The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Labor Senator Anne Urquhart (Tas), which means it succeeded.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) in evidence to the supplementary Budget estimates hearing of the Education and Employment Legislation Committee, the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Research Council (ARC), Professor Sue Thomas, revealed that the former Minister for Education and Training, Senator Birmingham, had vetoed the funding of eleven humanities and social sciences grants,

(ii) the projects and scholars affected were not notified that their proposal had been deemed successful only to be denied funding by the former Minister; rather this intervention was deliberately and callously kept secret,

(iii) some of scholars involved have had their careers, professional reputation and employment status materially affected by this political interference,

(iv) there has been no comprehensive and detailed public explanation of the reason for the exercise of the ministerial veto, despite this being the practice of the past Labor Government, and

(v) the number of projects in the humanities and social sciences being funded by the ARC has fallen by 35% for Discovery project grants, and 51% for Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA) between 2016 and 2018;

(b) condemns this political interference in the normal independent, rigorous and peer review process;

(c) acknowledges the universal condemnation of the Government's position from universities, the learned academies, the research community and ordinary Australians;

(d) urges all political parties, members and senators to commit to the Haldane principle that politicians should not make decisions on funding of individual research projects;

(e) calls on the Federal Government to provide a full and public explanation of why the then Minister for Education and Training arbitrarily rejected these eleven grants recommended by the ARC; and

(f) calls on the ARC to actively encourage the scholars whose grants were rejected to submit them again for the forthcoming grants rounds.

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
Richard Di Natale Victoria Yes
Mehreen Faruqi NSW Yes
Sarah Hanson-Young SA Yes
Nick McKim Tasmania Yes
Janet Rice Victoria Yes
Rachel Siewert WA Yes
Jordon Steele-John WA Yes
Larissa Waters Queensland Yes
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania Yes
Australian Labor Party (76% turnout) 19 Yes 0 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Yes
Carol Brown Tasmania Yes
Kim Carr Victoria Yes
Anthony Chisholm Queensland Yes
Jacinta Collins Victoria Yes
Patrick Dodson WA Yes
Alex Gallacher SA Yes
Kristina Keneally NSW Yes
Chris Ketter Queensland Yes
Kimberley Kitching Victoria Yes
Jenny McAllister NSW Yes
Malarndirri McCarthy NT Yes
Deborah O'Neill NSW Yes
Helen Polley Tasmania Yes
Louise Pratt WA Yes
Lisa Singh Tasmania Yes
David Smith ACT Yes
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Yes
Murray Watt Queensland Yes
Doug Cameron NSW Absent
Don Farrell SA Absent
Gavin Marshall Victoria Absent
Claire Moore Queensland Absent
Glenn Sterle WA Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Centre Alliance (100% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Stirling Griff SA Yes
Rex Patrick SA Yes
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party No
Derryn Hinch Victoria Derryn Hinch's Justice Party Yes
Sue Lines WA Deputy President Yes
Tim Storer SA Independent Yes
Lucy Gichuhi SA Independent No
Fraser Anning Queensland Independent Absent
Steve Martin Tasmania Independent Absent
Fraser Anning Queensland Katter's Australian Party No
David Leyonhjelm NSW Liberal Democratic Party No
Liberal National Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 2 No
Matthew Canavan Queensland No
James McGrath Queensland No
Liberal Party (74% turnout) 0 Yes 17 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania No
Slade Brockman WA No
David Bushby Tasmania No
Michaelia Cash WA No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania No
David Fawcett SA No
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW No
Mitch Fifield Victoria No
Jane Hume Victoria No
Jim Molan NSW No
Marise Payne NSW No
Linda Reynolds WA No
Anne Ruston SA No
Zed Seselja ACT No
Dean Smith WA No
Amanda Stoker Queensland No
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
Lucy Gichuhi SA Absent
Ian Macdonald Queensland Absent
James Paterson Victoria Absent
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Absent
National Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 3 No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria No
Barry O'Sullivan Queensland No
John Williams NSW No
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 2 No
Peter Georgiou WA No
Pauline Hanson Queensland No
Scott Ryan Victoria President No
Brian Burston NSW United Australia Party Absent
Totals (83% turnout) 33 Yes – 30 No