The majority voted against an amendment introduced by Victorian Senator Richard Di Natale (Greens), which means it failed.

What did this amendment do?

Senator Di Natale explained that:

This amendment creates an offence for any election advertisement which includes a statement that purports to be a fact but is misleading to a material extent. It effectively prohibits any advertisement that is wrong in fact. Under this amendment, we would have the Electoral Commissioner make an application to the Federal Court to grant an injunction to withdraw the advertisement from further publication and/or to publish a retraction. It's very straightforward: if someone makes a statement that is simply wrong in fact, rather than saying, 'You've got to put your name to it,' which is what the bill currently does, we're saying you shouldn't be able to make a statement that is wrong in fact.

Amendment text

(1) Schedule 1, item 11, page 15 (lines 29 and 30), omit the item, substitute:

11 Sections 328 and 328B

Repeal the sections, substitute:

328 Inaccurate or misleading advertising

(1) This section applies in relation to electoral matter if all of the following apply:

(a) the matter is an electoral advertisement;

(b) all or part of the distribution or production of the advertisement was paid for;

(c) the content of the advertisement was approved by a person (the notifying entity) (whether or not that person is a person who paid for the distribution or production of the advertisement).

(2) The notifying entity commits an offence if:

(a) the notifying entity publishes, or causes to be published, an electoral advertisement; and

(b) the advertisement contains a statement purporting to be a statement of fact that is inaccurate or misleading to a material extent.

Penalty: 24 penalty units.

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply if the notifying entity could not reasonably be expected to have known that the statement was inaccurate or misleading.

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (4) (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).

(4) Section 15.2 of the Criminal Code (extended geographical jurisdiction—category B) applies to an offence against subsection (2).

Votes Not passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Cory Bernardi SA Australian Conservatives No
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 (32% turnout) 0 Yes 8 No
Sam Dastyari NSW No
Don Farrell SA No
Alex Gallacher SA No
Chris Ketter Queensland No
Jenny McAllister NSW No
Malarndirri McCarthy NT No
Claire Moore Queensland No
Louise Pratt WA No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Absent
Carol Brown Tasmania Absent
Doug Cameron NSW Absent
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Anthony Chisholm Queensland Absent
Jacinta Collins Victoria Absent
Patrick Dodson WA Absent
Katy Gallagher ACT Absent
Kimberley Kitching Victoria Absent
Gavin Marshall Victoria Absent
Deborah O'Neill NSW Absent
Helen Polley Tasmania Absent
Lisa Singh Tasmania Absent
Glenn Sterle WA Absent
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Absent
Murray Watt Queensland 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
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Independent Yes
Lucy Gichuhi SA 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 (71% turnout) 0 Yes 15 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania No
Simon Birmingham SA No
Slade Brockman WA No
David Bushby Tasmania No
Michaelia Cash WA No
Mathias Cormann WA No
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania No
David Fawcett SA No
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW No
Jane Hume Victoria No
James Paterson Victoria No
Marise Payne NSW No
Linda Reynolds WA No
Arthur Sinodinos NSW No
Dean Smith WA No
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Mitch Fifield Victoria Absent
Ian Macdonald Queensland Absent
Anne Ruston SA Absent
Scott Ryan Victoria Absent
Zed Seselja ACT Absent
National Party (75% turnout) 0 Yes 3 No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria No
Barry O'Sullivan Queensland No
John Williams NSW No
Fiona Nash NSW 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 Absent
Totals (59% turnout) 16 Yes – 28 No