The majority voted in favour of a motion to "exempt this bill from the bills cut-off order". If this motion hadn't been successful, the Senate would have had to wait until the next sitting period in order to consider this bill.

Read more about bills cut-off orders in Odgers’ Australian Senate Practice.

Liberal Senator Mitch Fifield (Vic) explained the Coalition were seeking this:

As I indicated in my contribution on the motion relating to hours, the offshore processing arrangements are central to the government's efforts to protect our borders. We place a very high premium as a government on the protection of our borders. We are seeking exemption from the cut-off in order to enable this legislation to be debated and resolved today. The government is clearly of the view that it is important to that it is important to ensure certainty and a robust legislative basis for offshore processing. In seeking to move exemption from the cut-off, we are not attempting to do anything other than what has frequently been done in this place for bills which are time critical.

Motion text

That a motion to exempt this bill from the bills cut-off order may be moved immediately and have precedence over all other business today until determined.

What does the bill do?

According to its parliamentary website, the bill:

Amends the Migration Act 1958 to provide statutory authority for the Commonwealth to provide assistance to other countries to carry into effect arrangements for the processing and management of unauthorised maritime arrivals who have been taken to regional processing countries, including the expenditure of Commonwealth money on these arrangements.

Votes Passed by a modest 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 (67% turnout) 16 Yes 0 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Yes
Carol Brown Tasmania Yes
Joe Bullock WA Yes
Doug Cameron NSW Yes
Kim Carr Victoria Yes
Sam Dastyari NSW Yes
Alex Gallacher SA Yes
Katy Gallagher ACT Yes
Joe Ludwig Queensland Yes
Jenny McAllister NSW Yes
Anne McEwen SA Yes
Jan McLucas Queensland Yes
Claire Moore Queensland Yes
Deborah O'Neill NSW Yes
Glenn Sterle WA Yes
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Yes
Jacinta Collins Victoria Absent
Stephen Conroy Victoria Absent
Chris Ketter Queensland Absent
Sue Lines WA Absent
Nova Peris NT Absent
Helen Polley Tasmania Absent
Lisa Singh Tasmania Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Ricky Muir Victoria Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party Yes
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Absent
Gavin Marshall Victoria Deputy President Yes
Bob Day SA Family First Party Yes
Glenn Lazarus Queensland Independent Yes
John Madigan Victoria Independent Yes
Nick Xenophon SA Independent Yes
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Independent No
David Leyonhjelm NSW Liberal Democratic Party Absent
Liberal National Party (100% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Matthew Canavan Queensland Yes
James McGrath Queensland Yes
Liberal Party (56% turnout) 14 Yes 0 No
Christopher Back WA Yes
Simon Birmingham SA Yes
David Bushby Tasmania Yes
Michaelia Cash WA Yes
Richard Colbeck Tasmania Yes
Mathias Cormann WA Yes
Sean Edwards SA Yes
David Fawcett SA Yes
Mitch Fifield Victoria Yes
Jo Lindgren Queensland Yes
Ian Macdonald Queensland Yes
Anne Ruston SA Yes
Scott Ryan Victoria Yes
Dean Smith WA Yes
Eric Abetz Tasmania Absent
Cory Bernardi SA Absent
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Absent
Bill Heffernan NSW Absent
David Johnston WA Absent
Marise Payne NSW Absent
Linda Reynolds WA Absent
Michael Ronaldson Victoria Absent
Zed Seselja ACT Absent
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Absent
National Party (50% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria Yes
Barry O'Sullivan Queensland Yes
Fiona Nash NSW Absent
John Williams NSW Absent
Nick Xenophon SA Nick Xenophon Team Absent
Dio Wang WA Palmer United Party Yes
Stephen Parry Tasmania President Yes
Totals (70% turnout) 42 Yes – 11 No