The majority voted against a motion introduced by West Australian Senator Rachel Siewert (Greens), which means it failed. Read the statements made by Liberal and Labor senators about why they voted against this motion.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) on May 15 2020 the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura peoples, the traditional owners of the Juukan Gorge in Western Australia's Pilbara, put in a request to Rio Tinto to access the site of two 46,000-year-old rock shelters and were advised that the site was laden with explosives and about to be destroyed to make way for a major expansion of an iron ore mine, and

(ii) following this news, the Traditional Owners requested that Rio Tinto not go ahead due to the cultural significance of the Gorge; they phoned the WA government and then appealed to the Federal Government but, on May 24, the site was destroyed;

(b) recognises that archaeological studies show that Juukan Gorge is one of the earliest occupied locations in Australia and that this is an irreplaceable loss of culture,

(c) acknowledges that Rio Tinto was aware of the significance of this site to the Traditional Owners having helped make a documentary about it years prior,

(d) further notes that:

(i) it is reported that FMG as part of its mining operations has plans to destroy other heritage sites in the Pilbara including a 60,000-year-old rock shelter, and

(ii) there have been 463 applications to impact West Australian Aboriginal heritage sites on mining leases under Section 18 of the WA Aboriginal Heritage Act in the past 10 years—none has been rejected,

(e) condemns the destruction of Juukan Gorge and the loss of irreplaceable First Nations heritage, and

(f) calls on:

(i) FMG, Rio Tinto, BHP and any other mining companies with proposals to destroy First Nations heritage and culture to immediately abandon those plans; and

(ii) Governments around Australia to act to ensure no further loss of First Nations heritage or culture.

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 (32% turnout) 0 Yes 8 No
Alex Gallacher SA No
Katy Gallagher ACT No
Kimberley Kitching Victoria No
Louise Pratt WA No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Anne Urquhart Tasmania No
Murray Watt Queensland No
Penny Wong SA No
Tim Ayres NSW Absent
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Absent
Carol Brown Tasmania Absent
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Anthony Chisholm Queensland Absent
Raff Ciccone Victoria Absent
Patrick Dodson WA Absent
Don Farrell SA Absent
Nita Green Queensland Absent
Kristina Keneally NSW Absent
Jenny McAllister NSW Absent
Malarndirri McCarthy NT Absent
Deborah O'Neill NSW Absent
Helen Polley Tasmania Absent
Tony Sheldon NSW Absent
Marielle Smith SA Absent
Jess Walsh Victoria 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 (50% turnout) 0 Yes 1 No
Matthew Canavan Queensland No
James McGrath Queensland Absent
Liberal Party (72% turnout) 0 Yes 21 No
Alex Antic SA No
Wendy Askew Tasmania No
Simon Birmingham SA No
Slade Brockman WA No
Claire Chandler Tasmania No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Mathias Cormann WA 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
Zed Seselja ACT No
Dean Smith WA No
Amanda Stoker Queensland No
David Van Victoria No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Absent
Andrew Bragg NSW Absent
Michaelia Cash WA Absent
David Fawcett SA Absent
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Absent
James Paterson Victoria Absent
Marise Payne NSW Absent
Anne Ruston SA 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 (100% turnout) 0 Yes 2 No
Pauline Hanson Queensland No
Malcolm Roberts Queensland No
Scott Ryan Victoria President No
Totals (61% turnout) 10 Yes – 36 No