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

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that the Government cut the access of Australian users to CapTel through the National Relay Service (NRS) on 1 February 2020;

(b) welcomes the actions of Ultratech, a US-based company, to establish an interim CapTel service for Australian users;

(c) notes the statement by the Ultratech CEO, Mr Rob Engelke, on 1 February 2020:

"I have been genuinely moved by the outpouring of heartfelt messages from Australians who are clearly distressed and frightened about living without CapTel. CapTel has been available for over ten years in Australia and I believe it is not acceptable to leave CapTel users without access to family, friends, employment, emergency services and the myriad ways that all of us use the telephone".

"Therefore, as a temporary measure, I have instructed our American captioning centers to support existing Australian CapTel handsets so that they will continue to operate with captions while, we investigate long-term options based in Australia".

(d) further notes that:

(i) cutting access to CapTel through the NRS has created distress for senior deaf and hearing impaired Australians, and a permanent loss of service would negatively affect their quality of life and sense of security and safety at home,

(ii) while the Government has been prepared to protect a Cabinet Minister whose administration of the $100 million community sports grant program has been criticised by the Auditor-General, they have not been prepared to protect the dignity and wellbeing of senior deaf Australians, and

(iii) the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, has now attempted to blame the 2013 Labor Government, the public service, the previous relay provider, and recently the US technology licensee, for the Government's own decision to cut funding and services;

(e) condemns the Government for its lack of consultation with CapTel users, or their concerned family members, before imposing a decision that would affect their welfare; and

(f) calls on the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts to stop the misinformation and buck passing, and move urgently to reach an agreement to secure ongoing access to CapTel.

Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
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
Tim Ayres NSW Yes
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Yes
Carol Brown Tasmania Yes
Kim Carr Victoria Yes
Anthony Chisholm Queensland Yes
Raff Ciccone Victoria Yes
Patrick Dodson WA Yes
Katy Gallagher ACT Yes
Kimberley Kitching Victoria Yes
Jenny McAllister NSW Yes
Malarndirri McCarthy NT Yes
Deborah O'Neill NSW 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
Don Farrell SA Absent
Alex Gallacher SA Absent
Nita Green Queensland Absent
Kristina Keneally NSW Absent
Helen Polley Tasmania 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 Absent
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 (76% turnout) 0 Yes 22 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania No
Wendy Askew Tasmania No
Simon Birmingham SA No
Andrew Bragg NSW No
Slade Brockman WA No
Claire Chandler Tasmania No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania No
Hollie Hughes NSW No
Jane Hume Victoria No
Andrew McLachlan SA No
Jim Molan NSW No
Matt O'Sullivan WA No
James Paterson Victoria No
Marise Payne NSW No
Gerard Rennick Queensland No
Linda Reynolds WA No
Anne Ruston SA No
Paul Scarr Queensland No
Dean Smith WA No
Amanda Stoker Queensland No
David Van Victoria No
Alex Antic SA Absent
Michaelia Cash WA Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
David Fawcett SA Absent
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Absent
Sarah Henderson Victoria Absent
Zed Seselja ACT Absent
National Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 3 No
Perin Davey NSW No
Susan McDonald Queensland No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria No
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 (82% turnout) 33 Yes – 29 No