Last chance for Qld to lead the way on seafood laws

Oct 20, 2022

Last chance for Qld to lead the way on seafood laws

Oct 20, 2022

Ahead of National Barramundi Day tomorrow (21st October), Queensland fishers, restaurateurs and pro-Aussie politicians are imploring the Palaszczuk Labor Government to lead the way on Country-of-Original-Labelling (CoOL) labelling laws.


A bill currently before the Queensland Parliament, known as the Food (Labelling of Seafood) Amendment Bill 2021, will go to a vote next Tuesday.


If passed, the Bill would introduce in Queensland mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) for all seafood sold in the hospitality sector.


This would bring hospitality in line with retail, which is already required by Federal law to label seafood products with their origins at the point-of-purchase.


Mr Katter said most Australians wanted to purchase local seafood, but they couldn’t do this freely if transparency around CoOL wasn’t assured.


“People can’t make a conscious choice to buy Australian, or Queensland, seafood if they are not easily able to find out the origins of what’s on a menu,” he said.

“With the stroke of a pen, and very little impact on government and industry, the Queensland Parliament can change this next week.”

With approximately 60 percent of barramundi being imported into Australia, the industry has struggled to compete against cheap Asian imports and consumer assumptions that ‘all barramundi is Australian’.

Research has shown that 41 per cent of Australians have been unsure of whether the barramundi they’re purchasing is locally sourced or imported.

Townsville barra farmer, Tim Bade of Spring Creek Barramundi, said the quality and sustainability of Australia’s seafood – namely barramundi – was unmatched.


“National Barramundi Day, to me as a barramundi producer, is a day to bring awareness to the great Australian product that is sustainability produced here,” he said.


“It’s also a day to bring light to the crisis we have with imported barramundi entering our markets and being unregulated in its use in the food service sector and there not being the opportunity for our consumers to make a concerted choice about what they want to buy, and what they want to eat.”


On reflecting on what National Barramundi Day means CEO of the Australian Barramundi Farmers’ Association Jo Ruscoe expressed a heartfelt thanks to all Australians for their support of local barra.

“We’re thrilled with the support the Australian public is giving our local farmers after challenging years struggling to sell fish during the pandemic, labour shortages and rising costs,” she said.

“It’s helped to keep Australian farms alive and enter a new chapter where they can thrive.”