Reports and publications (published elsewhere)

Healthy stores, healthy communities: the impact of Outback Stores on remote Indigenous Australians

Posted on: 2 August, 2010
Issue: Vol 10 No 3, July 2010 - September 2010
Related to Health Health promotion Nutrition Policies Remote

Hudson S (2010)
Healthy stores, healthy communities: the impact of outback stores on remote Indigenous Australians
Sydney: Centre for Independent Studies

The government healthy eating campaigns to combat the ‘gap’ in health status between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians have tended to assume that the poor diets of Indigenous Australians and their subsequent poor health outcomes are because of their lack of knowledge about what foods are healthy. But lack of education is not always the problem. For many residents of remote communities it is the problems with supply and affordability of produce that limit the opportunities to consume fresh fruit and vegetables on a regular basis.

In 2006 the Rudd Government established a company called Outback Stores, to manage remote community stores on behalf of Indigenous communities. The purpose was to address poor management practices and reduce uneconomic cultural practices, which can result in the stores selling goods at high prices or providing inferior products and poor service.

In this report Sara Hudson, Policy Analyst in the Indigenous Affairs Research Program at The Centre for Independent Studies, discusses the impact of the Outback Stores on remote communities. She argues that the government involvement in Outback Stores has created an unequal playing field that stifles competition, and makes it more difficult for independent community stores to keep operating. She suggests that Outback Stores should not be allowed to operate in communities of over 500 residents and that government intervention into remote stores should be confined to monitoring and regulating stores practices.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

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