The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson (Greens), which means it succeeded. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own, but they are politically influential since they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) September 2016 Interim Economic Outlook which states that all countries have room to restructure their spending and tax policies by increasing infrastructure spending and using fiscal measures to support structural reforms,

(ii) the International Monetary Fund (IMF) April 2016 World Economic Outlook which states that infrastructure investment is needed across a range of countries and that countries with fiscal space should not wait to take advantage of low interest rates, and

(iii) the August 2016 and final speech of the former Reserve Bank Governor, Mr Glenn Stevens, in which he drew a distinction between borrowing to invest in the right investment assets – long-lived assets that yield an economic return – as opposed to borrowing to pay pensions, welfare and routine government expenses; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) distinguish between 'good' debt used to fund investment in transformative and productivity enhancing infrastructure, and 'bad' debt used to fund recurrent spending, and

(ii) from the next budget update onwards, distinguish between borrowing for recurrent purposes from borrowing for capital, and increase borrowing to invest in public infrastructure that would help provide a more sustainable economic future and create jobs.

Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (89% turnout) 8 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
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania Yes
Larissa Waters Queensland Absent
Australian Labor Party (75% turnout) 18 Yes 0 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Yes
Doug Cameron NSW Yes
Anthony Chisholm Queensland Yes
Jacinta Collins Victoria Yes
Sam Dastyari NSW Yes
Patrick Dodson WA Yes
Don Farrell SA Yes
Alex Gallacher SA Yes
Katy Gallagher ACT Yes
Chris Ketter Queensland Yes
Jenny McAllister NSW Yes
Malarndirri McCarthy NT Yes
Claire Moore Queensland Yes
Deborah O'Neill NSW Yes
Helen Polley Tasmania Yes
Louise Pratt WA Yes
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Yes
Murray Watt Queensland Yes
Carol Brown Tasmania Absent
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Gavin Marshall Victoria Absent
Lisa Singh Tasmania Absent
Glenn Sterle WA Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party No
Derryn Hinch Victoria Derryn Hinch's Justice Party No
Gavin Marshall Victoria Deputy President Yes
Sue Lines WA Deputy President Absent
Bob Day SA Family First Party Absent
Nick Xenophon SA Independent Yes
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Independent Absent
David Leyonhjelm NSW Liberal Democratic Party No
Liberal National Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 2 No
Matthew Canavan Queensland No
James McGrath Queensland No
Liberal Party (77% turnout) 0 Yes 17 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania No
Christopher Back WA No
Simon Birmingham SA No
David Bushby Tasmania No
Michaelia Cash WA No
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania No
David Fawcett SA No
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW No
Mitch Fifield Victoria No
Jane Hume Victoria No
Ian Macdonald Queensland No
James Paterson Victoria No
Marise Payne NSW No
Linda Reynolds WA No
Anne Ruston SA No
Scott Ryan Victoria No
Arthur Sinodinos NSW No
Cory Bernardi SA Absent
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
Zed Seselja ACT Absent
Dean Smith WA Absent
National Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 4 No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria No
Fiona Nash NSW No
Barry O'Sullivan Queensland No
John Williams NSW No
Nick Xenophon Team (67% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Stirling Griff SA Yes
Skye Kakoschke-Moore SA Yes
Nick Xenophon SA Absent
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party (50% turnout) 0 Yes 2 No
Rod Culleton WA No
Malcolm Roberts Queensland No
Brian Burston NSW Absent
Pauline Hanson Queensland Absent
Stephen Parry Tasmania President Absent
Totals (77% turnout) 30 Yes – 28 No