The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by NSW Senator Tony Sheldon (Labor), which means it passed. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own but are politically influential because they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) recognises there is a crisis in Australia in the exploitation of migrant workers;

(b) notes the findings in a report, dated November 2017, Wage theft in Australia: Findings of the National Temporary Migrant Work Survey, authored by Migrant Worker Justice Initiative, UNSW and UTS, that include:

(i) two-thirds of migrant workers reporting that their employer, at one point or another, failed to provide a payslip – with 44% reporting they had never received a payslip for their work,

(ii) 28% of workers in the hospitality industry experiencing their employer confiscating their passport,

(iii) 30% of survey participants earning $12 per hour or less – this is approximately half the minimum wage for a casual employee in many of the jobs in which temporary migrants work, and

(iv) 46% of participants earning $15 per hour or less;

(c) notes an October 2018 report, by the Migrant Worker Justice Initiative which found that fewer than one in 10 (9%) of migrant workers took action to recover unpaid wages, even though most know they were being underpaid;

(d) commends UnionsNSW and the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre for their Visa Assist program which provides free legal advice and assistance to migrant union members; and

(e) notes that, despite accepting all the recommendations contained in the report of the Migrant Workers' Taskforce, released on 7 March 2019, the Federal Government has failed to act on recommendations 3 to 9, 11 to 13 and 18 to 22.

Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Cory Bernardi SA Australian Conservatives No
Australian Greens (89% turnout) 8 Yes 0 No
Richard Di Natale Victoria Yes
Mehreen Faruqi NSW Yes
Sarah Hanson-Young SA Yes
Nick McKim Tasmania Yes
Rachel Siewert WA Yes
Jordon Steele-John WA Yes
Larissa Waters Queensland Yes
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania Yes
Janet Rice Victoria Absent
Australian Labor Party (84% turnout) 21 Yes 0 No
Tim Ayres NSW Yes
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Yes
Carol Brown Tasmania Yes
Kim Carr Victoria Yes
Anthony Chisholm Queensland Yes
Raff Ciccone Victoria Yes
Alex Gallacher SA Yes
Katy Gallagher ACT Yes
Nita Green Queensland Yes
Kristina Keneally NSW Yes
Kimberley Kitching Victoria Yes
Malarndirri McCarthy NT Yes
Deborah O'Neill NSW Yes
Helen Polley Tasmania Yes
Louise Pratt WA Yes
Tony Sheldon NSW Yes
Marielle Smith SA Yes
Glenn Sterle WA Yes
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Yes
Jess Walsh Victoria Yes
Murray Watt Queensland Yes
Patrick Dodson WA Absent
Don Farrell SA Absent
Jenny McAllister NSW Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Centre Alliance (100% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Stirling Griff SA Yes
Rex Patrick SA Yes
Sam McMahon NT Country Liberal Party No
Sue Lines WA Deputy President Yes
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Jacqui Lambie Network Yes
Liberal National Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 2 No
Matthew Canavan Queensland No
James McGrath Queensland No
Liberal Party (86% turnout) 0 Yes 24 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania No
Alex Antic SA No
Wendy Askew Tasmania No
Simon Birmingham SA No
Andrew Bragg NSW No
Slade Brockman WA No
Michaelia Cash WA No
Claire Chandler Tasmania No
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania No
David Fawcett SA No
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW No
Sarah Henderson Victoria No
Hollie Hughes NSW No
Jane Hume Victoria No
Matt O'Sullivan WA No
James Paterson Victoria No
Gerard Rennick Queensland No
Linda Reynolds WA No
Anne Ruston SA No
Paul Scarr Queensland No
Zed Seselja ACT No
Dean Smith WA No
Amanda Stoker Queensland No
David Van Victoria No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
Jim Molan NSW Absent
Marise Payne NSW Absent
National Party (67% turnout) 0 Yes 2 No
Perin Davey NSW No
Susan McDonald Queensland No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria Absent
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party (100% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Pauline Hanson Queensland Yes
Malcolm Roberts Queensland Yes
Scott Ryan Victoria President No
Totals (87% turnout) 35 Yes – 31 No