The cost of basic food items in Remote and Indigenous communities has been the driving motivation behind recent Commonwealth Parliamentary inquiries and Ministerial statements.
On January 7, 2010 the Acting Premier of Queensland The Honourable Paul Lucas MP wrote to the Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships The Honourable Desley Boyle MP, requesting that an Inter-agency working group be established to develop options to alleviate the high cost of food.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) was invited to contribute to the working group in the area of Transport Infrastructure and Supply Chain analysis. The RISCS project team is represented on the Inter-agency working group by QTLC Secretary Mr Ray Merlehan who outlined the process of stakeholder consultation that had been initiated following representations made by DTMR in late 2009 on this issue.
The RISCS report was completed on time and on budget in March 2010 and was presented to the Inter-agency working group Chair to provide guidance on how a supply chain approach would achieve the desired outcomes.
A final report from the Inter-agency working group is expected to go to Cabinet in June 2010, QTLC Chairman Mr Neil Findlay said “It’s very satisfying that we (QTLC) have been able to live up to expectations and provide value to the process, the issue of access to good quality food at resonable prices is central to positive health outcomes for all remote communities”.