The majority voted in favour of amendments to the Treasury Laws Amendment (Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability Measures No. 1) Bill 2017, which were moved by NSW Senator David Leyonhjelm.

What do these amendments do?

Senator Leyonhjelm explained that:

The government's First Home Super Saver Scheme allows taxpayers to make one withdrawal in their lifetime from their voluntary superannuation contributions to purchase their first and only home. Item 2 of my amendments provides an exemption to the requirement it be a first home. The exemption will apply if the tax commissioner determines that the taxpayer has suffered financial hardship, the circumstances of which can be determined by regulation. I envisage that regulations would refer to circumstances where a taxpayer has limited savings, is currently renting and had an interest in a home many years ago in a cheaper real estate market or when a taxpayer was in a relationship that has since broken down. Taxpayers will still be limited to one withdrawal of their voluntary superannuation in their lifetime and it must be for their only home. This amendment will help people who are struggling to leave the rental market and buy their own home in the face of high property prices. The fact that they once owned their own home, possibly some decades ago, does not make their struggle any less stressful.

Amendment text

(1) Page 2 (after line 11) , after clause 3 , insert:

4 Review of operation of amendments

(1) The Minister must cause an independent review of the operation of the amendments made by this Act.

(2) The review must:

(a) start as soon as practicable after 18 months after Royal Assent; and

(b) be completed within 6 months.

(3) The Minister must cause a written report about the review to be prepared.

(4) The Minister must cause a copy of the report to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the day on which the report is given to the Minister.

(5) The report is not a legislative instrument.

(2) Schedule 1 , item 1 , page 5 (after line 7) , after subsection 138-10(2) , insert:

(2A) If the Commissioner determines that you have suffered a financial hardship, you are taken to have satisfied paragraph (2)(a).

(2B) The regulations may specify the circumstances in which the Commissioner is to determine that a person has suffered a financial hardship for the purposes of subsection (2A).

(3) Schedule 1 , item 1 , page 5 (lines 16 to 19) , omit section 138-15 , substitute:

138-15 Review

If you are dissatisfied with:

(a) a *first home super saver determination in relation to you; or

(b) a decision the Commissioner makes not to make a determination under subsection 138-10(2A);

you may object against the determination, or the decision, as the case requires, in the manner set out in Part IVC.

Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Cory Bernardi SA Australian Conservatives Yes
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 0 Yes 9 No
Andrew Bartlett Queensland 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
Jordon Steele-John WA No
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania No
Australian Labor Party (72% turnout) 0 Yes 18 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania No
Carol Brown Tasmania No
Doug Cameron NSW No
Anthony Chisholm Queensland No
Jacinta Collins Victoria No
Sam Dastyari NSW No
Don Farrell SA No
Alex Gallacher SA No
Chris Ketter Queensland No
Kimberley Kitching Victoria No
Jenny McAllister NSW No
Malarndirri McCarthy NT No
Claire Moore Queensland No
Helen Polley Tasmania No
Louise Pratt WA No
Lisa Singh Tasmania No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Murray Watt Queensland No
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Patrick Dodson WA Absent
Katy Gallagher ACT Absent
Gavin Marshall Victoria Absent
Deborah O'Neill NSW Absent
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Yes
Derryn Hinch Victoria Derryn Hinch's Justice Party Yes
Sue Lines WA Deputy President No
Lucy Gichuhi SA Independent Yes
David Leyonhjelm NSW Liberal Democratic Party Yes
Liberal National Party (100% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Matthew Canavan Queensland Yes
James McGrath Queensland Yes
Liberal Party (80% turnout) 16 Yes 0 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Yes
Simon Birmingham SA Yes
Slade Brockman WA Yes
David Bushby Tasmania Yes
Michaelia Cash WA Yes
David Fawcett SA Yes
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW 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
Zed Seselja ACT Yes
Dean Smith WA Yes
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania Absent
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Absent
National Party (100% turnout) 3 Yes 0 No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria Yes
Barry O'Sullivan Queensland Yes
John Williams NSW Yes
Nick Xenophon Team (100% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Stirling Griff SA Yes
Rex Patrick SA Yes
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party (100% turnout) 4 Yes 0 No
Fraser Anning Queensland Yes
Brian Burston NSW Yes
Peter Georgiou WA Yes
Pauline Hanson Queensland Yes
Scott Ryan Victoria President Yes
Totals (85% turnout) 33 Yes – 28 No