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FOR – Motions - Whistleblower Protection - Let a vote happen

The majority voted against a motion to suspend the usual procedural rules of parliament - known as standing orders - in order to let another vote take place (see the motion wording below). It was introduced by Clark MP Andrew Wilkie (Independent).

There was one rebel voter, with Bass MP Bridget Archer voting "Yes" against the rest of her party.

Motion text

That so much of the standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent the Member for Clark from moving the following motion:

That the House:

(1) notes that:

(a) Mr David McBride, a former military lawyer, is facing five charges relating to the disclosure of information that is undeniably in the public interest, including credible evidence of war crimes committed by Australian Defence Force personnel in Afghanistan;

(b) Mr McBride faces court on 13 November 2023, and will be the first person on trial in relation to alleged war crimes committed in Afghanistan and he faces the very real prospect of spending years in prison, simply for telling the truth, because of this Australian Government prosecution; and

(c) Mr Richard Boyle, a former Australian Tax Office official, is also facing the prospect of life in prison within the year, for revealing information about serious improper conduct within the Australian Taxation Office, which was also undoubtedly in the public interest; and

(2) calls on the Government to immediately intervene pursuant to the Judiciary Act 1903 and discontinue the politically-motivated prosecutions of Mr McBride and Mr Boyle.


Date and time: 10:31 AM on 2023-09-06
Allegra Spender's vote: Aye
Total number of "aye" votes: 15
Total number of "no" votes: 83
Total number of abstentions: 53

Adapted from information made available by

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