NSW Labor upset by no change to seafood labelling
THE NSW Opposition is upset with regional MP's on the Government side who it claims have backflipped on a promise for better labelling of retail seafood.
Government members representing coastal electorates have been slammed for not supporting a Private Member's Bill introduced by Labor MP for The Entrance, David Mehan.
The Food Amendment (Seafood Country of Origin Labelling) Bill 2017 would have required restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs to display whether the seafood on offer was imported or caught in Australia.
Provisions were in the bill for mixed sources such as marinara.
Mr Mehan said NSW Labor consulted the food retail industry as well as the local fishing industry which strongly supported the bill.
"The Government promised to introduce labelling more than 18 months ago,” he said.
"Not one coastal MP from the Government spoke on the bill.
"It was left to the National Party Member for Tamworth, who lives hundreds of kilometres from the coast, to lead the government's response.
"Instead, it had become bogged down in the botched roll-out of a commercial fishing reform which had destroyed many small family run fishing businesses up and down the coast.”
Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Mick Veitch, said the reforms would negatively impact coastal economies and placed a cloud over the ongoing viability of fishing co-ops and other businesses which supplied equipment and goods to the fishing industry.
"The NSW Government has botched the commercial fishing reforms from day one and now voted down a bill they promised back in 2016,” he said.
"National and Liberal MP's have a chance here to stand up for our seafood industry, our fishers, co-ops and the many seafood outlets that want to promote locally caught seafood.
"They should talk to the Minister and get him to back down and support this bill.”