The majority disagreed that the new cross-media ownership laws should be removed from the bill. Labor MP Stephen Smith had suggested this in a motion because he believes that the new laws contained in the bill don't protect media diversity (read his whole speech and the related debate).

What does the bill do?

The bill will introduce new laws relating to cross media ownership. Specifically, it will permit cross-media mergers in radio licence areas where sufficient diversity of media groups remains following the merger.

The bill states that there is sufficient diversity of media groups if there are at least five separate media groups in mainland State capitals and at least four groups in other licence areas following any merger activity.

What are the current cross media ownership laws?

Under the current law, a person can't control two types of media (including TV, radio and newspaper media) within the same licence area. For example, one person can't control a commercial television broadcasting licence and a commercial radio broadcasting licence within a particular area. Nor can they control a commercial radio broadcasting licence and a newspaper associated with the area.

A person is considered to be in control of the particular type of media if they have interests in the company greater than 15%.

Background to the bill

Since it was elected in 1996, the Coalition Government has made its interest in amending Australia's media ownership laws clear. It has asked the advice of the Productivity Commission and previously introduced the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Media Ownership) Bill 2002 and the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Media Ownership) Bill 2002 (No 2), but neither were passed.

The Government restated its commitment to amend these media ownership laws during the 2004 election, in which it was re-elected.

Read more about the background to the bill in its bills digest.

Votes Not passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Labor Party (86% turnout) 51 Yes 0 No
Dick Adams Lyons Yes
Anthony Albanese Grayndler Yes
Kim Beazley Brand Yes
Arch Bevis Brisbane Yes
Sharon Bird Cunningham Yes
Chris Bowen Prospect Yes
Anna Burke Chisholm Yes
Tony Burke Watson Yes
Anthony Byrne Holt Yes
Ann Corcoran Isaacs Yes
Simon Crean Hotham Yes
Michael Danby Melbourne Ports Yes
Justine Elliot Richmond Yes
Annette Ellis Canberra Yes
Kate Ellis Adelaide Yes
Craig Emerson Rankin Yes
Laurie Ferguson Reid Yes
Martin Ferguson Batman Yes
Joel Fitzgibbon Hunter Yes
Peter Garrett Kingsford Smith Yes
Steve Georganas Hindmarsh Yes
Jennie George Throsby Yes
Steve Gibbons Bendigo Yes
Sharon Grierson Newcastle Yes
Alan Griffin Bruce Yes
Jill Hall Shortland Yes
Michael Hatton Blaxland Yes
Chris Hayes Werriwa Yes
Kelly Hoare Charlton Yes
Julia Irwin Fowler Yes
Harry Jenkins Scullin Yes
Catherine King Ballarat Yes
Carmen Lawrence Fremantle Yes
Kirsten Livermore Capricornia Yes
Jenny Macklin Jagajaga Yes
Robert McClelland Barton Yes
Bob McMullan Fraser Yes
Daryl Melham Banks Yes
John Murphy Lowe Yes
Brendan O'Connor Gorton Yes
Gavan O'Connor Corio Yes
Julie Owens Parramatta Yes
Tanya Plibersek Sydney Yes
Roger Price Chifley Yes
Bernie Ripoll Oxley Yes
Rod Sawford Port Adelaide Yes
Bob Sercombe Maribyrnong Yes
Stephen Smith Perth Yes
Warren Snowdon Lingiari Yes
Kelvin Thomson Wills Yes
Maria Vamvakinou Calwell Yes
Graham Edwards Cowan Absent
Julia Gillard Lalor Absent
Duncan Kerr Denison Absent
Nicola Roxon Gellibrand Absent
Kevin Rudd Griffith Absent
Wayne Swan Lilley Absent
Lindsay Tanner Melbourne Absent
Kim Wilkie Swan Absent
Dave Tollner Solomon Country Liberal Party No
Ian Causley Page Deputy Speaker No
Peter Andren Calare Independent Yes
Bob Katter Kennedy Independent Yes
Harry Quick Franklin Independent Yes
Tony Windsor New England Independent Yes
Liberal Party (92% turnout) 0 Yes 67 No
Tony Abbott Warringah No
Kevin Andrews Menzies No
Fran Bailey McEwen No
Mark Baker Braddon No
Bob Baldwin Paterson No
Phillip Barresi Deakin No
Kerry Bartlett Macquarie No
Bruce Billson Dunkley No
Julie Bishop Curtin No
Russell Broadbent McMillan No
Mal Brough Longman No
Alan Cadman Mitchell No
Steven Ciobo Moncrieff No
Alexander Downer Mayo No
Trish Draper Makin No
Peter Dutton Dickson No
Kay Elson Forde No
Warren Entsch Leichhardt No
Pat Farmer Macarthur No
David Fawcett Wakefield No
Michael Ferguson Bass No
Teresa Gambaro Petrie No
Joanna Gash Gilmore No
Petro Georgiou Kooyong No
Barry Haase Kalgoorlie No
Gary Hardgrave Moreton No
Stuart Henry Hasluck No
Greg Hunt Flinders No
Dennis Jensen Tangney No
Michael Johnson Ryan No
David Jull Fadden No
Michael Keenan Stirling No
Jackie Kelly Lindsay No
Andrew Laming Bowman No
Sussan Ley Farrer No
Peter Lindsay Herbert No
Jim Lloyd Robertson No
Ian Macfarlane Groom No
Louise Markus Greenway No
Margaret May McPherson No
Stewart McArthur Corangamite No
Sophie Mirabella Indi No
Gary Nairn Eden-Monaro No
Brendan Nelson Bradfield No
Chris Pearce Aston No
Geoff Prosser Forrest No
Christopher Pyne Sturt No
Don Randall Canning No
Kym Richardson Kingston No
Andrew Robb Goldstein No
Philip Ruddock Berowra No
Alby Schultz Hume No
Patrick Secker Barker No
Peter Slipper Fisher No
Tony Smith Casey No
Alex Somlyay Fairfax No
Andrew Southcott Boothby No
Sharman Stone Murray No
Cameron Thompson Blair No
Ken Ticehurst Dobell No
Wilson Tuckey O'Connor No
Malcolm Turnbull Wentworth No
Danna Vale Hughes No
Ross Vasta Bonner No
Barry Wakelin Grey No
Mal Washer Moore No
Jason Wood La Trobe No
Bruce Baird Cook Absent
Bronwyn Bishop Mackellar Absent
Peter Costello Higgins Absent
Joe Hockey North Sydney Absent
John Howard Bennelong Absent
Judi Moylan Pearce Absent
National Party (73% turnout) 0 Yes 8 No
John Anderson Gwydir No
John Forrest Mallee No
Luke Hartsuyker Cowper No
De-Anne Kelly Dawson No
Peter McGauran Gippsland No
Paul Neville Hinkler No
Bruce Scott Maranoa No
Mark Vaile Lyne No
John Cobb Parkes Absent
Kay Hull Riverina Absent
Warren Truss Wide Bay Absent
David Hawker Wannon Speaker Absent
Totals (88% turnout) 55 Yes – 77 No