The majority voted in favour of a motion to agree with the bill's main idea. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read it for a second time. This means they can now discuss the bill in more detail.

What is the bill's main idea?

According to the bills digest, the bill:

will amend the scheme for national security-related citizenship cessation in the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (the Citizenship Act) to:

  • replace ‘operation of law’ provisions in which Australian citizenship is automatically renounced on the basis of certain conduct, with a ministerial-decision model for citizenship cessation
  • reduce the sentence threshold for cessation based on conviction for certain offences, from a sentence of at least six or ten years imprisonment (depending on when the sentence was imposed), to a sentence of at least three years imprisonment
  • change the ‘statelessness test’ by removing the precondition that the person is a citizen of another country and substituting a prohibition on the Minister making a determination where the Minister is satisfied that a person will be made stateless by the determination
  • amend the procedures for the giving of notice of a citizenship cessation and
  • introduce procedures by which a person whose citizenship ceases may apply to the Minister for revocation.

The amendments will apply retrospectively.

Why is the bill controversial?

The bills digest sets out some of the main issues in the bill:

  • reducing the sentence threshold for conviction-based citizenship cessation is not proportionate and lacks justification
  • amending the statelessness test will increase the risk of statelessness and narrow the scope for judicial review
  • there has been insufficient justification provided for the Bill’s retrospective application
  • although the [Independent National Security Legislation Monitor]’s proposed model included a limited form of merits review, the Bill does not make provision for this and
  • proposed procedural safeguards, including automatic revocation of the cessation determination where a court makes certain factual findings, may not be functional and thus may not provide practical protection against arbitrary citizenship loss and statelessness.

Votes Passed by a large majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (50% turnout) 0 Yes 4 No
Mehreen Faruqi NSW No
Sarah Hanson-Young SA No
Nick McKim Tasmania No
Rachel Siewert WA No
Janet Rice Victoria Absent
Jordon Steele-John WA Absent
Larissa Waters Queensland Absent
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania Absent
Australian Labor Party (24% turnout) 6 Yes 0 No
Tim Ayres NSW Yes
Kristina Keneally NSW Yes
Helen Polley Tasmania Yes
Louise Pratt WA Yes
Tony Sheldon NSW Yes
Penny Wong SA Yes
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
Alex Gallacher SA Absent
Katy Gallagher ACT Absent
Nita Green Queensland Absent
Kimberley Kitching Victoria Absent
Jenny McAllister NSW Absent
Malarndirri McCarthy NT Absent
Deborah O'Neill NSW Absent
Marielle Smith SA Absent
Glenn Sterle WA Absent
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Absent
Jess Walsh Victoria Absent
Murray Watt Queensland Absent
Stirling Griff SA Centre Alliance Yes
Rex Patrick SA Centre Alliance Yes
Sam McMahon NT Country Liberal Party Yes
Sue Lines WA Deputy President Absent
Rex Patrick SA Independent Absent
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Jacqui Lambie Network Absent
Liberal National Party (100% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Matthew Canavan Queensland Yes
James McGrath Queensland Yes
Liberal Party (76% turnout) 22 Yes 0 No
Alex Antic SA Yes
Wendy Askew Tasmania Yes
Andrew Bragg NSW Yes
Slade Brockman WA Yes
Michaelia Cash WA Yes
Claire Chandler Tasmania Yes
Richard Colbeck Tasmania Yes
Mathias Cormann WA Yes
David Fawcett SA Yes
Sarah Henderson Victoria Yes
Hollie Hughes NSW Yes
Jane Hume Victoria Yes
Andrew McLachlan SA Yes
Jim Molan NSW Yes
Matt O'Sullivan WA Yes
James Paterson Victoria Yes
Gerard Rennick Queensland Yes
Linda Reynolds WA Yes
Anne Ruston SA Yes
Paul Scarr Queensland Yes
Amanda Stoker Queensland Yes
David Van Victoria Yes
Eric Abetz Tasmania Absent
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania Absent
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Absent
Marise Payne NSW Absent
Zed Seselja ACT Absent
Dean Smith WA Absent
National Party (67% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Perin Davey NSW Yes
Bridget McKenzie Victoria Yes
Susan McDonald Queensland Absent
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party (0% turnout) Absent
Pauline Hanson Queensland Absent
Malcolm Roberts Queensland Absent
Scott Ryan Victoria President Absent
Totals (52% turnout) 35 Yes – 4 No