The majority voted against a motion introduced by Palmer United Party Senator Dio Wang that asked the Government to extend funding to for private universities and colleges to increase competition in the higher education sector. This means the motion failed.

Motion text

That the Senate notes that:

(a) public universities currently do not sufficiently compete with one another to lower fees for domestic undergraduate students, instead, they routinely charge the maximum amount allowed by the current government, thus rewarding inefficiency and keeping tuition artificially high for students;

(b) competition brings down tuition fees for students, for example, government funding would allow private not for profit colleges, such as Sheridan College in Perth, to deliver current and future courses without a charge to students, and many other private colleges and universities would also reduce fees;

(c) students would have the choice to earn an undergraduate degree without incurring a crushing debt burden;

(d) the Government would be under no obligation to provide capital grants, such as land, building, equipment etc. to such colleges;

(e) extending funding to private colleges and private universities would both benefit students and save government money; and

(f) a proposal to extend the Commonwealth Grants Scheme (CGS) to not for profit private colleges and universities should be considered irrespective of the rest of the Government's higher education deregulation agenda, as funding private not for profit colleges, such as Sheridan College, levels the playing field leading to the possibility of free education for Australian students.

Votes Not passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 0 Yes 10 No
Richard Di Natale Victoria 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
Australian Labor Party (71% turnout) 0 Yes 17 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania No
Carol Brown Tasmania No
Joe Bullock WA No
Doug Cameron NSW No
Kim Carr Victoria No
Alex Gallacher SA No
Katy Gallagher ACT No
Joe Ludwig Queensland No
Jenny McAllister NSW No
Anne McEwen SA No
Jan McLucas Queensland No
Claire Moore Queensland No
Deborah O'Neill NSW No
Nova Peris NT No
Lisa Singh Tasmania No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Anne Urquhart Tasmania No
Jacinta Collins Victoria Absent
Stephen Conroy Victoria Absent
Sam Dastyari NSW Absent
Chris Ketter Queensland Absent
Sue Lines WA Absent
Helen Polley Tasmania Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Ricky Muir Victoria Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party No
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Absent
Gavin Marshall Victoria Deputy President Absent
Bob Day SA Family First Party Yes
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Independent No
Glenn Lazarus Queensland Independent No
John Madigan Victoria 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 (76% turnout) 19 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
Mathias Cormann WA Yes
David Fawcett SA Yes
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Yes
Mitch Fifield Victoria Yes
David Johnston WA Yes
Jo Lindgren Queensland Yes
Ian Macdonald Queensland Yes
Linda Reynolds WA Yes
Michael Ronaldson Victoria Yes
Anne Ruston SA Yes
Zed Seselja ACT Yes
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Yes
Dean Smith WA Yes
Eric Abetz Tasmania Absent
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Sean Edwards SA Absent
Bill Heffernan NSW Absent
Marise Payne NSW Absent
Scott Ryan Victoria 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
Nick Xenophon SA Nick Xenophon Team Absent
Dio Wang WA Palmer United Party Yes
Stephen Parry Tasmania President Absent
Totals (78% turnout) 28 Yes – 31 No