Food insecurity impacts on all aspects of life including housing, education and health. This inquiry is the latest in a long line of Government inquiries, plans and policies that have aimed to address food security and the higher cost of food in remote Aboriginal communities. A House of Representatives inquiry into this issue was undertaken in 2009 and a significant proportion of the recommendations that were provided to the Australian government at the time by Aboriginal community controlled organisations have largely been ignored.
- The Australian Government needs to acknowledge remote community stores are not just a local business but a critical social service upon which whole communities of vulnerable people are substantially reliant with respect to access to healthy food and other essential items. Therefore a reform needs to be undertaken, to support remote community stores to better provide for the needs of consumers.
- The Australian Government needs to continue to support the The Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT (AMSANT) Food Summit project to gain community and Aboriginal organisation voice in developing solutions to food insecurity.
- APO NT recommends that the Australian Government to undertake broader reforms to the Australian food and beverages sector to support consumers to have healthy food choices such a 20% taxes on added sugar foods and beverages and a fruit and vegetable subsidy, to promote the consumption of healthier food products and discourage the consumption of less healthy options.
- National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) to introduce monitoring of fair pricing as a regular component of the regulatory system and work with remote communities to ensure community members are aware of their consumer rights and have access to easily accessible pathways to action these rights.