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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 389


Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (18:44): I thank the minister for his answer and the spirit in which he gave it. I just make the point that reasonable concerns were raised by the Australian Made Campaign Limited, and I do not think they have been addressed adequately. I accept what the minister says—let's give it a go. I think he could have been more rigorous. Before I move my amendment, I want to ask something of the minister. I think Senator Macdonald was going to sing his praises earlier on today, and I was happy for him to do so.

There has been a long saga over seafood labelling. When you buy fresh seafood in supermarkets or at fishmongers, they tell you where it comes from. But in the context of food labelling, if you go to a seafood restaurant or your local takeaway fish and chip shop, even though it might be right next door to the supermarket, 10 metres away, it seems that magically the requirements for labelling disappear. Senators from all sides of the chamber in the last parliament supported reforms based on the Northern Territory reforms to give that information to consumers. This bill does not touch on that.

In the context of labelling for cooked seafood, can the minister indicate, for the many millions of Australians who regularly enjoy their seafood in fish and chip shops, restaurants and takeaway shops, whether the government is planning to bring about reforms based broadly on the very successful Northern Territory laws? By the way, the evidence from the seafood industry is that many thousands of jobs would be created. I think there were 3,000 jobs in one sector alone. The prawn fishers say it would make a very big difference to their job numbers if we had this key reform in seafood labelling laws.