The majority voted against a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Regional Forest Agreements are federal–state agreements under which native forest logging operations have been exempted from federal environment law (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)) for more than 20 years;

(ii) the Federal Court has found that:

(A) VicForests logging operations breached its Code of Practice for Timber Production and did not apply the precautionary principle when assessing impacts on the Greater Glider or Leadbeater's Possum, and

(B) these breaches of the Code mean that the native forest logging exemption does not apply, and the Central Highlands logging operation must be assessed under the EPBC Act,

(iii) this landmark decision sets an important legal precedent—meaning the exemption for native forest logging operations does not apply if they are in breach of rules that apply under the RFAs, and planned logging with a significant impact on federally listed threatened species must be assessed under the provisions of the EPBC Act; and

(iv) this decision has implications for native forest logging in all 10 areas under Regional Forest Agreements:

(A) Tasmania, with implications for iconic species such as the Tasmanian devil, Swift parrot, Eastern quoll, Giant freshwater crayfish, masked owl and others which are at serious risk due to logging;

(B) New South Wales in Eden, the North East NSW and Southern region, including implications for the feathertail glider, brushtail possum, koalas and others;

(C) Victoria in the Central Highlands, East Gippsland, Gippsland, West, and North East, including implications for the spot-tailed quoll, the smoky mouse and others; and

(D) Western Australia, including implications for the Western ringtail possum, remaining continental populations of quokkas, the forest red-tailed black cockatoo, Carnaby's black cockatoo, the numbat and other species, and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) accept the Federal Court decision that, in circumstances where the rules underpinning Regional Forest Agreements are not complied with, logging operations that will impact on Matters of National Environmental Significance need to be assessed under the provisions of the EPBC Act, and

(ii) take immediate, urgent action to ensure Australia's native forests are protected for their values including threatened species habitat, carbon storage, water supplies, and regional tourism.

Votes Not passed by a modest majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (78% turnout) 7 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
Larissa Waters Queensland Yes
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania Yes
Janet Rice Victoria Absent
Jordon Steele-John WA Absent
Australian Labor Party (48% turnout) 0 Yes 12 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania No
Raff Ciccone Victoria No
Patrick Dodson WA No
Alex Gallacher SA No
Katy Gallagher ACT No
Nita Green Queensland No
Kimberley Kitching Victoria No
Malarndirri McCarthy NT No
Louise Pratt WA No
Tony Sheldon NSW No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Anne Urquhart Tasmania No
Tim Ayres NSW Absent
Carol Brown Tasmania Absent
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Anthony Chisholm Queensland Absent
Don Farrell SA Absent
Kristina Keneally NSW Absent
Jenny McAllister NSW Absent
Deborah O'Neill NSW Absent
Helen Polley Tasmania Absent
Marielle Smith SA Absent
Jess Walsh Victoria Absent
Murray Watt Queensland Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Centre Alliance (50% turnout) 1 Yes 0 No
Stirling Griff SA Yes
Rex Patrick SA Absent
Sam McMahon NT Country Liberal Party No
Sue Lines WA Deputy President Absent
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Jacqui Lambie Network No
Liberal National Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 2 No
Matthew Canavan Queensland No
James McGrath Queensland No
Liberal Party (66% turnout) 0 Yes 19 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania No
Alex Antic SA No
Wendy Askew Tasmania No
Slade Brockman WA No
Claire Chandler Tasmania No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania No
Sarah Henderson Victoria No
Hollie Hughes NSW No
Jane Hume Victoria No
Andrew McLachlan SA No
Jim Molan NSW No
Matt O'Sullivan WA No
Gerard Rennick Queensland No
Linda Reynolds WA No
Paul Scarr Queensland No
Dean Smith WA No
Amanda Stoker Queensland No
David Van Victoria No
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
Andrew Bragg NSW Absent
Michaelia Cash WA Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
David Fawcett SA Absent
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Absent
James Paterson Victoria Absent
Marise Payne NSW Absent
Anne Ruston SA Absent
Zed Seselja ACT Absent
National Party (67% turnout) 0 Yes 2 No
Susan McDonald Queensland No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria No
Perin Davey NSW Absent
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party (50% turnout) 0 Yes 1 No
Malcolm Roberts Queensland No
Pauline Hanson Queensland Absent
Scott Ryan Victoria President No
Totals (62% turnout) 8 Yes – 39 No