The majority voted in favour of agreeing with the main idea of the bills. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bills for a second time, which means that they can now consider them in more detail.

What is the main idea of the bills?

NSW Senator Marise Payne (Liberal) explained that:

The bills reflect the government's deregulation agenda and its commitment to establishing a world-class migration advice industry, and remove the unnecessary administrative burden of dual regulation of these legal practitioners who are already subject to a strict professional regulatory regime.

According to the bills digest:

The purpose of the Migration Amendment (Regulation of Migration Agents) Bill 2019 (the Migration Agents Bill) is to amend the Migration Act 1958 in order to deregulate the migration advice industry, in particular to remove lawyers who hold unrestricted practicing certificates from regulation by the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). Lawyers would no longer be able to register as migration agents and would be regulated by the relevant state or territory legal professional body.

The purpose of the Migration Agents Registration Application Charge Amendment (Rates of Charge) Bill 2019 (the Rates of Charge Bill) is to amend the Migration Agents Registration Application Charge Act 1997 (the Charge Act) to ensure that a migration agent who paid the non-commercial registration application charge in relation to their current period of registration, but gives immigration assistance otherwise than on a non-commercial basis, is liable to pay an adjusted charge.

Votes Passed by a modest majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (89% turnout) 0 Yes 8 No
Richard Di Natale Victoria No
Mehreen Faruqi NSW No
Sarah Hanson-Young SA No
Nick McKim Tasmania No
Janet Rice Victoria No
Rachel Siewert WA No
Larissa Waters Queensland No
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania No
Jordon Steele-John WA Absent
Australian Labor Party (16% turnout) 4 Yes 0 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Yes
Carol Brown Tasmania Yes
Alex Gallacher SA Yes
Malarndirri McCarthy NT Yes
Tim Ayres NSW Absent
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Anthony Chisholm Queensland Absent
Raff Ciccone Victoria Absent
Patrick Dodson WA Absent
Don Farrell SA Absent
Katy Gallagher ACT Absent
Nita Green Queensland Absent
Kristina Keneally NSW Absent
Kimberley Kitching Victoria Absent
Jenny McAllister NSW Absent
Deborah O'Neill NSW Absent
Helen Polley Tasmania Absent
Louise Pratt WA Absent
Tony Sheldon NSW Absent
Marielle Smith SA Absent
Glenn Sterle WA Absent
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Absent
Jess Walsh Victoria Absent
Murray Watt Queensland Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Centre Alliance (50% turnout) 1 Yes 0 No
Rex Patrick SA Yes
Stirling Griff SA Absent
Sam McMahon NT Country Liberal Party Yes
Sue Lines WA Deputy President Yes
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Jacqui Lambie Network Yes
Liberal National Party (50% turnout) 1 Yes 0 No
James McGrath Queensland Yes
Matthew Canavan Queensland Absent
Liberal Party (72% turnout) 21 Yes 0 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Yes
Alex Antic SA Yes
Wendy Askew Tasmania Yes
Andrew Bragg NSW Yes
Slade Brockman WA Yes
Claire Chandler Tasmania Yes
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania Yes
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Yes
Jane Hume Victoria Yes
Andrew McLachlan SA Yes
Jim Molan NSW Yes
Matt O'Sullivan WA Yes
James Paterson Victoria Yes
Marise Payne NSW Yes
Gerard Rennick Queensland Yes
Linda Reynolds WA Yes
Paul Scarr Queensland Yes
Zed Seselja ACT Yes
Dean Smith WA Yes
Amanda Stoker Queensland Yes
David Van Victoria Yes
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
Michaelia Cash WA Absent
Richard Colbeck Tasmania Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
David Fawcett SA Absent
Sarah Henderson Victoria Absent
Hollie Hughes NSW Absent
Anne Ruston SA Absent
National Party (100% turnout) 3 Yes 0 No
Perin Davey NSW Yes
Susan McDonald Queensland Yes
Bridget McKenzie Victoria Yes
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party (100% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Pauline Hanson Queensland Yes
Malcolm Roberts Queensland Yes
Scott Ryan Victoria President Absent
Totals (57% turnout) 35 Yes – 8 No