Referendum bill passes Senate 46-8

The bill to allow the local government referendum has tonight passed the Senate 46 votes to 8.

The eight Senators to vote against the bill, despite official support from both major parties, were:

  • Cory Bernardi, Liberal, SA
  • Dean Smith, Liberal, WA
  • Bridget McKenzie, National, VIC
  • Alan Eggleston, Liberal, WA
  • David Bushby, Liberal, TAS
  • Chris Back, Liberal, WA
  • David Fawcett, Liberal, SA
  • John Madigan, DLP, VIC

In addition, a number of Liberal frontbenchers abstained from the vote, including Eric Abetz, Mitch Fifield, Scott Ryan, Mathias Cormann, Michaelia Cash, Brett Mason, Stephen Parry and Richard Colbeck, along with backbencher Bill Heffernan.

This extraordinary show of disapproval from Coalition Senators is yet another piece of evidence of significant opposition within the Coalition to the federal takeover of local councils.

UPDATE: Further abstentions include Michael Ronaldson, David Johnson, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Sean Edwards and Helen Kroger.

That means just seven Liberals and four Nationals voted in favour of the bill. The full vote is available here.

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