Summary

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Independent Senator Glenn Lazarus, which called on the Government to act on the recommendations made by the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee on the Australian sugar industry.

What did the motion say?

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Australian sugarcane industry is one of Australia's largest and most important rural industries with sugarcane being Queensland's largest agricultural crop,

(ii) around 85 per cent of the raw sugar produced in Queensland is exported and generates up to $2 billion in export earnings,

(iii) the majority of mills in Australia are foreign owned and Australian grower groups are concerned about the monopoly powers of mills to misuse their market power against Australian sugarcane growers, particularly in response to changes to the industry from 2017 which may see large foreign owned milling companies taking control of the Australian sugar marketing sector, and

(iv) the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee report Current and future arrangements for the marketing of Australian sugar, tabled in June 2015, recommended the development and implementation of a mandatory sugar industry code of conduct;

(b) acknowledges that Australian sugarcane growers are urgently seeking implementation of a national industry code of conduct to protect them from large resourced companies exercising monopoly powers to dictate the commercial relationship between millers and growers, the installation of a commercial arbitration facility to support them to resolve issues with mills, and the ability to select a sugar marketing organisation of their choice; and

(c) calls on the Federal Government to support Australian sugarcane growers, to act on the recommendation in the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee report, and to work with industry as a matter of urgency to:

(i) develop and implement a code of conduct,

(ii) establish a national commercial arbitration service,

(iii) provide Australian canegrowers with the flexibility to select sugar marketing organisations of their choice, and

(iv) establish a national support service for Australian canegrowers.

Votes Not passed by a modest majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 10 Yes 0 No
Richard Di Natale Victoria Yes
Sarah Hanson-Young SA Yes
Scott Ludlam WA Yes
Nick McKim Tasmania Yes
Lee Rhiannon NSW Yes
Janet Rice Victoria Yes
Rachel Siewert WA Yes
Robert Simms SA Yes
Larissa Waters Queensland Yes
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania Yes
Australian Labor Party (46% turnout) 0 Yes 11 No
Sam Dastyari NSW No
Alex Gallacher SA No
Chris Ketter Queensland No
Sue Lines WA No
Joe Ludwig Queensland No
Jenny McAllister NSW No
Anne McEwen SA No
Claire Moore Queensland No
Deborah O'Neill NSW No
Lisa Singh Tasmania No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Absent
Carol Brown Tasmania Absent
Doug Cameron NSW Absent
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Jacinta Collins Victoria Absent
Stephen Conroy Victoria Absent
Patrick Dodson WA Absent
Katy Gallagher ACT Absent
Jan McLucas Queensland Absent
Nova Peris NT Absent
Helen Polley Tasmania Absent
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Absent
Penny Wong SA 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 Absent
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Independent Yes
Glenn Lazarus Queensland Independent Yes
Nick Xenophon SA Independent Yes
John Madigan Victoria Independent Absent
David Leyonhjelm NSW Liberal Democratic Party Absent
Liberal National Party (50% turnout) 0 Yes 1 No
James McGrath Queensland No
Matthew Canavan Queensland Absent
Liberal Party (64% turnout) 0 Yes 16 No
Christopher Back WA No
Cory Bernardi SA No
David Bushby Tasmania No
Michaelia Cash WA No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Sean Edwards SA No
Mitch Fifield Victoria No
Bill Heffernan NSW No
David Johnston WA No
Jo Lindgren Queensland No
Ian Macdonald Queensland No
James Paterson Victoria No
Linda Reynolds WA No
Scott Ryan Victoria No
Zed Seselja ACT No
Dean Smith WA No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Absent
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
David Fawcett SA Absent
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Absent
Marise Payne NSW Absent
Anne Ruston SA Absent
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Absent
National Party (50% turnout) 0 Yes 2 No
Barry O'Sullivan Queensland No
John Williams NSW No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria Absent
Fiona Nash NSW Absent
Dio Wang WA Palmer United Party Absent
Stephen Parry Tasmania President No
Totals (59% turnout) 13 Yes – 32 No