The majority voted against a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Wendy Askew (Liberal) on behalf of Victorian Senator Sarah Henderson (Liberal), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) at the estimates of the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee (Committee) on 8 November 2022, the Managing Director of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) was asked to provide information relating to the roles, gender, place of work and remuneration bands for ABC employees,

(ii) the Managing Director of the ABC made a claim of public interest immunity in relation to the information, with reference to staff privacy and work health and safety, and the statutory independence and commercial interests of the ABC, and

(iii) there has also been correspondence and Clerk’s advice in relation to this matter which has been published on the Committee’s web pages including information that the Committee has upheld the claim of public interest immunity, noting that not all members of the Committee supported the acceptance of the claim of public interest immunity;

(b) rejects the claim of public interest immunity made by the Managing Director, noting that:

(i) the Privacy Act 1988 does not restrict the disclosure of the requested information to the Parliament,

(ii) as a statutory authority, the ABC is accountable to the Senate for its expenditure of public funds,

(iii) there is an acute public interest in transparency about the role, gender, place of work and remuneration band of ABC employees as well as how various departments, divisions, programs and offices are resourced, particularly with regards to gender pay equality and the adequacy of funding for ABC offices in regional Australia,

(iv) the ABC has not been requested to identify any person and the salary information requested is confined to a broad salary band in $40,000 increments, and

(v) the public interest in the Senate being able to effectively scrutinise the expenditure and operation of the ABC through the provision of the requested information outweighs any other impact that release of the information may have;

(c) orders that there be laid on the table by the Managing Director of the ABC by midday on Friday, 9 December 2022 tabulated information in relation to each current ABC employee:

(i) position title or job description, categorised into departments, divisions, programs, offices or other applicable working groups,

(ii) for the purposes of subparagraph (i):

(A) if a department includes multiple programs or divisions, each separate program or division must be specified, and

(B) if an ABC employee works across multiple programs, division, offices, or other applicable working groups-the name of the entity to which the employer is currently assigned should be provided; and

(iii) gender (where such information is available), place of employment, and total remuneration per annum (as defined in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014), provided in terms of salary bands, starting at $00.00-$40,000, and increasing in increments of $40,000.

Votes Not passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (92% turnout) 0 Yes 11 No
Penny Allman-Payne Queensland No
Dorinda Cox WA No
Mehreen Faruqi NSW No
Sarah Hanson-Young SA No
Nick McKim Tasmania No
Barbara Pocock SA No
Janet Rice Victoria No
David Shoebridge NSW No
Jordon Steele-John WA No
Larissa Waters Queensland No
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania No
Lidia Thorpe Victoria Absent
Australian Labor Party (88% turnout) 0 Yes 22 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania No
Carol Brown Tasmania No
Anthony Chisholm Queensland No
Raff Ciccone Victoria No
Patrick Dodson WA No
Don Farrell SA No
Katy Gallagher ACT No
Nita Green Queensland No
Karen Grogan SA No
Jenny McAllister NSW No
Malarndirri McCarthy NT No
Deborah O'Neill NSW No
Fatima Payman WA No
Helen Polley Tasmania No
Louise Pratt WA No
Tony Sheldon NSW No
Marielle Smith SA No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Anne Urquhart Tasmania No
Jess Walsh Victoria No
Murray Watt Queensland No
Linda White Victoria No
Tim Ayres NSW Absent
Jana Stewart Victoria Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price NT Country Liberal Party Yes
Andrew McLachlan SA Deputy President Yes
David Pocock ACT Independent No
Jacqui Lambie Network (100% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Yes
Tammy Tyrrell Tasmania Yes
Liberal National Party (100% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Matthew Canavan Queensland Yes
James McGrath Queensland Yes
Liberal Party (79% turnout) 19 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
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania Yes
David Fawcett SA Yes
Sarah Henderson Victoria Yes
Jane Hume Victoria Yes
Kerrynne Liddle SA Yes
Matt O'Sullivan WA Yes
James Paterson Victoria Yes
Marise Payne NSW Yes
Gerard Rennick Queensland Yes
Anne Ruston SA Yes
Paul Scarr Queensland Yes
David Van Victoria Yes
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
Hollie Hughes NSW Absent
Jim Molan NSW Absent
Linda Reynolds WA Absent
Dean Smith WA Absent
National Party (100% turnout) 4 Yes 0 No
Ross Cadell NSW Yes
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
Sue Lines WA President No
Ralph Babet Victoria United Australia Party Yes
Totals (88% turnout) 32 Yes – 35 No