Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Report reveals more money spent on healthy food in Indigenous community-owned stores

A new report has found that Australian Government reforms to community owned stores in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities have resulted in increased sales of healthy food.

The report, strong corporations, strong stores, strong communities investigates the financial performance of community stores owned by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).

Findings in the report show:

  • significant overall growth in average income and gross profit
  • an increase in the percentage of community stores trading profitably

These findings demonstrate the strength of community stores operating under the Northern Territory community stores licensing program.

Store licensing in the Northern Territory has led to better store management and governance with fewer stores now trading at a loss and more stores performing on a stronger financial basis. Better managed stores with stronger governance means improved food security for communities in the Northern Territory.

Community stores are often the only providers of essential goods and services in remote locations. They provide fresh, healthy food in line with the Australian Government’s initiatives to promote better nutrition in remote locations.

The community stores reviewed as part of the report are all owned by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and make an important contribution to the local economy, as well as providing reliable access to healthy, affordable food.

This report supports the recent findings of the independent report into store licensing in the Northern Territory, Evaluation of the stores licensing program released on 24 May 2011.

The Australian Government remains committed to providing remote communities with better access to healthy and affordable food and to supporting local industry to provide this valuable service.

The strong corporations, strong stores, strong communities report can be downloaded from the Registrar’s website at

For a copy of the Evaluation of the stores licensing program, visit