Summary

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Senator Fraser Anning, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate:

(a) acknowledges that:

(i) a common language is the cornerstone of culture, sense of community and identity as a nation,

(ii) English has been, since the first settlement, the common language of Australia,

(iii) English remains the language spoken by the overwhelming majority of Australians, with most Australians speaking no other language, and

(iv) speaking English is an essential part of assimilation and integration by migrants;

(b) notes that:

(i) English may be considered the de facto language of Australia, however, it is not explicitly declared the official language of Australia,

(ii) a number of nations recognise their official language within their Constitution, including France, Spain, Italy, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq,

(iii) thirty-one American States have legislated to declare English as the official language, and

(iv) on 10 April 2018, the Strathfield City Council passed a motion stating 'All signage is to be displayed in the English language, with a direct or near direct translation into another language using smaller letters or characters. Where signage includes a translation into another language, this must not exceed more than 30 per cent of the overall size of the English language text'; and

(c) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) recognise English as the official language of Australia, and

(ii) encourage the use of English on all shop signs throughout the country.

Votes Not passed by a modest 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
Mehreen Faruqi NSW No
Sarah Hanson-Young SA No
Nick McKim Tasmania No
Janet Rice Victoria No
Rachel Siewert WA No
Jordon Steele-John WA No
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania No
Australian Labor Party (68% turnout) 0 Yes 17 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania No
Doug Cameron NSW No
Anthony Chisholm Queensland No
Jacinta Collins Victoria No
Alex Gallacher SA No
Kristina Keneally NSW No
Chris Ketter Queensland No
Gavin Marshall Victoria No
Malarndirri McCarthy NT No
Deborah O'Neill NSW No
Louise Pratt WA No
Lisa Singh Tasmania No
David Smith ACT No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Anne Urquhart Tasmania No
Murray Watt Queensland No
Penny Wong SA No
Carol Brown Tasmania Absent
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Patrick Dodson WA Absent
Don Farrell SA Absent
Kimberley Kitching Victoria Absent
Jenny McAllister NSW Absent
Claire Moore Queensland Absent
Helen Polley Tasmania Absent
Centre Alliance (100% turnout) 0 Yes 2 No
Stirling Griff SA No
Rex Patrick SA No
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Absent
Derryn Hinch Victoria Derryn Hinch's Justice Party No
Sue Lines WA Deputy President No
Steve Martin Tasmania Independent Yes
Tim Storer SA Independent Yes
Lucy Gichuhi SA Independent No
Fraser Anning Queensland Katter's Australian Party Yes
David Leyonhjelm NSW Liberal Democratic Party Yes
Liberal National Party (50% turnout) 1 Yes 0 No
James McGrath Queensland Yes
Matthew Canavan Queensland Absent
Liberal Party (50% turnout) 0 Yes 11 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania No
David Bushby Tasmania No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW 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
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
Slade Brockman WA Absent
Michaelia Cash WA Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania Absent
David Fawcett SA Absent
Mitch Fifield Victoria Absent
Ian Macdonald Queensland Absent
Zed Seselja ACT Absent
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Absent
Amanda Stoker Queensland Absent
National Party (67% turnout) 1 Yes 1 No
Barry O'Sullivan Queensland Yes
John Williams NSW No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria Absent
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party (100% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Peter Georgiou WA Yes
Pauline Hanson Queensland Yes
Scott Ryan Victoria President No
Brian Burston NSW United Australia Party Absent
Totals (70% turnout) 9 Yes – 44 No