Summary

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Nationals senator Matthew Canavan moved that the Senate support freedom of speech and condemn the Greens for supporting restrictions on protests. The motion was made in response to the Greens' campaign to make protesting outside abortion clinics illegal.

The vote was tied, so it didn't pass.

The State Parliaments decide on buffer zones, so even if this motion passed, the existing laws wouldn't change. When this motion was introduced, only Tasmania had buffer zone laws, but by the end of the month, Victoria also had them.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate notes:

(a) the important role freedom of speech plays in the exercise of public debate;

(b) that informed public debate requires the expression of different views, even if you disagree with them;

(c) that this nation has fought wars for democracy, for freedom of speech and for the right to protest; and

(d) that attempts by the Australian Greens and their supporters to introduce legislation banning peaceful protest from public areas is an attack on a fundamental right and should be opposed.

Votes Not passed

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (90% turnout) 0 Yes 9 No
Richard Di Natale Victoria No
Sarah Hanson-Young SA No
Nick McKim Tasmania No
Lee Rhiannon NSW No
Janet Rice Victoria No
Rachel Siewert WA No
Robert Simms SA No
Larissa Waters Queensland No
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania No
Scott Ludlam WA Absent
Australian Labor Party (75% turnout) 0 Yes 18 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania No
Carol Brown Tasmania No
Joe Bullock WA No
Doug Cameron NSW No
Kim Carr Victoria No
Jacinta Collins Victoria No
Stephen Conroy Victoria No
Alex Gallacher SA No
Chris Ketter Queensland No
Sue Lines WA No
Joe Ludwig Queensland No
Jenny McAllister NSW No
Claire Moore Queensland No
Deborah O'Neill NSW No
Nova Peris NT No
Helen Polley Tasmania No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Anne Urquhart Tasmania No
Sam Dastyari NSW Absent
Katy Gallagher ACT Absent
Anne McEwen SA Absent
Jan McLucas Queensland Absent
Lisa Singh Tasmania Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Ricky Muir Victoria Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party Absent
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Yes
Gavin Marshall Victoria Deputy President Absent
Bob Day SA Family First Party Yes
John Madigan Victoria Independent Yes
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Independent No
Glenn Lazarus Queensland Independent No
Nick Xenophon SA Independent Absent
David Leyonhjelm NSW Liberal Democratic Party Yes
Liberal National Party (100% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Matthew Canavan Queensland Yes
James McGrath Queensland Yes
Liberal Party (80% turnout) 20 Yes 0 No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Yes
Christopher Back WA Yes
Cory Bernardi SA Yes
Simon Birmingham SA Yes
David Bushby Tasmania Yes
Michaelia Cash WA Yes
Sean Edwards SA Yes
David Fawcett SA Yes
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Yes
Mitch Fifield Victoria Yes
Bill Heffernan NSW Yes
David Johnston WA Yes
Jo Lindgren Queensland Yes
Ian Macdonald Queensland Yes
Marise Payne NSW Yes
Linda Reynolds WA Yes
Michael Ronaldson Victoria Yes
Anne Ruston SA Yes
Scott Ryan Victoria Yes
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Yes
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Richard Colbeck Tasmania Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
Zed Seselja ACT Absent
Dean Smith WA Absent
National Party (50% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria Yes
John Williams NSW Yes
Fiona Nash NSW Absent
Barry O'Sullivan Queensland Absent
Dio Wang WA Palmer United Party Yes
Stephen Parry Tasmania President Absent
Totals (76% turnout) 29 Yes – 29 No