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

What does this bill do?

According to the bill homepage, the bill:

Amends the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 to enable the Manufacturing Division to de-merge from the Construction, Forestry and Maritime Employees Union, if supported by a ballot of relevant members.

According to the explanatory memorandum (which is a political document prepared by the Government, who introduced this bill):

The Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment (Withdrawal from Amalgamation) Bill 2024 would amend the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (Registered Organisations Act) to enable the Manufacturing Division of the Construction, Forestry and Maritime Employees Union (the CFMEU, an organisation registered under the Registered Organisations Act) to de-merge from the CFMEU.

The Bill would:

  • enable an application to be made to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) before 31 October 2024 for a ballot to be held to decide whether the Manufacturing Division should withdraw;

  • apply the provisions of the Registered Organisations Act and the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Regulations 2009 as they were immediately before commencement of Part 13 of Schedule 1 to the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes No. 2) Act 2024 , with appropriate modifications;

  • specify coverage rules for the new registered organisation, if the ballot is supported by a majority of relevant members;

  • provide an alternate pathway if the parties both agree (and subject to strict time limits), by way of a notice being given to the Minister which initiates a separate process to support a consensus-based approach to facilitating withdrawal; and

  • require consensus on any relevant proposed alterations to the CFMEU’s eligibility rules that affect both parties before 1 January 2034.

Votes Passed by a modest majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (91% turnout) 0 Yes 10 No
Penny Allman-Payne Queensland No
Dorinda Cox WA No
Mehreen Faruqi NSW No
Sarah Hanson-Young SA No
Steph Hodgins-May Victoria No
Nick McKim Tasmania No
David Shoebridge NSW No
Jordon Steele-John WA No
Larissa Waters Queensland No
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania No
Barbara Pocock SA Absent
Australian Labor Party (76% turnout) 19 Yes 0 No
Tim Ayres NSW Yes
Carol Brown Tasmania Yes
Anthony Chisholm Queensland Yes
Raff Ciccone Victoria Yes
Lisa Darmanin Victoria Yes
Varun Ghosh WA Yes
Nita Green Queensland Yes
Karen Grogan SA Yes
Jenny McAllister NSW Yes
Malarndirri McCarthy NT Yes
Deborah O'Neill NSW Yes
Helen Polley Tasmania Yes
Louise Pratt WA Yes
Tony Sheldon NSW Yes
Marielle Smith SA Yes
Jana Stewart Victoria Yes
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Yes
Jess Walsh Victoria Yes
Murray Watt Queensland Yes
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Absent
Don Farrell SA Absent
Katy Gallagher ACT Absent
Fatima Payman WA Absent
Glenn Sterle WA Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price NT Country Liberal Party Absent
Andrew McLachlan SA Deputy President Yes
David Pocock ACT Independent Yes
David Van Victoria Independent Yes
Lidia Thorpe 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) 2 Yes 0 No
Matthew Canavan Queensland Yes
James McGrath Queensland Yes
Liberal Party (65% turnout) 15 Yes 0 No
Alex Antic SA Yes
Wendy Askew Tasmania Yes
Andrew Bragg NSW Yes
Michaelia Cash WA Yes
Richard Colbeck Tasmania Yes
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania Yes
Sarah Henderson Victoria Yes
Maria Kovacic NSW Yes
Matt O'Sullivan WA Yes
Gerard Rennick Queensland Yes
Linda Reynolds WA Yes
Anne Ruston SA Yes
Paul Scarr Queensland Yes
Dave Sharma NSW Yes
Dean Smith WA Yes
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
Slade Brockman WA Absent
Claire Chandler Tasmania Absent
David Fawcett SA Absent
Hollie Hughes NSW Absent
Jane Hume Victoria Absent
Kerrynne Liddle SA Absent
James Paterson Victoria Absent
National Party (25% turnout) 1 Yes 0 No
Perin Davey NSW Yes
Ross Cadell NSW Absent
Susan McDonald Queensland Absent
Bridget McKenzie Victoria Absent
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party (100% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Pauline Hanson Queensland Yes
Malcolm Roberts Queensland Yes
Sue Lines WA President Absent
Ralph Babet Victoria United Australia Party Yes
Totals (72% turnout) 45 Yes – 10 No