Summary

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The majority voted against a motion introduced at the request of Victorian Senators Janet Rice (Greens) and Kim Carr (Labor)

Motion text

(1) That the Senate notes that the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee inquiry into nationhood, national identity and democracy recommended that the Australian Government establish a Parliamentary Office of Science, modelled on the United Kingdom Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, to provide independent, impartial scientific advice, evidence and data to the Parliament, and all members and senators.

(2) That the following matter be referred to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by 2 December 2021:

The current state of scientific advice to the Parliament, with particular reference to:

(a) the role of timely, independent scientific advice to the Parliament throughout the COVID-19 pandemic;

(b) the nature of information needed and adequacy of current sources to assist the Parliament in its consideration of matters related to science and technology;

(c) the relevance of approaches adopted in other countries, including the United Kingdom's Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology;

(d) opportunities to expand the availability of independent scientific advice to members of Parliament through the establishment of a Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) with appropriate structure and resourcing, including:

(i) accountability and oversight,

(ii) protocols for requesting work from POST, and POST's relationship with other entities, and

(iii) resourcing and staffing levels; and

(e) any other related matters.

Notice of motion altered on 4 August 2021 pursuant to standing order 77.

Votes Not passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (56% turnout) 5 Yes 0 No
Sarah Hanson-Young SA Yes
Nick McKim Tasmania Yes
Rachel Siewert WA Yes
Larissa Waters Queensland Yes
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania Yes
Mehreen Faruqi NSW Absent
Janet Rice Victoria Absent
Jordon Steele-John WA Absent
Lidia Thorpe Victoria Absent
Australian Labor Party (40% turnout) 10 Yes 0 No
Carol Brown Tasmania Yes
Kim Carr Victoria Yes
Anthony Chisholm Queensland Yes
Don Farrell SA Yes
Katy Gallagher ACT Yes
Deborah O'Neill NSW Yes
Louise Pratt WA Yes
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Yes
Murray Watt Queensland Yes
Penny Wong SA Yes
Tim Ayres NSW Absent
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Absent
Raff Ciccone Victoria Absent
Patrick Dodson WA Absent
Alex Gallacher SA Absent
Nita Green Queensland Absent
Kristina Keneally NSW Absent
Kimberley Kitching Victoria Absent
Jenny McAllister NSW Absent
Malarndirri McCarthy NT Absent
Helen Polley Tasmania Absent
Tony Sheldon NSW Absent
Marielle Smith SA Absent
Glenn Sterle WA Absent
Jess Walsh Victoria Absent
Stirling Griff SA Centre Alliance Absent
Sam McMahon NT Country Liberal Party Absent
Sue Lines WA Deputy President Yes
Rex Patrick SA Independent Yes
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Jacqui Lambie Network No
Liberal National Party (0.0% turnout) Absent
Matthew Canavan Queensland Absent
James McGrath Queensland Absent
Liberal Party (52% turnout) 0 Yes 15 No
Wendy Askew Tasmania No
Slade Brockman WA No
Michaelia Cash WA No
Claire Chandler Tasmania No
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania No
Jane Hume Victoria No
Matt O'Sullivan WA No
Linda Reynolds WA No
Anne Ruston SA No
Paul Scarr Queensland No
Zed Seselja ACT No
Ben Small WA No
Dean Smith WA No
Amanda Stoker Queensland No
David Van Victoria No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Absent
Alex Antic SA Absent
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
Andrew Bragg NSW Absent
Richard Colbeck Tasmania Absent
David Fawcett SA Absent
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Absent
Sarah Henderson Victoria Absent
Hollie Hughes NSW Absent
Andrew McLachlan SA Absent
Jim Molan NSW Absent
James Paterson Victoria Absent
Marise Payne NSW Absent
Gerard Rennick Queensland Absent
National Party (67% turnout) 0 Yes 2 No
Perin Davey NSW No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria No
Susan McDonald Queensland 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 Absent
Totals (47% turnout) 17 Yes – 19 No