The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill for a second time. In other words, they agreed with the main idea of the bill and can now discuss it in more detail.

What is the bill's main idea?

According to the bills digest:

The purpose of the Bill is to create a regulatory framework for industry and government to collaboratively manage national security risks of espionage, sabotage and foreign interference to Australia’s telecommunications networks and facilities.

The Bill will provide the Attorney-General with a new power to direct a carrier or carriage service provider (CSP) or a carriage service intermediary (intermediary) to do or not do a specified thing on security related grounds (for example, alter a procurement assessed as giving rise to security risks).

The key elements listed were:

  • The regime will have a delayed commencement (12 months), including the development of administrative guidelines website.

  • The regime established by the Bill will apply to carriers, CSPs and intermediaries to varying degrees.

  • A new security obligation is imposed on carriers and CSPs to ‘do their best’ to manage risks related to unauthorised access and interference to networks and facilities they own, operate or use to ensure the availability and integrity of networks and facilities and to protect the confidentiality of information stored on and carried across them.

  • A new notification requirement is imposed on carriers and certain CSPs to notify the government of planned changes to their systems and services that are likely to make the network or facility vulnerable to unauthorised access and interference.

  • The Secretary of the AGD is provided with coercive information gathering powers in relation to carriers, CSPs and intermediaries subject to the new regime to facilitate monitoring of and investigations into compliance with the new security obligations.

Votes Passed by a large majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Cory Bernardi SA Australian Conservatives Absent
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 0 Yes 7 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
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania No
Australian Labor Party (64% turnout) 16 Yes 0 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Yes
Doug Cameron NSW Yes
Anthony Chisholm Queensland Yes
Patrick Dodson WA Yes
Alex Gallacher SA Yes
Katy Gallagher ACT Yes
Chris Ketter Queensland Yes
Kimberley Kitching Victoria Yes
Gavin Marshall Victoria Yes
Jenny McAllister NSW Yes
Claire Moore Queensland Yes
Deborah O'Neill NSW Yes
Helen Polley Tasmania Yes
Louise Pratt WA Yes
Glenn Sterle WA Yes
Murray Watt Queensland Yes
Carol Brown Tasmania Absent
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Jacinta Collins Victoria Absent
Sam Dastyari NSW Absent
Don Farrell SA Absent
Malarndirri McCarthy NT Absent
Lisa Singh Tasmania Absent
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Absent
Derryn Hinch Victoria Derryn Hinch's Justice Party Yes
Sue Lines WA Deputy President Absent
Lucy Gichuhi SA Independent Yes
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Independent Absent
David Leyonhjelm NSW Liberal Democratic Party No
Liberal National Party (50% turnout) 1 Yes 0 No
James McGrath Queensland Yes
Matthew Canavan Queensland Absent
Liberal Party (80% turnout) 16 Yes 0 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Yes
George Brandis Queensland Yes
David Bushby Tasmania Yes
Michaelia Cash WA Yes
Mathias Cormann WA Yes
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania Yes
David Fawcett SA Yes
Mitch Fifield Victoria Yes
Jane Hume Victoria Yes
Ian Macdonald Queensland Yes
James Paterson Victoria Yes
Marise Payne NSW Yes
Linda Reynolds WA Yes
Anne Ruston SA Yes
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Yes
Dean Smith WA Yes
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Absent
Scott Ryan Victoria Absent
Zed Seselja ACT 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 Team (100% turnout) 3 Yes 0 No
Stirling Griff SA Yes
Skye Kakoschke-Moore SA Yes
Nick Xenophon SA Yes
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party (100% turnout) 4 Yes 0 No
Brian Burston NSW Yes
Peter Georgiou WA Yes
Pauline Hanson Queensland Yes
Malcolm Roberts Queensland Yes
Stephen Parry Tasmania President Absent
Totals (74% turnout) 46 Yes – 8 No