The majority voted in favour of a motion to agree with the main idea of the bill (known as giving it a second reading). This means they can now discuss it in greater detail.

What is the bill's main idea?

According to the bills digest:

The Bill will:

  • provide Pacific engagement visa holders with an exemption to the newly arrived resident’s waiting period for Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A, Youth Allowance (student and apprentice) and Austudy

  • allow Pacific engagement visa holders to access the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) and the Vocational Education and Training student loan (VSL) program and

  • allow long-term Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme workers and their families who are in Australia to access FTB Part A, FTB Part B and the Child Care Subsidy.

The Pacific engagement visa is a proposed new permanent visa, with up to 3,000 places allocated each year via a ballot or lottery system. Applicants will need to be citizens of eligible Pacific Island countries or Timor-Leste, and have a job offer in Australia.

The PALM scheme commenced in April 2022 and enables eligible employers to hire workers from participating Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste. In the October 2022–23 Budget, the Government announced a pilot program where a small number of long term PALM scheme workers could bring family members with them.

The measures will enable Pacific engagement visa holders to access FTB Part A immediately on arrival in Australia, and will provide an opportunity for these visa holders (including family members) to take up tertiary studies with the support of student income support payments and student loans. PALM workers will also be able to access family assistance payments, unlike most other temporary visa holders.

The proposed measures will provide Pacific engagement visa holders and long-term PALM workers with access to benefits that many other visa holders either cannot access or must serve long waiting periods before accessing.


Note that Victorian Senator David Van (Independent) is currently showing up as a rebel voter from the Liberal Party in this division. This is inaccurate, as Senator Van is no longer in the Liberal Party.

Votes Passed by a small majority

There was 1 rebellion in this division.

  • David Van voted Yes against the majority of the Liberal Party.
Party Votes
Australian Greens (82% turnout) 9 Yes 0 No
Penny Allman-Payne Queensland Yes
Mehreen Faruqi NSW Yes
Sarah Hanson-Young SA Yes
Nick McKim Tasmania Yes
Barbara Pocock SA Yes
Janet Rice Victoria Yes
David Shoebridge NSW Yes
Larissa Waters Queensland Yes
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania Yes
Dorinda Cox WA Absent
Jordon Steele-John WA Absent
Australian Labor Party (76% turnout) 19 Yes 0 No
Tim Ayres NSW Yes
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Yes
Anthony Chisholm Queensland Yes
Raff Ciccone Victoria Yes
Katy Gallagher ACT Yes
Nita Green Queensland Yes
Karen Grogan SA Yes
Jenny McAllister NSW Yes
Malarndirri McCarthy NT Yes
Fatima Payman WA Yes
Helen Polley Tasmania Yes
Louise Pratt WA Yes
Tony Sheldon NSW Yes
Marielle Smith SA Yes
Glenn Sterle WA Yes
Jana Stewart Victoria Yes
Jess Walsh Victoria Yes
Murray Watt Queensland Yes
Penny Wong SA Yes
Carol Brown Tasmania Absent
Patrick Dodson WA Absent
Don Farrell SA Absent
Deborah O'Neill NSW Absent
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Absent
Linda White Victoria Absent
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price NT Country Liberal Party Absent
Andrew McLachlan SA Deputy President No
David Pocock ACT Independent Yes
Lidia Thorpe Victoria Independent Absent
David Van Victoria Independent Absent
Jacqui Lambie Network (100% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Yes
Tammy Tyrrell Tasmania Yes
Liberal National Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 2 No
Matthew Canavan Queensland No
James McGrath Queensland No
Liberal Party (73% turnout) 1 Yes 15 No
David Van Victoria Yes
Alex Antic SA No
Andrew Bragg NSW No
Slade Brockman WA No
Michaelia Cash WA No
Claire Chandler Tasmania No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania No
Hollie Hughes NSW No
Maria Kovacic NSW No
Matt O'Sullivan WA No
James Paterson Victoria No
Gerard Rennick Queensland No
Linda Reynolds WA No
Anne Ruston SA No
Dean Smith WA No
Wendy Askew Tasmania Absent
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
David Fawcett SA Absent
Sarah Henderson Victoria Absent
Jane Hume Victoria Absent
Kerrynne Liddle SA Absent
Paul Scarr Queensland Absent
National Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 4 No
Ross Cadell NSW 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
Sue Lines WA President Absent
Ralph Babet Victoria United Australia Party No
Totals (76% turnout) 32 Yes – 25 No