Summary

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The same number of senators voted for and against a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Carol Brown (Labor). The motion would have added certain words (see below) to the usual second reading motion - "that the bill be read a second time" - which is parliamentary jargon for agreeing with the main idea of the bill.

Senator Brown explained the purpose of this amendment, saying that:

The reality is that the ASL [Average Staffing Level] staffing cap is both a cut in real staffing numbers and privatisation policy by stealth. Agencies are forced to outsource, contract out, spend exorbitant amounts on consultants and/or engage labour hire contractors to staff departments to make up for the lack of in-house resources. Too many phone calls to Services Australia go unanswered every year, and Australians waste too much time on hold trying to access Centrelink services, causing great, unnecessary distress.

Motion text

At the end of the motion, add ", but the Senate calls on the Government to:

(a) abolish the "ASL offset rule", which has the effect of capping average staffing levels within Services Australia;

(b) stop the excessive use of consultancy firms and contractors to outsource important government services including Centrelink; and

(c) recognise that the staffing cap is a false economy that undermines the quality of government services, especially those delivered by Services Australia".

Votes Not passed

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (89% turnout) 8 Yes 0 No
Mehreen Faruqi NSW Yes
Sarah Hanson-Young SA Yes
Nick McKim Tasmania Yes
Janet Rice Victoria Yes
Rachel Siewert WA Yes
Lidia Thorpe Victoria Yes
Larissa Waters Queensland Yes
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania Yes
Jordon Steele-John WA Absent
Australian Labor Party (52% turnout) 13 Yes 0 No
Tim Ayres NSW Yes
Carol Brown Tasmania Yes
Kim Carr Victoria Yes
Anthony Chisholm Queensland Yes
Raff Ciccone Victoria Yes
Patrick Dodson WA Yes
Don Farrell SA Yes
Malarndirri McCarthy NT Yes
Helen Polley Tasmania Yes
Tony Sheldon NSW Yes
Glenn Sterle WA Yes
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Yes
Jess Walsh Victoria Yes
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Absent
Alex Gallacher 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
Louise Pratt WA Absent
Marielle Smith SA Absent
Murray Watt Queensland Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Stirling Griff SA Centre Alliance Yes
Sam McMahon NT Country Liberal Party No
Sue Lines WA Deputy President Yes
Rex Patrick SA Independent Yes
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 (55% turnout) 0 Yes 16 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania No
Alex Antic SA No
Wendy Askew Tasmania No
Andrew Bragg NSW No
Claire Chandler Tasmania No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Sarah Henderson Victoria No
Andrew McLachlan SA No
Matt O'Sullivan WA No
Marise Payne NSW No
Linda Reynolds WA No
Anne Ruston SA No
Zed Seselja ACT No
Dean Smith WA No
Amanda Stoker Queensland No
David Van Victoria No
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
Slade Brockman WA Absent
Michaelia Cash WA Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania Absent
David Fawcett SA Absent
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Absent
Hollie Hughes NSW Absent
Jane Hume Victoria Absent
Jim Molan NSW Absent
James Paterson Victoria Absent
Gerard Rennick Queensland Absent
Paul Scarr Queensland 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) 0 Yes 2 No
Pauline Hanson Queensland No
Malcolm Roberts Queensland No
Scott Ryan Victoria President No
Totals (66% turnout) 25 Yes – 25 No