September 28, 2023

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Remote Northern Territory food prices skyrocket, worries for health of communities


Residents of a remote community in the Northern Territory are paying as much as $74 for a tin of coffee and the price of fresh milk has reached an all-time high of more than $8 for 2 litres.

Almost everything on the shelves at Wadeye’s Murrinhpatha Nimmipa Store — the only shop within a 400-kilometre radius — is more expensive than a couple of months ago.

Manager Jake Clarke said he hadn’t raised the margin on food items in more than a decade, but in the wake of a straining global supply chain, adverse weather and rising fuel and energy prices, he had no choice.

“We are getting to the point where we are just covering our costs,” he said.

“It’s not because I want to, it’s because I have to.”

Corned beef was selling for $15 and fruit and vegetables, Mr Clarke said, were sold at a loss to ensure healthy food remained affordable.

A sign on white paper with black writing.
A notice about the increase in food prices has been in place in Ramingining since May.(Supplied)

Prices for produce had also spiked at Ramingining, a mainland community of about 900 people almost 600 kilometres east of Darwin.

A sign at the Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation store stated cost increases in fuel and freight have had a significant impact.

“We have had to make the difficult decision to pass on some of these costs.”

In Ramingining, 1 kilogram of Nescafe instant coffee had skyrocketed to more than $74, small containers of cream were sold for almost $8, and powdered milk cost $10.25. 

Costs passed on to customers

A corporation spokeswoman said the organisation was paying $250,000 a quarter in extra freight charges to get goods to its six Arnhem Land stores compared to the same time last year.

Posted , updated 


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