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IS the seafood in your restaurant plate a Coastie catch? Or has it been trawled throughout the ocean from an abroad fishery?
Diners nonetheless gained’t know, after a bid by The Entrance State Labor MP David Mehan to introduce mandatory labelling of seafood by its nation of origin — a transfer which he stated would have benefited native fishers — was sunk by opposition MPs
Mr Mehan’s personal member’s invoice sought to convey NSW consistent with the Northern Territory, the place legal guidelines require the menus for seafood ready for fast consumption — comparable to eating places, takeaways, pubs and golf equipment — to clearly point out whether or not it was Australian or imported.
But his effort was scuppered by neighbouring Terrigal Liberal MP Adam Crouch, and others alongside the coast, who Mr Meehan stated ought to be inducted in a seafood “hall of shame”.
Mr Mehan pointed the fish finger at Liberal and National MPs of coastal electorates, together with Andrew Constance of Bega, Melinda Pavey of Oxley and Andrew Fraser of Coffs Harbour.
“It’s telling that a couple of them didn’t turn up for a vote,” he stated of South Coast Liberal MP Shelley Hancock and Kiama Liberal MP Gareth Ward.
“These two aren’t typically that slack … so it suggests there might be some support for regulation.”
But Mr Crouch fired again, saying Mr Mehan’s Bill “missed the mark”.
“The Bill was poorly written and left many things unclear,” he informed the Express Advocate.
“The NSW Government was unwilling to cross a Bill that didn’t even specify any penalties for noncompliance.
“When the NSW Government sought suggestions from our industry-led seafood labelling working group on Labor’s Bill they raised vital considerations.”
Instead Mr Crouch stated the federal government would perform a trial of labelling first, and would “rather bring everyone along with us instead of rushing to legislative solutions that don’t meet anyone’s expectations”.
The trial would prolong a nationwide change to Australian Consumer Law, which from July 1 this yr would require most seafood bought in retail outlets to show country-of-origin on its packaging or labels.
“However, the national standard will continue the exemption currently in place for restaurants, cafes and outlets selling seafood for immediate consumption,” Mr Mehan advised NSW Parliament.
Terrigal Fish and Chip Co supervisor Alex Rooney stated she appreciated the thought and the award-winning takeaway all the time sourced native seafood for its fish of the day.
However she stated it might come at a price for all eating places in upgrading menu boards.
“It’s unfortunate not all of our fish is from Australia,” she stated.
“I think if people really want to know (where it’s from) they will ask, and we will always tell them.”
Restaurateur Hayley Cansdell, of Bombini at Avoca and Fish Dining on Gosford waterfront, stated she was “100 per cent” behind nation of origin labelling.
“We do write it on the menu anyway,” she stated.
“I agree with the philosophy and the precept, not only for fish however meat and produce.
“I feel it’s nice for (shopper) schooling and figuring out what they’re consuming and the place it’s sourced from.”
However Ms Cansdell stated the truth was Australian seafood might be up to “three times the price” of imported fish.
She stated this is able to “make a difference” for cheaper eateries similar to takeaways and golf equipment that depend on excessive turnover and low cost imported seafood.
“It’s hard to make good margins on food when they’re highly priced,” she stated.