The majority voted against a motion introduced by Liberal National Party Senator Matthew Canavan that asked for the Labor Party "to support legislative amendments to close legal loopholes being exploited by green groups".

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the importance of a robust and clear legal system that allows for timely judicial review and certainty for investors and the community alike,

(ii) that the latest legal challenge brought by the Melbourne-based Australian Conservation Foundation to the development of the Galilee Basin is another cynical attempt to abuse due process,

(iii) that ongoing green law-fare is holding Queensland families to ransom, and jeopardising Australia's reputation as a place to do business, and

(iv) that rather than protecting the environment, the replacement of the Galilee Basin's lower-emission coal by higher-emission coal from other countries could instead cause an increase in global emissions; and

(b) calls on the Australian Labor Party to support legislative amendments to close legal loopholes being exploited by green groups.

Background to the motion

The "legislative amendments" mentioned in the motion refers to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Standing) Bill 2015. That bill attempts to remove the right of groups involved in environmental protection, conservation or research to challenge government decisions made under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

If that bill is passed, then groups like the Australian Conservation Foundation wouldn't be able to challenge the legality of Government decisions like the one to approve the proposed Carmichael mine in the Galiliee Basin.

Note that the bill doesn't just stop "green groups" from bringing actions like these, but any group involved in environmental protection, conservation or research, which is why farming groups also oppose it (see 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
Richard Di Natale Victoria No
Sarah Hanson-Young SA No
Nick McKim Tasmania No
Lee Rhiannon NSW No
Janet Rice Victoria No
Rachel Siewert WA No
Robert Simms SA No
Larissa Waters Queensland No
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania No
Scott Ludlam WA Absent
Australian Labor Party (75% turnout) 0 Yes 18 No
Carol Brown Tasmania No
Joe Bullock WA No
Doug Cameron NSW No
Kim Carr Victoria No
Jacinta Collins Victoria No
Stephen Conroy Victoria No
Sam Dastyari NSW No
Alex Gallacher SA No
Katy Gallagher ACT No
Chris Ketter Queensland No
Sue Lines WA No
Joe Ludwig Queensland No
Jenny McAllister NSW No
Claire Moore Queensland No
Nova Peris NT No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Anne Urquhart Tasmania No
Penny Wong SA No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Absent
Anne McEwen SA Absent
Jan McLucas Queensland Absent
Deborah O'Neill NSW Absent
Helen Polley Tasmania Absent
Lisa Singh Tasmania Absent
Ricky Muir Victoria Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party Absent
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Absent
Gavin Marshall Victoria Deputy President No
Bob Day SA Family First Party Yes
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Independent No
Glenn Lazarus Queensland Independent No
Nick Xenophon SA Independent No
John Madigan Victoria Independent Absent
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 (84% turnout) 21 Yes 0 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Yes
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
David Johnston WA Yes
Jo Lindgren Queensland 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
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Yes
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
Zed Seselja ACT Absent
Dean Smith WA Absent
National Party (50% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria Yes
John Williams NSW Yes
Fiona Nash NSW Absent
Barry O'Sullivan Queensland Absent
Nick Xenophon SA Nick Xenophon Team Absent
Dio Wang WA Palmer United Party Yes
Stephen Parry Tasmania President Yes
Totals (79% turnout) 29 Yes – 31 No