Thank you to all who provided feedback on the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory: Implementation Plan for the Food Security Measure. In particular we wish to thank those who wrote submissions with suggestions for how this measure could be strengthened to improve the availability of healthy food to remote Aboriginal communities.
We have considered the range of views and the plan has now been finalised.
The Australian Government’s work to license community stores in the Northern Territory is proving successful. An independent evaluation found a big improvement in the availability, range and quality of fresh and healthy food in remote communities as a result of this work.
Stores now have better management and infrastructure such as storage, refrigeration, shelving and financial management systems in place. They are not only becoming better places to shop, but are also on a more sustainable footing.
The Stronger Futures legislation ensures that more stores that are an important source of food, drink and groceries for remote Aboriginal communities come within the scope of licensing.
The Stronger Futures funding package means that over the next ten years, over $40 million will go towards increasing food security in the Northern Territory, including $13.4 million to assist stores to meet acceptable standards for licensing including in regard to the range, quantity and quality of goods, as well as the governance and financial integrity of their operations.
The Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory: Implementation Approach for the Food Security Measure explains how the funding to assist stores is proposed to be implemented to achieve the objective of enabling special measures to be taken for the purpose of promoting food security for Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory.
In particular the Australian Government’s intention is to enhance the contribution made by community stores in the Northern Territory to achieving food security for Aboriginal communities.