Lobster missing from Labor’s menu but Peter Malinauskas gifted a golden opportunity

South Australia’s lobster industry must be on Labor’s menu and the Opposition is calling on Peter Malinauskas to lobby China’s Premier Mr Li Qiang to drop industry tariffs during a meeting that doubles as a golden opportunity.

Peter Malinauskas will meet with Mr Li Qiang to discuss pandas over lunch at Adelaide Zoo on Sunday.

The Opposition is calling on Labor to push the $158 million South Australian lobster industry to the forefront of both the Federal and State government’s conversations with China.

Before tariffs were introduced, the national value of Australian Lobster industry exports was worth more than $1.6 billion, but now it’s worth less than $450m.

Shadow Minister for Trade and Investment, Tim Whetstone, said Peter Malinauskas has a golden opportunity to stand up for South Australia’s lobster industry.

“There is no better time to push for these tariffs to be lifted while China is on our doorstep and we are calling on Peter Malinauskas to do so,” Mr Whetstone said.

“Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has told us his government is ‘pro-panda’ but fails to be bold and ambitious when it comes to being pro-lobster.

“Anthony Albanese and Peter Malinauskas need to step up their game on the issue of China’s tariffs on the lobster industry.

“We need leaders who refuse to pander when it comes to prioritising South Australia above all else. We acknowledge that Adelaide Zoo’s pandas are important, but when it comes to the lobster industry livelihoods are on the line.

“Meanwhile, it’s incredibly frustrating that South Australia’s Trade Minister Joe Szakacs continues to be completely absent from the conversation. Removing tariffs from the lobster industry is an all-hands-on deck approach.

“South Australians in the lobster industry are hurting and they have been hurting for far too long.

“The heavy restrictions were placed on lobster export into China in late 2020, which previously made up 95 per cent of South Australia’s rock lobster export market.

“We want to see China’s lobster tariffs abolished, as has been done recently for other industries, so our local economy can thrive.”

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