The majority voted against a motion to address the issue of ineligible Senators and Members of Parliament (MPs) by referring the matter to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for investigation with the help of an independent auditor.

This motion relates to the so-called citizenship crisis where several senators (as well as the odd MP) were found to be ineligible for Parliament under the Constitution because they are dual citizens.

Motion text

(1) That the Senate notes that there have now been five current and former senators referred to the Court of Disputed Returns to determine their eligibility under section 44 of the Constitution.

(2) The Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee inquire into and report by 14 September 2017 on the following matters:

(a) the eligibility of senators in the 45th Parliament under section 44 of the Constitution in so far as it relates to being 'a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power';

(b) the legal liability of senators who know, or have grounds to suspect, that they are ineligible for office but do not come forward with that information, and whether they are defrauding the Commonwealth; and

(c) any other related matters.

(3) For the purposes of carrying out the inquiry, the committee must as soon as practicable, with the approval of the President, appoint an independent auditor, or auditors, with expertise in migration, citizenship and constitutional law to assist the committee.

(4) The independent auditor or auditors will be able to request to the committee to use its powers to order the production of documents from senators and order them to appear as witnesses and answer questions.

(5) On behalf of the committee, the independent auditor or auditors may present to representatives of foreign governments in Australia and seek information.

Votes Not passed by a modest majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Cory Bernardi SA Australian Conservatives Yes
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 7 Yes 0 No
Richard Di Natale Victoria Yes
Sarah Hanson-Young SA Yes
Nick McKim Tasmania Yes
Lee Rhiannon NSW Yes
Janet Rice Victoria Yes
Rachel Siewert WA Yes
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania Yes
Australian Labor Party (84% turnout) 0 Yes 21 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania No
Carol Brown Tasmania No
Doug Cameron NSW No
Kim Carr Victoria No
Anthony Chisholm Queensland No
Patrick Dodson WA No
Alex Gallacher SA No
Katy Gallagher ACT No
Chris Ketter Queensland No
Kimberley Kitching Victoria No
Gavin Marshall Victoria No
Jenny McAllister NSW No
Malarndirri McCarthy NT No
Claire Moore Queensland No
Deborah O'Neill NSW No
Helen Polley Tasmania No
Louise Pratt WA No
Lisa Singh Tasmania No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Anne Urquhart Tasmania No
Murray Watt Queensland No
Jacinta Collins Victoria Absent
Sam Dastyari NSW Absent
Don Farrell SA Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party No
Derryn Hinch Victoria Derryn Hinch's Justice Party Yes
Sue Lines WA Deputy President No
Lucy Gichuhi SA Independent Yes
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Independent Absent
David Leyonhjelm NSW Liberal Democratic Party No
Liberal National Party (50% turnout) 0 Yes 1 No
James McGrath Queensland No
Matthew Canavan Queensland Absent
Liberal Party (67% turnout) 0 Yes 14 No
Simon Birmingham SA No
Slade Brockman WA No
David Bushby Tasmania No
Michaelia Cash WA No
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania No
David Fawcett SA 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
Dean Smith WA No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Absent
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Absent
Scott Ryan Victoria Absent
Zed Seselja ACT Absent
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Absent
National Party (75% turnout) 0 Yes 3 No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria No
Fiona Nash NSW No
John Williams NSW No
Barry O'Sullivan Queensland Absent
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 No
Totals (81% turnout) 17 Yes – 43 No