Macdonald Queensland Yes
Marise Payne NSW Yes
Linda Reynolds WA Yes
Michael Ronaldson Victoria Yes
Anne Ruston SA Yes
Scott Ryan Victoria Yes
Zed Seselja ACT Yes
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Yes
Dean Smith WA Yes
Eric Abetz Tasmania Absent
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
David Johnston WA Absent
Brett Mason Queensland 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) 0 Yes 2 No
Glenn Lazarus Queensland No
Dio Wang WA No
Stephen Parry Tasmania President Yes
Totals (84% turnout) 31 Yes – 33 No