Tim Tams selling for a whopping price is a worrying sign of the times

The Nightly
2 Min Read
Residents in WA’s North West hankering for a TIm Tam will have to shell out an extra $9 than their city counterparts. 
Residents in WA’s North West hankering for a TIm Tam will have to shell out an extra $9 than their city counterparts.  Credit: Unknown/Supplied

It’s a worrying sign of the times. A single packet of Tim Tams selling for a budget-busting $11.70.

Usually retailing for $2.50 online, residents in WA’s North West with a hankering for the chocolate biscuit treat have to shell out an extra $9 than their city counterparts.

The exorbitant ask at a store in Kalumburu, near Broome, is emblematic of a wider problem in remote Indigenous communities where people are expected to pay whopping prices for basic food items.

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Stark photos taken by the ABC also show that even supermarket staples come at a steep cost.

A 1kg box of washing detergent sells for $9 in Kalumbruru, while a packet of Sao biscuits will set shoppers back $8.90. Both products retail online for significantly less: $7 and $4 respectively.

Kalumburu, which is home to 400 people, is the most remote settlement in WA. It lies 650km from Derby where a litre of petrol was selling for 2.52 on Wednesday.

Road access is often cut off during the wet season and transport costs are a big contributor to food prices.

Even laundry powder comes with a hefty price tag.
Even laundry powder comes with a hefty price tag. Credit: Supplied

Gaambera and Walbi elder Dorothy Djanghara told the ABC that families regularly run out of money to buy food.

“Everything costs more here,” she says.

“Even things like sugar, milk, tea — when you run out, you run out, just can’t afford more that week.”

Arnott's SAO crackers are retailing for $8.90.
Arnott's SAO crackers are retailing for $8.90. Credit: Supplied

Statistics released by the Northern Territory Government this week show healthy food costs 40 per cent more in remote stores than in suburban supermarkets.

The Australian Government is developing a national strategy for food security in remote First Nations communities. Online consultation opened in May and in-person regional forums and discussions in remote communities will happen in June and July.

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