Summary

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Independent Senator John Madigan (Vic), which means it was unsuccessful.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the importance of trade with China to the Australian economy,

(ii) that on 17 June 2015, Australia's Minister for Trade and Investment (Mr Robb) and China's Minister of Commerce (Mr Gao Hucheng) signed the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA),

(iii) that Article 10.4 of ChAFTA, in combination with other provisions, removes the requirement for Chinese companies operating in Australia to carry out 'labour market testing', 'economic needs testing' or 'other procedures of similar effect' before nominating foreign workers on temporary 457 work visas,

(iv) that a letter from the Minister for Trade and Investment to Mr Hucheng, dated 17 June 2015, which is stated to form part of ChAFTA, removes requirements for mandatory skills assessments for Chinese nationals entering Australia on certain types of temporary 457 work visas for ten occupations, including automotive electricians, general electricians and motor mechanics,

(v) that Chapter 9 of ChAFTA includes Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions of the type that have been utilised by foreign companies to bring claims against governments for legislative changes made for legitimate public purposes, such as the current claim by Phillip Morris against the Australian Government seeking compensation in relation to tobacco plain packaging legislation, and

(vi) that these aspects of ChAFTA are contrary to the national interest as they will cost Australian jobs, undermine the regulatory framework that ensures the safety of Australian worksites, and constrain the legislative process; and

(b) calls on the Government to renegotiate ChAFTA so as to remove these aspects of the agreement, or, alternatively, to abandon the agreement by not ratifying it.

Votes Not passed by a modest majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 10 Yes 0 No
Richard Di Natale Victoria Yes
Sarah Hanson-Young SA Yes
Scott Ludlam WA Yes
Nick McKim Tasmania Yes
Lee Rhiannon NSW Yes
Janet Rice Victoria Yes
Rachel Siewert WA Yes
Larissa Waters Queensland Yes
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania Yes
Penny Wright SA Yes
Australian Labor Party (83% turnout) 0 Yes 20 No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania No
Joe Bullock WA No
Doug Cameron NSW No
Kim Carr Victoria No
Jacinta Collins Victoria No
Alex Gallacher SA No
Katy Gallagher ACT No
Chris Ketter Queensland No
Sue Lines WA No
Joe Ludwig Queensland No
Jenny McAllister NSW No
Anne McEwen SA No
Jan McLucas Queensland No
Claire Moore Queensland No
Deborah O'Neill NSW No
Nova Peris NT No
Helen Polley Tasmania No
Lisa Singh Tasmania No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Anne Urquhart Tasmania No
Carol Brown Tasmania Absent
Stephen Conroy Victoria Absent
Sam Dastyari NSW Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Ricky Muir Victoria Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party Yes
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party No
Gavin Marshall Victoria Deputy President Absent
Bob Day SA Family First Party No
Glenn Lazarus Queensland Independent Yes
John Madigan Victoria Independent Yes
Nick Xenophon SA Independent Yes
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Independent Absent
David Leyonhjelm NSW Liberal Democratic Party No
Liberal National Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 2 No
Matthew Canavan Queensland No
James McGrath Queensland No
Liberal Party (48% turnout) 0 Yes 12 No
Christopher Back WA No
Cory Bernardi SA No
David Bushby Tasmania No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Sean Edwards SA No
David Fawcett SA No
Mitch Fifield Victoria No
Jo Lindgren Queensland No
Marise Payne NSW No
Linda Reynolds WA No
Anne Ruston SA No
Dean Smith WA No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Absent
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
George Brandis Queensland Absent
Michaelia Cash WA Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Absent
Bill Heffernan NSW Absent
David Johnston WA Absent
Ian Macdonald Queensland Absent
Michael Ronaldson Victoria Absent
Scott Ryan Victoria Absent
Zed Seselja ACT Absent
Arthur Sinodinos NSW Absent
National Party (75% turnout) 0 Yes 3 No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria No
Barry O'Sullivan Queensland No
John Williams NSW No
Fiona Nash NSW Absent
Dio Wang WA Palmer United Party No
Stephen Parry Tasmania President Absent
Totals (72% turnout) 14 Yes – 41 No