The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by SA Senator Stirling Griff (Nick Xenophon Team), which means it succeeded.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) on 7 December 2017, the Senate passed a motion for an order for the production of documents (OPD) relating to correspondence between the Commonwealth and its Australian contractors on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island, and

(ii) the OPD related to parts of contracts, correspondence, reports, memos or photographs relating to accommodation and services being delivered at West Lorengau;

(b) further notes that:

(i) the documents were sought following concerns expressed by advocates and eyewitnesses regarding the standards of accommodation at West Lorengau, including incomplete fencing and plumbing, intermittent power and water, and the sufficiency of the health and other services being delivered, particularly as compared to previous services delivered at the Manus Island regional processing centre,

(ii) according to the UNHCR's fact sheet on Manus Island, updated on 21 January 2018, many of these concerns are ongoing,

(iii) on 17 January 2018, the then-Minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs and the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (Senator Birmingham) released a two-page response from the Minster for Home Affairs (Mr Dutton), but no documents were returned, and

(iv) the response stated that the release of the documents would be contrary to the public interest, and "should be done on the grounds that the disclosure could be reasonably expected to cause damage to Australia's international relations with PNG";

(c) acknowledges the question of what constitutes a reasonable expectation of damage to international relations has been the subject of proceedings in the Federal Court, specifically in Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade v Paul Whittaker (2005), where the court stated that "Damage to international relations might reasonably be expected where the disclosure of a document may disclose sensitive information so as to cause, or reasonably be expected to cause, actual and significant damage...the test is not whether there is a risk of damage to international relations; the test requires a higher degree of certainty of damage";

(d) does not accept that the order for the production of documents made on 7 December 2017 has been adequately dealt with, insofar as the material requested would, by necessity, include a range of information that has no bearing on Australia's relationship with Papua New Guinea;

(e) does not accept that public interest immunity has been appropriately advanced, and calls on the Minister to review the nature of the documents ordered on 7 December 2017, and apply a higher test of real risk rather than hypothesised risk; and

(f) orders that there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs and the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, by 9 am on 19 March 2018, any correspondence requested on 7 December 2017 which meets the proper test.

Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Cory Bernardi SA Australian Conservatives No
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 9 Yes 0 No
Andrew Bartlett Queensland Yes
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
Jordon Steele-John WA Yes
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania Yes
Australian Labor Party (71% turnout) 17 Yes 0 No
Doug Cameron NSW Yes
Anthony Chisholm Queensland Yes
Jacinta Collins Victoria Yes
Don Farrell SA Yes
Alex Gallacher SA 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
Lisa Singh Tasmania Yes
Glenn Sterle WA Yes
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Yes
Murray Watt Queensland Yes
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Absent
Carol Brown Tasmania Absent
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Patrick Dodson WA Absent
Katy Gallagher ACT Absent
Malarndirri McCarthy NT 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 Yes
Fraser Anning Queensland Independent No
Lucy Gichuhi SA Independent No
David Leyonhjelm NSW Liberal Democratic Party Yes
Liberal National Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 2 No
Matthew Canavan Queensland No
James McGrath Queensland No
Liberal Party (68% 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
David Fawcett SA No
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW No
Mitch Fifield Victoria No
Jane Hume Victoria No
Jim Molan NSW No
James Paterson Victoria No
Marise Payne NSW No
Linda Reynolds WA No
Anne Ruston SA No
Dean Smith WA No
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania Absent
Lucy Gichuhi SA Absent
Ian Macdonald Queensland Absent
Zed Seselja ACT Absent
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Absent
National Party (33% turnout) 0 Yes 1 No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria No
Barry O'Sullivan Queensland Absent
John Williams NSW Absent
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) 0 Yes 3 No
Brian Burston NSW No
Peter Georgiou WA No
Pauline Hanson Queensland No
Scott Ryan Victoria President No
Totals (79% turnout) 31 Yes – 26 No