Closing the Gap - Northern Territory - Community stores

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs; Department of the Treasury

Key Elements

The Australian Government will invest $18.3 million over three years to continue and strengthen the community stores licensing regime to ensure food security for income-managed customers residing in Northern Territory communities. It will also ensure that people involved in the operation of community stores can improve their capacity to operate a business to provide a good range and quality of food to those in remote communities. The key elements of this measure include:

  • the ongoing assessment, licensing and monitoring of community stores in the Northern Territory;
  • assistance with governance matters and the provision of other capacity building measures and services to support the operation of community stores and to ensure they can meet the needs of the customers they serve; and
  • provision of food security for income-managed customers who live in communities with no local community store or where the community store licence has been revoked.

The way community stores operate and the quality of food they provide are critical to the Australian Government’s efforts to improve the lives of Indigenous people.


The community stores sector in remote Australia demonstrates market failure, due to the inability of the market to sustain quality stores and quality store management. This can have flow-on effects for the reliable supply of a good range of healthy food.

This measure will ensure that the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs can continue to assess and identify the risks in approximately 90 stores in, or near, remote communities the Northern Territory,  monitor these stores to ensure they are meeting their licensing conditions; build the capacity of people involved in the operations of these stores; and continue to support the income management regime in the Northern Territory.


The measure is a continuation, and strengthening, of the existing community stores licensing measure. established under the NTER.  Activities to support store owners and/or operators to improve the governance, financial and retail operations of their store, to ensure they continue to meet the assessable matters in the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Act 2007, will commence in the 2009-10 financial year.

Total Government Funding

$18.3 million over 3 years

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