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14    Health—Food Labelling Standards—Seafood

Senator Xenophon, also on behalf of Senators Sterle, Whish-Wilson, Madigan, Lambie, Lazarus and Wang, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 814—That the Senate—

    (a)   notes:

                  (i)   the current compulsory country of origin labelling regime in the Northern Territory for seafood sold for immediate consumption, and the benefits it has provided to consumers, retailers and the fishing and aquaculture industries, and

                 (ii)   the findings of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee report Current requirements for labelling of seafood and seafood products , and particularly in relation to the economic benefits of extending such a mandatory scheme across Australia, including:

              ‘3.61   The committee holds the view that mandating country of origin labelling in relation to fish products sold in restaurants and other cooked seafood outlets comprises an effective, simple and cost-effective means of achieving a level playing field for Australian and overseas seafood producers. To this end, the committee recommends the immediate removal of the exemption under Standard 1.2.11 of the Code’, and

                         the following recommendation:

              ‘3.63   The committee recommends that the exemption regarding country of origin labelling under Standard 1.2.11 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code for cooked or pre-prepared seafood sold by the food services sector be removed, subject to a transition period of no more than 12 months’; and

    (b)   calls on the Government to take urgent action to introduce a compulsory country of origin labelling regime for seafood sold for immediate consumption.

Statements by leave : The Assistant Minister for Social Services (Senator Fifield) and Senator Xenophon, by leave, made statements relating to the motion.

Question put and passed.