The majority voted against a motion introduced by WA Senator Jordon Steele-John (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

(1) That the Senate notes that:

(a) on 14 December 2017, the United States (US) Federal Communications Commission voted to remove network neutrality protections;

(b) Australia has no dedicated protections and existing legislation is insufficient to ensure that networks do not discriminate against or prioritise specific services, applications or content delivered over the internet;

(c) in March 2012, the Convergence Review Final Report noted that the "ACCC's existing powers to address competition issues as they relate to content services in the communications market focus on anti-competitive conduct and economic market analysis", which are "too narrow to address evolving content-specific issues, such as exclusive rights arrangements and bundling, and network neutrality issues that inhibit competition"; and

(d) there are existing instances of anti-competitive arrangements between internet service providers and content providers in Australia, including zero rating and unmetered traffic from selected providers, excluding competitors.

(2) That the following matter be referred to the Environment and Communications References Committee for inquiry and report by 15 June 2018:

Australia's need for public interest network neutrality protections and the implications for Australia arising from a US repeal of network neutrality protections, including:

(a) any instances of current and past violations of network neutrality in Australia and any related anti-competitive conduct;

(b) the effectiveness and reach of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in regulating network neutrality in Australia, any obstacles preventing the ACCC from effectively regulating the telecommunications sector, and considerations beyond consumer and competition law;

(c) any considerations or implications for Australia arising from changes to network neutrality laws in the US, including whether Australia needs to renegotiate its free trade agreement with the US as a consequence;

(d) international best practice for network neutrality regulation and protections;

(e) potential regulations and protections that should be considered in order to maintain Australia's open internet and prevent anti-competitive behaviour from internet service and content providers; and

(f) any related matters.

Votes Not passed by a modest 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 (63% turnout) 0 Yes 15 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania No
Anthony Chisholm Queensland No
Jacinta Collins Victoria No
Patrick Dodson WA No
Alex Gallacher SA No
Chris Ketter Queensland No
Kimberley Kitching Victoria No
Gavin Marshall Victoria No
Jenny McAllister NSW No
Deborah O'Neill NSW No
Louise Pratt WA No
Lisa Singh Tasmania No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Anne Urquhart Tasmania No
Murray Watt Queensland No
Carol Brown Tasmania Absent
Doug Cameron NSW Absent
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Don Farrell SA Absent
Katy Gallagher ACT Absent
Malarndirri McCarthy NT Absent
Claire Moore Queensland Absent
Helen Polley Tasmania 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
Steve Martin Tasmania Independent Yes
Fraser Anning Queensland Independent No
Lucy Gichuhi SA Independent No
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 (57% turnout) 0 Yes 13 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania No
Simon Birmingham SA No
Slade Brockman WA No
David Bushby Tasmania No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania No
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW No
Jane Hume Victoria No
Jim Molan NSW No
James Paterson Victoria No
Linda Reynolds WA No
Anne Ruston SA No
Dean Smith WA No
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Michaelia Cash WA Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
David Fawcett SA Absent
Mitch Fifield Victoria Absent
Lucy Gichuhi SA Absent
Ian Macdonald Queensland Absent
Marise Payne NSW Absent
Zed Seselja ACT Absent
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Absent
National Party (33% turnout) 0 Yes 1 No
John Williams NSW No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria Absent
Barry O'Sullivan Queensland 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 (70% turnout) 13 Yes – 39 No